How can Netflix help you cope with raising an autistic child? As surprising as it might sound, Korean dramas do a great job at casting a positive light on those on the spectrum.
If you are not familiar with K-dramas, you might have heard about some series that have captured the audience’s heart all around the world.
No, we’re not talking about the thrilling Squid Game or the horror story Hellbound. Instead, when you feel you can’t cope anymore or you don’t know how to help your child, take a break and tune into these little nuggets of positivity and wisdom.
Move to Heaven
This 2021 series is a surprising breath of fresh air. If you’ve read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, you are probably already familiar with the unique narrative, as the story is told from the perspective of Christopher, a teen with a difference.
While the book doesn’t mention autism, the unique behavior of Christopher is immediately recognizable for parents.
Move to Heaven tells the story of Geu-Ru, a young man with Asperger syndrome who runs a crime scene cleanup service. As Geu-Ru often displays odd and bizarre routines and behaviors at first, we learn to understand his routine and thoughts about cleaning the property and belonging of crime victims.
The cleanup company, called Move to Heaven, responds to police, medical, and residential needs to remove risks and traces of the former occupant. Yet, in everything he does, Geu-Ru also seeks to bring peace to the departed and lets us explore his unique way of thinking and feeling his surroundings.
The show also is packed with real issues that teenagers and young adults with autism face, including developing effective self-calming strategies and connecting with others. One thing is for sure, Geu-Ru’s story doesn’t leave anyone indifferent. But while there are tearful moments, Move to Heaven is a lesson of positivity.
If you’ve seen the American tv series, The Good Doctor, with Freddie Highmore and Richard Schiff, the Korean drama by Park Jae-Bum is what inspired it. Launched in 2013, Good Doctor tells the story of Park Si-On, a young pediatric surgeon on the spectrum with savant syndrome.
Si-On is called Sean in the American version, which is almost the one-to-one Western translation of his name.
The story is familiar with the US series in most parts. However, the K-drama does a fantastic job of building a more realistic environment for the young surgeon. Far away from the overly unrealistic dramatization of Hollywood, the Korean Good Doctor reveals the relatable struggles, emotions, and decisions that could be those experienced by any person with autism.
Additionally, the K-drama is restrictive to only one season, which keeps the story more credible. It shows that in a world where everyone is constantly learning and growing, there is room for autistic professionals to shine. Viewers familiar with the American series found the Korean version far superior and more realistic in terms of human interactions and personal growth.
So, if you are worried about the struggles your child might face in modern society, Good Doctor depicts those with painful realism and takes the time to show the path toward the light.
Being the parent of an autistic child is no easy task. There are difficult days. Thankfully, these intelligent dramas from South Korea help you recharge your energy. They deliver a positive message through the realistic depiction of autism.