This is a sponsored post on behalf of Netflix. I am part of their #StreamTeam. I am thankful to offer you a review of Atypical on Netflix from an autism mom. My son Henry has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is on the autism spectrum, or the spectrum for short. Most people with Asperger’s are “high functioning.” This means he has difficulty with social interactions. He also has restricted range of interests and has certain repetitive behaviors. You can read the background on Henry in these posts: Does Your Baby Act Differently and Our Journey With A Child With Sensory Processing Disorder.
Living with a kid on the spectrum changes you. I am a better person and a better mom because of it. I am stronger than I ever though possible. It has not always been easy. Would I trade it? Not in a million years! One of the hardest aspects of having a kid on the spectrum is people’s attitudes and perspectives. Some have been good, and some bad. I learned over the years the best way to combat the naysayers was to educate them. It is frustrating because it is so damn hard to give people insight into Henry’s and our world.
When I heard of a new show, Atypical on Netflix, I was a mixed bag of emotions! I was excited, wary, skeptical and hopeful. I was fortunate to have an advanced screening of episodes. I could not wait to get my eyeballs on that show! And it did not disappoint!
It is often funny and sweet, and sometimes heart breaking. It brought a part of my life to television. It gives people a glimpse into our family dynamic, which is similar to the Gardner family! Have you seen it? If you haven’t, you should! It is Ah-Maz-Ing!
So, if you are not familiar, Atypical on Netflix follows Sam Gardner, a teen on the autism spectrum. He is a penguin loving, headphone wearing kid in high school. His sister Casey goes to the same school. She is the star of the track team. They are like typical teen siblings much of the time. At school, Casey is Sam’s wing man of sorts.
She makes sure Sam gets his lunch money and comes to his defense when needed. Their relationship reminds me of My Henry and his sister Caitlin. They hang out sometimes and fight sometimes. But if you mess with Henry, Caitlin is ready to kick your butt if need be!
Sam’s parents, are Elsa and Doug. They are played brilliantly by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rappaport. What I love about Elsa is she is so much like me! She is a stay-at-home-mom who has made her family her life. When you have a kid on the spectrum, you are also an advocate and an educator.
You are there for every meltdown, therapy appointment and IEP meeting at school. Strangers and family alike will question your parenting. But in the end, you are a mom. A mom who wants the best for their kids. Doug is the dad trying to break into Elsa’s inner sanctum with Sam. He also is trying to find a place he can relate to Sam as a Dad.
Zahid is Sam’s wing man in areas related to the ladies. As he should be! They work together at an electronics store. Yes, Sam has a job. That makes me hopeful. Henry is not ready for that, but some day I hope he will. And Sam wants to date. Again, much hope here. At 16, Henry is more interested in video games that girls. That may change. And if not, that’s OK too!
Here is a trailer of Atypical On Netflix:
One point I want to make is this is not a show about autism. It is about a mom and a dad of a teen boy and girl. One of the kids has autism. And yes, you get to see what autism looks like. To a degree. Every person on the spectrum is different. Sam is a representative sampling of a teen guy on the spectrum. He is also representative of a teen guy. There is something for everyone in Atypical On Netflix. You will laugh, cry, cheer and feel better for seeing the show. You will leave having a better understanding of what it is like living with autism. At least that is my hope for you!
You can stream Netflix from your mobile device, computer, TV or gaming system for less than $15 a month! You can also sign up for their DVD plan if you prefer watching it that way. Either way, you are getting what you want to watch, right at your fingertips! Be sure to follow Netflix on Facebook and Twitter! I want to share my love of Netflix by offering One USA reader will win a $30 Netflix gift card!