I have been filming Aaron and his family since he was six years old. I have made two half hour documentaries about his life, along with other children who have autism.
Last year I visited the family in Borough, London, to see how they were faring. They are doing well, despite the British weather!
Here is the trailer:
We All Have Autism is a documentary portrait of Aaron and his family – Paula, Clyde, Aiden and Levi – from the time Aaron was six in 1989, until today. It is an inspiring story about having a child being diagnosed with autism, working out what that means, bringing up three boys under the same roof, and relocating to the United Kingdom.
Films and television programs about autism generally focus on the early years – the diagnosis and immediate effects, not what happens to someone like Aaron over his teenage years and into adulthood. Inevitably, Aaron’s story is intertwined with that of his family, who consider his needs when planning careers, schools and even holidays.
Aaron can read and write, and has learnt to respond to simple questions, but his life is driven by managing the anxiety that occurs when his surroundings change, become unfamiliar, noisy or chaotic. The family around him has learnt to minimise Aaron’s anxiety through various ways.
Recently Paula and Aaron’s carer Anna have explored interacting with Aaron intensively, mirroring what he does and using the same words he is using, in the same way. This seems to have created a real bond between Aaron and Anna in particular, and allowed Paula and Clyde to feel that they are relating to him better than they ever have before.