Ben Affleck talked to his kids about autism because of role in The Accountant. He plays Christian Wolff, an autistic math savant with lethal fighting skills. He said talking to them about the role opened the doors to having a conversation with them about autism. He told People Magazine that he told them that “all of us are very different and some of us see the world in really different ways, and this condition that makes you different can also make you very special…and that’s cool as well.”
In my world Ben Affleck epitomizes the words shared by Robert Frost:
I am not a teacher but an awakener.
We have not met, our kids have not met at a park and I hope they will one day. Believe it or not you’ve fulfilled one of my dreams — too witness a parent awakening their children to the reality that there are individuals on the autism spectrum. And to tell them that it is important they try to interact with them, even when they don’t understand them.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I made this plea to parents myself in The Mighty:
“So, dear parent of a kid without a label, talk to your kid, answer their questions, eliminate the existing fear of the unknown. More than anything, let them know my kid is not “weird,” my kid is not “crazy” and my kid is not “a pain.” My kid is just a kid, like yours.”
In your position of power and media presence, you are doing so much good for every special needs family that has to face an often cruel world. Case in point, the boy in Texas that was set on fire by his bullies!
The public doesn’t want to listen to the parents of autistic children. But they will listen to you, Ben Affleck, and I’m so happy that you are the real thing.
With stars like Ben, perhaps the message I keep sharing on my radio show will continue to reach the masses:
Public conversations about autism can open the door for increased comprehension and acceptance.
We still have many surprises and challenges ahead. It’s life after all. For now, I go to bed at peace and awaken ready to face what comes our way.
Ben, did I say thank you? I must say it again…I greatly appreciate your actions.
*Yadira V. Calderon has been eating, breathing, sleeping, challenging and accepting autism for the past five years. She is a dedicated warrior, director of short films and author of the soon to be published Autism: The Happy Kingdom. She holds a M.A. International Relations and Diplomacy, speaks three languages and has lived in six countries, having travelled to another twenty-seven. Her friends know she is determined, persistent, positive, creative, open-minded and realistic, she believes none of these attributes could ever have prepared her to become the mother of seven year-old Thomais.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE
Photo credit: Reuters