'Parenthood' star: Asperger story response 'overwhelming'

Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:14 AM ET

Appearing on "Parenthood" is an intimate experience for Monica Potter, who told TODAY's Al Roker, Samantha Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales on the plaza Monday that the NBC series "feels like a reality show at times."

One of the most real stories that has emerged from the show, which focuses on the extended clan of Bravermans and how they deal with life's obstacles and challenges, has been the story of Potter's on-camera son Max.

The actress said she's received an "overwhelming" amount of feedback since the show wrote in a diagnosis of Asperger syndrome for Max. "It's such a joy to be able to bring this awareness, because it's out there and it's prevalent and so many families deal with it," she said. "I have a lot of friends that have autistic children, and just to see how they interact with each other -- it's touching and I hear about it every day, and I'm lucky."

As she noted, the writers on "Parenthood" try to keep things "as real as possible."

And, she added, there is one particular talent she brings to her character: The ability to cry on cue, which her character does often. Potter laughed when the subject came up. "I know!" she said. "My kids are like, 'What?' I'm really jovial in real life!"

What do you think of "Parenthood's" depiction of Asperger syndrome? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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