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Incapacity Illustration in ‘Extraordinary Legal professional Woo’

Recently, I have been binge-watching the Korean TV drama “Extraordinary Legal professional Woo.” It tells the story of a younger lawyer with autism and the challenges she encounters (and does her greatest to beat) in her life, profession, and relationships.

I immediately acquired hooked on the present for 2 causes. First, it appealed to the little lady in me who as soon as dreamed of changing into a lawyer—and nonetheless does.

Second, I discovered the present’s overarching theme of thriving with incapacity and adjusting to the world to be relatable. I am married to an individual with hemophilia and a seizure dysfunction, and I have been recognized with psychological well being situations akin to attention-deficit hyperactivity dysfunction and bipolar II dysfunction, so I appreciated seeing optimistic incapacity illustration.

Very similar to the present’s gifted protagonist, Woo Younger-woo, my husband’s disabilities usually are not apparent at first look. When Legal professional Woo walks down the road, she seems like some other younger girl. If not for just a few odd mannerisms and tics, folks would not have the ability to inform immediately that she has autism.

It is the identical with my husband, Jared, whose hefty construct, athletic prowess, and outwardly “regular” look obscure the fact of his bleeding dysfunction and seizures. Who would ever guess that the man who seems so robust within the gymnasium would typically be unable to maneuver on account of extreme bleeds?

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Within the present, Legal professional Woo continuously apologizes for any potential awkward conduct brought on by her autism earlier than talking up within the courtroom. It is the identical with Jared, who should absolutely disclose his situations to his bosses and colleagues earlier than beginning a job. Each time he goes to the gymnasium, he should inform his trainers about his hemophilia from him so they do not assign him actions that exceed his bodily limitations from him. (For example, he cannot do plyometrics or any train that might put extra stress on his ankle joint.)

Each Legal professional Woo and Jared are fortunately blessed with pals and colleagues who’re in a position to lengthen grace and understanding. But the potential for encountering discrimination from strangers (and even acquainted folks) by no means utterly goes away.

A number of instances all through the present, Legal professional Woo is discredited within the courtroom due to her autism. Whereas defending an intellectually challenged shopper, she realizes that many disabled folks may really feel like their feelings are by no means really their very own. Different folks are likely to venture their ideas and feelings onto them, typically coercing them into making choices that do not align with their true needs.

“When you have a incapacity, I believe merely liking somebody shouldn’t be sufficient. As a result of even when I say it is love, if different folks say it isn’t, then it isn’t.” —Woo Younger-woo

In a single significantly unhappy episode, Legal professional Woo speaks of the fact that the world will solely probably see her as “the autistic one,” irrespective of how completed she is in her chosen area.

Jared has shared an identical sentiment with me. Even now that he is virtually 30 and has achievements of his personal from him, he nonetheless will get handled like a toddler at instances. It’s because some folks select to solely see his incapacity from him, and never his humanity from him. They could make assumptions about what he can or cannot do, and base the best way they deal with him on these (typically flawed) prejudices.

In a single significantly heart-rending episode (spoiler alert!), Legal professional Woo overhears a love curiosity’s members of the family name her “tough” and principally a “burden.” This scene caught my consideration, as I had an identical expertise when Jared and I have been nonetheless courting.

There’s fact to the concept courting an individual with a incapacity may be categorically more difficult than courting somebody extra “typical.” My husband and I each consider it isn’t for the faint of coronary heart. One has to own a substantial amount of empathy, flexibility, and emotional steadfastness to have a profitable relationship with somebody who’s disabled.

But for an outsider to mechanically assume that having a incapacity makes somebody a burden is not truthful to both occasion within the relationship. This type of pondering relies on false dichotomies like “issues are both good or dangerous” or “a relationship can solely be tough or simple.”

Relationships are much more nuanced, and so is the actual world. Even the commonest relationship experiences ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and in-between moments. A relationship like ours is not any totally different.

Individuals with disabilities are very a lot human, with their very own feelings and needs. Being married to Jared has taught me this, and watching “Extraordinary Legal professional Woo” affirms it much more. So few reveals supply this sort of illustration, and I am glad Woo’s quirky but cute character is round to make incapacity extra human and relatable.


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