The POV Conversation: Josh Aronson and Adam Larsen on Finding the Story

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Josh Aronson and Adam Larsen discuss how they went about searching for a story.
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The POV Conversation: Josh Aronson and Adam Larsen on Getting into Documentaries

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Last year, to celebrate POV’s 25th anniversary, Filmmaker Magazine organized a series of conversations between documentary directors whose work had been featured on the PBS non-fiction showcase. This week we will be following a conversation between Adam Larsen, whose first feature length documentary film Neurotypical is currently streaming on the POV website, and Josh Aronson, director of the Oscar-nominated documentary on deafness Sound and Fury, also a POV alum. Here the two discuss how they found their way to making documentary features.
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Viewers respond :-)

“Brilliant documentary! A wonderful looking glass to see humanity through as it is.”
— Chetna Rana

“This show was Au-some! I have an eleven year old who was diagnosed with high functioning autism and pdd seven years ago and I still learned a thing or two from this program. Our daughter teaches us stuff daily, but this show put a lot of the pieces together that she isn’t able to explain to us herself. Thanks for the insight. This shows that people on the spectrum are not to be misjudged. They are all unique and talented in their own way.”
— Rose Kimball (Facebook)

“I have a 15yo son on the spectrum – and I found this incredibly insightful and hopeful that perhaps one day he will be able to express his perspective. From the day of his diagnosis (as a 3yo), I have explained that he is a “red” child in a “blue” world, and my job is to teach him how to exist in the “blue” world but not to make him “blue” – this may/will require both changes to his behavior and education on what is expected, but it has never meant curing him of his autism because that is who he is. Thank you Adam for this small peek into a few lives of people who do successfully exist in the “blue” world.”
— Danielle

“While it would have been impossible to cover the entire spectrum, and the representations may not have been everyone’s reality, I was very touched. This showed the participant’s reality in their own words and experience. I think too often we forget there are more similarities than differences in every one of us. I work in a place that does not realize I am on the spectrum, all they see is someone who tends to be ‘antisocial’ and to be honest with you, I am not sure they would understand if I did tell them. If nothing else, this program made me look at my own reality differently. Bravo Adam!”
— Jo Anderson

“Watching this video and reading these posts has been cathartic for me. I always knew my “aspie” state was why I have spent my life trying to prove myself, be as “good as” other peers, not being accepted in 9 to 5 jobs, and attract all kinds of bad people into my life…I wanted to thank Adam for showing females on the spectrum who weren’t masculine or butch, as a stereotype I have been fighting my whole life is that I am masculine and nothing I do to improve myself will make people see me as female or feminine.”
— Elyse Glickman

“I’m a parent of a “high functioning” autistic 5 year old, and I LOVED this show probably a lot because it represented my reality. A reality that is often feared or misinterpreted by others (which is ridiculous as the movie showed). I notice that when anything remotely positive about autism comes out, there are always parents of more impaired children that feel left out or insulted by it.”
— Megen

“I would like to sincerely thank all of the individuals involved
with this program. Mr. Larsen’s effort to bring information and perspective to the neurotypical community was overwhelmingly successful. I do not believe any media effort will be able to fully capsulize a complete depiction of the entire spectrum, but I greatly appreciate the endeavor.”
— J L Hedrick

“PBS POV, Thank You! For bringing this wonderful documentary to the World and providing multiple viewing platforms/options; I was able to stream it on my phone YAY :) Adam Larsen, you have a brilliant career ahead of you. Thank You so Much, for bringing these AUsome Human Beings and their beautiful life stories to Life! This is the best documentary about Real People I have ever seen and that IS who we are!”
— QueenAutiIndigoAngelDiva11

“Neurotypical is crucial viewing for anyone who desires to understand the “inside-out” perspective. Through compelling personal testimony, self-advocates attest to the obstacles and struggles that must be navigated on a daily basis in order to assimilate with the “real world.”

As someone on the autism spectrum, it was heartening to hear others speak to the multitude of societal misunderstandings and misinterpretations that transpire on a regular basis. One of my greatest frustrations is when others automatically jump to conclusions about something I’ve done or said by assuming the worst of me when, in fact, my intentions have been completely altruistic and selfless. Suffice it to say, many of us do a lot of “acting” in order to get by, fit in, and “pass” for normal. (Personally, I can only do it in small bits at a time—it’s exhausting.)

Neurotypical is an important contribution to the ongoing dialogue concerning compassion, acceptance, and partnership—not warfare—between those of us on the autism spectrum and those who desire to learn more about the unconventional and unique logic through which we perceive the world at large.”
— SilverXord Publications
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TED

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Nice mention on
TED!
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Hmmmm...

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Neurotypical and Jenny McCarthy: One of These Deserves the Autism Soapbox
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