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10 Minutes to Wapner


Rainman was on the other day and of course, when it's on, I have to watch it.

It's funny, before my son was born I thought it was a good movie and certainly very fascinating, but that was it. Now, after having lived for 7 and a half years on the spectrum I have to say, this is one of my favorite movies. Not because it is the quintessential defining 'autism' movie, because it isn't. Rainman, or rather Kim Peek whom the movie is based upon, was a savant who also happened to be autistic. There are really only about a hundred recognized savants in the world which is a far cry from the current stats on autism--which can run anywhere from 1 in 150 to 1 in 96. Rather, it's one of my favorite movies because of the little things that show what life on the spectrum can be like.

The little things like the strict need for routine.

The 10 minutes to Wapner aspect is right on the money. I can't tell you how many times over the weekend I heard variations of, "It's 4 minutes to 4:30, time for dad to play Zelda with me." I kept waiting for Ewan to tell me he was an excellent driver.

But seriously, the autistic individual THRIVES on a schedule. Literally, life is better on a schedule for the person on the spectrum. Which is SO hard for me because I like to live life free of a schedule, free from an organizer, free from a planner. It's a constant struggle for me to accommodate Ewan and his 4 Minutes to 4:30 routine and my natural live life minute to minute kind of style. I swear my son has some sort of internal calendar or clock because without seeing this ANYWHERE in the house, he KNEW upon waking up that today he got to see Stacey, his SLP out at the hospital. We see her every other Monday and half the time I can barely remember WHICH Monday we go and have to write it down a hundred times lest I forget. Ewan, on the other hand, has it permanently etched upon his brain.

I love the part in Rainman when he asks the girl, "Are you taking any prescription medications?" I could totally see my son saying this to someone. He has a plethora of Ewanisms that I thoroughly enjoy. One time when he had a substitute bus driver, who happened to be elderly, Ewan blurted out, "How old ARE you? I think you are too old to drive this bus safely." That's life on the spectrum. Full of literalisms and potentially embarrasing moments for parents. Yet these are never said to embarras or ridicule, Ewan quite literally, just wants to know. Don't even get me started on the drug free campaign at school and it's aftermath...let's just say my son yelled out in a store, "Hey mom, I'm sober!" Yeah, that one elicited a few stares...

I love it when Rainman talks about Wheel of Fortune as he mimics, "Look at the studio filled with glorious merchandise. Fabulous and exciting prizes. Thousands of dollars in cash. Over $150,000 just waiting to be won as we present our big bonanza of cash on Wheel of Fortune." I can't tell you how many times Ewan has tried to get me to buy something off an infomercial. The Touch n Brush, the Snuggie, the Twin Draft Guards, the Perfect Brownie Bake Pan, the Big Top Cupcake, the Debbie Meyer Bags, the Slap Chop, you name it--he's ready to buy them all. He can tell you anytime, anywhere that the Touch n Brush dispenses the perfect amount every time for only $19.95!

And anyone who has ever spent 5 minutes with anyone on the spectrum knows that underwear is NOT underwear as Tom Cruise would have us believe.

PS...Kim Peek passed away on December 19, 2009. Kim was a great guy and was well loved by many, especially by his wonderfully dedicated father, Fran Peek.


Rainman was a good movie. I watch it many times and I don't get bored.

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I don’t intend for the information on this site to take the place of any medical intervention that might be needed or any therapeutic intervention that is out there.