We have learned that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder have a range of behaviors, abilities, and disabilities given their level of functioning and other factors. Those of us who are not on the Autistic Spectrum are called “neurotypicals” and, as neurotypicals, it is for us to understand them, to embrace our differences, and to recognize our commonalities. This activity aligns with module outcome 1.
Please watch a film of your choice that deals with illness or disease. Apply the concepts and theories from this class, especially the concepts from this module to your film. Although you can choose one of your own, we recommend that you watch one of the following films from the: Fly Away, Adam, Jack of Red Hearts or Ocean Heaven.
If you decide to view Ocean Heaven, please consider the following questions as you write your response:
The opening scene of Ocean Heaven is of an older man and a young man seemingly adrift on a boat in the middle of the ocean, alone. We learn later that the man is Sam Wong and the younger man is his autistic son, Dafu. Wong had taken his son on a trip with the intent of a double suicide. In the film, Wong is a single father and has a terminal illness and is desperate to find a solution for his son’s care. With the image of the two of them alone on the boat, reflect on the community response to this seemingly unsolvable projection of hopelessness. How does this turn around for both Dafu and Wong? Give examples from the film.