I've just finished watching this movie. It's about a family who have just moved to a new area, and how their younger son Thomas handles coming to terms with living with his autistic brother, Charlie.
I'm not normally one to blog about movies, but... damn this was so well done.
Obviously it's easy to recognise Charlie straight away. He doesn't speak, and has many of the quirks of someone with autism. The actor who played him should be proud of himself. He delivered a really accurate and loveable performance.
I can't lie.
I silently pray most days that Max won't turn out like this. It's such a hard life to lead.
But, it's the life I've been given.
Time will tell.
Whether Max will talk properly or not, I'll just have to wait and see. (Though it does seem that he's making progress, so I'm hopeful!)
I was smiling huge big cheesy grins through many moments though, seeing bits of Max's behaviour in Charlie, I couldn't help but say "well done!" when he did something good, or talk at the screen to the younger brother Thomas, when he was battling with wishing his big brother was just "normal". Not to mention seeing the stick the majority of people gave them whenever they saw this almost-grown up child. Those bits had me really pissed off.
I worry that Zack will resent his little brother as they grow up.
That Max won't understand boundaries when, for example, Zack may want some time just with his own friends.
I worry that Max will get bullied because he is "different", or that Zack will because he has a little brother who isn't "normal".
But I have high hopes for them both.
Max is making huge progress, and Zack is such a sweet, sensitive and caring little man.
He will struggle at times, I'm sure, but he'll come through it. We all will.
Much like the mum in this movie, I believe that I was given Max for a reason.
Because I have the strength to get through this. Not just to "get through it", but to give Max the best possible life he can.
Because Zack is so laid back.
Because we are his family, and he was given to us.
A quote from the film, "All I know is he's my own, and you're weak if you don't look after your own."
We do our best by our children, regardless of whether they're you're typical kid, a tearaway, or autistic.
We do it because we love them, and they are ours.
We brought them into this world.
But they shape us more than we ever thought they could.