Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weinmaster
















To be honest with you, after we got back from Kansas I was emotionally exhausted. I had to take a few days to let my mind relax before expressing my thoughts about the trip.

I have been talking to Linda since my first story in July. She brought to the forefront that there is an entire autism community that rarely if ever gets its voice heard. She has watched our entire series unfold. It was a pleasure to finally meet her.

This family's courage and determination to "bring back their son" struck a cord with me. They are doing everything in their power to get Adam to recover from autism the best he can.

While I don't have children, I can't imagine the pain Linda has gone through when doctors told her to institutionalize Adam. By alternative methods, Adam lives at home and needs assistance, but more or less has made great strides in progressing to what his parents hope to be close to independent.

Adam is not your typical teenager. He loves Ninga Turtles, Batman, and Nintendo games. It was hard for me to see this guy who is taller and bigger than me act like a person half his age.

At the same time, Adam is extremely likable and funny. He showed us his house. His basement is a really cool hideout with all of his toys. He was so talkative. Scott, our photog really hit it off with him. Adam got to talk all about his games to him. Unfortunately, I am not an expert on boy-geared Nintendo games. ;-)

We spent the night in Lawrence. The following day we went to the clinic with Adam and Linda. This was a very hard--but needed--experience for me. Adam had a mini meltdown. There were some issues of not getting enough blood for a sample. Linda says this overloaded his sensors and he got worked up.

We had a wireless mic on Linda the entire time. The raw footage is hard to watch. Adam begins to get upset then leaves the room. It is nearly impossible to control someone his size. He went into the hallway screaming and crying. Linda followed to calm him down. Scott was brilliant in shooting this private moment. He stayed in one hallway while Linda and Adam were in another. Scott only shot Linda. Adam wasn't aware he was being filmed. I thought this was a smart move by Scott because we didn't want to trigger him to get more upset. However, we did want to capture all of this because of the importance for other people to see it.

In less than ten minutes, the episode was done and over with. Adam apologizes to Linda and they hug. This entire experience was beyond compelling. I wasn't even in the room due to space, but to hear this account was emotional.

Needless to say, this was moving trip. I can't wait to tell you the rest of their story.

1 comment:

ANB said...

Have you confirmed what Linda alleges she was told be her doctors? That her son would have to be institutionalized? What type of institution are they talking about? If you don't ask these questions, then you are assuming too much.