Sunday, June 26, 2011

Autism Video: The boy who Loves Lamposts

Todd Drezner received his MFA in film from Columbia University and is the editor of several documentaries that have been shown worldwide. Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic is the first film Todd has directed.

The film was screened at the United Nations as part of its World Autism Awareness Day observance in April 2011.

It earned Best Feature Documentary at the Peace on Earth Film Festival in Chicago, the Social Consciousness Award at the VisionFest Film Festival in New York, and the Audience Award for Documentary at the Show Me Social Justice Festival in Warrensburg, MO.

"My son's obsession with lampposts was a great way into this debate. How should I have responded to what was clearly autistic behaviour? By trying to get rid of it? Or by accepting it?

"I wanted to make a film that respected both sides of the debate and allowed each of them to tell their stories. At the same time, I come down firmly on the side of neurodiversity.

I believe that neurodiversity is often misinterpreted as 'giving up' on treating autism. It's nothing of the sort.

Neurodiversity is simply about recognizing that autistic people will always be autistic. Each autistic person will need different levels and types of support, and some will function better in the world than others.

But we don't gain anything by trying to 'recover' someone from autism. It's far better to try to provide autistic people the support they need to live as fully as they can."

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