Lawrence R. Greenberg’s team at Cage Free Projects is working on a first-hand documentary exploration of personal accounts of families that support and struggle with children and young adults on the autism spectrum. The arc of our story starts with the vocational dreams of children. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Originally the working title for the film was “The Forgotten Community” then I thought about it together with Jeff Gomez. We wondered:
Are people on the autism spectrum “The Forgotten Community” when it comes to employment or does the world need “Neurodiversity” to thrive?
Independence and employment are the key issues for our families. Are there organizations that are trying to change this paradigm? Will the medical industrial complex medicate and warehouse our children or will there be productive roles for them?
The story will be rollercoaster ride from childhood hope through despair highlighting the brave pioneers who embrace the challenge of building an inclusive future. It is a documentary so we do not know exactly where the story will take us. We will make the film visually beautiful with high quality cinematography and we will have great new music that makes the film fun to watch. Our film will have parts that are hard to watch but we don’t want it to drag, instead we want the story to go quickly and leave the audience inspired and hopeful.
The plan is to include at least three major interviews and a number of minor interviews. The major interviews will be with exceptionally successful people who have overcome, and likely still struggle with issues on the spectrum. These are likely to include High-Functioning Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Rett Syndrome, and Conditions Similar to Autism. We are also open to exploring conditions like OCD and schizophrenia and how they interact with vocational aspirations.
The film will employ a neurologically diverse cast and crew. It will be inclusive with people on the spectrum and other minorities on the crew and in post production. We will not try to hide the crew from the film frame, so you will see the lights, boom mics, and the people operating them in the frame from time to time.