Extreme Love … autism documentary

I watched a Louis Theroux documentary –  Extreme Love.

I really enjoy Louis Theroux’s documentaries (they are usually featured on BBC).  I like that he does not supply a general loose overview – he  focuses on a few families or individuals, and then delves into those families and what they are going through or their experiences.  I enjoy his slightly off beat style.

The documentary – Extreme Love – follows Louis Theroux as he journeys to America to spend time with several families whose children were pupils at New Jersey’s Development Learning Center, an innovative autism school.

One of the most memorable children who Louis interviewed, was a 13-year-old Joey.

His disorder meant he was prone to shrieking and violent tantrums. His scenes made for particularly difficult viewing: at one point, when Joey was being physically restrained by his mother, Theroux asked if she’d like him to stop filming. “No,” the mother replied, tellingly. “I want people to see what autism is really like.”

Extreme Love focused on the parents of the children, what they thought and what they were going through.  Paula, an exhausted mother of autistic twins, was especially candid: “I just try and make them happy, because, God forgive me, I don’t get a lot of enjoyment from them,” she said, sorrowfully.  I think she was the most candid, the most honest – the most heart wrenching.

The moms who were featured did look frayed, and exhausted.  I started to wonder “how would I cope if that was me…?”

I don’t think I could.  I don’t think I would.

I find raising my three children “normal kids” IMMENSELY difficult, challenging and some days I fall down in a heap and wonder why the hell did I choose to have children.

Did I really give this enough thought before setting out on this particular journey?

I get so many moments of pure joy, that warm milky warmth, that love that spills out of every one of my pores when I see my children, clean, quiet and safe and soundly asleep.  I really am not sure I could cope if it was harder.

The phrase I heard a few times in this documentary and from moms who are “challenged” is “God does not give us more than we deserve or can deal with…” I really am not so sure.

My personal set of beliefs does not believe that God gives us things – the death of a child, the sickness of a child, the mental or physical challenges that face a child.

I believe things happen and then we deal with them, either well, or not so well, depending on our resources available to us.

I enjoyed the documentary.  It reminded me that parents go through so much more than we know and realise, and can fully appreciate.

And no I don’t really have a point for this post.

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