My reaction to NAS watching Rain Man.

Hi everyone, if you have been reading some of my blog posts you will know I don’t really like The National Autistic Society at all😡. I like that we can celebrate everyone is different on the spectrum, but with them or at least the ones allowed on social media don’t seem to like any labels that separate us or like most of the terms of us… Which okay I can understand but the puzzle sign (which is the sign for autism and Asperger’s) they don’t like. The terms high functioning, low functioning, Asperger’s and some don’t like the term Autistic. Which are all silly, my official diagnosis is Asperger’s with High functioning autism. They would prefer a person with autism- which sorry I won’t use. This shows some people that there may be a cure for us and there just isn’t we are perfectly odd people. Anyway, they have come up with a very biased video on YouTube😖. Before anything is said in the comments, yes I am subscribed to them, I do this just so I know what other people are talking about from my community because people think they are a God in charity form👼. Anyway, They have put their content creators, who are all young adults, in a room to watch ‘Rain Man’, as it is the 30th anniversary of the recording film.  So I will leave the link below but I am going to break down their comments on this 3:35 video. I will try and keep it PG- (yes I do hate them that much). Also, these are just my views but I am pretty sure I am not the only one with these views.  I do know it will be long.😏

So straight in they say they are going to Watch Rain Man and say that they are all on the spectrum and that the film came out way before they did, it is the same for me as well the move is about 10 years older than me. So it is old. 😆

They cut back to them after they have watch part of the film. The first thing is that is said is “ I can see why we have to undo all these stereotypes”. Well, this isn’t strictly true, is it😑… Rain man came out is 1988/9 and NAS (National Autistic Society) was founded in 1962 by a psychologist and a parent of an autistic child. They describe the ‘difficulties’ of autism in parts. Firstly social communication they describe as: Autistic people have difficulties with interpreting both verbal and non-verbal language like gestures or tone of voice. Many have a very literal understanding of language and think people always mean exactly what they say.

They may find it difficult to use or understand:
•facial expressions
•tone of voice
•jokes and sarcasm

Then they say talk about Social interactions which they say is: Autistic people often have difficulty ‘reading’ other people – recognising or understanding others’ feelings and intentions – and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world.

They may:
•appear to be insensitive
•seek out time alone when overloaded by other people
•not seek comfort from other people
•appear to behave ‘strangely’ or in a way thought to be socially inappropriate. 

Then they say this about Repetitive behaviours and routines which say: The world can seem a very unpredictable and confusing place to autistic people, who often prefer to have a daily routine so that they know what is going to happen every day. They may want to always travel the same way to and from school or work, or eat exactly the same food for breakfast.
The use of rules can also be important. It may be difficult for an autistic person to take a different approach to something once they have been taught the ‘right’ way to do it. People on the autism spectrum may not be comfortable with the idea of change, but may be able to cope better if they can prepare for changes in advance.

Then they speak about Highly- focused interests which they say: Many autistic people have intense and highly-focused interests, often from a fairly young age. These can change over time or be lifelong and can be anything from art or music, to trains or computers. An interest may sometimes be unusual. One autistic person loved collecting rubbish, for example. With encouragement, the person developed an interest in recycling and the environment.

They then finally speak about Sensory Sensitivity which they say: Autistic people may also experience over- or under-sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light, colours, temperatures or pain. For example, they may find certain background sounds, which other people ignore or block out, unbearably loud or distracting. This can cause anxiety or even physical pain. Or they may be fascinated by lights or spinning objects.

I know they are a lot of things, but I am guessing the stereotypes came from here first then got passed through Rain Man as there is a 27 year gap. The stereotypes were there before the movie or else it wouldn’t in the movie. Sorry I know a lot of information there I am guessing you have heard most of that before. 

Then another person from the video then talks about most of the things I have shown you like the no eye contact, talking to ourselves, the stating numbers and facts. Then they end it by saying they aren’t impressed so far😲. Well… the first question I have do they know anyone with that level on the spectrum? My level of the spectrum is all that I have the same skill set, just slower with the numbers- because I do everything in binary. Then I have some other added skills. 
Then they get on to the naming of Rain Man, which in the movie was ‘autistic savant’ which means someone on the spectrum with exceptional skill or brilliance in a specific topic such as in Raymond’s case Maths/numbers, in mine science. So it is a real word and it still in use, mainly in the USA but still in use. I can understand them not understanding but they want it to just autistic.

This is the people who brought you all of these names:
– Autism spectrum disorder (ASD),
– Autism spectrum condition (ASC),
– classic autism,
– Kanner autism,
– Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD),
– High-Functioning Autism (HFA),
– Asperger Syndrome
– Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).
You might think autistic savant might fit in. There is a reason I have done this for a reason, which I will come back to later. 

They don’t like that he is in an institution😬. I don’t know if they know the history of people on the spectrum, but it isn’t the best. Here and now we have more rights than we have ever had🎉. People on the spectrum have been tested on and we have been put in institutions and we still are, so that fact that they don’t like it doesn’t change that it has happened and is still happening. 
Then they show them watch through a bit more of the movie. Then they stop it to complain that they used the words ‘High-functioning’ and then they say we aren’t about functioning labels these days. Well, this is what I have been waiting for their own site has shot them in the foot💥, as you can see they have used high-functioning autism in their website and you still get tested for high-functioning autism. So I can’t really understand why they are complaining about it. Although they say that is it a recent thing, I am yet to hear from someone who doesn’t use it. They also complain that professionals and the media still use them… that it is because that is your diagnosis within the spectrum, it is like someone being told they have an attack, rather than saying it was a heart attack. You would rather the profession be as accurate as possible then just guessing or saying that they have a condition and leave it at that😟. The media use it again to be accurate it doesn’t matter what you think, they have to report on the facts and the fact is the person may be higher-functioning or low-functioning. So they do this to give someone the complete story. Rather then the views of the one very biased reporter- oh yeah this is NAS so it is biased😝. 

They then talk about the brother was more concerned in his condition then what he was into. Well… it was pretty obvious as he kept doing numbers and repeating what people say/his routine, so I’m guessing numbers and repeating what people say/his routine. If you know nothing of autism then why not know about the condition. This is why you have a page on your own website… It seems like I am mean, but they must know someone is going to do this. It sounds like they are saying they don’t want anyone to know about autism so NAS can be allowed to dictate what is right👍 and wrong👎 about autism. That sounds wrong. They say that autistic people weren’t seen as people that is partly true, but also they were or else they wouldn’t have done a film about someone with autism😏. 

One of them then says about how would his family have felt about a child with autism, well is the past (before 2002) there wasn’t much guarding people with autism and there was a big stigma🙊 and there still is, especially in places like the USA. Us being autistic we either don’t recognise it or we are shielded from it by are parents or carers. Further in one of them says that this is still happening in other countries, including the US and they were right, but that is a very Hollywood version of an institution most to people with any form of special needs can be cruel and may not even cater to their needs. From there NAS will only come in if someone says rather then I’m checking to see if people are safe, secure and haven’t been forgotten about😒.

They stop the film again and they stop it because Charlie (Tom Cruise) tells Raymond to try and act normal. Which sounds bad at first, but they forget that the less attention he brings to himself the easier it is to not have people look at him without alerting security or the police and I have had this in stores because I tic. In Raymond’s case he has just been kidnapped from an institute so, no police👮 would be helpful👌.

By this point they have seen through the entire film and the talk about Raymond’s arc like he had more human traits by the end, well if you aren’t at that end of the spectrum I would ask for them not to pass judgement😠. Also, aren’t we already human… so why do we need it quotations but also how are people going to connect to an autistic character if he doesn’t change and shows no form of humanity. People won’t understand him like why there is a prequel trilogy in Star Wars👾. 

Now we come to the point why I thought I would make this post. One of them says he seems quite robotic, they referred to him like a computer. Well some of us are actually like this, like me… I can act very robotic and it only been in the last two-ish years that I am slowly being oiled 😜 enough not to be and I think of myself as a computer. This is why I am around them a lot, to me they are like friends and I can understand them because they run on a logic processor like me. They run through binary, like me but a lot faster. They do a high amount of numbers and task in their ‘brain’ like me. I typically run between 6-8 things at any one time or I start to get inquisitive and break things. Also, it allows me to mimic and function as a human or else I would be speaking in a binary primary language and be very rude to people. So again, if you aren’t on that end of the spectrum please don’t judge or think that isn’t autism😕. It is it just isn’t YOURS. They also speak about Raymond changing after spending time with his ‘normal’ brother and it doesn’t work like that. Well as a psychology student I can say IT DOES we first mimic, then we start finding out there is a normal place for them behaviours them we adapt and use them more often and then we find out people treat us better. It’s a very long winded form of positive behaviour. It’s almost… autistic. They finish with there is a proper connection with Raymond at the end and they wonder why can’t they do it at the end. Well three things: 1) it wasn’t in the script. 2) Raymond’s arc wouldn’t have been acturate of autism 3) it’s a technique in film making where you find yourself feeling something for a character and if they did it at the start they might as well of put Fin after the character got introduced and we find about everything about him. So it would go from just over 2 hours to being 40 minutes tops. That’s not a movie that a TV show. Actually, most TV shows now about an hour long so it’s not even that. 

Here are some questions for NAS if anyone reads this.
-Why wasn’t someone similar to Rain man watching it as well to give them perspective?
-Why didn’t you put people who don’t work for NAS in the video?
-Finally, why not gets people views who weren’t autistic or had any connections with autism to watch it as well?

There were some things they missed talking about like when Raymond’s has a mini meltdown in the airport. They missed Raymond walking out of the car. Some of his traits which they defiantly are hinted in their own paragraphs which they made. They don’t mention the psychologist speaking about the non-verbal’s- why NAS😱? They are as much autistic and anyone else. I am going to leave it here or I might not be so PG🙊🙉.

Anyway, thank you 🙃 for staying with my long argument/rant about this video please like, share or comment below if you liked this. If you want to want to see the video for yourself click here. If you want more about NAS or about autism communities please comment below or look at some at my other posts in the tab at the side.

Published by The Autistic Gecko

I am a blogger and podcaster who is on the Autistic Spectrum. I talk about Autism, Mental Health issues and anything that I think deserve a voice.

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