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A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism Review

Some documentaries are national, even universal, catering to a wide variety of audiences. Michael Moore’s are a good example, treating issues like the meltdown in Detroit, the shootings at Columbine, the health care crisis in America. Other docs are aimed at a more limited audience; at those families with special interests in narrower subject matter. “Sound and Fury” is an example, which considers the debate between the deaf who want to remain deaf, and the deaf who prefer to be helped by cochlear implants.

Fridrik Thor Fridiksson’s “A Mother’s Courage” is the latter type of story, virtually bereft of Michael Moore’s irony and humor, dealing strictly with the autistic. This doc would be targeted principally to families coping with the one out of one hundred fifty people who are born with a range of the handicap, from the mildly autistic to those severely afflicted. What Fridriksson clears up right off is the difference between autism and Downs’ Syndrome, the latter involving people who might cope better in society because of their ability to imitate the behavior of the mainstream.

The autistic people featured here are different from one another in several ways. Some of them are bright enough to get Ph.D. degrees and teach in universities. Dr. Temple Grandin is a good example: a professor of animal science at Colorado State who did not speak until she was three but in this film appears to make up for all that with long, tiresome monologues when she is not dealing with her collegiate duties or designing livestock handling equipment. Several specialists in autism include Dr. Catherine Lord who directs an autism center at the University of Michigan and Soma Mukhopadhyay, who gets lots of film time as director of education for Helping Autism Through Learning. Ms. Mikhopadhyay wears traditional Indian garb, sports a red dot on her forehead, and is shown working tirelessly to get autistic children to spell words-quite an achievement since these youngsters cannot speak and usually cannot focus.

Read more here: A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism Review By harveycritic – MovieWeb.com.

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