There is no shortage of stereotypes and generalizations about people with autism, and many of these beliefs are simply offensive and untrue. Fortunately, the following 10 videos exist to challenge these misconceptions. From eye-opening explanations of autism to glimpses at cultures struggling to understand the condition, these incredible stories are bound to change how you view autism!
- “What it’s like to have a Brother with Autism.”
In this video, Spencer Timme shows viewers a day in the life of himself and his older brother, Mitchell, who has autism. Even though Mitchell falls on the severe end of the autism spectrum, the two share a very brotherly bond, complete with sibling rivalry and lots of goofy hijinks. Their relationship definitely proves that nothing can get in the way of love we feel for our family members.
“This is Autism”
This clip, which comes from a longer documentary about the struggles of autism, showcases twin sisters Marcela and Lucy, who both have severe forms of the condition. Their mother, Paula, explains to documentary host Louis Theroux some of the struggles she faces in raising her daughters—including the fact that they can’t even refer to her as “mom.” It’s an eye-opening look at some of the heartbreaking and frustrating challenges placed upon parents with autistic children.
“Anxiety in School”
While Tess, a third grader with autism, is able to attend school, her experiences in class are not always pleasant. Because of her condition, Tess often becomes frustrated when she cannot immediately grasp a concept she’s being taught, which poses problems not only for her but for her teachers as well. However, with the help of a personalized learning plan, Tess manages to achieve more than she would be able to with traditional instruction methods.
“Experience Autism Through Carly’s Eyes”
This video aims to help people without autism understand the struggles faced by those with the condition. Based on excerpts from the book "Carly’s Voice: Breaking through Autism," it provides viewers with a glimpse into the life of a teenage girl dealing with a nonverbal form of autism. Even though it may not paint a complete picture, the clip helps illuminate some of the difficulties with concentration and communication that Carly faces on a daily basis.
“Autistic boy explains autism”
Even though you might think that people with autism are unaware of their condition, this video proves otherwise. In it, Dylan, a 19 year old with the condition, explains his conception of autism and the unique struggles he faces. In a particularly insightful moment, he discusses the fact that even though he is technically an adult, his condition causes him to take on some very childlike qualities as well.
“Music Therapy for Autism”
Autism is a condition that presents a unique set of problems that often require unique solutions. In this video, Ryan Judd uses music therapy to help one of his clients develop social skills related to conversation etiquette and personal space. By adding musical elements to his therapy sessions, Judd is able to provide children with autism an additional way to internalize the lessons he’s trying to teach them.
“Temple Grandin: DSM5 & History of Autism Diagnosis”
In this video, Temple Grandin, who is one of the most well-known figures within the autistic community, explains the changes in the way that autism has been diagnosed through the years. In addition to proving that many people with autism are capable of understanding the complexities of this condition, it also exemplifies a more general point about how mental health conditions evolve over time and are not static, tangible entities.
“A Way of Describing Autism”
Many people who are unfamiliar with autism find difficult to grasp. This video helps to bring clarity to the subject through a more concrete analogy. By comparing the many types of autism to different types of stones, Dave Spicer is able to show that not all people with the condition experience it in the exact same way.
“Struggling with Autism in China”
This CNN news segment explains that symptoms of the condition are not the only thing that autistic people struggle with—they also must deal with communities and societies that are unaccepting and ignorant of their problems. In China, where autism is not widely understood, many families are shunned if they have children with the condition, but as the clip shows, there are at least some places where families can get the support they need.
- “Jake: Math prodigy proud of his autism”
This news segment produced for 60 Minutes goes to show that autism is not always a hindrance for those who have it. Even though he was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, Jake Barnett defied expectations and became a math and science prodigy who enrolled in college at age 12. Despite his condition and his age, Jake can now eloquently discuss topics that manage to confound some of society’s brightest thinkers.