“Where the Wild Things Are” first came into our world of imagination in 1963 in a book of about 40 pages (many of them having only pictures) and has captivated many of our lives since then. I remember reading this book as a kid, but at this age (who needs to know that), I honestly didn’t remember what took place in the book. I just knew that it was a cool book at one time. Although the movie came out in 2009, I finally got around to viewing the movie and I couldn’t help but view this movie through the eyes of a special educator. I read a few reviews of the movie, but the one by NY Times, stood out to me the most (http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/movies/16where.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0). Some of the comments left on the review made me a little upset. Not because these people don’t have a right to their opinion, but because I viewed this movie from the eyes of a special educator, and to think people would feel this way about a child that has Autism, AD(H)D, Cerebral Palsy, etc. just gave me a headache.
Again, I know this is just a movie and probably had nothing to do with children with special needs, but that is the life I live and love and I approach every child with the thought that maybe their behaviors are based on a special need. What first put me in this state of mind was how “Max” (the main character) interacted with his mother. I automatically said, well he must have Autism because of his screams and upset nature. Now of course “Max” really went into his room, but the world that exists in the movie is his escape. I just really want people to understand that children with Autism have their own world many times and that is their escape.
Throughout the movie there were laughs, tears, and shocking parts that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also enjoyed how a monster was portrayed to look like his sister (KW). I was so heartbroken at the scene where his igloo was destroyed by her friends. All he wanted to do was play and when he had his meltdown, they just sort of left him there and went about their day.
I wanted to share my thoughts on this movie because the next time we see a child having a tantrum or just crying, don’t think them to be weird or disorderly. Give them a smile, pray for their peace and refrain from thinking of them as monsters. I was so thrilled when after he calmed down and came from his world, his loving mom was still downstairs with his hot meal waiting on him. We should all have patience with children and adults with special learning needs and make sure once they leave their special world of escape, we are there waiting for them with open arms and maybe even a warm meal. I mean after all….we all have a “wild thing” somewhere within in us. People with Autism are just lucky enough to be able to meet their “wild thing” whenever they so desire.
Be blessed and hug a child with Autism today!