By Mrs. Charlotte Fudge, MSN,RN,CCM,BCBA
Austim: The Musical which aired on HBO as a short documentary serves as both a call to action as well as community acceptance for those afflicted by autism. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that are caused by unusual brain development. People with ASDs tend to have problems with social and communication skills, unusual ways of learning, difficulty paying attention, and extreme sensory issues. Impairment of functioning can range from mild to severe, referred to as “the spectrum”. The documentary provides a glimpse into the lives of the children and families affected by this growing epidemic currently estimated to affect 1 in 88 children.
The documentary details the experience of five autistic children – Neal, Lexi, Henry, Adam and Wyatt – and their families as they participate in a theatrical workshop called The Miracle Project (www.themiracleproject.org). The workshop was developed by Neal’s mother who is determined to help the children learn through their participation to express themselves and socialize with other children. As she says as the film opens…”There are all these myths about what children with autism can do and I plan to shadow those myths”. The film describes the struggles they face as they ultimately succeed in overcoming the obstacles before them.
About the Film:
Autism: The Musical premiered at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival, and won Audience Awards at the Newport International Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival and the Ft. Lauderdale Int. Film Festival. In addition, it was recently named by the AMPASA to the Documentary Feature Oscar® Award short list.
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL was directed and filmed by Tricia Regan; produced by Perrin Chiles, Tricia Regan and Sasha Alpert; executive produced by Jonathan Murray, Joey Carson, Janet Grillo, David S. Glynn and Kristen Stills; edited by Kim Roberts; music composed by Mike Semple. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.
You can visit their website at http://www.autismthemusical.com
To view the film on HBO, click here. http://www.hbo.com/docs/programs/autism/index.html