Thursday, February 20, 2014

Special Needs/ Disabilities/Mental Illness Documentaries List

Tourette Syndrome- 

I Have Tourette's, but Tourette's Doesn't Have Me: 

Recommended Age: Any Age! 
Topic: Tourette Syndrome, OCD 
My Rating: 8 
Link to Website:


Loving Lamp Posts: 

Recommended Age: Any age!
Topic: Autism
My Rating: 9
Link to the Website:
Summary: After his son's diagnosis, filmmaker Todd Drezner visits the front lines of the autism wars. We meet the "recovery movement," which views autism as a tragic epidemic brought on by environmental toxins. Operating outside the boundaries of mainstream medicine, these parents, doctors, and therapists search for unconventional treatments that can "reverse" autism and restore their children to normal lives.

We meet the 'neurodiversity' movement, which argues that autism should be accepted and autistic
 people supported. This group argues that the focus on treatments and cures causes the wider society to 
view autistic people as damaged and sick. Acceptance is the better way, but how do you practice 
acceptanceof autism in a world where the very word can terrify parents?And we meet a too often
ignored group: autistic adults. It's these adults who show just how tricky it is to judge an autistic 
person's life. Is an autistic woman who directs academic research about autism recovered? 
What if the same woman has trouble speaking and uses text-to-speech software to communicate? 
Is an autistic man who lives in his own apartment recovered? What if his mother must hire people to 
do his laundry and take him out in the evenings?

This wide angle view of autism makes clear what's at stake in the autism wars. Will we live in a world 
dominated by autism conferences where vendors hawk vitamins and hyperbaric chambers to parents 
desperate for a cure? Or will we provide the support that autistic adults need to lead the best lives they
can? And can these two worlds possibly co-exist?

Autistic-Like: Graham's Story: 

Recommended Age: Any Age! 
Topic: Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder 
My Rating: 9 
Link to website:
Summaryan intimate family portrait showing one dad's determined quest to find the right therapies, 
the right doctors, and even the right words to describe his son. This short subject documentary is a 
startling report from the edge of the autism epidemic, and illuminates the medical, social and public 
health issues faced by families whose autistic-like children have no clear diagnosis, and are offered 
no specific treatment.

A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism: 

A Mother's Courage: Talking Back to Autism (2009) Poster

Recommended Age: Any Age! 
Topic: Autism 
My Rating: 7 
Link to Website:
Summary: A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism (a.k.a The Sunshine Boy), a documentary by
Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, tells the story of Margret, a mother who has done everything in her power to
help her son. Keli is eleven years old and is severely autistic - his mother doesn‘t even know if he 
understands Icelandic, let alone other languages. Even if Margret holds no unrealistic expectations on 
behalf of Keli, she has the quenchless thirst for knowledge about the mysterious and complex condition
that autism undeniably is. Along they way, Margret meets other families and hears their unique stories 
about how they too have been touched by autism.

Bipolar Disorder- 

Boy Interrupted:

Recommended Age: 18 + 
Topic: Bipolar Disorder and Suicide 
My Rating: 8 
Link to website:
Summary: HBO Documentary, Boy Interrupted looks at the life of Evan Perry a 15-year-old boy from New York who committed suicide in 2005. The film made by his parents Dana and Hart examines how Evan's bipolar disorder and depression affected his life and the life of his family. Evan Perry came from a family with a history of mental illness; his uncle had committed suicide age 21. Evan had been diagnosed with depression and prescribed Prozac, then rediagnosed with bipolar depression and prescribed mood stabilizers, and later received milieu therapy, which brought relief for a time.However, aged 15, he jumped to his death from his family's apartment window.

The Medicated Child: 

Frontline: The Medicated Child

Recommended Age: Any age
Topic: Medication, Bipolar Disorder
My Rating: 7
Summary: This fascinating program from PBS's "Frontline" series explores the realities and controversies surrounding the increasingly frequent prescription of behavior-modifying medication for children as young as 2 years old. Numerous experts, including psychiatrists, government regulators and scientific researchers, discuss both the dangers and the benefits of the various drugs being used to treat children with behavioral problems and mental illnesses.

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