Autism is classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in delays of "social interaction, language as used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play," with "onset prior to age 3 years," according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Some of the symptoms of Autism include: Lack of awareness of feelings of others and the expression of emotions, such as pleasure (laughing) or distress (crying), for reasons not apparent to others; Poor use of body language and nonverbal communication, such as eye contact, facial expressions, and gestures; Insisting on following routines and sameness, resisting change; Ritualistic or compulsive behaviors; Narrow, restricted interests (dates/calendars, numbers, weather, movie credits); Throwing tantrums and having no apparent fear of dangerous situations.
In the movie Rain Man aka Raymond uses many rituals and routines to make himself feel safe. He memorized the times of all the TV shows that he watches on a daily basis and when Raymond was unable to watch those TV shows he freaked out so badly that Charlie felt the need to go up to a strangers house and ask if his brother could watch TV. Every morning Charlie demanded that he have pancakes with the syrup on the table before they arrive. When Raymond was feeling uncomfortable he began repeating something he heard on the radio called “Who’s On Bat”, he also demanded that his bed be by the window and that he have underwear from a certain K- Mart. Many People use Routines and Rituals such as waking up and drinking coffee every morning, doing their homework when they get home and praying before they go to sleep. The only difference between a normal person and Raymond is that Raymond has autism and having these routines and rituals is a symptom of his disorder.
Dustin Hoffman’s Role as Raymond was very convincing. I am not very familiar with people that have autism but I could by the way he dazed into space with a far-off look...
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