Reaching Autistic Children

There is a lot we don’t know about autism.   I’ve been in classrooms with autistic kids many times and an as clueless as anyone.

But every once in a while there’s a breakthrough story that gives us hope.  One such story is Life, Animated, a documentary movie about Ron Suskind and his son Owen.  At the age of three, Owen suddenly retreated inward into autism.  He stopped talking until one day, while watching Disney animated features, he began speaking again.  His dad realized he was using those movies to make sense of the world he was living in.  So his parents began to reach him by speaking in “Disney dialogue.”  They were able to bring him back into the functioning world.

I have not watched the documentary, but it is on YouTube.  The trailer is at

I did know of an autistic young lady in high school who did nothing but read Disney princess books.  Could there have been a way to reach her through those books?  I was just a substitute, so I didn’t feel I knew enough about her to try.  But if a future opportunity presents itself…

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