“Autism in America” is an astounding, eye opening and educational documentary. This informative film covers every aspect of living with autism and Chandra Wilson does a good job narrating. It’s interesting to note that autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the U.S. and it affects one in fifty children.
In the documentary, numerous experts on autism are interviewed, including Peter Beddow, Ph.D, who says people with autism experience delays in communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors. Julie Liske, the mother of an autistic son, says it is a “neural, biological disorder that affects social interaction.” Stephen Reisman, M.D., mentions that people with autism often struggle with being caught up in their own worlds, making it difficult to communicate.
Many parents are interviewed including Ruth Sullivan, Ph.D., the mother of a man named Joe. Joe was the inspiration for Dustin Hoffman’s autistic character in the movie “Rain Man.” We also hear from a young woman named Alexis, the first autistic person to run for the title of Miss America.
Autistic behaviors such as difficulty communicating, outbursts, etc. are examined in the film, as are the financial and emotional effects on parents. The topic of autism is thoroughly looked at; viewers even learn that the term “autism” was first used by Leo Kanner, a child psychologist. People with autism are like everyone else, they just think differently. The film looks at young years, discipline, transition into high school and college, employment possibilities, and marriage for people with autism. It also explores institutions such as the Brown Center for Autism, in Tennessee, that can help people with autism learn and adjust. As Brandon Boyland, the father of an autistic son, asks, “Do you accept people that God loves?” People with autism are different, but they are also human beings like everyone else.
We are pleased to award this fascinating film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12+. This movie is educational and enlightening.