Fun Friday:” Love on the Spectrum” Is on Netflix for Another Season
By Debbie Waltz
According to the Autism Speaks organization, Autism spectrum disorder (or ASD for short) refers to a broad range of conditions categorized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. These “challenges” can affect a person’s living situation based on the severity of one’s place on the spectrum; some are very high functioning, while others may need more assistance functioning or living independently. In the end, that doesn’t make them any different than anyone else-they still long for someone to spend their lives with
Season 2 of “Love on the Spectrum” follows a couple of our favorite people as they continue their quest for love while highlighting some new cast members. First matched in season 1, David and Abbey bonded over their love of animals. Still going strong, David hopes to take their relationship to the next level by suggesting they take their first vacation together- and go on a safari in Africa. During their trip, Abbey hopes to see real lions rather than the stuffed animals she collects. They didn’t go alone, of course. Abbey’s mother and David’s sisters went along as chaperones. Her mother commented how she wasn’t upset to hear, “I don’t need you Mom.” realizing she had David by her side.
Like Abbey, Dani is eager to continue her search for love. First seen in season one, Dani was looking for someone to share her common interest in anime. A year later, she still hopes they will share the same interests, but he will also have a full-time job and be self-sufficient. Like any young woman, she is also focused on other aspects of a relationship and fulfilling each other’s physical and emotional needs.
Not everyone is as outgoing as Dani and Abbey, some enlist the help of family and friends, as well as autism expert Jennifer Cook to navigate the nonverbal cues of dating along their journey. Tanner, for instance, learns the importance of give and take during a conversation with Jennifer and his future dates.
What I like about this show is that it gives audiences a realistic look at the struggles someone has living with autism. It doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties of having a relationship with someone with autism. It also highlights some of the genuine concerns that a loved one has for their son/daughter/friend with autism. These are just some issues they face daily when interacting with the real world.
Love on the Spectrum seasons one and two are out on Netflix. Note: there is suggestive language in some of the episodes, so not everything is appropriate for younger viewers.