Leah Jane Grantham's blog

Movie Review: Adam, Manic Pixie Dream Girl?

The 2009 film, “Adam,” turns its twenty-nine-year-old hero, a man with Asperger Syndrome, into a Manic Pixie Dream Girl:

“The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is there to give new meaning to the male hero's life. She's stunningly attractive, high on life, full of wacky quirks and idiosyncrasies (generally including childlike playfulness and a tendency towards petty crime), often with a touch of wild hair dye. She's inexplicably obsessed with our stuffed-shirt hero, on whom she will focus her kuh-razy (sic) antics until he learns to live freely and love madly.”

The dreamy Hugh Dancy plays Adam, a Manic Pixie Dreamboat with autism. Getty Images

Making Mirrors: A New Series On Autism In Popular Culture

One of my favorite quotations out there, which has greatly influenced the way I approach just about every aspect of my life, comes from the author Junot Diaz, who said once about his writing:

“You guys know about vampires, right? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”

Leah Jane Grantham

Like Alice, A Singleton On The Spectrum Struggles To Take Her Own Advice

Have you ever seen the 1951 animated Disney film Alice in Wonderland? It’s my favorite Disney movie; according to my mother, I used to quote it all of the time as a kid, and wore out the VHS tape from so many repeat watches. One moment I relate to now, as an adult, is when Alice admits to herself that she always gives herself “very good advice… But I very seldom follow it.” I know how you feel, Alice. I have, at this point, acquired something of a reputation as a go-to person when it comes to topics related to romance, sex, and dating for autistic people.

The author loves Wonderland and sometimes feels she's living in it. Fotolia

Dating: Learning From The Sweet Genius How To Say 'No'

My biggest source of wisdom for how to deal with a bad date doesn’t come from advice columns, magazines or books. In fact, it comes from someone who has never really been in the game of dating advice: Ron Ben-Israel. Yes, I learned the fine art of polite, articulate rejection from Ron Ben-Israel, the sweet genius himself. 
If you’re not familiar with him, allow me to babble a bit about one of my special interests: Ron Ben-Israel is a famous Israeli pastry chef based in New York. He’s known to me as the host, judge and overall master of the Food Network reality show, Sweet Genius.

Leah Jane Grantham

OKCupid? Disability And Online Dating

Like many other people who have an online dating profile, I’ve tended to open the inbox of my OKCupid account with some trepidation when I notice a new message. In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, “It’s only a matter of time…”

Leah Jane Grantham
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