All the people worldwide are united as one species Homo Sapiens but are still exceptional in their ways. An Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents one possibility of people’s exceptionality as differently-abled individuals. It is a spectrum from high functioning to severe autism that varies in the degree of needed support and affected abilities (Hardman et al., 2017, p. 264). Some people may have high music sensitivity, while others have special hobbies such as nature, arts, or technology. All of these traits are united by one label, autism, but present a large variety of exceptional people. The following issue of ASD’s effect on people’s lives was reflected in the movie Autism: Insight from Inside by Robert Parish. He managed to show the lives of three different people with ASD in the documentary about autism to educate the broader population and give hope to those with a disorder.
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The documentary opens with a guitar play by Jonathan Chase. I found the story of his diagnosis very disturbing. Getting the diagnosis is a shock by itself, but the school’s directory behavior was unacceptable. Instead of suggesting interventions and creating multidisciplinary school-wide assistance teams, the school told Jonathan about everything they claimed he would never do, from getting a career to having meaningful relationships (Parish, 2016). Such a disregard for autistic children directly breaks the children’s right to education established by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Hardman et al., 2017, p. 12). Moreover, labeling children with ACD as useless in all the spheres of life worsens the condition and the challenge they go through. Labeling people with various disorders only prevents people’s successful integration into society. In these times, the family, education institutions, and individual assistance are needed to form formal and natural support groups for children with disabilities (Hardman et al., 2017, p. 26).
On the other hand, Stephen Shore’s story of learning about an ASD diagnosis is much more uplifting. His family decided to refuse the recommended institutionalization for Stephen. Strong family support is essential for having a full-fledged life, so I felt great respect for Stephen’s parents. A diagnosis often comes as a shock that changes people’s lives in the family but acknowledging the issue and strengthening support is essential for a bright future (Hardman et al., 2017, p. 130). Stephen’s family managed to come in peace with the realization, attend therapy together, and provide competent family support for Stephen to overcome many of the challenges caused by the disorder.
As a celebrity among the people with ASD, Temple Grandin was also presented in the movie, giving speeches and organizing events. Her insights on the necessity of work and hobbies allowed me to view ASD less as a disorder but more like a chance to develop a particular skill one is interested in. The example of Temple, who was fascinated by animals, shows how an autistic person can take hold of skill and make it a life goal (Parish, 2016). Temple also emphasized the necessity of support teams for people with ASD to help them find inspiration in a topic and prevent them from overthinking their diagnosis and moving on.
The movie Autism: Insight from Inside managed to portray that Autistic Spectrum Disorder does not necessarily limit people’s lives. Instead, they can unveil new talents and find inspiration in music or animals like the movie heroes: Jonathan, Stephen, and Temple. The diagnosis does not have to become the sentence for a miserable life if a person has a strong support group. The societal opinion also matters; that is why it is crucial to understand and assist exceptional people.
Hardman, M. L., Egan, M. W., & Drew, C. J. (2017). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Human exceptionality: School, community, and family (pp. 262-291). Nelson Education.
Hardman, M. L., Egan, M. W., & Drew, C. J. (2017). Education for All. Human exceptionality: School, community, and family (pp. 24-47). Nelson Education.
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Hardman, M. L., Egan, M. W., & Drew, C. J. (2017). Exceptionalities and Families. Human exceptionality: School, community, and family (pp. 122-147). Nelson Education.
Hardman, M. L., Egan, M. W., & Drew, C. J. (2017). Understanding Exceptionalities in the 21st Century. Human exceptionality: School, community, and family (pp. 2-23). Nelson Education.
Parish, R. (2016). Autism: Insight from Inside [Film]. Films Media Group.