Home > Awareness > Is It Okay to Lose Your Cool?

Is It Okay to Lose Your Cool?

Tuesday’s Parenthood Episode explored a very real situation that many people in our community face to some degree or another. We would like to applaud Jason Katims and the cast for giving such an honest depiction of a real-life situation.

Here is the synopsis: Max, Adam and Zeek hop in the express checkout line at the supermarket. When Max notices the man in front of them has seven items over the allotted amount for the express line, he starts removing items from the man’s cart. The man gets irritated with Max and then Adam. Adam tries to manage the situation, asking Zeek to take Max back to the chip aisle to grab a few more bags while he talks to the man in line. When they walk away, Adam asks the man what his problem is. The man responds by telling Adam he’s sorry for him because his kid is clearly a retard. Without a second thought, Adam punches the guy in the face, knocking him straight to the ground. Adam, Zeek and Max return home with the groceries. Kristina can tell something’s wrong, but Adam says it’s nothing.

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We want to hear from you. What do you make of this episode? Have you or someone you know, been in a similar situation? Please share your thoughts and stories.

  1. Cookies Mom
    November 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I was very lucky. A boy called my teen-age daughter a retard when she and her Dad were walking through our neighborhood. One of her neighborhood friends let him hava it verbally and made him apologize. He ven apologized to my husband. I would never condone assaulting someone in public, but I do understand the level of frustration and anger that precipitated what happened on Parenthood. I would have changed checkout stands as soon as there was a problem rather than letting it get to that point!

  2. Rob
    November 11, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Yes….the show is very good for Autism awareness. And in general is pretty real in the scenes protrayed. However…..why is it that when ever there is a show or movie about individuals with Autism they never capture the far end of the spectrum. Those individuals like my son who is severely Autistic, non-verbal and has global developmental delays. When friends find out that I have an Autistic child, (I actually have 2), they always say .. like rainman. No — nothing like rainman and nothing like the individuals who appear on TV based shows like Parenthood. How about a story on the 16 percent or so of the individuals who fall into the Severe ASD area. Why not let people understand who the true “classic” autistic individual is like. Thank you.

  3. Rasima Nuhanovic
    November 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    I can clearly understand how frustrating that situation could have been for Adam, having another individual calling his son a retard. I work with individuals with disabilities and one of my job duties is community outings. When I go out into the community I prepare myself for the worst because you never know what to expect from people; however, regardless of how intense the situation may get you always should try and explain what is going on and if that does not work just walk away. Situations like that are just better ignored sometimes even though at that particular moment it may be the hardest thing to do.

  4. Shannon
    November 11, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I ADORE this show and thought this episode was excellent! I am a teacher who has worked with students on the autism spectrum. It is so great to see this issue brought to life on television. I think there are so many people out there who have no idea what autism is or how large the spectrum can be.

  5. Skillful Squad Seraphs
    November 12, 2010 at 8:09 am

    I absolutely love this show. This weeks episode I think hit many hard. I am not a parent, but I taught students with pronounced disabilities in a Life Skills setting and I am now an advocate for parents and their children. When I hear that “R” word my blood boils and I can’t believe how ignorant some people are. No, we can’t go slugging everyone who is ignorant against disabilities, but seeing Adam hit that guy I think released thoughts I have had, but of course never acting on. I think this show depicts many real situations that all parents face during parenthood. In conclusion, we all need to stand together to educate the public about disabilities and defeat ignorance one person at at time!


  6. concerned parent
    November 12, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I felt this episode was extremely unrealistic and for that reason, the network was irresponsible for broadcasting it. Adults don’t just punch adults “because it feels good” without consequences – sometimes huge consequences. There would almost certainly be assault charges following such an act, followed by demand for compensation for damages. To punch another human being opens one up to a) the possibility of seriously injuring that person and b) lawsuit.

    The wife calling him “sluggo” and saying “I wish you had told me” – as if it’s okay to do this as long as he tells her – shows the screenwriters to not live in the real world.

    I do understand the husband’s anger – completely – and I would have felt like punching the guy too. But much larger problems would result, and this episode did not communicate that at all.

  7. Erin Kuhlman
    November 12, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Although I agree that it is not logical or legal to “slug” someone for making ignorant comments, it sure was fun to watch a neandrathal get what he really deserved.

    As for me, I am a verbal, not a physical, retaliator. I carry business-type cards in my purse that I give to people who seem to be especially annoyed when my daughter has a meltdown in public. The card simply reads, “I am sorry if my child was disturbing you….Behavior that may on the surface seem rude is my child’s only way of dealing with the world.” The card also contains a short explanation of Autism, a website for learning more about it, and a plea for understanding. I give these cards out to people who look particularly distressed. I also offer additional information I feel is relevant.

    However, if a person belittles Jeannie in any way, I assail her opponent with a barrage of information and criticism designed to inform the idiot of just how ignorant he/she is. While I use no expletives, my words are biting.

    I see nothing wrong with this, for if I do not have the courage to defend my child, who will?

  8. L.V.
    November 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    My son with autism went through a horrible time in his life when he was extremely aggressive and EVERY time he had consequences. As anyone who follows a strict behavior plan knows, the consequences OFTEN result in more violent behavior, but we have to stick with it or else all the behaviors will eventually become uncontrollable. We had to teach our son that, under no circumstances, was it EVER okay to hit someone, so he will certainly NEVER see one of his parents hit someone. Our kids understand black and white, not grey. However, I will never have to teach my child “It’s okay to hit someone in this situation, but not this situation” because he will never see me hit anyone. There are other ways to defend our children against the ignorant.

  9. Kelle
    November 13, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    I haven’t seen the episode yet, did see the previews though. I agree with Erin, better to educate them (then they usually feel pretty dumb for their actions). My son has been called a retard before on the bus, I am glad I didn’t witness it because I would be afraid I’d go off… hopefully if that were to ever happen again I can speak up for my child and not lower myself to the level of ignorance some have out there.

  1. November 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm

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