Documentary Film on Autism Stuns Internet Viewers
"Autism Every Day" produced for Autism Speaks.
From the Autism Speaks Website:
Autism Every Day is a new film produced by Lauren
Thierry and Jim Watkins of October Group and Eric Solomon
of Milestone Video. The film was screened at
A New Decade for Autism, http://tinyurl.com/j7qsm , a
fundraising event held May 9, 2006 in New York City, and
subsequently broadcast by Don Imus on his show on MSNBC.
Just after the documentary "Autism Every Day" aired on the Don Imus
show, early Wednesday, May 10, around 7 am eastern, stunned reactions from
media tracking autism parents began to appear on support discussion lists on
the internet. First reaction came from Bobbie Manning from A-CHAMP, who
alerted the other EOHarm list members simply saying, "The best PSA I have
ever seen. Amazing!!"
Then D., another list member added "I've just finished crying. I
might jump on the Autism Speaks bandwagon. . ." Now this was getting
Another parent, an activist added, "To feel the impact of this is
unlike any other segment I have seen. . . so many examples in such a short
time. . .so much was covered - behaviors, finances, dreams lost, worries of
the future...and all from the parents and children living it, not from
reporters. . .Is there a way we can get a copy of this to present to
legislators, educators, therapists, etc?" . . .it is a mirror reflecting our
"I am a video guy and this is the best I have ever seen and the
only thing that shows what we as parents are going though," added parent J.
who had the good fortune of seeing it that day, too.
From list member A.: "I was in a puddle of tears and had real trouble
getting myself together to get the kids off to school. I think it's
excessively hard for those of us to watch our lives in that fashion but
extremely necessary for the rest of the population to see. . . Shock and awe
may take on a new meaning." Warning other parents who had not yet seen it,
she said in a later post, "You will probably break down crying hysterically.
I was not expecting this reaction or I would not have watched it with my
kids next to me. My girls came running to hug their incapacitated mother.
My ASD son somehow realizing it was about him came to watch a small clip.
By now the list was abuzz with questions, "when will it air again?",
"will they put it on a website?"
Bits and pieces about the project started reaching the list. Katie
Wright, the daughter of Autism Speaks Co-founder Bob Wright, was in the film
(and it turns out, a lurking member of that list). Another list member,
Michele Iallonardi, announced that her family too, was a part of the film.
Autism Every Day was striking even closer to home than the regular members
Not until Sunday did a parent announce that the documentary was on the
Autism Speaks website.
Positive reactions, an understatement, continued to pour in.
"OMG! . . . This is heart wrenching! I cried my eyes out. I have
forwarded this to everyone in my e-mailbox. WOW", said R.
"Unbelievable. Someone has captured autism in 13 minutes. Someone has
shown what autism is all about. I am so grateful. I am so thankful,"
remarked Lisa Ackerman of TACA, "This is the best mothers day gift to me
ever. . ."