Wyatt and the four other kids pictured here are part of a troupe of children with autism who were recruited to be part of one woman's inspired idea: Elaine Hall dreamed of a musical production in which kids with autism would find their own unique voices to come together as an ensemble.
It's an amazing movie. A group of us got together in the Resource Centre to watch it today and many of us were in tears at many points in the screening. The kids were adorable and funny and fully themselves - no doubt - but their bravery and sadness and desperate longing to be accepted, to have friends, was so heart-wrenching I cannot think of the movie without starting to cry again.
Little Wyatt, a highly intelligent boy with a remarkable sense of humor and an uncanny ability to find precisely the right words to convey his thoughts and emotions, is, for me, a prophet for our times. There is a scene in which he is pictured sitting on a swing and talking about other kids with autism who "go into their own worlds".
He can't understand why they do that. He keeps wondering out loud why they do and suddenly, he ducks his head and wonders why he does it. And then the truth tumbles out: about how the other kids bully him and how he loves being with other people and how he wants to be able to talk to them and be friends and yet he doesn't have any. And so he goes into his own world. "Sometimes I have no one to talk to. Like let's say I'm outside by myself, I have no one to talk to, so I just have to go into my own world. I just love having someone with me, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. You can have play-dates, you can have sleep-overs. that's different. I'm talking about being with somebody. I'm talking about a friend."
Isn't that how we all are? We look at other people and wonder why they act the way they do and suddenly we realize they are acting just like us.
Disability is a mirror. Look into it and understand that you aren't perfect and you never will be. Then reach out to those who can't hide it as well as you do.
That's all there is to say.