Finding the Words is a film following the stories of eight children in their struggle to recover from autistic spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism, historically defined as a neurological condition that impairs
communication and socialization skills in varying degrees of severity,
is stealing away children in frightening numbers. An estimated 1 in 150
children are being diagnosed with this serious medical condition that
the American Academy of Pediatrics now considers “epidemic”.
In Finding the Words, we watch parents of children
once considered hopeless describe the amazing journeys they’ve taken to
bring their sons and daughters back - fighting the prevailing view of
autism as a disorder that is “incurable and untreatable”; battling the
effects of what they describe as a “complex, multifactorial illness”.
What is most important is that many thousands of them are winning this
war. And children who could not speak, who could not make eye contact,
who spinned and flapped and looked so utterly lost and unreachable, are
now cogent and happy and communicable. And in a crowd of regular kids in
a regular school, they look like every other kid - talking, playing -
“indistinguishable from peers”.
The film also captures the unfolding drama of scientific discovery
as doctors, pushed along by relentless parents, search for answers. The
synergy we see between these determined families and the doctors who
have been called to lead this struggle to uncover better therapies for
ASD is fascinating. We see a paradigm shift in the doctor/patient model,
and a great example of how treatments can be discovered in the presence
of urgent need.
Reviews & Awards"Highly recommended. An outstanding film about how our traditional views of
autism are being challenged by new research and new ways of thinking
about the disease. There is hope... and that’s what Finding the Words
is really all about. The success stories of the families represented
here are proof that there is a way to be victorious in the fight against
- Lori Widzinski, Editor, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Watching the incredible changes in the children in this documentary will make most anyone believe that recovery is a very real possibility for many autistic children. This film is an exceptional resource for parents, educators, and academics. It could be used by medical professionals hoping to learn more about autism, professors and graduate students of Disability and Disease studies, anthropologists studying both the rise of autism and the construction of it as a disease. It would also be helpful in Early Childhood Education classes, at autism conferences, and as a recommendation for parents who have just gotten their child’s diagnosis (who need both hope and practical tips in this very difficult time)."
– Anthropology Review Database