'Living Life On The Spectrum' is diverse for everyone as all our views and experiences vary from those who are diagnosed to their parents, community members and professionals. Value exists within all information shared by each of these individuals and together we can make a difference one day at a time...
Today I would like to share some information from an amazing person that is based in Australia that you may or may not have heard of - Wenn Lawson... I had the opportunity to attend a presentation with Wenn many years ago which has stayed with me as it shared the reality of what some people have been through to be where they are today... The video below is titled 'My Story and Perspective' which shares this journey and to find out more about Wenn simply follow this link http://mugsy.org/wendy/
Movies Which Feature Autism
Media has portrayed Autism in many ways over the years and even though it may not depict it to how some people view or live with Autism, they have shown many variations in the way that it exists with different people. There is still a lot to be learnt and gained from these movies and about Autism. If you have not watched these previously I would recommend taking the time to watch even a couple of them.
1. The Boy Who Could Fly 1986 Fourteen-year-old Amelia "Milly" Michaelson (Deakins) and her family move into a new suburban home shortly after the death of her father. Milly makes friends with her new neighbor Geneva, and Milly and her eight-year-old brother Louis (Savage) have difficulty adjusting to their new schools, while their mother Charlene (Bedelia) copes with a demotion at work and her inability to learn how to use a computer. Louis is also plagued by bullies down the street who won't let him get around the block. During the first night at the house, Charlene tells Milly she will need her help to make this work. Milly returns to her bedroom and is talking to her pet bird when something flies past the window, but when Milly goes to investigate she sees nothing. Milly and Geneva observe Eric Gibb (Underwood), an autistic boy living next door with his alcoholic uncle Hugo (Gwynne). Eric has never spoken a word in his life, doesn't like to be around people and exhibits bizarre behavior related to flying, such as balancing on the roof of his house with his arms spread out like an airplane. Milly hears that Eric's parents died in a plane crash, and that somehow, in the instant of their death, he knew; and that he did the only thing he could think of to try to save them, which was to become an airplane. Later that night, Milly and her family watch as Eric (along with Milly's teacher Mrs. Sherman) and three adults appear outside with Eric in a straitjacket and being restrained by two men, with Mrs. Sherman arguing with a woman there about what is best for Eric. Milly later reveals to Geneva one night when Milly's mother is out for the evening that she finds Eric attractive.
2. Mercury Rising 1988 A hostage situation in South Dakota: FBI Agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis), as the inside man, protects a 14-year-old boy named James while trying to talk bank robber Edgar Halstrom (Richard Riehle) into surrendering. However, the FBI task force moves in, and in the ensuing firefight both James and the robbers are killed. Jeffries confronts his superior, Hartley, who tells him they both must answer to Washington. An infuriated Jeffries punches Hartley in reply. A cryptographic code called "Mercury" was created by the National Security Agency and is allegedly so complex that its creators believe no computer on Earth can decipher it. Originally it was created during the Reagan Administration as a test to keep the United States' highest priority secrets under wraps. One day, the NSA receives a message from a nine-year-old autistic savant named Simon Lynch (Miko Hughes), who calls a telephone number written in the code which was secretly published in a puzzle magazine by two of the creators, Dean Crandell (Robert Stanton) and Leo Pedranski (Bodhi Elfman), to see if anyone could break it. Crandell and Pedranski's division chief, Lt. Colonel Nicholas Kudrow (Alec Baldwin) sees the boy's ability to decipher the code as a grave liability. He dispatches assassin Peter Burrell (Lindsey Lee Ginter) to murder the boy and his parents, Martin (John Carroll Lynch) and Jenny (Kelley Hazen).
3. Rain Man 1988 Charlie Babbitt is in the middle of importing four Lamborghinis to Los Angeles for resale. He needs to deliver the vehicles to impatient buyers who have already made down payments in order to repay the loan he took out to buy the cars, but the EPA is holding the cars at the port due to the cars failing emissions regulations. Charlie directs an employee to lie to the buyers while he stalls his creditor. When Charlie learns that his estranged father has died, he and his girlfriend Susanna travel to Cincinnati, Ohio in order to settle the estate. He learns he is receiving the 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible over which he and his father fought and his father's rose bushes, but the bulk of the $3 million estate is going to an unnamed trustee. Through social engineering he learns the money is being directed to a mental institution, which he visits and meets his older brother, Raymond, whose existence he was previously unaware of. Raymond has autism and adheres to strict routines.
4. Little Man Tate 1991 Dede Tate (Jodie Foster) is a single mother, a working-class woman of average intelligence raising her seven-year-old son, Fred (Adam Hann-Byrd), who shows every indication of being a genius. Fred's reading and mathematics abilities are remarkable, and he plays the piano "at competition level," but his intellect isolates him from his public school classmates. Fred's intellect comes to the attention of Jane Grierson (Diane Wiest), a former music prodigy and now a psychologist running a school for gifted children. She seeks permission from Dede to admit Fred to the school in order to develop his intellectual gifts in a way that a public school cannot. Dede is reluctant, preferring that Fred have a normal upbringing but when no one comes to Fred's seventh birthday party, Dede consents.
5. Mozart and the Whale 2005 The film tells the story of two people with Asperger syndrome (a form of autism). Donald runs a small self-help group for people on the autism spectrum who are more affected by their autism than he is. Isabelle is referred to the group by her therapist. Mozart and the Whale is a fictionalaccount, using characters loosely based on the real-life relationship of Jerry Newport and Mary Meinel (now Mary Newport).
6. After Thomas 2006 Kyle Graham (Andrew Byrne) is scared. Not of monsters under the bed like any average six-year-old but of everything. Normal, everyday activities prove terrifying to him. He can’t communicate his fears or share them with friends, because he can’t use language and he has no friends. Kyle has autism, a condition it took his parents two desperate years to get diagnosed. So his day consists of endless traumas and tantrums… and unimaginable stress for his mother Nicola (Keeley Hawes). Nicola knows that the one thing Kyle wants is to be left alone, safe and secure in his autistic world. But she also knows that if she grants her son this wish, he will have no future. Her fierce determination to break into Kyle’s world at any cost has placed an intolerable strain on her marriage. Her husband Rob (Ben Miles), although equally unbending in his love for his son, is frustrated by Nicola’s relentless challenging of Kyle. Not to mention the loss of the carefree life he and Nicola once had. Rob tries everything to convince Nicola that Kyle should go to a boarding school for autistic children. But Nicola is adamant that he should remain part of society and be taught the skills to cope with the world around him. When a ‘no-strings attached’ respite is offered by family friend Rachel (Lorraine Pilkington), Rob is truly torn.
7. Snow Cake 2006 When the eccentric drifter Vivienne Freeman gets a ride from a reluctant recluse Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman), she is killed by a transport truck side ramming the car, while Alex only gets a nosebleed. Everybody agrees that it is not Alex's fault. He visits Vivienne's mother, Linda (Sigourney Weaver), to deliver Vivienne's gifts and to provide support. She has been informed about her daughter's death a few hours before Alex's visit, but does not show any signs of grief. However, she has a cleanliness mania which involves her constantly making sure everything in her home is neat, and prevents her from touching garbage bags. Her problem is finding someone who will put the garbage outside to be collected, as this was always something done by her daughter. Linda insists that Alex stay a few days so that he can do it for her. He agrees and also arranges Vivienne's funeral.
8. Black Balloon 2008 Fifteen-year-old Thomas Mollison (Rhys Wakefield) and his family move to a new home in the early 1990s. It begins with Charlie, his autistic brother, banging a wooden spoon on the grass with neighbors staring and pointing, then it cuts to the house where there are locks on the drawers and Maggie, their mother, locking star-shaped stickers in her bathroom cabinet. Thomas is anxious because he has to start at a new school, and make new friends - all he wants is to do is fit in and be regarded in the same way as everyone else. However, it seems he struggles to achieve this goal. Although his family appears to be a fairly happy one, Thomas often feels isolated; it seems as if his mother only dotes upon his brother, Charlie (Luke Ford), and does not pay any attention to him. Thomas, however, is devoted to his brother and shows affection for him. Charlie is Thomas's older brother who lives with autism, as well as attention deficit disorder. Charlie enjoys dressing up like a monkey, playing computer games using a Commodore 64 and receiving gold stars for good behaviour. Charlie communicates with the rest of his family by using sign language.
9. Adam 2009 Adam Raki (Dancy) is a young man, who has Asperger syndrome, living alone in Manhattan after his father's recent death. He has a friend, Harlan Keyes (Frankie Faison), an old army friend of his father's, who is always there for him. Because of his condition, Adam has difficulty communicating with others and likes to escape into his love of space exploration. His fixation on detail, repetitive behaviors, and mind-blindness cost him his job at a toy manufacturing company and nearly get him arrested after he is mistaken for a pedophile. He does not want to leave the apartment he and his father had been living in, but the loss of his job leaves him with an uncertain future, including the problem of continuing to pay the mortgage. Although he has Asperger syndrome and likes to stick to his own routine, avoiding socializing with others, Adam is lonely and wishes things could be different. Beth Buchwald (Byrne), a school teacher and aspiring children's book writer, moves into the apartment above his and they strike up an awkward friendship. One night, Beth is shocked to find him trying to clean her apartment windows suspended from the roof of the building in a space suit.
10. Horse Boy 2009 This is the title of an autobiographical book and a documentary feature film that follow the quest of Rupert Isaacson and his wife to find healing for their autistic son Rowan. After discovering that Rowan's condition appears to be improved by contact with horses and other animals, the family leave their home in Texas on an arduous journey to seek help from the traditional shamans in Mongolia. The book and film follow the family as they travel via the UK by plane, van and on horseback in an attempt to treat the boy's condition with shamanic healing.
11. My Name is Khan 2010 Rizwan Khan is a Muslim child who grew up with his brother Zakir and his mother Razia Khan in a middle-class family in the section of Mumbai. Rizwan is different from other children, however. He has certain gifts, particularly a special ability to repair mechanical things. His difference leads to special tutoring from a reclusive scholar and extra attention from his mother, both of which lead to heightened jealousy from his brother Zakir, who eventually leaves his family for a life in the United States.
12. Temple Grandin 2010 The film follows Temple Grandin's life through a series of flashbacks. As a child, Grandin (Danes) is uncommunicative and prone to tantrums and is diagnosed with autism. The medical consensus at that time was that autism is a form of schizophrenia resulting from insufficient maternal affection. Despite recommendations to place her in an institution, Grandin's mother (Ormond) hires therapists and works to help her daughter adapt to social interaction. As a teenager, Temple travels to her aunt (O'Hara) and uncle's ranch to work. She observes cows being placed into a squeeze chute to calm them, and during an anxiety attack uses the chute to calm herself. Inspired by her teacher, Dr. Carlock (Strathairn) to pursue science, she is admitted to college where she develops an early version of the squeeze machine to calm her during stressful times. Her college misinterprets the use of the machine as a sexual act and forces her to remove it. In response, she develops a scientific protocol to test subjects' reactions to the machine, proving it to be a purely therapeutic device. Grandin graduates with a degree in psychology and pursues a master's degree in animal science.
13. Fly Away 2011 Jeanne (Beth Broderick) is awakened by crying from her autistic teenage daughter Mandy (Ashley Rickards). Mandy is suffering an anxiety attack, as she has almost every night for months. Jeanne instructs her daughter to “use her strategies.” Jeanne calms her by singing “Lady bug, lady bug, fly away home.”
14. The Story of Luke 2012 When his grandmother and caretaker passes away, Luke (Lou Taylor Pucci), a sheltered 25-year-old with autism, must learn to navigate an unfamiliar world. Luke determinedly sets out to find a job and fall in love.
15. Touch 2012 (TV Series) Touch centers on former reporter Martin Bohm (Kiefer Sutherland) and his 11-year-old autistic son, Jake (David Mazouz). Martin's wife died in theWorld Trade Center during the September 11 attacks, and he has been struggling to raise Jake since then, moving from job to job while tending to Jake's special needs. Jake has never spoken a word, but is fascinated by numbers and patterns relating to numbers, spending much of his days writing them down in notebooks, his touch-screen tablet and sometimes using objects (for instance popcorn kernels).
Disclaimer: Information shared is taken from wikipedia to provide you with a summary of what each story/movie is about.