A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism
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Narrated by Oscar winner Kate Winslet and directed by Oscar nominee Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, this inspiring film follows one woman's quest unlock her autistic son's mind. </P>
Margret, whose ten-year-old son Keli is severely autistic, has tried a number of treatments to help her son. Consumed by an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about this mysterious and complex condition, she travels from her home in Iceland to the United States and Europe, meeting scientists and other experts, as well as other families touched by autism. The stakes could not be higher: one in 110 children is diagnosed with autism every year, with boys outnumbering girls four to one.
While she holds no unrealistic expectations, Margret worries that Keli may never be self-sufficient or express himself normally. In her journey, she learns how the brains of autistic children differ from "normal" children and discovers new techniques that could offer a promising future for children with autism, including her son. She also connects with families of autistic children, who share stories of their efforts to help their kids interact with the world around them. Many of their accounts echo her own struggles, including the endless doctor visits and experiments with different treatments, the complication of doing everyday tasks, and the inability to communicate with their children -perhaps the most painful and frustrating aspect of autism.
But as she comes across innovative new therapies that might break down the wall of autism, Margret finds hope that her son may be able to communicate on a level she never thought possible.
Among the experts and advocates Margret encounters are:
-Dr. Temple Grandin, best-selling author and autism advocate, recently the subject of an HBO Film starring Clare Danes</P>
-Dr. David G. Amaral, research director, MIND (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) Institute
-Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, director, Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge
-Dr. Geraldine Dawson, chief science officer, Autism Speaks;
-Soma Mukhopadhyay, who developed the Rapid Prompting Method to teach her autistic son Tito, now a published author
-Portia Iverson and Jonathan Shestack, parents of an autistic child and founders of Cure Autism Now.
A Mother's Courage does not sugarcoat autism, or celebrate it, or cure it. The movie's strength lies in that it shows the heart-wrenching reality of what families have to go through to get assessments, diagnosis and advice; it shows the reality of the pain parents feel when their bubbly, verbal child regresses and becomes autistic. This film is a good resource for promoting community awareness that families can share with their relatives and neighbors. They will gain a better understanding of what families effected by autism go through every day. --Author Chantal Sicile-Kira (41 Things To Know About Autism) on Huffington Post