Family Movies News

Can Hollywood Help Re-Shape People’s Attitudes About Autism?

When it comes to disorders like Asperger’s syndrome, we need more movies like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Joyful Noise – the former’s best picture Oscar nomination hopefully will only raise more awareness about it. It’s the ignorance of the signs of autism (including Asperger’s) that leads to teasing, impatience, frustration and intolerance…which leads to people afflicted with autism being bullied, beat up, ostracized and even fired.

Hollywood has the ability to change people’s perceptions by secretly educating while boldly entertaining. The world now celebrates The Geek because Hollywood has. Movies like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner helped motivate a change in attitudes. Similarly, Hollywood can help people see that while being an Aspie can have its social challenges, it also can have a positive side – such as the ability to do well in subjects like math and science and focus on problem solving, the way Extremely Loud’s little boy Oskar does. It’s believed Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein and possibly Mark Zuckerburg are Aspie’s – which, seen in that light, can make having Asperger’s seem like more of a benefit than a detriment.
Ultimately, movies like Extremely Loud and Joyful Noise, with its inspirational and articulate teen Dexter, can help school kids understand and respect that their classmate with autism does indeed, have a very beautiful mind. It’s just different.
In the meantime, here are three family films worth seeing in theaters:
Big Miracle. Big Miracle is the must-see movie of the weekend. By telling the true story of how the country united over the story of three whales trapped in the Alaskan ice, it really shows how and why people who are normally at odds can work through their own problems when they focus on the greater cause. Additionally, it’s really entertaining!
Hugo is going to win armloads of Academy Awards in a couple of weeks. So, be a part of the conversation! Go see this family-appropriate movie in 3D while it’s still in theaters.
Beauty and the Beast 3D. Did I mention the Academy Awards? Relive just why this is the only animated children’s movie to get nominated for best picture. It’s cinematic brilliance in 84 minutes.
To see what kids think about the movies mentioned, go to, where all kids are movie critics.
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