In July 2013, POV caught up with Adam Larsen, director of Neurotypical to find out what’s happened since the camera stopped rolling.
POV: What has happened in the lives of Violet, Nicholas and Paula since the end of this film?
Violet is now 8. She enjoys swinging in her backyard hammock, swimming, playing with her older sister, using her iPad, and her parents say she’s taught herself how to read!
Nicholas, 17, is in the 11th grade and also takes classes at a local community college. Although his current passion is classical guitar, he always has time for a little rock and roll.
Paula founded the International Autism Acceptance Decade, 2010-20, and advocates for the civil rights of autistic people. She home schools her son and is also a church musician.
POV: How have audiences reacted to the film?
The audience response has been incredibly positive. I think it’s been enlightening for neurotypicals and empowering for autistic people. Many have said the film has stayed with them long after watching.
POV: Has the film screened in front of autistic audiences? What’s the reaction been?
Though we haven’t held a screening exclusively for an autistic audience, I’ve met many folks on the autism spectrum afterwards. Just like neurotypical audience members, each individual resonates with different moments in the film, but I think in general Neurotypical has been validating for autistics.
POV: What are you working on next?
I am currently collaborating with MacArthur Fellow and poet Heather McHugh on Undersung, a feature-length documentary celebrating and giving voice to one of the most under-sung of human communities: long-term full-time caregivers of disabled family members.