Back to top

Autism: The Musical

Elaine Hall
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

“In 1980, one in 10,000 children were diagnosed as autistic. Today, it is one in 150.”
“Autistic kids by nature are isolative...” (0:00)

Neal (0:02)

Neal’s mother Elaine: “There was a doctor in Maryland, Dr. Stanley Greenspan... success with autism...”
“In the beginning I had traditional therapists working with him. They thought I was a crazy lady... If Neal needed to do crazy things, they would be crazy, with big affect... So I decided to create a theater program for autistic kids...” (0:05)

Lexi (0:08)

Lexi’s mother Hillary: “I would flat out say, ‘Does she have autism? Is she autistic?’ and the response I got from the developmental pediatrician at UCLA... Does she have autism?... ‘... it is organic.’... I thought organic is good...”
“You show this to some social worker, and they’ll have her committed. It’s an autistic children’s group... We got in with a psychologist... Does Lexi have autism? ”(0:10)

Lexi’s father Joe: “First there’s some denial... depression... this kid’s got autism...” (0:12)

Henry (0:14)

Henry’s mother Kristen: “Henry has Asperger’s syndrome which is what some people call high functioning autism. Kids with Asperger’s tend to be very gifted...” (0:14)

Elaine: “The world is a lonely scary place for kids who have autism. Autism is a neurological disorder. Kids with autism, their brains function differently than kids who do not have autism. There are some kids who have autism...” (0:16)

Adam (0:21)

Adam: “I had autism.” (0:21)

Adam’s mother Rosanne: “The school district said kids with Adam’s amount of autism could not be in... and he proved them all wrong.”
Adam’s teacher Veatrice: “If he wasn’t autistic you could just imagine the possibilities.”(0:21)

Wyatt (0:25)

Wyatt tells his mother Diane, “A hundred percent of kids are retarded...” (0:25)

Rosanne: “The month that Adam got diagnosed...”
Adam’s father Richard: “From diagnosis at age 3 I was very gloomy... The crazed mom of a disabled kid... You see an awful lot of single moms of autistic kids... so monomaniacal... ”
Rosanne: “There are a lot of symptoms of autism...” (0:34)

Joe: “Awhile back Hillary suffered a bout of depression.”
Hillary: “I suffered a really bad depression...”
Joe: “When you introduce a stressor, which is a kid with a disability...”
Hillary: “We just went yesterday to see a counselor...” (0:38)

Kristen, referring to Henry: “It’s so hard to say what caused his autism...”
”There’s a lot of kids his age with autism.” (0:44)

A lawyer tells Wyatt’s mother Diane and father Greg: “Based on these tests it would be difficult for someone to say he’s a high functioning autistic child. He has a very low cognitive function.”
Greg: “It’s actually really depressing.” (0:48)

Hillary, referring to Lexi: “This is echolalia. She can repeat back what’s said to her...”
“Do you know what autism is?”
Lexi: “Autism? Yes.”
”Autism means...”
”Autism means that...” (0:51)

Elaine, referring to Neal, “When he feels stressed he may sometimes act out physically.” (1:02)

Rosanne tells the others, “... people are going to look at our autistic kid and say oh that’s what autism is like.”
Hillary: “I can kill myself... I can take an antidepressant...” (1:04)

Rosanne: “It’s too crazy for me even to figure out.”
”He’s autistic.” (1:11)

Elaine: “A lot of kids with autism, when they get to be older, are put away, if they haven’t dealt with their impulsivity control...” (1:15)

Neal keys words into a device that converts them to speech. (1:16)

Lexi echoes Hillary’s words. (1:18)