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photo Two Worlds — One Planet
By Gail Levin, Ann Reinking, and O. Robin Sweet

The incidence of Asperger syndrome and other forms of autism in the United States appear to be increasing dramatically. This powerful, eye-opening documentary brings the issue out of the shadows, stressing that young people with these developmental disabilities can learn and grow, if their individual needs, styles, and abilities are respected. Two Worlds — One Planet takes an upbeat look at students attending Gateway Academy, a private K-12 day school specializing in youth with Asperger Syndrome, high-functioning Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. The film offers a rare opportunity to enter the world of children with Aspergerís and Autism, and to see it through their own eyes and the eyes of their families. Their parents show remarkable and sometimes painful candor in revealing autismís impact on the entire family.

These students perceive the world differently, and they learn differently as well. The school offers them an academic curriculum that is challenging and structured, and nurturing in its approach to fostering growth, responsibility and independence. Students, faculty, and families work collaboratively to help students discover and develop their individual gifts and strengths.

62 minutes
© 2008
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-499
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-499-X

Reviews
"Highly Recommended. Details the difficulties that families are faced with in learning the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder and offers an understanding of the world of Asperger's. It is a film filled with hope. Highly recommended for anyone who knows someone with an autism spectrum disorder." Educational Media Reviews Online

Awards & Conference Screenings
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
COMMFFEST Community Film Festival

Related Films
How I Am: "I'm like a hermit on an island," is the way Patrick describes his life with autism. With the dreams and fears of a teenager, but wisdom beyond his years, Patrick takes us into his emotional world through the words he painstakingly types into his computer.

The Boy Inside: The harrowing story of the filmmaker's son Adam, a 12-year-old with Asperger Syndrome, during a tumultuous year in the life of their family. AS makes Adam's life in seventh grade a minefield, where he finds himself isolated and bullied. As he struggles to find a place for himself, his troubles escalate, both at school and at home.

Refrigerator Mothers: From the 1950's through the 1970's, autism was widely blamed on cold and rejecting mothers. This film explores the devastating impact of this misdiagnosis through the stories of seven mothers and their children.

Difficult Conversations in Pediatric Palliative Care: This video demonstrates an innovative approach to training healthcare professionals to better respond to the psychosocial needs of very ill children and their parents. Using actors to portray the parents of a comatose child, the video is designed to improve the communication skills and relational abilities of trainees and staff members who must deliver and discuss difficult news with pediatric patients and their families.

On the Spectrum: Adults living with Asperger syndrome describe the ways AS has affected their lives, their work and their relationships. They discuss learning to cope with the disorder and the comfort and reinforcement of participating with others "like them" in an Asperger's support group.

The Spectrum of Autism: Children with autism may display a wide range of symptoms. In this video, we share in the experiences of several families and professionals who care for children at different points on the spectrum of autism.


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