Touch, for those of you who don’t know is Kiefer Sutherland’s TV show where he plays the father of an eleven year old autistic boy who communicates through numbers rather than words. Jake, his son is highly intelligent, he understands everything in the world around him in a way that everybody else ignores or more probably, doesn’t have the capability to understand. I know he’s a fictional character with a completely fictional back story to match, that’s why I’m not going to delve into the story line any further but watching the TV show has got me thinking a lot, more than any other TV show ever has.
Jake seems neither happy or unhappy and through lack of verbal and physical communication it’s hard to decipher if he is ok with being this way or if he really does want to participate more in society but through his autism, lacks the power and skills to do so. Autism is an illness or a disability, truth be told, I’m not sure what is the correct term to use. I know it affects people in different ways and it’s such a broad scale that it can be difficult to diagnose.
What would happen if all communication broke down? If we all chose to not communicate would society still exist?
For some people, I understand they don’t have a choice in the matter, they can’t communicate. I’m choosing not to communicate in certain areas of my life at the moment but the very fact that I’m sitting here at the moment writing this, is me communicating, just in a different way. I don’t feel much like verbally speaking to people at the moment, I’d rather sit alone, read and drink my coffee but if I bumped into a person on the street, my automatic reflex would be to apologise and move aside for them to pass. I have the tools to communicate, I’m choosing not to at the moment.
Jake seems content not communicating. Not happy or sad, content. I’m not happy or sad but neither am I content.
I want to scream until somebody pays attention. I want somebody to hear me, really hear me. I want somebody to actually understamd the pain I feel and understand why I’m hurting.
I was born healthy, equipped with all the tools to communicate, yet I can’t. I like Jake because he can’t communicate either, I know I’m going to feel stupid by the end of season two when he miraculously starts being able to communicate better than I can but I’m ok with that because one day, something will happen and I’ll be able to do it too.