Cindy Guastavino Carlino
I have watched many Documentaries in my day, But a "Mothers Courage"..... is one of the most compelling, informative, compassionate ones i've ever seen. I fell madly in love with Keelee, who to me, truly represents, grace, love and dignity. My wish is for someday, for him to be able to express that beautiful music that is playing inside his mind. I would love to see on this website, periodic updates on how Keelee is doing.....love to all....Cindy
I recently watched your documentary, and I'm glad I have it on DVR because I've watched it twice already and plan to watch it many more! This is the best film I've ever seen on the topic, it was so uplifting and so real. I am a motherof four autistic children, age 13, 11, 6, and 3. My two youngest are nonverbal, and although I think my three year old will talk in the near future, my six year old still struggles very much with communication issues. Three of my children also have a mental retardation diagnosis and the inaccuracy of this has always bothered me. Just because their intelligence can't be measured by formal testing doesn't mean it's not there! I've always known that my children, like other autistic people, are complex, intelligent people who are trapped by this condition and need a different way of finding their voice. Seeing Soma work with Keli was amazing, because he responded so quickly and seemed to realize that she could open doors for him. This gave me such hope for my son, Aidan, that we joined HALO and plan on purchasing Soma's book in the next few weeks. Unfortunately, money is an obstacle, but we are saving for a trip to Austin so that Aidan can attend a camp hopefully in the summer of 2011. We plan to make it a roadtrip for the whole family, and we're pretty excited! Also Temple Grandin was, as always, brilliant and insightful. She gives such incredible insight into the autistic mind and is truly one of the most remarkable people of our time. Thank you so much for this life changing documentary, and best of wishes to you and your beautiful family.
Presuming competence is a Civil Rights Issue! As an educational consultant in Inclusionary Practices, I believe in standing up for the rights of ALL children. This film touched me, and I plan to tell everyone about it! Thank you for opening my eyes a little more and helping others to see differently-abled children in a new light! Together those of us who strive for equality WILL change mindsets about people with different needs.
I just watched the film and have tears pouring down my cheeks. We can learn so much about what it means to be truly human by working to develop every person's innate abilities to learn, communicate, and grow. I am in awe of the work that Soma and Temple Grandin have done, and this film makes me want to learn more about autism and working with families impacted by it (I'm a counseling grad student.) This film is such a gift. Thank you.
WOW. Just WOW. Great film. I especially loved the fact the didn't delve into the controversy of what exactly CAUSES autism. I know what affected my kids and am happy to dicuss it anytime but seeing this film made me happy. How far will a mother go to help her child? Awesome. I'm VERY excited about Rapid Prompting. Having been around the autism treatment block a time or two, I'm very shocked I'd never even heard of this. Seeing just 3 minutes I KNEW immediately this is where my son needs to go. The ending had me in tears. What a journey for that family. Never give up hope for reaching your child. That's the message I got from the film. Good for HBO for showing this and the Temple Grandin story. It's about time.
Sandra Cooper Ferguson
I happened upon this last night and I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I am a mother of a verbal child with autism but I am also an OT practitioner that works with children of all disabilities. This film has given me a new perspective on how I think and how we all should teach our children with autism. Sometimes you get lost in the behaviors and forget the person inside. I will never doubt what these children are capable of. Thank you!
This film shows the determination of a mother searching for answers that takes her out of her own native country to find "what else is there?" as we all as parents of autistic children have all asked. There's so much more to this spectrum of autism that this film couldn't possibly document in one film but does a good job of communicating it through the eyes of one of the millions of families with an autistic family member. This film inspired me to know that there is still so many people working hard for more answers and those who have possibly found a solution to at least one challenge..how do we educate our children ? How can we find a way to teach them and help them find a way to communicate whether it be through verbal communication, typing letters on a letter board or handwriting like Tito. The families that were so brave to share their stories with the world should be applauded. The film brought some of the faces of some of the best experts in the field of research and a powerful message to us all to not assume that our children our children on the spectrum cannot be educated even though many have failed them. There were many lessons taught throughout this film and a spirit of humanity and compassion.
Bravo for HBO taking the lead on bringing the diversity of the world of autism to it's viewers in a film that focuses on the a realistic and positive view of autism and the endless capabilities that have yet to be recognized by so many in the field of autism and similar conditions. The film makes it abundantly clear..that intelligence, awareness and cognition coexist with autism. This is just the tip of the iceberg as to what the full capabilities individuals with autism and similar conditions truly possess. There are many things that have benefited us all through the history of mankind with just a little bit of hope. I can only imagine what can be accomplished with hope,belief and support for all individuals living with autism.
Sarah Bivens I was in a rush to leave the house recently when by accident I noticed that "A Mother's Courage" was playing. Unable to move away from the screen, I sat down on the carpet completely enthralled and reminded of my time working alongside two special boys with autism. There is not enough thanks that can be awarded to such a comprehensive and inspiring film. I became aware of the Carousel School and Soma about six years ago. What a pleasant surprise it was to see her again on screen with Tito and admire his progress.
Autism is all to familiar and the need for a deeper understanding of its root causes has never been greater. I hope that more will become familiar with the names Greenspan, Grandin and Soma just as much as Piaget and Erikson. This film was a wonderful documentation not just of the challenges associated with autism but of the dedication and underlying optimism that was woven within the frames. Now, if only more people that are unfamiliar with or confused by ASD would watch this it would give them more insight into the complex neurodevelopment disorder that is autism.
We are the Meulemans family who are featured in the film (3 small boys with autism and a baby girl) from Wisconsin. Our opinion after watching the film for the first time is this: It was wonderful!! We have watched it over and over. I think the biggest message this movie gives is HOPE! Hope for our children who suffer from this disorder. Years ago, nobody would have tried to figure out if these kids could think and "talk" like normal kids. It was amazing to see so many of these kids who are non-verbal explain their feelings with the letter board and the paper choices from Soma and her RPM therapy. God bless all families who are living with autism, and God bless Margret for making that decision of showing the world her strength as a mother and her love for her son. If there were more people in the world like her...we would get closer to a cure for autism!
Michele Pierce Burns
Not a day goes by that I don't think about you, Keli, and your extraordinary film!!! I'm constantly recommending it to someone new and hear the most positive feedback from parents, individuals with autism, educators...everyone! THANK YOU for "roaring" so loudly, as Danson writes: "I am going to make my voice loud in the world for those who cannot...until I am able, give me your voice, roar for me, live your life like you mean it!" (DANSON, p.77). Please call on us to support you, the film, RPM etc. in any way we possibly can!
I just watched the film on HBO and it was beautiful. I cried through the entire documentary but I would watch it again and again. It was very informative and you did a fantastic job.
Thank you so very much for making such an inspirational film. My son Connor is 7 and severely autistic- (I felt as if I were watching my son on television when I watching Keli during the documentary) Our adventures have been so similar and you have given me a renewed sense of hope that I will in fact know what my son is thinking one day.
When my son was up at 3:00am this morning, making loud noises and stimming- I thought of your family and thought of all the moms of children with autism who were going through the same. Not that I wish you or anyone else the sleep deprivation, but it is comforting to know when you're not alone.
My final thank you is for letting the world know that Soma and the HALO school exists! I registered right after I watched your film for the 3rd time :) and can't wait to find a spot to bring Connor to see everyone there.
Warmest wishes to you and Keli,
This film is one of the most beautiful and moving documentaries I have ever seen. It has shed so much light on the effects of autism in families, especially the person who has the autism. I think people don't think a person with autism has any feelings or ideas, or would like to learn to do something. When Soma had Keli for the first time using the rapid prompting method, She had stopped for a few minutes to talk to you, Margret, and He started tugging at Soma's sleeve, so she would do more with him!! He was so excited, he didn't want to stop, and when he ever asked if He could learn piano, and that he was thinking of songs since He was small, well let me tell you, the tears were pouring down my cheeks. All this time this sweet, beautiful boy could not let anyone know this, and now He can. There is so much HOPE now for these children and their families, I am spreading the word to everyone about this film...Many, many thanks to you, Margret and your family, and all the other families and everyone who came together to make this film happen.