STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — After raising twin boys with autism, Guzin Kurun wanted to create an element of “normalcy” around parenting of children with the condition.

And she wanted to do it through comedy.

After earning a degree in video and journalism and working as a freelancer at CNN-NY, Guzin decided to use her skills to create a scripted show, based on her and her family’s “real life” scenarios related to autism.

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“‘Surprisingly Complicated’ is based on raising my twin boys with autism. … It’s a lighthearted comedy based on true experiences with autism,” said Kurun, whose sons, Adem and Eren are now 15 and attend the Richard H. Hungerford School, a special education school incorporating eight sites throughout Staten Island.

“I write it, direct it, and produce it. All episodes will be shot on Staten Island. The actors portraying my boys also have autism,” said Kurun.

Kurun admits that after her sons were diagnosed at 15-months-old with autism, it wasn’t easy for her and her husband, Aydin, at that time because of “zero awareness” about the condition.

“I think autism is shown in the media as either savants having an ailment, or it’s shown as a disability that is very dark. I think there’s a need for ‘Surprisingly Complicated,’ because special needs families are not represented on television. My series helps normalize autism and represents that the day-to-day struggle is real, but you can still laugh,” she said.

The show tackles everyday situations — like going to the dentist and getting a haircut — Kuzan encountered with her boys.

“The point is it’s a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be miserable,” said Kuzan. “The show is about parents trying to make their kids’ lives easier.”

The series is currently available on YouTube, Vimeo and through Amazon Prime.

© 2018 Staten Island Advance
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