It was recently suggested by a colleague of mine that I must see the film Wretches & Jabberers. I have seen some excellent films about Autistic people and was told this movie would fit into that category. Therefore, I grabbed a cup of coffee, found the movie on Netflix and gave it a view.
This film is about two Autistic men, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who embark on a global quest to change prevailing attitudes about disability and intelligence. Neither man had much communication with the world until they learned to type as adults. This is a wonderful film that I would recommend.
I have met so many Autistic people who were incredibly articulate. It was great to see this captured in a documentary. One of the important themes that was discussed by Larry and Tracy was self advocacy. They do a great job advocating for themselves and other Autistic adults. We need to encourage more adults to self-advocate as a way to help themselves and others.
Another wonderful aspect of this film is the friendship of Tracy and Larry. It often said that Autistic people aren’t very social beings and/or they lack empathy. Based on my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is just that they often don’t have the skills to develop these relationships and as a result shy away from them. Tracy and Larry give us a great example of the empathy that Autistic individuals can give to others.
One of the troubling aspects of this film is how Tracy doesn’t have permanent housing. This is one of the most challenging aspects of life for Autistic adults. The Autism community needs to do a better job looking at pre-existing successful housing systems that already exist and start thinking outside of the box. If we don’t do that we will never find solutions to this complex problem.
Go ahead and see this movie! It isn’t perfect, but definitely worth a watch. It’s a good introduction to those that don’t know any adults with Autism or to those in the Autism community that want to spread awareness. Let us know your thoughts by commenting on this blog or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org .