On 1/25/12, FOX premiered their new drama series Touch, a show about a single father trying to raise his 10-year-old autistic, non-verbal son. I have been excited for this show as it revolves around an autistic child and has Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) himself starring in it! The premise of the show is that the son, Jake, has a fascination with cell phones and savant like abilities with numbers and the ability to see connections between total strangers. While these special abilities may be pushing it slightly when it comes to the public’s perception of autism, it does show a few really great issues surrounding raising a child with autism.
One of the opening segments is Martin, the father, getting a phone call at work that his son has climbed up a cell phone tower again, having no fear of dangerous situations. This is the third time it has happened which results in the needs to have child services get involved. The social worker comes to their home and explains that they must do a two-week assessment to decide if it is better for Jake to be institutionalized or if Martin can provide a safe living environment for his child. She explains how the costs of having an autistic child will only increase as he gets older which many parents know all too well, trying to raise a special needs child.
The show, at least from the first episode, also hits home the challenges and hardships of parents raising children with autism who may sometimes feel a lack of emotional connection with their child. In this case, Jake is non-verbal, but also does not do well with being touched in any way. It is clear to see that this visibly puts strain on the father and is a point of hardship he must struggle to cope with.
All in all, I find this show to be very promising and I enjoy some of the realistic elements it portrays! The first episode was previewed on FOX on 1/25/12 and the series begins on 3/19/12. Mark your calendars! The first episode can be viewed on the FOX website or it also is on Hulu. Here is the trailer for the show: