A few months ago my mother told me about a movie that was on Lifetime about autism. The movie is called NightLights. I did not watch it at the time. My mom told me that it was a good thing that I didn't watch it. She cried during the whole movie and was unable to sleep that night. She recorded it and when I was at her house over the weekend, I watched it.
I was happy when I first heard about this movie because it portrays severe autism. Most of the time the kind of autism you see on TV is high functioning autism like the boy in Parenthood. However, for once, viewers get to see severe autism in this movie.
The movie is about Jacob, who has severe autism, and his twin sister who takes care of him. Their mother passed away 7 years earlier. The movie details the struggles of taking care of a loved one with severe autism. His sister took over full responsibility of Jacob after their mother passed away. The part of the movie that took my breath away and left me unable to control my emotions was the part when Jacob was sitting on the ground making the "M" sound. (Jacob is non-verbal) This meant that he wanted to see a picture of his mother. His sister grabs a photo of their mother and snuggles up to her brother and shows him the picture of his mother while he rocked back and forth. My biggest fear in life is dying and leaving my boys without me. I think about it every day.
The movie details severe autism very well! It showed her being up in the middle of the night with her brother, bathing her brother, feeding him, etc. It showed the toll that it was taking on his sister. It showed his sister unable to do anything. She did not have a life. Her life revolved around her brother. It was a very good educational movie for others who want to know what life with severe autism is like.
I am glad I chose to watch the movie. Yes, it was depressing. Yes, it is a glimpse into my future with Trenton. There comes a time when you have to face the truth. It is not being negative. It is simply acknowledging what your life ahead of you has in store.
Many people do not want to know. Many people do not want to watch movies such as NightLights. Nonetheless, it is preparing me for the future. It is a reminder to enjoy the years now as much as I can even though these years are hard because it is only going to get harder.
The choice that the sister made by having her brother put into a residential home was the hardest decision of her life. No one wants to put their child in a special home for the rest of their life. No one wants to endure that pain. It is simply not how the cycle of life is suppose to go, right? Just like we are not suppose to bury our children, we are also not suppose to put our child in a special home.
If you ever get the chance to watch the movie, I recommend it. I guarantee that you will see a lot of things that I have talked about on this blog. Even if you don't know me, watch it...it might help you, help someone else in the future.