We Are Fine Enough, the video embedded below, is a moving and honest account of Charlie and his severe autism and cognitive impairment. The story is told through the narrative of his mother Cynthia Bartlett, who lives with Charlie here in New Brunswick, and photos taken over an extended period by photographer and photojournalist Marc Schlossman. More details, as posted on Vimeo, follow the video. As anyone reading this site is aware, my son Conor also suffers from the realities of severe autism. I was moved by Cynthia's honest, calm portrayal of her son's challenges and the evidence it provides of the severe autism realities that do not usually show up in large mainstream media productions.
We Are Fine Enough from Marc Schlossman on Vimeo.
'We Are Fine Enough' is an intimate, powerful and sensitive portrayal of the life of an autistic child and the ways in which he and his family cope with his disability. In 1994, Marc Schlossman began a photojournalism project documenting the life of Charlie, a five-year-old boy with severe autism and profound learning difficulties. He has continued documenting Charlie, now 20, and his family. Cynthia Bartlett, Charlie's mother, saw her one-year-old son develop the most severe level of autism within autistic spectrum disorder. Only now is Charlie starting to seek and enjoy social contact. Yet he remains self-injurious, he has no ability to speak and he is incontinent. He is dependent on his mother and those around him for his basic care.
'We Are Fine Enough' consists entirely of still photographs from Charlie's life with a narration by his mother. The film began as four 3-minute films commissioned by Channel 4 in the UK for their '3-Minute Wonders' slot and was broadcast in September 2005. Marc began the project to increase awareness of lives with autism and to build a greater understanding of autistic spectrum disorders. 'We Are Fine Enough' is the culmination in film of a long-term commitment to providing a unique view into lives with autism.