X+Y is an emotional British drama inspired by a true story. A story of growing up, leaving home, maths, relationships, loss and Autistic Spectrum disorder. Nathan (played by the young and talented Asa Butterfield) who following his diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome loses his dad. He seems to be the one person who really understood Nathan and made him happy. We see how hard Nathan’s mother Julie (Sally Hawkins) tries to understand her son but she fails even to get him to let her hold his hand.
Nathan is gifted at Mathematics and is spotted by an unconventional teacher Mr. Humphreys (Rafe Spall) and lands a place on the International Mathematical Olympiad UK squad. It is just when you want to scream at your television that not all kids with Aspergers are savants the film comes into its own and shows that in the team Nathan isn’t superior – he’s just average. He no longer feels weird, and in contrast another boy, Luke (Jake Davies) also has Asperger’s and is very different to Nathan. The harrowing contrast between someone on the Autistic Spectrum finding love and being happy, to that of not fitting in to a sad extent. I think that anyone who has been touched by Autism will enjoy this film. I think it does a good job of bringing about awareness of the condition in a watchable way. Be prepared to be moved to tears.
This film portrays Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Issues well – as Nathan struggles to understand others, communicate and cope with visual and auditory stimulation. I watched this film with my husband and we agreed that we saw some parallels with our own son with Asperger’s syndrome – such as sometimes he just needs to be really pushed to do the things he feels uncomfortable with.
In saying that there were also areas of the film which we felt ignored the fact that Nathan was on the Autistic Spectrum – such as his (and his mother’s) ease at him moving out of home, and the general adapting to changes without any seeming problems.
This film is a 12 and I think that there are some scenes to that viewers may find emotionally distressing, including scenes of injury and self-harm.
I received a free copy of X+Y for purposes of review. I was also given a book and some maths equipment. All words and opinions are my own.
Is there any point seeking a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome as an adult?
I often wonder whether it is worth being assessed for whether I have Asperger’s Syndrome or not. But as an adult is there any point in seeking a diagnosis even if I did? It has been hard enough fighting for support for my children, never mind myself. Is there even much support out there for adults with Asperger’s Syndrome: For women even? Where would I begin and what would it achieve.
Why I even considered that I may have Asperger’s Syndrome
I first started to consider that I may have Asperger’s Syndrome when a seed was planted in my head when my oldest son was diagnosed. We were asked whether I had any traits as part of his diagnosis. I often have `meltdowns’ but have always just put them down to all the undealt with issues from my childhood. We did mention the fact that I cannot have hangers with nothing on them left in the wardrobe in between clothes. I hate change and really struggle with it. And of course I really struggle with relationships whether people want to admit it or not. I do not understand really the concept of things not being the way the rules say and just ignoring it. I know people do not like to be corrected and if I think hard about it I can stop myself from acting – but the thoughts are still there. I am sure there a lots more reasons that put me in the three areas of the triad but I try not to think about it too much as I feel like I am trying to make myself fit when I may not.
What would a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome mean for me?
But a diagnosis (if I were) – well that wouldn’t change any of that would it. Possibly if I knew there was a cause would that make me feel any better about myself? And what if it was determined that I wasn’t on the Spectrum – would that make me feel bad that I have these behaviours with no reason – would the Asperger’s give me a reason to feel so different? Am I just hoping that it would give me a sense of belonging? Would there be any help I could access to help me fit in better? I mean I know that I am useless at small talk: I can barely even manage to say hello how are you on social media when I have something I want to discuss. I have made myself aware of this and try to at least apologise and say it afterwards – or is this normal? Am I actually just too self-absorbed?
If you have been diagnosed, or know of anyone who has, as an adult – then how did you know? And what did you do?
You may have found this page and discovered that I do not have Asperger’s Syndrome, or would like to talk to someone who has received a late diagnosis, therefore I can recommend that you visit Jax’s who has.
I would really appreciate any feedback on this topic please. x
Bullying is a problem for too many children, but a child on the Autistic Spectrum may be more at risk than their peers. They are also less likely to be able to make it stop, as they struggle with social communication. They might not even be able to tell those close to them. The National Autistic Society have written a guide on bullying for parents. In this post I talk about bullying and Asperger’s syndrome, as experienced by my son.
Victims of Bullying generally are either: Passive Targets – those with low self-esteem, shy, academic, on their own, smaller, weaker OR Pro-Active Targets – those with inappropriate behaviour, socially clumsy, perceived as irritating, attention-seeking and not knowing when to stop. Children on the autistic spectrum are more likely to be a target for bullies because they may be seen as different because they cannot always relate to the situation they are in – or communicate what is going on. Children who are on the Autistic Spetrum are often perceived as being low in social status & friendship (having few friends to defend them). They are naive, gullible, & eccentric. They are neither cool, macho or popular and are perceived as ‘soft’
I remember my oldest son
crying upset that he did not want to go to school when he was only 7 years old. Now granted, he was at a new school, where he had to make new friends and the rest of the children had known each other a long time – but we’d moved a lot and he was used to this. He loved enjoyed school and has always worked hard, so it came as a bit of a shock. This actually was one of the first big moves towards him being diagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome.
I remember my son being confused as to why he was in trouble when one of the boys told him it was “a good idea” to bend another boy’s fingers back.
Those on the Autistic Spectrum are unable to distinguish between who are bullies and who are friends. They are unable to differentiate between friendly sparring and physical attacks.
Our son often kept complaining to the teacher that he had been hit so many times that they stopped taking him seriously – they said he complained as if he had been punched when someone so much as accidentally brushed passed him. Fortunately, the school was very supportive. I went in and explained the situation and they put things in place to help him. They made break times (when he was less supervised) more structured by introducing chess club. He also had a dinner lady buddy – that if he had ANY problems (even the seemingly most trivial) he could go and speak to them. They encouraged circle time sessions where children would focus on each other’s strengths.
I hear of so many children who end up being Home educated because of bullying. Do you have a story to share about bullying and ASD? I would especially like to hear any success stories.
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Our Teen with Aspergers is Driving
Only yesterday I was doing my A-levels whilst pregnant. So how is it today that the baby I was carrying is now the proud owner of a full driving license?! How did the time go so quickly? 7 years ago I would never have believed that this day would come. My son was struggling in so many areas, and had been newly diagnosed with Aspergers’ syndrome. Now we have so much hope for him and his future., driving is just the start. In fact now we are
struggling trying to get him to decide on Universities and courses! We have established that he does want to go, and has an end goal of what he wants to do – but that’s it. Actually looking at them and making a decision for himself – well that’s just another hurdle. But for today we celebrate that our teenage with Aspegers can drive.
Now for the next nightmare. Insurance – omg! It seems the more expensive car that is bought the cheaper the insurance – but is that wise? And will he know what to do (socially) when out on his own? I guess it is natural for all mothers to worry (Aspergers or not). And actually the sensible lad in him is very reassuring. What about the other idiots on the road though – eek. Today someone walked across the road (fully) then (without looking) ran back again in front of me. I think everyone around was shocked, and horrified. Me I was just glad I pressed the brakes fast enough. The poor guy who was nearly hit couldn’t say sorry enough, I was just shocked speechless. My 11 year old (who was in the front) just said that he hoped that never happened to his brother. But I am sure my oldest will be fine. And when I have got over worrying about him, I am sure it will be his little brother’s turn!