Thursday, September 17, 2009

Autism: The Musical

Watch this movie. You can buy it secondhand on amazon and believe me, it is worth it if only to hear the painful and poignant words of a boy named Wyatt (that's him with his arms crossed in the photo).

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.


oloidifemi said...

Hi, I’m Femi, I am an artist and a poet; doing my masters now. Gosh, i really love what u are doing with your blog,and the blog title "by little by little" it's really inspiring. are u a poet, artist or photography? Your blog is really creative and unique too; for I like the photographic expressions, it gives life to your blog, keep it up and never give up; for the sky is your limit. You could check out my own blog, its You could leave your comment there. Keep up the dream! Please reply in English. Thanks and stay blessed!!!

Natasha said...

That is so inspiring, Jo. It has become my daily dose of inspiration, your blog