Well, it must have started as simple bandwagoning when my sister said that I should watch the new trending Netflix series The Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Without my sister mentioning that is about a lawyer with Aspergers Syndrome or ASD, I started watching the show following my curiosity. Oh well, I already cried during the first episode when the protagonist was shown in her early days not being able to speak until witnessing a violent incident involving her father.
Watching the show exhibit the challenges of having a child with special needs and how a parent takes the extra mile to protect his/her child is something that I, as a parent of a child on the spectrum can heavily relate to. While we always want to advocate and inform the public that autism is not something similar among those having this condition since it encompasses a range of symptoms and reverberations, especially in terms of their social skills, I still found a glimmer of hope from watching this series that eventually, people with disabilities can do their best and with the help, support, and acceptance of everyone around them, they can have a sense of belonging in the community and excel in whatever field or undertaking they are very much interested in.
First, Young Woo had his father raise her well and allowed her to graduate as the first Korean lawyer with autism. This allows me to dream that someday, Lance will also be able to graduate and have a degree knowing that he loves going to school very much. He loves going to school so much that we are able to use it to condition him and teach him how to behave and avoid unnecessary behaviors that may disturb the class.
Secondly, Young Woo had her bestfriend Dong Geu Rami, her high school classmate who found her way to become Young Woo's protector and pillar aside from her father. I remember Lance had a female classmate before named Bea and she was really nice to him. This is also one of the things that I pray for aside from having his older brother Marco to protect him, I am also praying that Lance eventually finds a person whom he can call his bestfriend someday.
Thirdly, Young Woo had her special friend Jun Oh who eventually ended up becoming her boyfriend. Well, for parents of children with special needs like me, this is something that is considered a nearly impossible dream for our children. As can be seen in one of the episodes, Jun Oh often found himself in a dilemma whether to continue his relationship further given the disapproval of his family and friends. Although in the series, Young Woo is a highly functional autistic person, this was still a major issue and even Young Woo's father had hesitations and objections at first. The series showed that people like Young Woo have the right to be happy and to experience such things as being in love and being in a relationship.
In the last episode, Young Woo was asked if she is happy working at the law firm she is currently associated with, and to this, she answered: “I live in an unfamiliar ocean with unfamiliar belugas. Because everyone’s different from me, it’s not easy to adjust and there are lots of whales that hate me, too. But it’s okay. Because this is my life. Though my life is unusual and peculiar, it’s valuable and beautiful.”
I hope that this Netfilx series does not only become a source of entertainment, something that people will watch as a pastime but hopefully, it becomes an advocacy for the awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities. I hope that all of us will start to make them feel loved, accepted, and nurtured for them to feel happy despite their uniqueness from us.