Mum praises Good Doctor for breaking down barriers

Trudi Holland with Brendon Maxwell and children, Tejay, Chelsey and Savanna Reed. INSET: Freddie Highmore stars as Shaun Murphy in  The Good Doctor .
Trudi Holland with Brendon Maxwell and children, Tejay, Chelsey and Savanna Reed. INSET: Freddie Highmore stars as Shaun Murphy in The Good Doctor . Contributed

IF YOU haven't head of The Good Doctor television show, some would say you are hiding under a rock.

According to ratings for Channel 7 supplied by OzTam, 1.13 million viewers are turning into the show across Australia on Tuesday night alone.

The show is based on a young man, Shaun Murphy, who has autism and savant syndrome. Murphy wants to be surgeon and the show is based around his surgical residency at an American hospital and how staff and patients react and treat to him.

To demonstrate how his mind works, when Murphy is presented with a medical issue, captivating anatomy graphics come across the screen, as his mind filters the possibilities of different diagnoses while his face remains blank.

Gracemere mother of two autistic children and Support Facilitator with disabled children, Trudi Holland, was more than passionate to see autism portrayed on national television.

"I was interested because when they said it was based on a autistic doctor I thought this would be good," she said.

"I watched the first episode and I loved it.

"His mannerisms and the way they portray him, I absolutely love it, they have hit the nail on the head."

Having raised two autistic children and worked with a number of clients professionally, Ms Holland has had a lot to with the disorder and said the show has 'just gotten it right'.

"The lights, how it can affect them, the things they can do, the things they can't do," she said.

"It is extremely difficult for people to understand, it is not like you can just tell them, it is a complex disability."

Ms Holland said she can see characteristics of her own children through the main character.

"My son watched it last week with me and it was quite funny, he said we are not like that at all but others can see mannerisms, but when you refer back to them and show them they can see it," she said.

The show is also good show for parents and carers who are 'new' to the disorder.

"So when watching this for me, I knew most of it because I had done a lot of workshops and courses on Autism, but for someone who doesn't it is fantastic," she said.

"I have been getting my family to watch it so they get a better understanding.

"I think the show will actually help others understand, help parents understand why they are doing it, see it in their eyes.

"Autism is extremely hard, it affects their way to interact, its very black and white, it's very literal for them.

"Even if it is pretend TV show, anything is great to help society understand autism a bit better."


Freddie Highmore stars in the TV series The Good Doctor.
Freddie Highmore stars in the TV series The Good Doctor. Internet

Most of all, Ms Holland absolutely loves the inspiring message the shows provides.

"I like the message it gives, that you can still do anything," she said.

"It shows those with autism that hey its okay, they can do what they want to do."

Ms Holland has used the show to try and inspire her own daughter, Savanna, 11.

"I got her to sit with me and watch the show to show she can do what she wants and she can have a normal life," she said.

"She looks down at herself, she puts herself down and feels like she is very different to others.

"Shows like this show her hope."

By having a national television show based on a main character with a neurological disorder, Ms Holland said it opens up the discussion for the disorder.

"My babies are much older now, they are their teens, years ago there was no information, you were told your child was autistic and sent on your way," she said.

"I love that they have these shows on, it helps normalise it, the rate in autism is going higher and higher, I don't think that there is not more autistic children, we are just getting better at diagnosing it."

Topics:  autism awareness autism awareness month autism spectrum disorder channel 7 television show tv ratings

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