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Adam: A Review of the Entertaining and Educational Movie about Asperger's Syndrome

written by: Barbara Smith • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/2/2012

Adam: a movie about a young man with Asperger's both entertains and educates the general audience about the syndrome. Adam the character will win your heart.

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    A Tender Movie with an Intriguing Plot

    Adam, a movie about Asperger's syndrome, is a touching and thoroughly enjoyable film about the title character- Adam- an engineer who explores the possibilities of romance with his new neighbor Beth. Aside from the physical attraction between the 20 something year olds, her tendency to nurture and his need for support following the death of his father-provide the basis for this relationship.

    Asperger’s Syndrome: A Disability that Impacts Reading Social Cues and Communication

    This film should be seen by parents, educators and therapists not only because it is entertaining but because it paints a picture of the adult life challenges that children on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum will eventually face. Actor Hugh Dancy does an incredible job portraying the nerdy neighbor who is endearing while at the same time unpredictable and explosive. He is blunt when asking Beth if she was mutually attracted to him and horrified to discover her harmless fib. Beth, played by Rose Byrne coaches Adam for job interviews and signals when its time to finish his fact driven monologues. At the same time we learn that since other men in Rose’s life have not been trustworthy, the honesty and faithfulness Adam offers might be well worth her extra effort to make the relationship work.

    The impact of Sensory Overload for Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome

    Adam’s behaviors are indeed odd, although not to the point where he is dysfunctional. He can not tolerate noise or crowds and begins to recite facts when required to socialize. His culinary tastes are limited to cereal and macaroni and cheese and he is easily confused when given too much information. Now that Adam can no longer depend on his father –we wonder if he will find a new job or can even handle paying the bills. As an occupational therapist and mother of a young adult with a similar disability- I am relieved that Adam has developed the skills to explain his disability to Beth, especially about his sensory sensitivities and difficulties knowing what others are thinking. He also benefits from role playing as he learns how to become more relaxed and attentive. These are skills that need to be taught in the special education setting as well as by parents.

    A Positive Portrayal of Asperger’s syndrome

    Adam,a movie about asperger's syndrome, is perfect for parents, special educators and occupational therapists interested in adult advocacy and relationships. I don't want to give away the ending- but the viewer walks away feeling warm and fuzzy. The talented actors and highly nuanced script enable us to empathize with Adam’s anxiety, his struggles and his dreams. Perhaps Adam is a metaphor for the confusion and miscommunications that are part and parcel of romantic relationships. However, at the same time he is presented as a gentle being who enjoys the simple pastimes of people and animal watching. Adam perseveres and Adam overcomes. As a result- “Adam" -the movie provides a public relations campaign to accept one another’s neurological differences and viewers will realize that we all have personal struggles to overcome.