Posts Tagged ‘autism’

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ launches an unlikely protagonist onto a heroic journey

August 9, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 9, 2016

Last month, my Sibling-in-Law’s family was once again kind enough my parental unit and I to join them for part of their annual summer visit to Ocean City, Md. This year, fortunately, I wasn’t suffering from dental pain, and no violence to books was inflicted during the trip.

Despite — or more likely because of — the lack of suffering and drama, I managed to zip through a novel during my time on the beach. I very much enjoyed consuming The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, the 2003 bestseller by the British author, illustrator and poet Mark Haddon.

The narrator of The Curious Incident introduces himself this way on the second page of the book:

My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and their capital cities and every prime number up to 7,057.

Eight years ago, when I first met Siobhan, she showed me this picture

Sad face

and I knew it meant “sad,” which is what I felt when I found the dead dog.

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A group of socially awkward teenagers and adults learn ‘How to Dance in Ohio’ in Alexandra Shiva’s sweet new documentary

April 11, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
April 11, 2015

How to Dance in Ohio is a touching new documentary about a group of high-functioning autistic teenagers and young adults who are getting ready for a formal dance.

Director Alexandra Shiva spent about three months filming psychologist Emilio Amigo and his counselors, their clients and the clients’ families as they geared up for their party. She focuses on 16-year-old Marideth, who’s happiest sitting at home with her computer, and young 20-something friends Caroline and Jessica, who are struggling respectively with her first year at community college and her job at a bakery.

In many ways, Jessica is the heart of the movie. She talks with her parents and a social worker about becoming more independent, but at times, she’s keenly aware of her limitations: She wants to move out of her family’s home, but she’d prefer to have a roommate. After showing us several awkward moments at the bakery, Shiva follows Jessica into a tense meeting with the business’s owner. The young woman bursts into tears during the conversation; afterward, while eating lunch alone, Jessica wishes that her mother was there.

Later in the movie, Jessica’s face crumples when she learns that Tommy, the young man she’d hoped would be her date to the dance, has already asked another to go with him.

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