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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Films and Documentaries about Autism

From Autism Speaks

February 23, 2015

Here's a list of films and documentaries about ASD, many of which are available for streaming:

Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic
A dozen families living with autism struggle to find affordable lifetime care as their sons and daughters move from childhood into adulthood.

Dad's in Heaven with Nixon
A documentary filmmaker chronicles his mother's passionate mission to help his brother who has brain damage and autism, while delving into his family's history of both mental illness and creative brilliance.

A Mile in His Shoes
An inspiring story about a loving family, a special boy with an amazing gift, and the coach who believed. This is a heartwarming story of Mickey Tussler, a sheltered farm boy with Asperger's Syndrome and a killer fast-ball, who is recruited by minor league manager "Murph" to play for his struggling minor league baseball team and has a profound effect on both over the course of a season. Stars Dean Cain and Luke Schroder.

A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism
A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism, a documentary by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, tells the story of a mother who has done everything in her power to help her son. She has the quenchless thirst for knowledge about the mysterious and complex condition that autism undeniably is. Along they way, Margret meets other families and hears their unique stories about how they too have been touched by autism.

The Asperger's Difference
The Asperger’s Difference is a 30 minute documentary produced for teens and young adults with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome (AS) and those who interact and work with them. The film features the personal stories, challenges and triumphs of three students, middle-school, high-school and college-age. Also included is a discussion guide with a list of resources to assist young people with Asperger’s in building self-awareness, self-esteem and self-advocacy skills.

Aspergers the Movie
This project is a documentary about Aspergers Syndrome. This video features interviews with people of all ages who have been affected by Aspergers. It also includes interviews with professionals who have studied and worked in the field. As you watch this movie, you will learn about the struggles and numerous advantages that come with having Aspergers. Topics include: getting a diagnosis, myths and misconceptions, special interest, family relationships, bullying and more.

Autism and Cake
A grandfather struggles with the acceptance of his autistic grandson. Starring Ed Asner.

Autism in Love
A feature length documentary exploring how adults with autism fall in love and manage romantic relationship. Told through personal narratives, the audience is faced with the challenges, triumphs, and the unique human experience of finding and navigating love.

Autism in Love
A short documentary profiling a clever and dap­per man of 50 with Autism Spec­trum Dis­or­der, who finds self-acceptance, a unique abil­ity to fit into his neu­rotyp­i­cal world, and uncon­di­tional love.

Autism: The Musical
Following five LA children over the course of six months, director Tricia Regan captures the struggles and triumphs of their family lives and observes how this musical production gives these performers a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative sides.

Best Kept Secret
In “Best Kept Secret,” a Newark, New Jersey teacher struggles to prepare her students with autism to survive in the brutal world that awaits them once they graduate. The documentary follows teacher Janet Mino and her students over the year and a half before graduation.

Breaking Boundaries: The Art of Alex Masket
“Breaking Boundaries: the Art of Alex Masket” chronicles the story of an extraordinary artist who has created a significant body of work despite a disability that inhibits what most might consider "normal" human interaction. A young adult with severe autism, Alex is functionally non-verbal and makes what we in the verbal world call art.

The Changing Face of Autism
A 2009 Voice Award nominee, The Changing Face of Autism is a collaboration of OM~RPM Productions and Lynne Duquette, who shares her experience as a parent of an Autistic child and follows similar stories of families faced with the same diagnoses. Parent commentary is augmented with leading experts in autism prevention, therapy, research and intervention.

Fly Away
A powerful film directed by Emmy Award® winner Janet Grillo (Autism: The Musical), FLY AWAY narrates the story of Jeanne and her autistic teenage daughter, Mandy. As the pressures of work and her child’s needs increase, she must decide whether or not to enroll Mandy in a therapeutic residential facility. Over the course of a few weeks, Jeanne is confronted with the most difficult decision a parent can make: to let go, allowing her child to grow, but also grow apart; or to hold on tight and fall together.

*A portion of the proceeds from each DVD goes to support Autism Speaks.

God's Ears
An autistic boxer must climb out of one dark ring into another as he takes on a new opponent in the persona of a lonely dancer: love. The new independent film from filmmaker Michael Worth donates a portion of proceeds from DVD sales to Autism Speaks.

Documentary filmmaker Henry Corra gave his 12-year-old son with autism a video camera to document his own life. George, the firm that emerged, is a moving look at autism. The film, which aired on HBO in 2000, is now available on DVD.

The Horse Boy
The Horse Boy chronicles the journey of the Isaacson family as they travel through Mongolia in search of a mysterious shaman who they believe can heal their autistic son. This film delves into the strange world of autism, horses, shamanism, and Mongolia while telling the story of a family that will go to the end of the earth to find a way into their son's life.

The Hummingchild
After epileptic seizures as a baby, Agnes was suspected of having autism. Her mother, a filmmaker, focuses on the inner family sphere. The Hummingchild gives a glimpse into a mother’s journey, over a span of five years, towards contact with her daughter.

JJ's Journey: A Journey About Autism
JJ's Journey is a documentary film released in April 2008 in honor of Autism Awareness Month. This film is full of resources and therapies to help those on the spectrum. Since intolerance is the biggest challenge, 20-year-old JJ wants to make a difference and provide hope to other families. He and his mom believe this documentary is the best way to help educate society by sharing their story.

John Paul's Story: Autism and Daily Life, Therapy and Support
This documentary clearly paints a picture of Autism and the impact it is has on the daily life of a family and the therapists and teachers involved with a young Autistic boy named John Paul. This video outlines the various therapies and supplemental tools (iPad) that this family is using to help their son. It is also such a touching account of one family's emotional journey and will resonate with anyone especially during Autism Awareness Month.

The Kangaroo Complex
CPS Publishing LLC (a world-renowned publishing house for psychiatric products) is proud to announce the new development of The Kangaroo Complex documentary! It is innovative, and inspirational, created by a psychologist about her daily challenges and reflections with her autistic teen, plus 3 other interviews with other mothers. Freud is mentioned, although he is not the psychiatrist that developed the famous C.A.T. (childrens apperception test) used in this DVD. Ideal for the mental health communities! A trailer and purchases can be made on

Kids with Cameras
Kids with Cameras is a documentary that follows the progress, challenges, and triumphs of a group of autistic children participating in a film camp hosted by non-profit organization Actors for Autism. This one-hour documentary provides a window into revealing moments of the kids' private lives - combined with interviews with their families - as they learn to express themselves through films, poems, paintings, and music.

Loving Lampposts
What would you call a four year old who caresses all the lampposts in the park? Quirky? Unusual? Or sick? Such labels are at the center of the debate about autism: is it a disease or a different way of being—or both? In Loving Lampposts, we witness this debate and meet the parents, doctors, therapists, and autistic people who are redefining autism at a moment when it's better known than ever before. Motivated by his son's diagnosis, filmmaker Todd Drezner explores the changing world of autism and learns the truth of the saying, "if you've met one autistic person, you've met one autistic person."

Mr. Blue Sky
Mr. Blue Sky is a heart-grabbing story that will ultimately change the way society views all people as "individuals" first and foremost.

My Son, Pankaj
My Son, Pankaj is a short documentary film that traces the journey of a mother of an Autistic child. It talks of the extraordinary relationship of pleasures and pain they share and aspires to tell a true tale of courage, faith and extreme hope. While the film is dedicated to the indomitable spirit of women in all their avatars- for their love and affection that sustains many such children across the world, it also hopes to serve as a source of inspiration to other parents battling Autism.

Not Forgotten: The Untold Story of Autism in Ukraine
Nothing in Ukraine seems the same from day to day. As the cold winds blow, so do the rules. A child who has Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ukraine can find no place in society…” Thus begins the story of NOT FORGOTTEN, a feature documentary that exposes the untold story of Autism in Ukraine. This documentary discusses and educates its audience about what can be done to aid and educate professionals and parents who are affected by cultural shame and rejection. Life for parents of children with Autism is a constant struggle. Not only is help almost non-existent for most parents, the shame that is placed on them and their child with autism is saddening.

The Red Kite Project: A Documentary
The Red Kite Project follows Jacqueline Russell, Artistic Director of Chicago Children's Theater, as she sets out to create the first interactive, multi-sensory theatrical performance installation for children with autism. Having spent 13 years volunteering in classrooms of autistic children, Russell's mission is to assemble a team of artists, educators and parents to create a program that brings joy, excitement and education to autistic children who need it.

Refrigerator Mothers
From the 1950's through the 1970's, the medical establishment mistakenly believed it had found the root cause of autism: poor mothering. Doctors presumed that the often obsessive behaviors of autistic children - rigid rituals, speech difficulty, self-isolation - stemmed from their mothers' emotional frigidity. Refrigerator Mothers explores the traumatic legacy of blame, guilt and self-doubt suffered by a generation of women who were branded "refrigerator mothers."

sproutflix is an ever-growing list of carefully selected films of artistry and intellect from around the world which includes films specifically related to the lives, performances and accomplishments of people with autism. The list includes free streams and film with streams, downloads and DVDs available for purchase. 50% of all sales go back to the filmmakers and supports the work they do with this otherwise marginalized population.

A Still Jacket
“A Still Jacket” is a film about relationships and their impossibility. Moments of peace and security – underlined by poetic nature observations – are contrasted by depictions of desperate emotional outbursts and anxiety attacks. Ramòn Giger not only succeeds in drawing a striking portrait, but realizes a contemplative reflection on the nature of human relationships themselves.

Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin paints a picture of a young woman's perseverance and determination while struggling with the isolating challenges of autism at a time when it was still quite unknown. The film chronicles Temple's early diagnosis; her turbulent growth and development during her school years; the enduring support she received from her mother, aunt and her science teacher; and her emergence as a woman with an innate sensitivity and understanding of animal behavior.

Temple Grandin: 'A View from the Inside, Everything About Autism You Always Wanted to Know'
In this interview, Tenple Grandin speaks about autism and her experiences growing up and going through life with the condition. She explains the way she thinks and how things make her feel. This is a very inspiring interview between an autism parent and one of the few people in the world who can offer him some insight into his son's mind. Temple Grandin answers the questions that every parent or person with a family member on the spectrum wants to ask.

A Time for Georgia
This award-winning, historic documentary focuses on Georgia, a four-year-old with Autism in her special education class. Observed are her struggles and triumphs over a six-month period. This groundbreaking documentary, premiered at the White House Conference on Children in 1970.

Travels with my Brother
This short, live action/animated documentary (using computer 2-D cut-out elements) explores the relationship between Vas - a high-functioning autistic man - and his older sister Christine, who will one day be his official guardian, as they travel about their hometown of Toronto, Canada. Through a series of interconnected conversations on love, family, humour, art, desire and destiny, the film unearths Vas' unique perception of the world and how he copes with the "realities" within and outside of him. At the heart of the story is a sister's attempt to crack the enigma that is her brother as she forges a way for their shared future.

The United States of Autism
Follow one man's 11,000 mile, 40 day journey across the American landscape to visit twenty families and individuals affected by autism while searching for answers for his own son. With interviews from around the nation that include the widest spectrum of backgrounds and diagnoses - each conducted in the participants' original language - the film weaves a broad and compelling tapestry across the spectrum of American life in all its faiths, disparities, colors, and cultures. Positively reviewed in the NY Times, LA Times, Hollywood Reporter, Variety Magazine and more, the United States of Autism was winner of the Pepsi Refresh Project and one of only two films featuring autism to make the Oscar Qualification list in 2013.

We're All in This Together: Understanding the Humanity of Autism
This video illustrates the journey real parents, families, professionals, paraprofessionals, and other caregivers take as they develop constructive and effective relationship skills supportive of people with autism. The video helps people who have little exposure to autism understand the autism spectrum. Additionally, the video is a resource for those who have everyday contact with people on the autism spectrum to illustrate the significance of their role in supporting a person with autism to grow and develop.


Click here to view a list of films related to autism from the Sprout Touring Film Festival.

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