Last night I saw The Imitation Game, the movie based on the life of Alan Turing.
Many I have spoken too comment on the inhumane treatment of homosexual persons within this time – which I completely agree with. However, as a mother of a child with Aspergers I was more drawn to the movie from this angle.
I found the movie both emotional as well as inspiring. I felt saddened by the cruelty of the school bullying scenes (an all too familiar occurrence for many children) and thought Benedict Cumberbatch (who played Alan Turning) did a brilliant job of conveying the complexity many people with Aspergers experience in social situations – at times he brilliantly conveyed this difficulty in processing interactions.
Mostly though I take away from this the positive association with Aspergers. This man saved 140 million lives with his enigma machine, he was the founder of computer technology. He was absolutely brilliant: Our world needs brilliant minds. We need people who think differently. Without people on the spectrum we would not of had many of the technological, scientific or artistic advances we have experienced today.
This is the message that I continually reiterate to my son. He does not have a disorder. He does not have a disability. His mind simply works differently to many others. His mind is a gift to embrace, to nurture, to celebrate (not problemize or pathologize). I hope that he continues to jump towards the starts in the full beauty of who he is!