I recently watched this documentary, Asperger’s Are Us. As most people know, I have a personal connection to Asperger’s Syndrome, as my brother was diagnosed when he was 21 years old. And I loved watching this movie, which I believe helped shine a different light on Asperger’s, the side that I often see in my brother. Asperger’s Are Us is a comedy troupe, made up of these four young men based out of Boston(!), who are all on the autism spectrum.
In my personal experience, most people have a difficult time understanding Asperger’s (which is now considered a part of the autism spectrum), including myself sometimes. A lot of people think someone with AS can’t be funny because they might not understand sarcasm and have difficulty in social situations. And that’s why I love this movie, because it defies that stereotype. These four guys are very funny; yes, it may take a certain sense of humor but I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout.
All four of them have unique personalities and are seemingly on different parts of the spectrum; Noah has seemed to adjust very well (he was a counselor at the camp for kids with autism, where they all met). I especially loved when he described how he felt after his diagnosis at age 20; he said, “I skipped home because I felt freer than I ever had. It explained everything that had ever happened to me that didn’t make sense.” That sentiment was very reminiscent for me. It can be difficult for people with Asperger’s to fit in and it’s wonderful that these four guys found each other and accept one another.
This documentary, created by Mark and Jay Duplass (of The Mindy Project, Togetherness, The Skeleton Twins, etc), helps shape a new understanding of Asperger’s. It did for me at least, even more so than what I have personally experienced. One thing that especially struck me was when Noah described some of the anxieties as, “the trauma of getting mugged, many Aspies are feeling every week.” That one statement put the anxiety that many people with Asperger’s feel into perspective for me.
So in honor of Autism Awareness Month, please go watch this movie (it’s currently streaming on Netflix). I hope it can educate and help open some people’s eyes. In typical Aspie fashion, Noah describes it this way, “We’re not trying to connect with the audience. The goal is to be funny for our own entertainment. If you enjoy it, that’s wonderful. If you don’t, I’m sorry that you didn’t.” Yup, sounds about right. 🙂
Watch the full trailer below.