“Today I picked Adam. Hugh Dancy’s title character has just found himself on his own for the first time after his father and caretaker passes away. He meets a sweet neighbor, Beth (Rose Byrne) and takes a chance to put himself out there and be vulnerable. Oh also, Adam has Asperger’s syndrome, which is basically a light form of autism.

I don’t remember how I even heard of this movie. Must’ve been a trailer on a DVD or something. I do remember the first (and only previous) time I watched this. I put it on late one night, expecting/planning to fall asleep, but was so absorbed I stayed up thru the whole thing. Now normally, this would be way too sweet and sappy for me. But I was just drawn to Adam’s character. So nice and earnest, but struggling so hard, you can’t help but cheer for him.

Personally, I don’t have much experience with Aspergers or autism, with one big exception. I think it was the second year I had my summer job teaching swimming lessons that Alan was in my level 2 beginners class. Alan was autistic. I’d never heard of the condition before. My group consisted of him and two other boys, Augustine and Edward, all of whom were somewhere around 8 years old. It was one of the most difficult sessions I had, but also one of the most rewarding. The other two boys were absolute sweethearts, and very much some of my favorite students I had, and so patient and understanding. I was successfully able to teach Alan how to swim, even if I did never convince him to touch the bottom of the deep end. Anytime we were swimming on that side, he’d start off well. Then he’d suddenly realize where he was, and he’d cling on to me frantically saying “”DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!”” and pointing to the not so deep depths below.

I’m pretty sure I used his story as one of my college essays. Most applications had some variation of “”what was your biggest challenge””. So there’s a very good chance he’s what got me into MIT. MIT, the land of the socially awkward, possibly full of many Adams. And you know what, they’ve gone on to do some pretty great things just like Adam. It really is an inspirational film.

I also adore the Forrest Gump joke