My brief overview of I am Sam is about a mentally challenged man named Sam Dawson who faces epic interruption in his simple way of living when he has to raise his daughter Lucy who he fathered with a homeless woman. Lucy mom abandoned her after she gave birth to her. Sam is raising Lucy alone and is faced with an abundantly load of adversity because of his handicap. As Lucy becomes older she begins to become smarter than her father and alarming incidents starts to occur and question Sam’s capabilities of continuingly taking care of her.
After an incident that happened at her birthday party Sam and Lucy are visited by social worker and Lucy is taken away from Sam. Sam friend recommends a lawyer for him her name is Rita who also has a lot going on in her personal life and her story develops through the movie. Lucy is placed with a foster family and the foster family wants to adopt her. During the trial Sam finally realize that he cannot take care of Lucy and she might be better off with her foster family who plans on adopting her. Lucy wants to stay with Sam so she frequently runs away to be with Sam who moved near her new foster family home to stay closer Lucy.
Lucy foster family who realize that Sam and Lucy need each other in their life decide to let Sam have custody of Lucy. Sam also realized that he needs help raising Lucy so he asked her foster parents to help him raise her. In chapter one of Journey of Adulthood we discussed Adult Development and how change happens and how it affects our life. A highly functional mentally challenged individual, who is defined as being an individual that can work, live alone, and make simple decision but need to be monitored occasionally,.
When Lucy came into Sam’s life it changed everything about his simple way of living. In chapter one Bjorkland defines change as being the force to stability. Sam was not ready for Lucy but he changed his way of living to accommodate her best he knew how. Having children and raising them is what the majority of all humans look forward to. We all see this as normal and what we are suppose to do when we reach adulthood. Being a mentally challenged individual who unexpectly have to go through this ordeal alone would be a non-normative life event to them and off-time for someone of his ntellectual capabilities. We also discussed age and what it means in different development stages. Chronological age is the number of years that have passed since your birth. Biological age is a measure of how an adult physical condition compares with others. Psychological age is the measure of how an adult’s ability to be effectively with the environment compares to others. Social age is based on the expected role a person takes at a specific point in his or her life. Functional age is how well a person is functioning as an adult compared to others.
Sam mental age is that of a seven year old but his chronological age is that of I’m assuming a 30 something year old man they never actually stated his age in the movie. In the movie when Lucy reached seven years old she began to downplay her intelligence so she would not appear to be smarter than her father. We all know in reality a seven year old person cannot make rational decision about life let alone raise a child. Physically and actually Sam is not seven but his reasoning and comprehensive skills function on a seven year old level.
The dimension of his adult development has not reach the standard of a person who functions as a thirty something year old mentally functioning individuals. Sam continues to fight to regain custody of Lucy despite of his disability. Society says his medical condition renders him incapable of being Lucy’s caregiver. I would like to go in depth a little about what society think. I have learned in this class that we as adults do not follow the same itinerary. We do not think the same and some of us will take different routes to get to the same end point.
The only thing that should matter is that we get to that end-point and not how we got there. All individuals do not have the same resources that others may have and some may not know that they may have options. Sam knew that he has a disability but he did not want to let his disability to define him as being incapable. At one point in the movie he felt defeated and his back was against the wall. He wanted to give up. Sam told his lawyer “Lucy does not need him anymore, you do not know what it is like when you try, and you try, and you try, and you don’t ever get there.
Because you was born perfect. People like you don’t know what it is like to get hurt. Because people like you don’t have feelings”. Sam felt his back was against the wall when he realized that he could not do what society claims as being normal and the right way to do it. This movie is also a prime example of different types of social relationships that we encounter throughout our life. Sam’s convoy is very small with his daughter being the only person in his inner circle, his friends and associates being in his outer two circles.
His network of outside relationships was minimal. He made Lucy his number one priority. There close relationship with each other and the sudden separation caused by child welfare both Lucy and Sam displayed some attachment behavior. That kind of behavior should be expected when your world only revolves around each other. A parent-child relationship is more emotionally connected than any other relationship that we have. There is not any other love for someone else in my opinion than a caring parent for his or her child.
Sam being mentally challenged and having a very small support system did not let his disability and mind frame hinder his love for his daughter Lucy. He loved her like any other person in their right mind would love their child. I have watched this movie before in the past but having to watch it again to do my summary paper I have identified and understand what the author in our text book (Bjorklund) was trying to get us as her readers to understand about attachment issues and the different types of social relationships that we encounter during our life.
In my conclusion I would like to say that Sam like all of us has some sort of handicap. Although Sam’s disability becomes relevant immediately upon meeting him a lot of “us” who are classified as normal handicap is not so obvious. We all have issues no one is perfect and being a parent I can say I am not perfect. I have made mistakes that I have learned from and some I am still trying to figure out what was the lesson out of that mistake. Parenting is very hard.
Being a single parent just like Sam and being questioned why I do some of the things that I do, and not doing it the politically correct way can be discouraging at times. I can fully epiphysis with Sam of being told that you are not capable of doing something that you know in your heart that you are. The lesson that I learned from watching this movie is don’t let being told no, be your stopping point in life. Being told no might delay you a little and you might have to evaluate the situation and build a team that can support you. Believing that what you want is worth you fighting for anything can be possible.