Reality Show About Raising Kids with Autism is Surprisingly Complicated
Guzin Kurun from Staten Island, NY is a mother of twin boys with autism. After earning her degree in video and journalism, she decided to put her acquired skills to good use. She wanted to create a sense of ‘normalcy’ around the issue of parenting children with autism and she decided to do so with comedy. Kurun created a scripted show, called Surprisingly Complicated, based on the reality of raising two boys with with autism.
“Surprisingly Complicated is a lighthearted comedy about the everyday life, and true experiences of raising my twin boys with autism. Our reality. All episodes are shot on Staten Island. The actors portraying my boys also have autism,” said Kurun.
Looking for answers
When Kurun’s twin boys were diagnosed with autism at 15 months old, it was not easy for her and her husband, Aydin. She admits they had no idea what autism entailed and how to prepare for the changes it would impose. “When our boys were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, thirteen years ago, there wasn't much information on what to expect. We had found a few depressing documentaries, books, a blogger parent or two, and a lot of information on magic 'cures' and treatments. In hindsight, what we were looking for was a safe place to tell us that life would go on, just a little bit different than planned,” wrote Kurun, on the family’s website - https://www.surprisinglycomplicated.com.
Surprisingly Complicated depicts daily situations that Kuzan and her husband Aydin come across with their sons, such as going to get a haircut or going to the dentist. “This web series is four years in the making and shows our everyday challenges and the quirks that come with raising twin autistic children. Our pilot episode deals with the family deciding to give the twins marijuana to offset the side effects traditional medicine gave them. It’s not a cure, just our story. Further episodes will show what families with autism encounter at the dentist, haircuts, family outings, potty training but with the humor and love that has held our family together,” wrote Kurun.
Kurun stresses that the idea behind the comedy show is to shed light on raising children with autism. “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 point is it's a struggle, but it doesn't have to be miserable. The show is about parents trying to make their kids' lives easier,” she added. Kurun’s twin boys, Adem and Eren, are now 15 years old and attend Richard H. Hungerford School, a special education school located in Staten Island, New York.
Read on to learn more about other efforts that are working hard to raise autism awareness.