The Story of Luke

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August, 2017
DVD Author: 
Alonso Mayo

This move stars Seth Green and tells the story of a young man with autism. The plot centers around this man’s journey of moving in with family after his grandmother passes away. It documents the social challenges he faces when trying to obtain a job and get a girlfriend.

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Fly Away

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July, 2017
DVD Author: 
Janet Grillo

This movie depicts the story of a single mother (Jeanne) raising her teenage daughter who is very impacted by autism. During the movie, the viewer is brought on Jeanne’s journey and the challenges with raising her daughter. Jeanne must face her daughter’s future as adulthood approaches – will she remain at home? Or do other arrangements need to be made? A must-watch to gain perspective on what some parents go through with their children.

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Rosie King: How Autism Freed Me to be Myself

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June, 2017
DVD Author: 
TedTalks

Although short in length, this Ted Talk discusses the importance of human diversity by 16-year-old Rosie King. Rosie spends time talking about her own experience as an individual with autism. As such, she provides an additional voice to this current area of activism and education, especially neurodiversity.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rosie_king_how_autism_freed_me_to_be_myself

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How to Dance in Ohio

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May, 2017

Individuals with autism lack social skills and often find navigating the social world difficult. As such, this documentary takes an in-depth look at a group of teens with autism preparing for their first formal dance. During this journey, the viewer experiences the emotions, stressors, anxieties, and gains of these young people. Overall, this documentary provides a humbling look at a coming of age experience most of us take for granted.

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Steve Silberman: The Forgotten History of Autism

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April, 2017
DVD Author: 
Ted Talks

This Ted Talk does and excellent job of overviewing the history of autism from Kanner’s seminal research in 1943, Asperger’s research in 1944, and current autism publications. Silberman discusses the hike in autism diagnosis from 1 in 5000 in 1975 to 1 in 68 today. Links are made between the history of autism and current anti-vaccine rhetoric brought on by Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s falsified research. Care is taken to show how much damage Dr. Wakefield’s deplorable research continues to have on public health and vacation dogma. To obtain more information on Silberman’s research, read his book NeuroTribes
To view, click on this link.

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A Double Shot of Happiness

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January, 2017
DVD Author: 
Tim and Judy Sharp

This Ted Talk showcases a mother and son, Judy and Tim Sharp, and their journey from Tim’s childhood to his present-day success as the creator of the superhero character Laser Beak Man. From being told when Tim was three he would never speak, learn or accomplish anything, Tim’s mother showcases how perseverance and belief in her son allowed him to become the successful man he is today. Through this Tim created Laser Beak Man and developed this character into cards, posters, cartoons and live plays.

To see merchandise and download his book please visit http://www.laserbeakman.com/

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A Double Shot of Happiness:

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December, 2016
DVD Author: 
Tim & Judy Sharp

This Ted Talk showcases a mother and son, Judy and Tim Sharp and their journey from Tim’s childhood to his present-day success as the creator of the superhero character Laser Beak Man. From being told when Tim was three he would never speak, learn or accomplish anything, Tim’s mother showcases how perseverance and belief in her son allowed him to become the successful man he is today. Through this Tim created Laser Beak Man and developed this character into cards, posters, cartoons and live plays.
Here is a link to the video: https://tedxsydney.com/talk/a-double-shot-of-happiness-tim-judy-sharp/

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Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic

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November, 2016
DVD Author: 
John Block

This documentary created by Autism Speaks discusses the rise of autism spectrum disorder. They capture the effects of autism on the individual, families and overall support networks. Focus is also given to 12 families, all of whom have a son or daughter with autism. They discuss the economic toll that occurs while families try to find appropriate supports for this children. Additionally, time is spent on reviewing some current research and the general socio-economic struggles associated with the rise of this developmental disability. The Canadian viewer should keep in mind that this documentary was created in the states, so the family experience in Canada may differ.

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The A Word

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September, 2016
DVD Author: 
BBC One

The BBC has recently released a 6-episode drama series (currently in the first season) that focuses on the progression of family dynamics as one son is diagnosed with autism. It was recently announced the show is renewed for a second season (2017).

The drama follows a five-year old boy, Joe, and his family living in England. Joe demonstrates significant difficulties with communication, sensory stimulation, social skills and social interactions. The series not only focuses on the diagnosis process for the parents and the associated emotions/feelings, it also integrates family life and the demands of raising a child with autism. Joe has a sister who inevitably feels unnoticed, his parents struggle with their own relationship difficulties, and his grandfather appears to struggle with his social abilities.

Although some situations portrayed within the show may be perceived as cliché, the series illustrates a family dealing with an ASD diagnosis as they attempt to manage everyday life situations and relationships. When families receive a diagnosis of autism, they may find themselves overwhelmed and sometimes feel isolated from friends and family members.

Although a fictional drama, some of the issues families may face during that time are represented within the show. There have been some critical reviews in regard to how the parents come to terms with their son’s autism. Although there are parents who do not struggle in a similar way, it is important to consider that some may have difficulty with the initial diagnosis period.

While the show may not encompass all realistic aspects of life with a child on the spectrum, it does represent some of the struggles families encounter when a diagnosis appears in an already overwhelmed family.

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Watch Me Learn: Video Modelling

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June, 2016

Research has indicated that children with autism spectrum disorder learn various skills through video modeling. Video modeling is an evidence- based intervention used to teach children with autism effective social skills. The videos include children engaging in socially appropriate interactions and demonstrating effective social skills.

Watch Me Learn is a collection of video models that teachers can use in their classroom to help support students on the spectrum. Since each video teaches a variety of different skills, each one can be used for multiple social skill development. There are three levels of teaching; teaching expressive and receptive vocabulary, direct modeling of the targeted skill, and the application of learned skills in a generalized activity.

According to the Watch Me Learn website, it is important to incorporate teaching lessons during the session. The teacher or adult is encouraged to ask who, when, what, how, why, where questions during one-on-one or small group sessions. This allows children to conceptualize the learned skills and generalization to other areas.

The product list contains a number of different DVDs, including:

  • A New Beginning teaches beginner developmental skills within the context of play (greet and wave, blowing bubbles, building blocks, peek-a-boo, etc.)
  • Let’s Play teaches beginner and advanced beginner developmental skills (puzzles, drawing faces, abc’s, tea party, hide and seek, etc.)
  • School Days teaches children how to proceed through a school day (bus rides, art, listening time, recess, speech, academics, etc.); and Friends that teaches children the skills required to interact and socialize with peers (turn taking, sharing, offering help, conversations, etc.).

There are many other videos and DVDs found on the website. A streaming service is also offered to obtain access to all the videos found on the site.

The site is easy to navigate and there are many helpful tips to implement video models in the classroom or through a one-on-one setting.

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