Post 7 for 9/28: Autism “Every Day”

The film made in 2006 titled “Autism Every Day” upset many in the autistic community, rightly so. Sponsored by Autism Speaks, the film depicts what they believe is an every day view of a family with an autistic child or children. This film drew backlash for many reasons. The two reasons I will focus on for the backlash are that they did not actually allow someone with autism to speak and they did not depict all the love and beauty autism offers.

The first blog I found is by an autistic who found fault with the film. In his piece, the blogger equates the film and the Autism Speaks organization to a women’s rights organization run exclusively by men. “Doesn’t sound too appealing, does it?” The blogger then proceeds to argue that Autism Speaks does not indeed speak for those with autism. He believes they attempt to gain fame and media attention, yet not for the right reasons. They paired with a so-called “infamous in autism circles” organization called Cure Autism Now. The blogger asks to “get the support we need to live in a sometimes frustrating society, not a cure that is forced on us without our acceptance.”

In addition, the author notes the negative effects of the Singer comment in the film, which I will not repeat. This was a disgusting statement for anyone to make, yet the fact that she did it in front of her child is just “callous,” and the blogger notes that her child was trying to show the mother affect just before this comment was made. How could someone say that, let alone in front of their child? This woman is the vice president of communications and awareness for Autism Speaks, which says a lot about the organization, the blogger notes. Overall, this autistic blogger shows how irresponsible it is for this film to speak to the autistic experience without an autistic person.

The other blog I found was written by a mother of a child with autism. She notes that her autistic child, Bud, would have been very upset by the presence of strangers, cameras, and people taking away his mom’s attention. In addition, it would have stressed him out to hear his mom say all the things he did to stress her out. She suggests it would have been more effective to use hidden cameras, and not intrude on the daily life and routine on the families in order to get an accurate depiction.

Overall, this film did not depict autism “every day” as the title suggests. The film did not include the input of autistics, and did not accurately portray the autistic children, who would have been upset due to the situation they were thrown in. The Autism Speaks organization also does not accurately speak for autistics, as many would like a say in the work done and do not want a cure thrust upon them.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Post 7 for 9/28: Autism “Every Day”

  1. Allison Belkowitz says:

    I agree that the cameras probably triggered some responses that would not have ordinarily happened. One of the blogs I found also mentioned how hidden cameras would have been a better solution to strangers in the home. However, I am curious if the producer of the film would have still only taken the tantrums and used them in her film. Would the final editing even include the positive emotions that come with autistic children? I wonder what the legality and logistics would be of having a hidden camera livestream for a day of someone’s life. That way it does not trigger unnatural responses and also is accurate for how positive autism can be.

    • Annie Dodd says:

      One thing I am really curious about the Autism Speaks video is what exactly the purpose of it was?? By merely watching it once, one could presume that the directors were literally trying to show the worst characteristics of everyday life with an autistic child. I just don’t understand the original intention of the video was if put out by a group advocating for autistic individuals.

  2. Flo Yan says:

    As Professor Jaswal mentioned so many times in class, the true experts of autism are the autistic community individuals themselves. What would have made this video tremendously more effective in a more lighthearted, positive way, would have been to include their voices in the discussion. If the producers had even attempted to do so, perhaps the video wouldn’t have turned out to be so intolerable.

  3. Elin Woolf says:

    I also read the blog by Bud’s mother and loved her idea of hidden cameras capturing all the ups and downs of each day – and then including some of each in the video. Instead, it was very one-sided and it saddens me that for some people, this video may have been their first and/or only source of information about autism. I think that there is no way this video would’ve been posted if members of the autistic community were involved in the reviewing process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *