Life, Animated {Movie Review} #autism #lifeanimated

From the Movie webpage About the Film-
The inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him. Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.

I caught this film on A&E and thought it was quite inspiring. If you know me or have read some of my past post you know I have a son with autism also. I usually watch films that are about autism with caution only because they can be really emotional and sometimes a little depressing for me. I, just like every parent that has a child with autism has felt a bucket of emotions. It can be devastating especially if you do not know anything about autism. I still have struggles of emotion mostly from worrying about the future but I have learned to accept and prepare is the best way to handle these emotions. 

While watching Life, Animated I could relate to so many aspects of this story. During the film the parents talked about how at one time they thought Owen would never talk again or how when he did finally speak even though it was gibberish (until they figured out he was actually repeating from the movies), I can relate to both of these situations. My son has done the same thing using cartoons like Spongebob and Little Einsteins. He would answer us using dialog from the shows he had watched and use them in the correct context a lot like Owen did with Disney movies. I found myself crying during the film quite a few times but not out of sadness but out of happiness thinking of the possibilities. My son is only 12 years old now but the changes he has made since he was 4 years old are amazing. Like Owen's parents, I didn't think my son would ever talk in complete sentences or be able to answers common questions but he has since past those expectations. This film truly touched me because so many emotions the parents felt I have felt but they were resilient and thought outside the box in order to help their son. 
When you have a child with autism you can sometimes get caught up in what is a normal or meaningful life and one line in the film that speaks volume to me is "who decides what a meaningful life is?" This will be a quote that I use and repeat often. 

I think this film just confirms ...
1- Our children just see things differently and if we open our minds to their world we can see it too. 
2- All children including ones on the autism spectrum want the same thing- acceptance and friendship. 

I recommend watching this film, it is both inspirational and uplifting. 

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