This is about autism just trust me.
Many of us are familiar with the song Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from our childhood. The song offers children a sincere message that those who are different should be isolated unless uniquely useful to us in which case we should exploit them.
The story line in the 1964 animated movie extrapolated on this bullied woodland creature who is isolated because of a physical anomaly until the faithful day when his birth defect renders him useful to others! Even Santa shuns this talented, smart and kind animal because he is different on sight informing his parents he does not have what it takes. Pre-useful he is not worthy of love, acceptance or attention despite exceeding the abilities of peers in some areas like flying and picking up hot female reindeer.
Once Rudolph proves his unique worth which none of the other carbon copy reindeer need do, he is tested and pulls through he is celebrated and all hurt feelings on his side dropped because he was able to meet their needs! What would the outcome have been if his nose only glowed bright for staccato periods of time or only while on the ground?…oh back to a life of rejection and isolation Rudolph we don’t have a purpose for you.
The message in all of this is clear in that different should be ostracized, mocked and shunned unless you can use them. It’s a common theme in movies, books and TV shows and it sends a strong message to bully and victim. The bully enjoys knowing he is right in finding differences to exploit and excluding those who are different and the victim knows that even Santa does not like you because you are not like other people. You don’t actually have to be on the bad list…you just have to be different.
As one of the many life lessons with my kids (yes, I do pity them the soap boxes they endure often) I have shared thoughts on this movie after we watched it with the hope that they will be smart enough to recognize when anyone is giving credit to the little guy because it suits their needs.
My hope is that if you feel similar that you do similar and mention to your children that being different does not mean others get a license to abuse you and that people are worth way more than what they can do to help you!
Please share other book and movie titles with a similar story lines as I would appreciate it.
All For Our Children,