Many say that Rainman was the film that introduced them to “Autism”- and while I saw it as a senior in high school, it didn’t make a huge impact. Alright, I’m not going to lie – Tom Cruise made an impact, the rest of the movie did not.
The movie that opened my eyes was House of Cards in 1993 with Kathleen Turner and Tommy Lee Jones. The synopsis from IMBD:
When Ruth Matthews’s husband is killed in a fall at an archaeological dig, her daughter Sally handles her father’s death in a very odd manner. As Sally’s condition worsens, Ruth takes her to see Jake, an expert in childhood autism. Jake attempts to bring Sally out of her mental disarray through traditional therapy methods, but Ruth takes a different route. She risks her own sanity by attempting to enter her daughter’s mind and make sense of the seemingly bizarre things that Sally does, including building a wondrous house of cards.
For some reason, this movie stuck with me throughout the years and was my first thought whenever I heard the word Autism. I have not seen it since 1993 and I am curious as to what my impression of it will be now. I remember thinking how difficult it would be to have an autistic child. It seemed so “foreign” and rare. Fast forward 20 years to when my twins were first diagnosed and it’s like a entirely different frontier.
I’m putting this out there now based on my original 1993 viewing of it. I plan to watch it this weekend and compare what I know now, with the portrayal of autism in this movie.