Shameful, a documentary by Alex Plank and Noah Trevino

16 Aug

Alex Plank is possibly best known in the autism communities for his work with as well as his work as a filmmaker. Mr. Plank has a new project in film making: a documentary about autism in France: Shameful, a film about autism in France.

In France there are still some views on autism which are controversial, to put it mildly. For example, the idea of “packing” as a therapy. Packing has recently been the focus of a concensus statement

Against le packing: a consensus statement.
Amaral D, Rogers SJ, Baron-Cohen S, Bourgeron T, Caffo E, Fombonne E, Fuentes J, Howlin P, Rutter M, Klin A, Volkmar F, Lord C, Minshew N, Nardocci F, Rizzolatti G, Russo S, Scifo R, van der Gaag RJ.

If you are unfamiliar with the names above, I’ll point out that they represent some of the most respected names in autism research. People who have come out publicly against this practice.

Back to Shameful: here is a description of the documentary:

About Shameful

Psychoanalysts in France have stated that Autism is a psychosis caused by the mother’s sexual issues. France refuses to provide families any support.

We traveled throughout France documenting countless families struggling to get support for their autistic children.

Shameful recounts the horrendous situations these families have been forced into by their country’s lack of support and the disinformation spread by experts there.

Many French parents have had to send their young children away to Belgium.

One study estimated that 80% of french autistic children are not even allowed to go to school.

and the trailer:

I hope this shines some light on practices and viewpoints which need to change. Now.

By Matt Carey

13 Responses to “Shameful, a documentary by Alex Plank and Noah Trevino”

  1. Sullivan August 16, 2012 at 01:39 #

    I’ll point out that I met Alex Plank at IMFAR last year. I’m not only glad to see this documentary being done, but glad to see Alex doing this work.

  2. psychtld August 16, 2012 at 02:41 #

    “Psychoanalysts in France have stated that Autism is a psychosis caused by the mother’s sexual issues. France refuses to provide families any support.”

    Seems that the French ‘professionals’, along with the Finnish ones, are completely idiotic when it comes to understanding and working with autistic people.

  3. psychtld August 16, 2012 at 02:46 #

    INteresting – the consensus statement is behind a pay-to-purchase wall….

  4. Anonyme August 18, 2012 at 10:42 #

    Can’t say I’m surprised.

    I live in France, and was shocked to find how desperately the French cling to long-discredited psychoanalytical bullshit.

    Children with genuine psychological problems, depression, etc. are routinely sent to freudian psychoanalysts instead of being treated by medical professionals.

    I know two ‘psis’ socially who never cease to amaze me with their bizarre prejudices, received wisdom, and their eagerness to generalise. I’d no more trust their opinions or diagnoses than I would those of a witch-doctor.

    And don’t get me started on the popularity over here of homeopathy, kinesitherapy, chiropractic, etc. It’s almost as if mainstream medicine were the alternative therapy.

    I even know scientifically educated people who work in the chemical and biotechnology industries that believe in this kind of woo.

    I hope the skeptic movement takes off over here as well as it has in the UK. France is usually about 6 years behind the UK, so fingers crossed it will start any day now.

  5. ARW August 19, 2012 at 13:50 #

    Thanks for sharing about the documentary. Don’t forget to join Autism Rights Watch, the new non-profit organization partner of this documentary on facebook (Alex is President of it). Together we can change autism in France and around the globe.

  6. D. BLOCH August 20, 2012 at 13:22 #

    I hate to disagree, but from the quotes shown above, I’m afraid that this documentary is going too far for sensationalism. My daughter is autistic, and we live in France. It has been a battle (which it should never have been) to get her the services that she needs, but things have gotten MUCH better. I, too, had to have showdowns with idiotic doctors bent on psychoanalytical b.s. in order to get what I believed my child needed. However, to say “France refuses to provide families any support” is just a straight-out lie. The financial support is there (passing, as for other handicaps, through regional bodies called MDPH), and more and more services and government-sponsered information centers are out there. The difference between what we faced 10 years ago, and what we have now is enormous. There are thousands of professionals now who do great things for kids on the spectrum and their families, but these changes came, indeed, because families pushed for them.

  7. Cindy Brown September 30, 2012 at 02:10 #

    Great article. Please don’t leave Noah Trevino out of the main article,( though his name is at the top). He is equal in the project, and heading up the documentary. He is really doing a lot of work for the documentary, and the editing. 🙂 He has put many, many hours in. Thank-you!

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 30, 2012 at 03:40 #


      Thanks for that. In the future I’ll make sure his name is in more than the title.

  8. Gina Miller January 24, 2013 at 22:32 #

    When is Shameful being released?

  9. elaine May 10, 2013 at 12:13 #

    hi i am convinced my grown up son has semantic pragmantic disorder. we moved to france when he was four years old. he went from school to school. eventually we found a place in a special school where he received no help. at 11 he went to a normal french school. then back to england. no wonder nobody advised us or helped us. good luck with the film. regards elaine

  10. June 4, 2013 at 15:47 #

    Is it alright to put part of this on my webpage if I include a reference to this website?

  11. June 4, 2013 at 15:49 #

    Just proves the old adage. Its an ill wind that blows no good. – No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what its doing; but most of the time, we arent either. Attributed to Marvin Minsk

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