Submitted by: MomaTrue.com
Just the title Autism: The Musical made me curious. I worry about autism. I think about it when choosing which vaccines to give my son. I have listened to my friends as they search for possible treatments, therapies, and interventions for dealing with autism, when they hope for cures and research schools.
When I was a high school teacher and then director of a Sylvan Learning Center, I worked with kids who had autism spectrum disorders. In all of my thinking about or dealing with autism, I never would have imagined autistic kids in a musical. But the Literary Mama review made me want to check the movie out for myself. I loved it.
Any interaction between the kids and Elaine Hall, the director of the musical, made me choke up. She spoke with such respect and love for those kids that she reached through barriers even their parents and counselors couldn’t pass. The documentary by Tricia Regan follows the director and five of the children in the production and includes interviews with the kids and their families plus rehearsal and production footage.
My husband’s comment after the movie is that he’s never been so anxious in his life. Watching Autism: The Musical is simultaneously nerve-wracking and informative. The experiences of people seeking a diagnosis for kids they knew were having difficulties, sharing the challenges they faced as couples, parents, and people in addition to really letting these kids reveal themselves gives a much deeper understanding of autism than most statistics.
The numbers the documentary opens with are plenty scary though. “In 1980, Autism was a relatively rare disorder, diagnosed in 1 out of every 10,000 children in the United States. It now impacts every 1 in 150 children.” I used to teach 150 kids a day. Though it made for a tiring day, I realize 150 is not that many. The more we understand about autism, the more we may be able to do to prevent it. Watching this documentary is a great step on the road to understanding.
How educated are you about autism?