PBS Premiere: July 29, 2013
Online: July 30, 2013 – Aug. 28, 2013
Neurotypical is an unprecedented exploration of autism from the point of view of autistic people themselves. Four-year-old Violet, teenaged Nicholas and adult Paula occupy different positions on the autism spectrum, but they are all at pivotal moments in their lives. How they and the people around them work out their perceptual and behavioral differences becomes a remarkable reflection of the "neurotypical" world — the world of the non-autistic — revealing inventive adaptations on each side and an emerging critique of both what it means to be normal and what it means to be human.
Interesting but also frustrating documentary talking with people on various parts of the spectrum.
The part which resonated with me the most strongly was Wolf, talking about how he's happy with himself the way he is, and how he wouldn't want to be 'cured'. Why indeed should he have to justify himself to others? Shouldn't he have the same right to just be himself as anyone else?
IMHO we spend far too much time shoving people into narrow little categories instead of appreciating them for their strengths and unique qualities.
One obvious problem is that the documentary maker toys with the idea of presenting how Neurotypicals look to people on the spectrum, and while some of the interviewees speak to that topic, he doesn't actually make that film. It would be a real eye-opener to have autistic people make a documentary about neurotypical people as if neurotypicals were the disabled ones. I'd like to see that film.