A few nights ago I had the chance to attend the Seattle premier of the documentary film How to Dance in Ohio. What a treat! The film, set in Columbus, Ohio, follows three young women with autism as they prepare for an upcoming spring formal. The formal is a planned opportunity for the girls and other group members to practice everything they have learned throughout a 12-week social skills therapy group. The film takes us through some celebrated rites of passage many young people encounter as well as a look at what transitioning to adulthood looks like for these young women. I was invited to meet the director, Alexandra Shiva and producer, Bari Pearlman, to find out more about the making of this lovely film that is sure to leave you feeling close to the characters as they navigate their fears and worries of the unknown bag that is ‘growing up’.
When asked why make a documentary about autism, what impressed me most, was the filmmakers’ ability to see that this was a film about one slice of autism. The documentary very clearly marks that the social skills group the film follows is made up of individuals with high functioning autism. The clients in Read full post »
In honor of Autism Awareness Month we invited our readers to share their stories with us. We are sharing the stories throughout the month of April. Today’s story is from 13-year-old Elly.
Autism is like a person knocking at your door, but instead of opening the door, you just listen to the knock. As it grows louder, and stronger you… grow more stressed, and upset. Every knock is an event involving autism that just breaks you, makes you cry, makes you hurt. The breaks between each knock are the happy times, laughing, forgetting autism is really there.
My twin brother, Trevor, has Autism.
I sometimes wish life had a remote. I would be able to rewind our birth, and backspace the Autism. It really hurts. Not having that sibling relationship. Sometimes it feels like nobody understands, what it’s like to feel alone. Read full post »
Dillon is a happy thirteen year old young man with significant behavioral challenges who recently moved to a group home. His mom Sara shares their story with us today.
Lynn: What led to your decision to seek out of home placement?
Sara: I felt that out of home placement was something that would happen around age 18, but for us it came five years earlier than I had expected. My son Dillon is non-verbal, and a joy all the time, except for when he was screaming and biting himself, and later screaming and biting himself while attacking me. It was hard to determine the precise point at which my own lack of sleep and lack of ability to care for him got to be so profound as to be dangerous for him, for me, for our mother-son relationship, for my other kids. When ordinary life is hard, and it continually gets more difficult in small increments, it is impossible to remember that there might be a line, let alone know when you have crossed it. And when other people tell you that you can’t handle this, it is easy to defend all your choices, defend Read full post »
As my own child transitions to young adulthood, I look to those who have gone before me for guidance and support. In this week’s blogs, we discuss out of home placement from a parent’s perspective. Two veteran parents, Joy and Sara share their stories with us this week.
Audrey is a beautiful teenager with ASD who is also deaf and has a history of significant behavioral challenges. She recently moved out of her family’s home. Her mom tells us how the family is doing.
Lynn: How is Audrey doing since she moved to her group home. How did the adjustment go? Was it easier or harder than for her than you’d thought?
Joy: The transition for her has been remarkably smooth. I had lots of scenarios in my head before she moved – from complete disaster (she’d be upset and distraught all the time and unable to calm) to very Read full post »
Today’s blog is written by Ben Moore. Ben, age 26, recently shared his insights about life with autism at Seattle Children’s Autism 200 class in November and we couldn’t get enough of his honest, heartfelt answers. Today he shares a little more.
What is it like as an adult living with autism?
Like, how do I even answer this? Let’s see… It’s hard at times. Sometimes there’s too much loud noises. Sometimes people speak too fast – their language gets scrambled and jumbled when I hear it. When I speak, often times what I intend to say is not what comes out of my mouth. Most times it’s hard to sustain my attention for prolonged periods. I can be blunt and easily hurt others’ feelings (I try really hard not to). Read full post »