If you missed the Hallmark movie, “Front of the Class” last night on CBS…you simply must get the DVD. Hallmark movies are usually a home run as far as family friendly, inspirational stories and this movie was no exception. Perhaps it even surpassed those standards. (But I admit my bias since the subject is something near and dear to my heart—the use of LABELS.)
In this case, the label was Tourette’s Syndrome. It was based on the true story of a young boy who had Tourette’s when he was 6-years-old…before much of the mental health community even knew what it was. It’s hard for me to imagine the impact of the ignorance this boy and his devoted mother suffered with in addition to the challenges of having Tourette’s. We fear and try to control the things we don’t understand and this was portrayed in the insistence that the boy simply practice “Self control.”
The boy ended up becoming a teacher but faced many obstacles in getting employment in spite of his stellar student teaching reports because most schools wouldn’t give him a second look. He was quite frank about his Tourette’s and would address it with “Let’s first discuss the elephant in the room.”
The highlight of the movie, in my mind, was when during one particularly low period, his Stepmom showed up at his apartment and said something like,
Your calling to be a teacher isn’t in SPITE of your Tourette’s it’s BECAUSE of your Tourette’s.
He persisted…got hired as a second grade teacher….and went on to win a prestigious award in his first year of teaching. Tics and all.
Somebody pass the Puffs wouldcha?
I am so convinced as I watch my son, who had a pile of labels when he was younger, that on the flip side of those labels are some extraordinary abilities and giftings. It’s just a matter of finding the right fit for that child..or for that matter….an adult.
This movie couldn’t have said it better.