Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

3/26/08

Autism: The Musical

autismI watched it tonight on HBO. Well, actually I just got done watching it on my DVR. If not for that, I'd never catch a show on television (other than what my daughters choose!). Just before the "opening night" in the film, my daughter started screaming. I went to her room, she was screaming over something I wasn't able to make sense of. I picked her up and she settled down. I brought her into the living room, continued watching Autism: The Musical. She rested beside me, and fell back asleep. Just as the movie was ending, she says, "that was good movie." I guess she heard the audience applaud, and figured it must be good! She then went on to talk about a "pop" that "boke" (she unexpectedly got to the tootsie part of a tootsie pop the other day, it quite disturbed her!). This morning, she woke up screaming over her trike that needs some repairs. I'm always amazed at how much is going through her mind, at all times. I digress, back to the film (little one is now back to sleep in her room--for now)

I loved a lot about the film, there were some parent's views I disagreed with (what else is new). I'm at the point where I am well aware that I won't agree with all the people all the time. I've even reached a stage where I don't care so much what someone else's views are, so long as their concerns and goals are in tune with mine. I am more than willing to work with someone who blames vaccines for their child's autism, IF we are working to get say, a vocational program for adult autistics. We can all have our various beliefs, so long as we are moving forward, with our child's future being the utmost concern. I was able to watch this film, and appreciate it as a whole--even with the few sound bites I'd prefer not be a part of it. All in all, I felt it was an upbeat movie, one that celebrated autism (in its many forms!). It was wonderful to see so much of the spectrum depicted--verbal and nonverbal, asperger's and classic autism, boys and girls, many snapshots of autism.

I also liked that a recurring theme was the future for our children, what opportunities and services they may (or may not) have available to them. Hopefully, it can serve as a stepping stone for more of us to come together, to change our children's futures. There were a few absolutely wonderful moments in the movie, and I appreciated the rawness of the parent's emotions (without being dark and disturbing ala that other Autism "documentary"). I applaud the children and their families, who essentially went where others had never dared gone before. I have deep respect for Elaine Hall, who with humor and bravery followed through on her dream. Honestly--who would believe that a single mom could pull together a group of children (did I mention they are autistic?), and in six months have them perform in a musical?

According to their website, The Miracle Project (which will at some point have information on nutrition and education, something I may be weary of, we shall see) is planning on branching out to different cities. Right now, you can buy various packages (script, music, etc.) to put on your own "Autism: The Musical." I would be delighted to see such a program available to my daughter in the years to come. I think other projects involving art and music would also be wonderful as well; they could prove to be very beneficial to autistic teens. I am going to bed tonight, feeling a bit more positive about the future of autistics. If one person can create a program like The Miracle Project, and make such an impact--what can the rest of us do?

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