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S01.E20: R-U-N-- RUNAWAY

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JJ's runaway attempt gets Maya's attention, but she winds up hindering his quest for independence. Meanwhile, Jimmy struggles to talk to the kids about difficult subjects without their mom; and Dylan tries to get Kenneth to relive his glory days as a star athlete in high school.

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Yup, they picked up right where "Cheater" left off (not counting the funny Mr. Powers tag), so we got to hear JJ's conversation with Kenneth. :) Glancing at the show's official Facebook page in the past couple weeks or so, I've come across at least several comments complaining about how that episode ended -- how the family had no business talking about JJ's future (even if just to express worries / fears and pose questions with no answers, not to make any actual decisions) without involving him in the discussion -- but tonight's ep did a pretty good job of showing how the family really deals with the consequences of what happened. 

Speaking of Kenneth, it was cool to finally see where he lives and to get some more of his backstory. His scenes with Dylan reminded me a bit of "Surprise," when he and Jimmy had struggled to loosen up around each other and find common ground, only to discover a shared affinity for trash-talk. :D 

Zach Anner's cameo was delightful, and I hope his character (Lee) crosses paths with JJ again... I thought the whole JJ/Maya plot did a fine job of showing that just because there's a lot JJ physically can't do on his own, he still has a mind of his own and can assert himself when he wants his mom to back off. 

As for the Jimmy/Ray plot, I was initially a little disappointed at how it was handled -- Ray and Dylan using Jimmy's weakness to manipulate him into giving them things they want? -- and I would've liked a little more insight into his self-doubt.* Still, I think his reasoning for shying away from the kids' bigger problems and more difficult questions (when he can't defer to Maya about them) -- so what little advice and help he can offer make him feel more like he's truly contributing -- tied in quite nicely with last night's rerun, "Sick Day" (especially his questioning his value to his family).

(*- Jimmy may not care what other people think, but he really does seem to care what his own family thinks, and I get the impression that while he wants to contribute more than he actually does, for some reason he still feels too out-of-his-depth as a parent -- like he'd rather keep their expectations relatively low than risk seriously screwing things up and letting them down in major ways...)

Edited by GRChereck
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That was a good episode - I liked that we got to see JJ's conversation with Kenneth and we got to see how the family dealt with JJ reacting to it. I really liked JJ yelling at them.

Learning Kenneth's backstory was good - but I hope next season, they flesh out Dylan more, she needs to be worked on a bit. The Jimmy/Ray plot felt a bit weak, but it was after a big episode, so they had to deal with that.

 

3 hours ago, GRChereck said:

Yup, they picked up right where "Cheater" left off (not counting the funny Mr. Powers tag), so we got to hear JJ's conversation with Kenneth. :) Glancing at the show's official Facebook page in the past couple weeks or so, I've come across at least several comments complaining about how that episode ended -- how the family had no business talking about JJ's future (even if just to express worries / fears and pose questions with no answers, not to make any actual decisions) without involving him in the discussion -- but tonight's ep did a pretty good job of showing how the family really deals with the consequences of what happened. 

Personally, I think that the family talking about JJ's future without having him in the discussion is something that was fine to do - Dylan and Ray want the chance to be completely frank with their parents, since they wouldn't want to offend JJ. I imagine that if they knew JJ were home, they would've invited him into the conversation and continued it with him present. Ray asked about it, so they had the conversation - it would've been weird for Jimmy/Maya to go "Nah, let's wait for a time when JJ is home, then we'll talk about it." as they are a family that seems like if it comes up and they are up for talking about it, they will talk about it.

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I don't think it is ok for a family to talk about a person't future without the person, ever. Were they doing that because the person is disabled? Were they trying to keep him from the conversation? Would they exclude a non-disabled family member from a conversation about said family member?

Having said that, this is something that happens all the time. It is ableist, it is because we all have this internalized ableist idea that a disable person will always need the extra protection. I have struggled with that, it is something almost unconscious, almost like a reflex, and in my case I need to make it conscious to be fair and include the person I am thinking about (as in how it will be in the future, etc).

I am glad though, that the show touched this because it feels real. If I remember well, the family did make sure JJ wasn't there before they started the conversation, so they really wanted to exclude him. That's the "protective/ableist" nature of such conversations. It is still not ok but maybe it will serve s an introduction to my past posts where I mentioned how having an independent mind, being an "independent thinker" is a valid form of independence (I haven't watched this episode yet).

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Were they doing that because the person is disabled? Were they trying to keep him from the conversation?  If I remember well, the family did make sure JJ wasn't there before they started the conversation, so they really wanted to exclude him.

The family's conversation came about because Ray brought it up while in the car with his Dad.  Unable to answer his questions, Jimmy took him home so that Maya could help him out.  Then Dylan chimed in that she wanted some answers too.  They saw that JJ wasn't home and thought it was a good time to discuss the issue. It was all very innocent.  I see nothing wrong with that.  I think that once they figured things out, maybe they would've had the conversation with JJ at another time.  They needed time alone to figure out the details and to come up with a way to talk to JJ without making him feel like he's a problem to be solved. 

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 I don't think it is ok for a family to talk about a person's future without the person, ever.

My now-deceased MIL had schizophrenia and later on developed COPD/emphysema.  Her time with us was short. Issues had to be discussed.  We couldn't discuss many of them in her presence, and with her paranoia, it wasn't a good idea and she didn't want us to.  She told us point blank to quit talking about her.  Sometimes a family needs some alone time to hammer these things out.

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I liked this one a lot - a good balance of sentiment and slapstick, which is when the show is best.

Kenneth and JJ's scene was hilarious, Ray was perfectly Ray, but Jimmy seemed off to me for some reason. Future-JJ was good too. I'd like to see him again.

Looking forward to the next three shows.

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5 hours ago, 71dude said:

Ray was perfectly Ray, but Jimmy seemed off to me for some reason.

Maybe that's it... Ray wanting the videogame and (even more so) the robe* -- in keeping with his entering the essay contest so he can win money to buy a hoverboard in "Hero," and showing a taste for the finer things in "The Club" -- still felt like a true part of his character, even if taking advantage of his dad to get the stuff was a bit of a step backwards from the startling maturity and deep concern for his brother he showed in the previous episode. It's poor Jimmy who could've been better developed here: While he did get a couple lines that seemed to hint at his insecurity / feelings of inadequacy as a father, his method of avoiding tough talks with the kids -- appeasing / distracting them with food and gifts -- seemed kinda out-of-nowhere (it's possible that it could've been Jimmy's extreme anxiety in moments like this coming out in a sort of compulsive behavior, but I have a feeling it's more likely that the writer was simply trying for a humorous angle on the situation before things got a little more serious). :\

(* - which ties in nicely with his fixation on privacy in "Sled Hockey")

8 hours ago, ChitChat said:

I think that once they figured things out, maybe they would've had the conversation with JJ at another time.  They needed time alone to figure out the details and to come up with a way to talk to JJ without making him feel like he's a problem to be solved.

 

13 hours ago, bros402 said:

Personally, I think that the family talking about JJ's future without having him in the discussion is something that was fine to do - Dylan and Ray want the chance to be completely frank with their parents, since they wouldn't want to offend JJ. I imagine that if they knew JJ were home, they would've invited him into the conversation and continued it with him present. Ray asked about it, so they had the conversation - it would've been weird for Jimmy/Maya to go "Nah, let's wait for a time when JJ is home, then we'll talk about it." as they are a family that seems like if it comes up and they are up for talking about it, they will talk about it.

Those were my impressions, too. :) It struck me as very realistic that the talk just sort of happened, and they were pretty much getting stuff off their chests at that point. I think now that JJ knows the rest of the family is actually thinking about his future, and they know he knows, it should pave the way for more open and constructive discussion among the whole family, with JJ having real input in any decision-making that takes place. 

9 hours ago, alexvillage said:

I am glad though, that the show touched this because it feels real. If I remember well, the family did make sure JJ wasn't there before they started the conversation, so they really wanted to exclude him. That's the "protective/ableist" nature of such conversations. It is still not ok but maybe it will serve s an introduction to my past posts where I mentioned how having an independent mind, being an "independent thinker" is a valid form of independence (I haven't watched this episode yet).

Oh man, I think you're going to enjoy this one. We do get to see the devastation and anger JJ feels after hearing his family say all that stuff they hadn't intended him to hear, as well as his desire for autonomy / independence and how Maya both wants to help him and ends up hindering him at the same time. 

Edited by GRChereck
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4 hours ago, ChitChat said:

My now-deceased MIL had schizophrenia and later on developed COPD/emphysema.  Her time with us was short. Issues had to be discussed.  We couldn't discuss many of them in her presence, and with her paranoia, it wasn't a good idea and she didn't want us to.  She told us point blank to quit talking about her.  Sometimes a family needs some alone time to hammer these things out.

Point taken. Let me rephrase that: I don't think it should be the norm for family members to talk about (as in making plans for) a person's future without that person's input.

In certain cases it is truly not possible for the person to participate, or they choose not to for their own reasons. 

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I hope Possible Future JJ shows up again soon, he could be a fun reoccurring character.

It was nice to see Dylan and Kenneth bond, I don't think we`ve gotten too much of them before. And we got more of Kenneth's backstory, which is always welcome. I loved his nice, but super non handicap accessible apartment.

I could understand both JJs anger, as well as why the family talked about JJ without him there. JJ wants to be a normal guy, and doesn't want to be seen as a burden to his family without his own autonomy and life outside of them. I'm glad he got a chance to express his anger about them talking about him without him around to have a say in his own future. That being said, I don't think the rest of the family meant anything by talking about JJ without him there. It was a spur of the moment discussion that came about because Rays worry about JJs future seemed to have boiled over, and when it got brought up, it was clear it was something that was weighing on Dylan as well. And Dylan and Ray wanted to be frank about their worries, without offending their brother, even by accident. They should have waited for JJ, but its understandable that it happened the way it did. Maybe if JJ hadn't heard them talking and gotten upset, they would have had a more "formal" family meeting to discuss JJs future with JJ included later on? I don't know, but I like how it played out here.

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1 hour ago, tennisgurl said:

Maybe if JJ hadn't heard them talking and gotten upset, they would have had a more "formal" family meeting to discuss JJs future with JJ included later on? I don't know, but I like how it played out here.

I imagine that's probably what they had in mind -- their talk didn't really involve concrete plans or decisions yet, and if things hadn't worked out the way they did, I like to think the family would've taken a little time to prepare themselves (preferably sooner than later) to bring up their questions to JJ in a less potentially upsetting way.

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I think the "future J.J." character (Zach Anner) was as much a wake-up call for Maya as an inspiration for J.J., that he will be able to fend for himself as an adult and have a full life, and that there will be others in his life who will care about him and to help when necessary.

I can understand why J.J. would be upset over a secret family meeting about him, since the parents' policy has always been to be open with everyone about everything and especially never keeping anything from J.J. about his medical issues. But it could have been explained to him how the discussion came about and that it came from his siblings' devotion to him -- instead of everyone simply falling on their mea culpa jalapeño swords.

It seemed to me that Ray was uncomfortable over taking advantage of Jimmy's discomfort in talking about issues without Maya, which was Dylann's idea. That's why his "demands" were so modest, I think, such as his need for privacy being able to be met with a comfortable robe. "Personal space" doesn't get much narrower than that! At the end when Jimmy asked him if he had something on under his robe, Ray just drew his legs together and pulled the robe tighter, naked in his own "space." Cool.

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1 hour ago, Bobbin said:

I think the "future J.J." character (Zach Anner) was as much a wake-up call for Maya as an inspiration for J.J., that he will be able to fend for himself as an adult and have a full life, and that there will be others in his life who will care about him and to help when necessary.

^^ THIS. :) I seem to recall reading a comment somewhere early on about how Kenneth may be a good adult influence on JJ, but it would be even better if he could also meet some adults with disabilities who've already experienced a lot of the same things he's going through. I like to think this was always part of a larger plan for the season as a whole -- I guess the writers felt JJ first had to get to a point where he and his family were seriously starting to consider and raise questions about his future, so he would need (and get) some real reassurance about what life on his own could be like.

1 hour ago, Bobbin said:

But it could have been explained to him how the discussion came about and that it came from his siblings' devotion to him -- instead of everyone simply falling on their mea culpa jalapeño swords.

Yeah, they definitely could've handled that better, though I suppose that's not really the DiMeo way. :D

1 hour ago, Bobbin said:

It seemed to me that Ray was uncomfortable over taking advantage of Jimmy's discomfort in talking about issues without Maya, which was Dylann's idea. That's why his "demands" were so modest, I think, such as his need for privacy being able to be met with a comfortable robe.

OK, that makes sense; I also recall, now, how it was her words about glazed-over eyes and "lemmings marching to their deaths" in "Oscar Party" that actually inspired Jimmy to take advantage of the special-needs dads the way he did... And given how Ray made such a big deal about his privacy in "Sled Hockey," I could see how something so simple and practical as a robe would be a much more meaningful gift to him than anything else. 

Edited by GRChereck
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13 hours ago, GRChereck said:

I imagine that's probably what they had in mind -- their talk didn't really involve concrete plans or decisions yet, and if things hadn't worked out the way they did, I like to think the family would've taken a little time to prepare themselves (preferably sooner than later) to bring up their questions to JJ in a less potentially upsetting way.

Yeah, it was a way for the kids to ask questions and get answers about the possibilities without JJ sitting there the whole time feeling like everyone is either over or under-estimating him. There are times where you can talk about a person's future without them present - it wasn't like they were making plans, they were simply broaching the subject in earnest for the first time.

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I knew from the first scene of Kenneth getting JJ into his apartment that this episode would be equal parts hilarious and heartwarming. Ray's explanation for wanting a robe was funny, but I found him and Jimmy's mini-plot to be boring and, well, awkward.

But what a nice conclusion to the cliff hanger they left us on three weeks ago. I think that the DiMeos were well meaning. The conversation was more about how they deal with his independence than JJ himself. They weren't saying, "JJ will do this..." They were saying "What will we do..." 

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On 4/27/2017 at 9:03 AM, alexvillage said:

Point taken. Let me rephrase that: I don't think it should be the norm for family members to talk about (as in making plans for) a person's future without that person's input.

In certain cases it is truly not possible for the person to participate, or they choose not to for their own reasons. 

Thank you for clarifying that! My son is 12, and because of the variety of his multiple disabilities (along with his age, as he is several years younger than JJ) it would be impractical to discuss some of the "nitty gritty" logistics with him at this time. I pray for the day that I CAN discuss these issues with him! But for me and my family, we have had several conversations about what happens if something happens to me (since his dad refuses to be involved and is really uncomfortable around our son) . 

I was very glad  see the episode pick right up from last episode. And poor Kenneth trying to maneuver JJ around the apartment! Brings back memories of the tri-level I lived in right up to when my special kid was born. (My ex husband left at that point and we sold the house) as luck would have it, I found a single story home that worked so much better. 

And Maya getting stunned with the stun gun! Haha! I may have enjoyed that a little TOO much! Though, I'm sure there are plenty of people who probably look at me as being a little "Maya-ish" and would love for ME to experience that!

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Yes! Finally! I've been wanting a Kenneth backstory for awhile now. That was pretty outstanding. Kenneth trying to get JJ into his apartment was so damn good. lol. Emmy people! Are you watching this amazing show and in particular, Cedric Yarbrough!? His acting is always spot on. The difference when he's with JJ and when he isn't is palpable. JJ doesn't have that same dynamic with the other characters IMO. But I loved the pairing with Dylan. Great visually and really funny together. We haven't really seen them interact with each other this season. More importantly the explaination of his fall from grace and now wanting to connect with people and not be such a competitive hot head makes more sense now. 

Btw, I don't think Mya gets it yet. Her last words in the episode were "Can I give you what you need or what?" She still thinks she's the answer to his problems. I think JJ's fight for independence still lives on. JJ or someone else will have to step in and tell Mya to cool it. Maybe my guy Kenneth will be that person??

Another fantastic episode. Any word on if it's getting a season 2?

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1 hour ago, pajamamama said:

But I loved the pairing with Dylan. Great visually and really funny together. We haven't really seen them interact with each other this season. More importantly the explaination of his fall from grace and now wanting to connect with people and not be such a competitive hot head makes more sense now. 

I knew you'd get a kick out of this episode! :D Kenneth and Dylan did have a couple awkward moments together in "The Club" -- plus he was the catalyst for her mostly solo side-plot in "Bonfire," when he suggested that she must be into running because she's compensating for JJ's inability to use his legs -- so I found it rather sweet and touching that she eventually ended up finding a kindred spirit in him. 

1 hour ago, pajamamama said:

Btw, I don't think Mya gets it yet. Her last words in the episode were "Can I give you what you need or what?" She still thinks she's the answer to his problems. I think JJ's fight for independence still lives on. JJ or someone else will have to step in and tell Mya to cool it. Maybe my guy Kenneth will be that person??

Yeah, I kinda figured this would be more of a continuing storyline than something that would be wrapped up in one or two episodes. Indeed, one of the last three eps for the season -- "M-A-May-Jay," airing May 10 -- is supposed to be about Maya and JJ having different plans for his summer vacation (I'm guessing she's looking forward to some mother-son time, as she did with Ray when they were going to the country club, but he wants to hang out more with Kenneth outside of school). 

1 hour ago, pajamamama said:

nother fantastic episode. Any word on if it's getting a season 2?

No official word yet, but pretty much all the buzz I've heard/read is "likely." :)

Edited by GRChereck

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I love that this show found a way to work in a role for Zach Anner.  I've been a fan of his since he was on Your OWN Show, and read his autobiography recently. He's hilarious, but of course, doesn't get half the work he deserves, due to the lack of roles for people with CP, which is unfortunate. I wouldn't object to him being a recurring character here. JJ could use some more friends who understand his point of view, and Zach is funny as hell and a perfect fit for the inappropriate humor of this show.

Speechless is coming into its own and should be a shoo-in to be renewed. It's moved past the "gimmick" of representation and has only gotten funnier throughout the season. 

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Jimmy-Ray scenes are always gold, but this one fell flat for me. But I appreciated the punchline and hope Ray gets to keep the robe.

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JJ could use some more friends who understand his point of view, and Zach is funny as hell and a perfect fit for the inappropriate humor of this show.

I'd also like to see Nicholas from THE CLUB again - he was funny.

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6 hours ago, 71dude said:

Jimmy-Ray scenes are always gold, but this one fell flat for me. But I appreciated the punchline and hope Ray gets to keep the robe.

After the big reveals in the previous episode -- both the career Jimmy had left behind, and the heart of Ray's money obsession -- I think this definitely paled in comparison. :\ 

Plus I got the feeling that the writers are still holding something back*... I'd like to think maybe there's a reason for that, and Jimmy and Ray just needed this little plot to finally sort of break down the walls between them as they keep trying to understand each other better; though their conversations here didn't get particularly deep, at least now Jimmy is open to setting time aside and making himself more comfortable (whatever it takes for him to more easily deal with "the big stuff" rather than "run away" from it -- he can just reach for his robe instead of his wallet :) ) whenever Ray wants to "get real" with him. 

(* - Watching their interactions throughout this season, I've sometimes wondered whether Ray, for better or worse, reminds Jimmy of himself at that age -- that's something I could imagine coming up during one of their heavier / more emotional talks in the future...)

***

6 hours ago, 71dude said:

I'd also like to see Nicholas from THE CLUB again - he was funny.

I wouldn't mind seeing him or the other kids from JJ's team again. :)

Edited by GRChereck · Reason: additional thoughts

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So THAT was Zach Annar? I had never heard of him until recently. He is awesome! And I am SO excited that he was just booked as a speaker at No Barriers Summit in June (I'm taking my 12'year old) Marlee Marlin is speaking..and Erik Weihenmayer is a personal hero of mine! 

And in regards to Maya "not getting it" at the end. Good point! And I think it was a good idea and very appropriate that the issue wasn't "fixed" by the end of the episode. Maya still needs to experience some personal growth...and that doesn't happen overnight. Very true to life. Heck, my kiddo is 12, and I STILL question things , or change things , in how I interact with him. 

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The discussion about children with disabilities becoming adults and their expected quality of life is a very tough. It's hard to find a balance between hope and reality. I'm in awe of every adult who has JJ's brand/level of CP and has an independent, fulfilling, productive life. I think that the fact that JJ cannot talk puts him at a huge disadvantage. If he didn't have to rely on his communication device he would probably be able to go far. But since he can't express himself verbally he will always need someone to be with him to speak for him. Unless he makes the switch to an electronic version, which honestly, I think he really should at this point. It will give him so much more independence. Lee in this episode is able to speak, and I'm surprised that he doesnt even have the halting speech of a person with CP - he speaks perfectly fluently. Micah in real life does speak, though with impairment.

This topic hits close to home to me in a painful way. I have a close relative with pretty severe CP (spastic quadriplegic) and she does talk, in the halting manner that Micah does in real life. Sadly, her parents did not feel they were equipped to meet her needs and she went to live in ICF at a really young age, so she's grown up away from home, though the family is in constant contact. But now as an adult, she is really depressed, because there are no options for her. She is completely dependent on caregivers and cannot find a meaningful career since she can't read, can't use her hands/arms, and her speech is difficult to understand. So she can't even go to college. She does some public speaking but it's hardly enough. She'd love to get married but her parents are not on board because the burden would fall on them and they just don't feel they can handle it. I know that Maya and the DiMeos are a fictional family but to see  people out there who are cheerleaders and dreaming of a rosy future for him was so refreshing. Because my relative's parents chose to be realistic instead of hopeful and didn't try to push her beyond her abilities. It was jarring to see the difference.

In my own personal life, as I've mentioned here many times, my son has SEVERE autism (non verbal, not toilet trained, aggressive, elopes, no safety awareness, severely sensory etc) and we made the painful decision to place him at a specialized residential school where he is truly thriving and has opportunities and a quality of life he could never have had at home. He would have to live at a special residence as an adult in any case since I wouldn't be able to physically manage him - kids with severe autism tend to grow very tall and heavy due to all the meds they take for the mood disorders - so at least I gave him a start in life by enrolling him in a supportive program at a young age so that he'll have a meaningful life as an adult with skills I am not equipped to teach him.

Making a decision to move a minor child to a residence is a heartbreaking one. Some parents really are not equipped to handle their child (esp if they have severe behavior issues) and the child is better off in a setting where his needs can be met. Today's group homes/residential schools are not like Willowbrook of yore where the kids were treated as animals and left to languish. (it terrifies me to imagine my son in such a place.) But even a child who is kept at home and given many supports all their years growing up, when they reach adulthood, it's often in their best interest to live in an environment suited to their needs, whether it's supportive housing or an IRA. They have more independence that way. Most adults move out of their parents' homes, don't they? JJ's siblings will at some point get married and have lives of their own and one day his parents will not be around either. A plan needs to be in place, whether it's caregivers in his own home or living elsewhere. It's a really difficult topic.

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12 hours ago, Big Mother said:

Unless he makes the switch to an electronic version, which honestly, I think he really should at this point. It will give him so much more independence. Lee in this episode is able to speak, and I'm surprised that he doesnt even have the halting speech of a person with CP - he speaks perfectly fluently. Micah in real life does speak, though with impairment.

The decision to have JJ use the letter board and an interpreter was a creative one. One of the consultants with the show uses the same method and the show creators thought it would make it more interesting to have that relationship in the show. 

 

12 hours ago, Big Mother said:

It will give him so much more independence.

That depends on his own definition of independence. Like the woman who is advising for the show, he might prefer to always have an interpreter. That does not diminish anyone accomplishments, certainly not their value. Like someone said: "A disabled person's value should not be measured by the amount of help they need".

12 hours ago, Big Mother said:

It's a really difficult topic.

It is. But the biggest problem is not the disability, or the disabled person. It is the ableism and the lack of supports in general, including to families. I know Autistics who are also said to be "severe" and they can lead lives that are fulfilling to them. That's because they were able to find support. But it is hard and there is a lot going against them and their families. 

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1 hour ago, alexvillage said:

 

It is. But the biggest problem is not the disability, or the disabled person. It is the ableism and the lack of supports in general, including to families. I know Autistics who are also said to be "severe" and they can lead lives that are fulfilling to them. That's because they were able to find support. But it is hard and there is a lot going against them and their families. 

With regards to the autistic population, it depends a lot on behavior and safety issues. I belong to a facebook group of mothers parenting kids on the severe end and some of the stories of the adults are heartbreaking - they are still violent, engage in things like fecal smearing etc., and they are afraid to place them in group homes because some are quite abusive. There's a lack of day programs, vocational programs etc in middle America and these parents end up isolated, living in nightmarish situations. It's hard for me to even read what they write. Residential schools like the one my son is in - I am SO lucky to live in the Northeast where there's a plethora of incredible programs - kids on the severe end really have a fighting chance with the right support to have fulfilling adults lives, though they can never live alone, obviously. The adults who come out of this program learn to do things like meal prep and hold down volunteer jobs like folding towels at the gym, assembling pizza boxes at the pizzeria, and other easy tasks that help them fill up the day and feel good about themselves. Decades ago such adults would be written off as retarded and made to do busy work that had no value. So I'm grateful that such programs exist in my area, but in other states it's largely up to the drained and exhausted parents to figure it out and not everyone is capable of doing it or has the emotional strength to go on after decades of putting out fires and cleaning up messes. Behavioral issues are really, really hard to deal with.

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10 minutes ago, Big Mother said:

With regards to the autistic population, it depends a lot on behavior and safety issues. I belong to a facebook group of mothers parenting kids on the severe end and some of the stories of the adults are heartbreaking - they are still violent, engage in things like fecal smearing etc., and they are afraid to place them in group homes because some are quite abusive. There's a lack of day programs, vocational programs etc in middle America and these parents end up isolated, living in nightmarish situations. It's hard for me to even read what they write. Residential schools like the one my son is in - I am SO lucky to live in the Northeast where there's a plethora of incredible programs - kids on the severe end really have a fighting chance with the right support to have fulfilling adults lives, though they can never live alone, obviously. The adults who come out of this program learn to do things like meal prep and hold down volunteer jobs like folding towels at the gym, assembling pizza boxes at the pizzeria, and other easy tasks that help them fill up the day and feel good about themselves. Decades ago such adults would be written off as retarded and made to do busy work that had no value. So I'm grateful that such programs exist in my area, but in other states it's largely up to the drained and exhausted parents to figure it out and not everyone is capable of doing it or has the emotional strength to go on after decades of putting out fires and cleaning up messes. Behavioral issues are really, really hard to deal with.

Yes, as I said, the problem is not the disability or the disabled person, it is the whole system.

And behavior is communication. There is a reason, it is a response to something. I also hope that all the sharing in your group is confidential and/or anonymous because no child, or adult, should have their most private and personal information shared all over the internet.

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I hated this  episode. I hated Ray and Dylan manipulating Jimmy.  I thought Maya overreacted to JJ going to see Kenneth was his attempt to blow off steam not run away from home. I would have liked them to learn about how other disabled adults live independently. Perhaps getting talking to members of the sled hockey team? I think one of JJ's best traits is his desire to be independent.

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14 hours ago, alexvillage said:

Yes, as I said, the problem is not the disability or the disabled person, it is the whole system.

And behavior is communication. There is a reason, it is a response to something. I also hope that all the sharing in your group is confidential and/or anonymous because no child, or adult, should have their most private and personal information shared all over the internet.

It is a close/secret group that was started after the Kelli Stapleton incident. The women who had been friends with her realized that without adequate support for the families that are falling apart, they could be the next Kelli. So they banded together to give each other support and resources. It's the only place they/we can vent without being judged by the autism-is-a-blessing segment of society. Don't worry, it's a secret group.

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18 hours ago, Big Mother said:

With regards to the autistic population, it depends a lot on behavior and safety issues. I belong to a facebook group of mothers parenting kids on the severe end and some of the stories of the adults are heartbreaking - they are still violent, engage in things like fecal smearing etc., and they are afraid to place them in group homes because some are quite abusive. There's a lack of day programs, vocational programs etc in middle America and these parents end up isolated, living in nightmarish situations. It's hard for me to even read what they write. Residential schools like the one my son is in - I am SO lucky to live in the Northeast where there's a plethora of incredible programs - kids on the severe end really have a fighting chance with the right support to have fulfilling adults lives, though they can never live alone, obviously. The adults who come out of this program learn to do things like meal prep and hold down volunteer jobs like folding towels at the gym, assembling pizza boxes at the pizzeria, and other easy tasks that help them fill up the day and feel good about themselves. Decades ago such adults would be written off as retarded and made to do busy work that had no value. So I'm grateful that such programs exist in my area, but in other states it's largely up to the drained and exhausted parents to figure it out and not everyone is capable of doing it or has the emotional strength to go on after decades of putting out fires and cleaning up messes. Behavioral issues are really, really hard to deal with.

Yeah, we have great stuff here in the northeast. When I was in college (2008-2013) studying special education, one of my professors mentioned that a colleague of hers was doing a study regarding autism incidence rates - apparently it is much higher in the Northeast and Mid Atlantic States (CT, NY, and NJ) than the rest of the country - with NJ having the highest diagnosis rates among school-aged children.

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