Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Study In Contrasts

Today I’m spotlighting two very different videos on the subject of Autism. The first is titled "I Am Autism.” It is a video by Academy Award-nominated director Alfonso Cuarón and Grammy-nominated songwriter/producer Billy Mann, debuted on September 22, 2009 at Autism Speaks' Second Annual World Focus on Autism .

The second is titled “New Day New Opportunity” and features Drew, a young adult with Autism. It was produced by the ARC of Indiana.

Tell me what your thoughts and then I'll tell you mine...


Azaera said...

I hated the first one. The second one was better. I think acceptance is SO important. It's the reason why we're so easygoing about Skyler's condition. It's why I freak when people apologize or pity my son. I have accepted him for who he is. I'm not seeing him for who he could be without Septo Optic Dysplasia. What's the point in that. He is always going to have it. It is part of who he is.

Just my two cents.

Corrie Howe said...

I've seen the first on a number of websites, I know it is not very popular. And I don't like it either. I love the second one. I've not seen it. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

I'd heard about the first film, and now I understand why people are so outraged by it. I thought the second film was really good. As someone only diagnosed at the age of 22 with PDD-NOS, I can certainly relate to what he says about accepting your ASD.

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

This is really interesting--I seem to disagree with the other commenters. I loved the first one. I was very moved. It showed me autism. It showed me what people are afraid of...but then it showed me how families, moms and dads and siblings and grandparents, are fighting it. How people pull together as a community, as a family to fight autism. I truly loved that video. But then, I don't have an autistic child, so perhaps I'm missing something that other see...

My son is hoh. I can say honestly that if that were a video about deaf/hoh children, I would feel the same way...I would feel moved by the message.

The second one I kind of dull, but honestly, his message about accepting it, and being proud of it is wonderful. Good for him!

Janet said...

I LOVE both videos. As the mother of a 7-year-old, non-verbal son with autism, the first video shows what is reality for some families - total isolation. I have not yet a parent of a child with autism who has not felt this way somewhere along the way. Being the parent of a child with autism is HARD *=(but worth it :-) The second half shows what the reality is for (hopefully) most families affect by ASD. A family can easily get stuck in the first half just because it takes so much darn energy to just deal with the day-to-day, let alone getting/educating others as to how they can become apart of your cirle-of-care.

I would like to know why others don't like the first.

The second video -- Drew seems like a great young man. I love his attitude towards life. I need to instill this with all 3 of my children. The only thing I didn't like (and this is nit-picking) is the term "autistic". I really prefer the people-first terminology of "have autism".

Ashley's Mom said...

Janet, I am one of the people offended by and opposed to the first video. It reminds me of fear-mongering spiritualists who assign disabilities such as autism to evil spirits inhabiting a poor child's body.

I didn't like the horror movie style music and approach either.

Raising a child with Autism is indeed a daunting and often difficult responsiblity. But, I prefer to think of my children with disabilities as just differently-abled, not broken or taken over by evil forces. It's sort of like what you said about saying someone is autistic versus having autism. I agree with you on that, and fully support all peopl-first language.

One of the hardest things I deal with as a parent of children with disabilities is the perception by others that my children are damaged or to be pitied.

I believe the first video plays to the stereotype of a damaged child, and of parents as often superhuman saints for loving such a damaged child. Neither in my humble opinion is true.

My children, all children, are unique and special little beings. I love their quirkiness, and I will be the first to fight for what all children need and deserve. I just don't think they need to be portrayed as vessels of evil.

Janet said...

I can see why the first video would/could leave that impression. I didn't get that impression (obviously since my reaction was positive ;-)

I didn't see the reference to "autism" as an evil spirt -- more as a message to society that these children/adults have been ignored too long -- watch out, we parents, family and friends are fighting back. Maybe this is the message I want to give and that is why I saw it that way. Fortunately with blogs, we are able to learn from other's experiences. In this case how how society, etc, has viewed your children.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.