Hit or Miss: ABC’s “The Good Doctor”

ABC has launched a new TV drama titled “The Good Doctor.” Being a fan of medical drama shows–and all the exaggerated scenarios–I was looking forward to the season premiere last night.

I had seen a few teasers online but was entirely surprised to find the show’s main character Shaun Murphy—portrayed by Freddi Highmore—a young autistic surgeon who has savant syndrome. Throughout the episode, the board of directors is shown arguing about employing this young man as a surgical resident, and frequently refer to him as “High Functioning.”

The show was entertaining, however, I struggled with the idea of defining the character (Shaun) as “high functioning.” The world of diagnosing autism has shifted dramatically in the past few years, and terms like “high functioning” and “Aspergers” are no longer used.

I was also a bit annoyed at the behavior of the character. It was like watching the existing medical definition of a child/person with a spectrum disorder, which is disappointing. I have yet to meet any child/person that is a strict definition of anything. I understand the need for acting guidelines and needing to portray a character regarding autism; I just wish it was more natural and not just a check-list of symptoms.

However, I think it is refreshing to mainstream the topic of autism because the more we talk about autism spectrum disorders; the more affluent society will become. I love that the show has the potential to break down those walls and stigmatisms of “labeling” causes.

For me, “The Good Doctor” is not an instant hit; but also not a miss so I’ll give it a couple more episodes before I make that decision.

I would love to discuss any thoughts you have if you were able to see the Pilot episode.

*a blogger I have come to love,  Neurodivergent Rebel posted a great article about inclusive autistic traits. Not only did she cover the most common problems, she also has some thoughtful solutions. If Hollywood wants to use a checklist for character development, this is a great place to start.

 

Sensory Saturday: Visual Seekers

This Sensory Saturday is all about our  “Visual Seekers.”

Children who are Visual Seekers find opportunities to watch objects and lights spin, flash, move, jump, and flicker. My Ninja absolutely loves to watch all the lights at Christmas. It has become a family tradition to drive around neighborhoods at least once a week to view all the decorations.

Here are some great kid-friendly product ideas that you can purchase for your Visual Seeker:

Liquid Motion Bubbler | Sensory Ninja

Zig Zag Motion Bubbler | Sensory Ninja

  • Lava Lamp (personally recommend these for older children as they can become very hot)

Lava lamp | Sensory Ninja

Orbeez Mood Light | Sensory Ninja

  • Spirograph (I absolutely loved this as a kid! It’s a classic, and perfect for any artistic visual seekers)

Spirograph | Sensory Ninja

  • Glitter Bottle (also called a “time-out” bottle) This is fantastic for any DIY crafters. Project Pinterest has a great tutorial. You can also find different ideas for materials on Pinterest.

Glitter Bottle | Sensory Ninja

Visual stimulation is good for all children. The flashing lights on infant toys might be super obnoxious to a parent, but they are helping to develop their Vision Sensory Processing. In addition, a slower rhythmic flashing or moving is calming. It can regulate the visual input and help a child’s respiration and heart rate. The fish tank in your dentist’s office is strategically placed there to help calm any anxiety you might have. Sneaky, sneaky Dr. Dentist.

photo credit: Sean Brown