Do It Differently: a Film for Dads

"I've seen a lot of friends run themselves ragged trying to figure out autism when, in reality, you just have to figure out one child."

This brilliant quote is from the remarkable little documentary Do It Differently.

Several months ago, Scott Phillips of Fan Blade Films wrote to tell me he had made a film about autism dads called Do It Differently. He enjoyed my blog and wanted to send me a DVD. His only request: if I liked the film, he asked that I let people know.

I'm ashamed to admit it's taken me until now to watch it. Life. No excuses, just life.

Anyway, I loved it. It's wonderfully touching and deceptively simple: interviews with four dads, interspersed with home movies and other vignettes from their lives.

I'll go further: I think Do It Differently should be required viewing for all autism dads. These guys show what it means to be in touch, involved, and engaged. We know moms are carrying the burden, so it's refreshing to see some dads who are in it, too.

Watch the trailer above and, if you're so inclined, consider supporting this independent film by purchasing a copy here.

Love, no matter what

I'm halfway through Andrew Solomon's book, Far from The Tree, an often gut-wrenching and yet uplifting look at "families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender." I had hoped to write my thoughts on the book here, and maybe I still will. In the meantime, Solomon's recent TED Talk, Love, no matter what, provides a moving, fascinating overview of the territory covered in the book. Consider taking 20 minutes to watch it; it had a profound effect on me.

Help Kickstart "A Thousand Words"

From the Kickstarter page:

Autism for many people is typically associated with silence and non-verbal expression. For us as parents and siblings, the silence is deafening and never fits what we know is going on inside. We set out to make a film that shows how much they have to say. We received funding from friends and family; we took what we had and got started. "A Thousand Words" is a film that demonstrates that people with autism can express themselves and communicate through art. Production took 4-5 weeks throughout 2011. Principal photography took place in a farmstead community for adults with autism; Bittersweet Farms in Ohio. We have finished the edit and achieved picture lock.

Show your support here.