Guest Blog: This blog entry was contributed by the Developmental Disabilities Association’s Director of Community Programs, Deanne Ziebart.
Last Saturday, I attended an event called: Beyond the Definitions; Understanding Autism & Asperger’s Through Film and Conversation.
The event started with a screening of the award winning The Boy Inside, which documents the struggles of a boy and his family as they deal with his Asperger’s both at home and in school. This family receives respite services from DDA and certainly documents the great need for respite services and family support to help families cope with a child with a disability.
After the film, 6 youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) formed a panel and related what it was like for them and took questions and answers from the audience. The main themes that came through were that people have a better chance of succeeding if school and other environments can be adapted to their learning needs. It was also a struggle for many to make and maintain friendships, but having education from classroom teachers about integration and educating peers about ASD can make an enormous difference to someone’s ability to be included and belong.
Photos courtesy of The Boy Inside
The Boy Inside is now available in over 600 schools across BC and has an accompanying study guide for classroom teachers. It has also been produced with subtitles in Chinese and Punjabi.