‘World of Jenks’ brings autism awareness

Jenks and Chad on Chad's prom night.

Jenks and Chad on Chad’s prom night. Photo from Jenks’ Twitter page.

Autism can be a tricky disorder to accurately describe.

I have said in a previous post that autism is unique in its own way. It affects each person differently and it becomes a task at times to adapt to so many different personalities. Friendships with autistic people are much different as well. They can be a challenge at times, but you will never find a more pure relationship in your life.

A shining example of this is found every Monday night at 11 p.m. when “World of Jenks” airs on MTV. In the first season, Andrew Jenks, the founder of the show and overall main character, followed the lives of several different individuals. One of the most popular episodes from season one featured Chad, a 20 year old with autism.

I first heard about this show from my cousin Nicole. Once the episode hit the MTV website, she immediately sent it to my mom, dad and I. We watched the episode and could not help, but fall in love with Chad and his charming personality.

In the season two premiere, Jenks said that a favorite from the past would come back, along with two other personalities. Once I heard Jenks say Chad’s name, I could not help but throw out a few fist pumps.

While I love how Jenks is putting a face to the disorder and bringing more awareness to it, what I cannot get enough of is how Jenks interacts with Chad. Social interaction is a challenge for many with autism, but Jenks makes his friendship with Chad look so effortless. He jokes around with him. He sings with him. He asks Chad about his fears.

He wants to develop an even deeper connection with Chad, but what makes me smile the most is that Jenks allows Chad to be Chad in his own special way.

“World of Jenks” never ceases to amaze me with its realism. During one portion of an episode, Jenks had to take a step away from Chad because he was getting annoyed. Jenks could have easily portrayed the sunshine and rainbows of his and Chad’s friendship.

In choosing to air that small clip, he showed his audience another dimension of the spectrum. Like every relationship in the world, you eventually get mad and have to step away to collect yourself. There have been numerous times when I have to take a step away from Brian because he is working my last nerve.

The various angles of Chad’s and Jenks’ friendship make the show that much more enjoyable. I cannot help but smile. Jenks is doing so much more than raising autism awareness. He is showing the rest of the world that a disability does not define a person.

 

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3 thoughts on “‘World of Jenks’ brings autism awareness

  1. Sue Donohue

    Nice post Tom! I have never heard of that show and will have to take a look at episode. I know there are many different ways autism affect people. I work with a girl at karate and she has a autistic brother. She told me that at one time he would never smile and her mom only wanted one picture of him smiling. One day they were taking pictures for the holidays and when her mother went to see which picture they were going to pick, she noticed that he was smiling and began to cry because that was all she wanted. She finally got her wish and now he smiles all the time.

  2. Kaitlyn Crouse

    Hey Tom,

    I think what you are doing is great here, and this is one of my favorite shows too. A few of great points your highlighted is that a friendship with someone that has autism is so pure, just like any relationship the other person will test you nerves, and most importantly, that a disability doesn’t define a person. I know my cousin doesn’t let autism define him, he defines autism in his own way since, like you said, it affects each person differently.

    Keep spreading the awareness!

  3. Aunt Jeanne

    Hi Thomas, thanks for the heads up about the show… I will have to check it out!
    Once again, great job!
    Love,
    Aunt Jeanne

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