"This Is Autism" - not quite
days to disney
Please note - the following is my opinion only.
It was the most depressing view on Autism that I have seen. Had I had viewed this in the days or weeks after Hope was diagnosed, I think I might still be in bed crying.
It never discussed at what age each of the children were diagnosed, what kind of early intervention they received early in life and the extent of their therapy now in relation to their home life. .
One boy, who was older was prone to violent outbursts. When they occurred, he had to be physically restrained by mom or dad, or the school staff. It showed mom actually lying on top of him until he settled down. She wanted it to be filmed so "the world" could see what the moms of Autistic children go through - again very generalized.
My heart went out to her. But at the same time, I wondered, what self regulation strategies were implemented when this boy was 2 or 3? In other words, did his early therapists work with him and his family to teach him how to calm down by himself and re-group? This is something we are focused on with Hope right now.
I think most of the children in the film attended a
private school for Autism in the state of New Jersey. They seemed to all be making progress at school, but at home, they seemed not connected with anything. The parents didn't seem to know how they should fit in.
Yet again, I see the beauty of homeschooling. I can't imagine putting Hope on a bus in the morning, her spending all day in an artificial atmosphere and then getting off the bus and me expecting her to function in her life at home. How is that possible?
Most of the parents who were interviewed sounded and appeared "beaten" down. In one instance, Theroux asked one mother, "Does Autism define you and your family"? Without hesitation, her answer was emphatically "Yes". I thought that was really sad.
Perhaps Mr. Theroux will do another documentary on Autistic children who are homeschooled. How curious would that be? I would have to find some time to sit down and watch that too.
For the record, I do not feel that Autism defines me or my husband, or my daughter Julia or even Hope for that matter. Rather, I believe that it is our family and how we function with the challenges of Autism in our lives that enables us to define a single snapshot of Autism.