Adre, Emma, and Julian are in public school autism programs in Oakland, CA. This engaging film documents their lives at home and at school, and profiles the valiant efforts of their parents and teachers to help them reach their maximum potential. This film is especially recommended for parents, siblings, extended family members, and friends who are unfamiliar with an autism diagnosis.
I am a student working on finishing my Master degree in Childhood Special Education with an Advance Certificate in Autism. This short documentary provided a practical version of what I have read in my text. Too often do we forget about the hardship that the parents of these children endure. A quote that really stuck out to me was; "I lost my child, but there's still a body and no funeral" The mother was candid with her feelings; it was very raw. These parents care for their children 365 days a year, every minute of the day trying to help their child overcome their challenges. They don't always have the opportunity to have a break. These parents did not choose this, however, we, the teachers, did! This documentary is a reminder to me in why I had chosen this field. When we are working with their children making changes and helping that child progress; the gratitude is immeasurable. It is important as teachers to be thoroughly educated because we are also here to support these children and their parents. The documentary shares the story of a woman who did not have the means or the education of Autism to better intervene or support her child. The difference that we can make gives relief to that parent who is unable to afford the additional therapy that would be useful for her son. This visual is appropriate when introducing autism in a workshop and it allows the viewers to make a connection with the families in the film. Though, as educators, we will get frustrated but if we take a moment to just think about the parents in this film we can come to terms that we are with the child for a few hours and what we are doing can be life changing to that family.
I was giving a workshop on autism for special education teachers, and knew I needed something visual and more personal than just me lecturing. This video was just right. The children provided excellent examples of the concepts I was discussing. I appreciated that their parents spoke about the experience of having a child with autism, and we got to see some the repetitive behavior, difficulty adjusting the changes in routine and lack of direct interaction that many children on the spectrum exhibit. It really brought the workshop alive, and we found ourselves referring to the children in the video during the rest of the session. It was an excellent brief, non-technical introduction that raised questions and encouraged compassion.
Kaneshiro get's it. I had no idea the struggles of the Autistic parent and other family members willingly take on each and every day to love and care for the Autistic child. I really appreciated the multicultural aspect she presented.