Parenthood/NBC/2010-2015 (Autism)

Max Braverman (Max Burkholder), disabled 8-year-old with Asperger syndrome who lives in Berkeley, California with his father Adam (Peter Krause), his mother Kristina (Monica Potter) who was diagnosed with cancer (and later recovers), and his two sisters, Haddie (Sarah Ramos) and Nora (Mia and Ella Allan).


Life with Autism makes life hard for Max. He has trouble communicating with others, thus finding it difficult to make friends or fit into school. Max also doesn’t like to be touched, but he loves bugs, anything about bugs.

Max’s autistic quirks include: lack of eye contact; blunt, matter-of-fact tone of voice;  extremely honest and unrestrained observations (some funny, some outrageous); intolerance for the world around him and inconsistencies in his schedule; impatience with others; and lack of empathy.

When Max becomes friends with boy named Micah, who has spina bifida, they get along great and sleep over at each others houses. But their friendship ends when Max insensitively tells Micah that his wheelchair will always prevent him from playing basketball correctly.

Max later takes up photography with Hank Rizzoli (Ray Ramano), the ex-boyfriend of his Aunt Sarah. As they hang out with other, Hank realizes that, he too, has Asberger syndrome.

Eventually, with the help of his parents, Max learns to manage his disorder, (he even mounts a student council president campaign), and graduate from  Chambers Academy, a charter school created especially for disabled students.

Note: In the 1989 movie “Parenthood,” on which the series is based, the character of Kevin (Jasen Fisher) had emotional problems. But there was no hint of autism or Asperger’s.

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