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Loving Lampposts: now on Netflix

19 Aug

Been putting of watching Loving Lamposts, Todd Drezner’s film? Well, it’s now available for streaming on Netflix (possibly for DVD delivery too, I can’t tell for sure).

I discussed the film a number of times when it was released (Loving lampposts, Loving Lampposts: synopsis and director’s statement, Loving Lampposts video clips, and, after I was provided with a review DVD, Loving Lampposts, a review.)

Here are a couple of clips from the film:

Loving Lampposts Clip#1 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Loving Lampposts Clip #3 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

In his recent Huffington Post article,Labeling Autism And Creating Community, Mr. Drezner takes on some of the questions posed by the proposed DSMV criteria for autism. Specifically, will some people lose their autism labels, and what does this mean.

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Loving Lampposts, a review

4 Apr

Loving Lampposts is a new film about autism by filmmaker and autism parent Todd Drezner. You get a good idea of the direction of the movie from the subtitle–Loving Lampposts, living autistic. I “watched” the film. As in, it’s hard to find an hour and a half solid to watch something through. Instead I watched a little on TV and listened and watched what I could on my computer as I worked. I really wish I had blocked out the full hour and a half to watch it in one sitting as it is quite well done. I agree with Shannon Rosa in her review: this is a film I’ve waited for to fill many roles. It is a film that I wish I had available when we got the diagnosis for our kid. It is a film I’d like to recommend to people who ask about autism.

Todd Drezner narrates the film. He does a good job of using narration lightly. He mostly narrates to make the transitions between the segments of the film. In general, he lets the people–the autistics, the parents, the professionals–in the film present the various ideas.

The first part of the film introduces the ideas of autism as a medical condition and neurodiversity. The vaccine discussion does come up later in the film. It is great to see the vaccine discussion not as parents vs. a mainstream medical establishment. It will come as no surprise to readers here that many parents do not subscribe to the vaccine-injury model, and Mr. Drezner presents them in their own voices. Some of those parents featured in the film include Kristina Chew and Roy Richard Grinker.

The discussion of cure and vaccines needs to be addressed. But what makes the film really work is the time spent on autistics. Autistic kids and a good amount of time with autistic adults. Stephen Shore talks about his life and his work in education. Also featured autistics include Barbara Moran, Kassiane Sibley and Sharisa Kochmeister.

There are great segments with Lyndon and his mother Lila Howard. Lyndon was born in the early 1950’s, during the “childhood schizophrenia” and “refrigerator mother” era. He’s now living in his own apartment, with his mother still as his primary caregiver.

Dora Raymaker is also featured, communicating with AAC through her computer.

Director Todd Drezner is not heavy handed, but he dispels myths. Here are two of them: Neurodiversity is not all about “high functioning” autistic adults. Neurodiveristy advocates do not deny that autism is a disability.

I’ve never wanted to attend an autism-parent/biomed convention. But Loving Lampposts really makes me want to put into action my desire to attend Autcom or Auttreat. Loving Lampposts was partially filmed at Autcom 2007.

As I wrote above, I wish I had this film years ago. I wish I could have seen it. I wish I could have offered it to the many people who have asked questions about autism. I’ll certainly be telling my family and friends about this and offering it to people asking about autism.

Disclosure: I asked for and was provided with a copy of the DVD to screen. I am very grateful that this was made available to me, but I am not compensated in any way for purchases of the film. With that said: You can purchase the film from Amazon.com, or from the Loving Lampposts website. It isn’t available yet on Netflix, but you can put it in your queue and give them the idea that they should make it available.

Loving Lampposts video clips

1 Apr

Loving Lampposts is a new documentary film by filmaker and autism parent Todd Drezner. Here’s a blurb from their website to give you an idea about the film:

What would you call a four year old who caresses all the lampposts in the park? Quirky? Unusual? Or sick?

Such labels are at the center of the debate about autism: is it a disease or a different way of being—or both? In Loving Lampposts, we witness this debate and meet the parents, doctors, therapists, and autistic people who are redefining autism at a moment when it’s better known than ever before. Motivated by his son’s diagnosis, filmmaker Todd Drezner explores the changing world of autism and learns the truth of the saying, “if you’ve met one autistic person, you’ve met one autistic person.”

I put it on my Netflix list (you can too: link) right after reading the review on The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and the interview with the director on Neurotribes. Netflix doesn’t carry it yet, but with luck I may have a copy soon. One can purchase a copy as well.

If you are interested in what Todd Drezner has to say, he has the first in a series of articles up on the Huffington Post: Learning to Embrace Autism.

For more on what the film is about, here are a series of video clips the produces have made available:

Opening sequence with director Todd Drezner introducing autism spectrum disorder through his son, Sam

Loving Lampposts Clip#1 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Understanding autism through “Rain Man” and as described by author of “Unstrange Minds” Roy Richard Grinker

Loving Lampposts Clip #2 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Sharisa Kochmeister, autistic adult with a genius level IQ, and her father, Jay – “I don’t have a disease. I have a disability that causes unease…”

Loving Lampposts Clip #3 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Mothers Kristina Chew and Nadine Antonelli initially hoping to find a “fix” for their autistic children

Loving Lampposts Clip #4 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre, explains definitions of autism and Asperger’s

Loving Lampposts Clip #5 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

About the anti-childhood vaccination movement featuring actress and mother, Jenny McCarthy

Loving Lampposts Clip #6 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Blogger, mother, and activist Kristina Chew shares the joy of watching her son ride a bike

Loving Lampposts Clip #7 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Autistic adult, Dora Raymaker, using a computer to talk, explains how autism affects her ability to communicate

Loving Lampposts Clip #8 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

Dr. Paul Offit discusses his involvement in the vaccine industry and the MMR vaccination

Loving Lampposts Clip #9 from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.