“If you’re close to someone with autism (as I am), the fascinating PBS film Neurotypical is a must see.” — —Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
Returning to PBS stations Monday, August 11, 2014! Watch the POV documentary Neurotypical, an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Check your local listings at pbs.org for broadcast times, and watch it online for a limited time starting on August 12, 2014.
Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the “neurotypical” world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.
“I began to feel a growing rebellion against what I saw as society’s double standard,” says Neurotypical filmmaker Adam Larsen, “either a pervasive need to make people into a rendition of something ‘normal,’ or a tendency to sensationalize the extremes of autism. Documentaries at the time were either clinical, focused on cause and cure, or dramatic, looking at the ‘tragedy’ of autism or the brilliance of the savant. I grew determined to make a film from the viewpoint of autistics. Making Neurotypical provided a wonderful opportunity for me to explore more fully the richness of humanity and to bring the concept of neurodiversity into the mainstream.”
After the broadcast, visit the Neurotypical companion site to watch an extended video interview with Adam Larsen; read a transcript of a chat between viewers, Adam Larsen, producer and autism therapist Ron Larsen and autistic film subject Wolf Dunaway; download a discussion guide and other viewing resources; view myths, facts and new research about autism; and find out what’s happened to the characters since the cameras stopped rolling.