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MTV Puts Spotlight on Transition


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An MTV documentary is taking a personal look at the path to adulthood through the lens of two brothers with autism.

The half-hour special “True Life Presents: The Benjamins” follows Kenny and Brad Benjamin of Bowie, Md. and their parents as the brothers seek out more independent lives with an eye toward gaining employment, finding their own apartment and scoring girlfriends.

The episode airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET shows the siblings — who are both in their 20s — engaged in everyday activities like preparing to obtain a driver’s license, shopping for groceries and cooking meals.

“I just hope that people could understand that people with autism need some love and caring,” Kenny, 23, told People Magazine. “Not to treat autism as a curse, but just different and special.”

MTV said the documentary is designed to be “uplifting and eye-opening” and explore “what it means to live life as an autistic person.”

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Comments (8 Responses)

  1. DU says:

    Oh my gosh! I totally want to see this! I hope it’s as awesome as it looks in the promo, and is appropriate for a middle school kid to watch. I’d like to have my son see it, too.

  2. Rene Thompson says:

    Scoring girlfriends? While I agree hat’s important for individuals with disabilities to connect socially and find meaningful relationships, referring to it as “scoring girlfriends” suggest that the women are not much more than trophies like rhino heads on a hunters’ wall.

  3. Anonymous says:

    MTV should release the audience statistics for this documentary when it comes out. I bet there will be a lot less people under 18 watching this documentary knowing how evil teens are today. This is a great idea in theory, but I have a feeling it won’t reach the populations who it would be useful to (Bipolar or Neuro-typical teens, At-risk youth, Middle Schoolers,Non-disabled peers and students, fathers of children with autism).

    The activist community will have to wait and see.

  4. Whitney says:

    Give him a break. It is how regular non disabled describe female relationships. I am guessing he heard the slang and follow suit form the non-disabled community. I agree it is chauvisnistic but it is not his fault when rest of the society have the same term. It is no different with people who happen have autism. I heard worse from some men locker rooms on the television.

  5. Cassidy says:

    Rene, I agree that the statement sounds misogynistic; however, it IS MTV after all. That being said, I think this is a step in the right direction to get information to the masses about autism, which remains one of, if not the most, misunderstood disorders. I think for the younger generation, it could be very useful to know what its like to live your life with autism and hopefully create a better understanding between the disabled and the non-disabled.

  6. Chris says:

    I agree, “scoring girlfriends’ is an unfortunate cliché as it implies what you suggest. However, I doubt that was neither the intention nor the understanding when the term was employed here. As such, this should not be the focus when appreciating Kenny and Brad’s life experiences?

  7. CK says:

    DirecTV menu isn’t showing it at all… Will it really happen?

  8. Robin says:

    Fantastic that the transition period of life is featured on MTV! It is a place where youths and young adults go for entertainment! Individuals with Autism and other types of disabilities are people too. In life there are all kinds of challenges faced by everyone. When society can look at people with disabilities as a person facing challenges different from their own with acceptance, how grand that will be.

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