Saturday, January 20, 2007
Autism Every Day - The Realities of Raising Severely Autistic Children
The film Autism Every Day will soon show - January 22 and 27 - at the Sundance Film Festival. Like many efforts to treat or educate autistic children or to speak about the realities of some autistic persons this film has generated criticism amongst some autistic persons, caregivers and professionals who do not believe that Autism is a disorder. From that perspective autism is simply a variation of human existence neither inherently better or worse than any other variation.
Personally, as the parent of a severely autistic 11 year old boy who I love with all my being, I appreciate the courage of the parents in the film who have told the stories of their children, and their families, for the world to hear. The world should understand that, while there are many very intelligent, articulate and talented persons with autism, there are also many autistic persons with severe intellectual, communication, sensory and behavioral challenges. These challenges pose serious risks to the health, safety and lives of the autistic children themselves and to family members. The reality is raisng and genuinely caring for severely autistic children takes an enormous toll on families, even with the great joy which the same children can bring to our lives.
I have not seen the entire 44 minute version of Autism Every Day. I have viewed the shorter version, which is on line at the Autism Speaks web site, and can be found at this link:
I thank the makers of Autism Every Day the parents who appear in the film, their autistic children and other family members for describing their realities, their challenges.