Films about People with Autism and Asperger Syndrome
Autism is a World (40 minutes, 2005, DVD)
A documentary about Sue Rubin, who is autistic. Sue was diagnosed and treated as mentally retarded until the age of 13, when she began to communicate using a keyboard. Now she is a junior in college. Told in Sue's own words, Autism Is a World takes the viewer on a journey into her mind, her daily world, and her life with autism.
Jessica: Raising a Child with Autism and Attention Deficit Disorder; Elaina: Raising a Child with Autism (60 minutes, 1992, VHS)
A look into the daily lives of two preschool children with autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or PDD (pervasive developmental disorder). Jessica is combative and overly active; Elaina is low-functioning with no language. The film shows how their families cope.
Rain Man (134 minutes, 1997, DVD, VHS)
This popular feature film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise was the first introduction many American had to the subject of autism. Hoping for a fast buck from his father's will, a young hustler learns that the money has been left to an institutionalized older brother he never knew he had. The two of them take a journey across the country in a classic automobile. It's a journey of self-discovery and a journey of understanding into his brother's very different mindset for the young man.
Refrigerator Mothers (51 minutes, 2002, VHS)
From the 1950s through the early 1970s, the American medical establishment thought it had found the cause of autism: poor mothering. Doctors presumed that the bizarre behaviors of autistic children-rigid rituals, difficulty with speech, extreme self-isolation-stemmed from their mothers' emotional frigidity. For a whole generation of women, branded as cold "refrigerator mothers," the damage was done.
Films Featuring Other Unusual Narrators
Bravo Gloria! (28 minutes, 1988, VHS )
This is the story of Gloria Lehnoff, a 32-year-old mentally-retarded woman, and her personal struggle to live a meaningful life. Working in a sheltered workshop, volunteering in a pre-school, and serving as assistant cantor in her synagogue are some of the rewarding activities she has done.
When Billy Broke His Head and Other Tales of Wonder (57 minutes, 1994, VHS)
A documentary about how people with disabilities experience life in the United States. Personal interviews portray realities, hardships, and coping mechanisms in the face of government bureaucracy and overwhelming odds. Written and narrated by Billy Golfus.
Other Connections to A Curious Incident
Dogs with Jobs (80 minutes, 2000, VHS)
A series of inspirational vignettes about working dogs and the work they do for their people.
The Hound of the Baskervilles (120 minutes, 1988, VHS)
When Sir Charles Baskerville arrives at his family's estate from America, he finds a death threat awaiting him and a curse hanging over the family. He calls in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to solve the mystery. This stars Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke.
Super Structures of the World, Volume 3: The London Underground (55 minutes, 2000, VHS)
The construction history of one of the largest and most complex subway systems in the world.
What I Want My Words To Do To You (80 minutes, 2003, VHS, DVD)
In a prison writing seminar, fifteen female inmates work to describe their prison experiences and the crimes they committed.