A Night at the Movies
Sean (left) and Mason (right)
We were delighted that over 100 of you joined us for Glasgow Film Theatre’s special screening of Stand Clear of the Closing Doors last month.
The film, which was shown as part of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival (GYFF), tells the story of 13 year-old Ricky who has autism and runs away, riding New York’s subway for days on end. It gives an insight into life with autism and shows how the condition can impact on the whole family. It was particularly effective at highlighting the sensory and communication challenges that people with autism can face.
Over 30 pupils from Glasgow’s Hillpark Secondary School attended. Many of the pupils are part of an ‘Autism Buddy Network’ who look out for fellow peers with autism.
Here is what some of the pupils thought of the film:
"The film is interesting as it focuses more on the sensory issues in autism and highlights neurotypical people's misunderstanding of Ricky, the central character. I feel it quite accurately showed how many people do not understand or know about autism. The discussion after the film was great as I really enjoyed hearing how many people on the autism spectrum related to the film and also to hear of all the support for those on the autism spectrum going on in Scotland." Martine Park
"Although I had helped to programme Stand Clear of the Closing Doors as part of the Glasgow Youth Film Festival, I hadn't seen all of the film. I was very surprised by it. At first, it was difficult to grasp what the director was trying to communicate but, in reflection, he clearly portrayed how Ricky could not fully understand what was going on around him and how it overwhelmed him. The film was very effective in informing us of sensory issues in autism in a unique way." Christina Milby
"The film Stand Clear of the Closing Doors was inspiring and eye-opening. I got an insight into Ricky’s life and how he viewed the world was really interesting. I gained a better idea of how someone with autism like Ricky is affected." Abby Cooper
The film was followed by a Q & A style discussion which was led by Sean and Mason (GYFF group members) and myself. Audience members asked me a wide range of questions, hear my responses below:
Q.1 What does Scottish Autism do and how did it start? Answer
Q.2 How common is autism and how would a parent know if their child had autism? Answer
Q.3 What made you want to work for Scottish Autism? Answer
Q.4 What one word would you use to describe autism? Answer
Q.5 What, if anything, do Scottish Autism do to educate the public on autism? Answer