David Goodson (David's Mother)

From Autistic characters wiki
David Goodson
Michael Goorjian as David Goodson: a young man with short brown hair and light skin tone. He is wearing a blue striped polo shirt.
Portrayed by Michael Goorjian (17 years)
Steven Ivany (5-9 years)
Blake Dennis (5-9 years, double)
Appears in David's Mother
Year 1994

David Goodson is a major character in the television drama movie David's Mother.

Character creation

David's Mother is based on the 1991 play of the same name by Bob Randall. The play was at some earlier point also known as Elliot's Mother[1] Randall drew inspiration from multiple sources, including his own experiences with a "maternal prison" after he had polio as a child, and a friend with an autistic child.[2]

Andrea Rifkin, director of a group home for autistic children, served as a technical advisor for the movie. She also did consulting on the movie Under the Piano.[3]

The closing credits refer the viewer to the number of The Autism Society of America for more information about autism.


David is the youngest child of Sally and Philip Goodson. He also has an older sister, Susan. Sally is very devoted to caring for David, which eventually causes Philip to divorce her. He marries another woman, and Susan goes to live with them, becoming estranged from Sally. Initially David goes to a school for special education, but he is neglected and Sally pulls him out of school, caring for him at home while working as a freelance editor. Sally's sister Bea sets her up with a date: wealthy wallpaper salesman John. At the same time, the department of child welfare is demanding David go to a care home, but Sally refuses. Her dates with John go well, and he is friendly with David, even teaching him to use the VCR. However Sally is planning on moving away to avoid having David be taken away and she didn't tell John about it, which causes a fight between them. In the end, David does end up going to the care home.


David and his mother

The crux of the movie is Sally's overprotectiveness of David. While she accepts him how he is, she also stifles his ability to grown and learn new things (for example, John teaches him to use the VCR, something Sally thought he could never learn).

David is nonverbal, however he does often grunt and make other non-word vocalizations.


  • Actress Kirstie Alley, who plays David's mother, gained about 20 pounds (10 kg) for the role, since her character is supposed to be kind of frumpy and neglecting herself.[4]


External links