REVIEWS - Intricate Minds II: Understanding Elementary School Classmates with Asperger Syndrome


School Library Journal 

A series of interviews with youngsters (diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome) aged 8 to 12…The children give examples of how their behavior can be misunderstood and express their feelings about being socially ostracized…the emphasis is on looking beyond the disability for the student's strengths. This approach is effective, invites empathy, and discourages classmates from bullying by challenging stereotypes. A terrific tool for teaching tolerance.


Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kansas

What an excellent tool for fostering knowledge and understanding of Asperger Syndrome in the classroom. Including this video in the classroom can only be beneficial to all who see it.  Well done! review by Jackie Igafo-Te'o

Jackie's Review: This video is the elementary school companion to the previously released video Intricate Minds: Understanding Classmates With Asperger Syndrome, which was created to help kids at the high school level understand their classmates with Asperger Syndrome.  Once again, I am very impressed by the quality and presentation of this video.  The writing was creative and the narrator was pleasantly engaging.  As I viewed this latest release from Coulter Video, I kept an eye on the two children who were watching it along with me.  Questions and comparisons seemed to set the tone of the room.  The children couldn't help but notice how much the kids in the video were like them.  They noticed the similarities more than the differences.  Bingo!  One child even exclaimed that he should be tested because he has some of the same characteristics as one of the boys on the video.  This was the perfect opportunity to explain that we are all very similar, despite our differences.  Parents and teachers should take this opportunity to educate children about their peers with Asperger Syndrome.  Everyone is sure to leave the room having learned something very valuable.  


Jackie's children's reviews: 


Sebastian: I think the video was great.  I did not know that Asperger Syndrome was like that.  Now I feel that I have a clear understanding of what it is like and I found that the kids in this video are a lot like me. 


Melody: I thought that the video was good.  I think it is sad that people call these kids names and ignore them.  People don't understand them.  I think it's not nice when people treat other kids like that.  I think that people who watch this video will understand what it is like to be different and they might understand that the kids on the video are people just like them who just want to make friends.


Gena P. Barnhill, Ph.D., Author of Right Address…Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Becoming Adults

Coulter Video has created two new outstanding videos to help children aged 8 through 12 (third through sixth grade) understand the perspective of peers who have Asperger Syndrome or similar conditions. Intricate Minds II focuses on children who have Asperger Syndrome. The boys and girls interviewed in the video describe what it feels like to have this condition.  


Intricate Minds III focuses on children who act differently from their peers in elementary school and have behaviors that may be associated with High Functioning Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, or Semantic-Pragmatic Disorder. The particulars of their diagnoses are not discussed, but instead the children with these conditions provide the viewer with an invaluable glimpse of what it feels like to be in the shoes of someone with Asperger Syndrome or a similar condition. The children candidly discuss their strengths and their challenges in both videos. Jessica Coulter narrates the videos and powerfully demonstrates what it might be like to experience some of the visual and auditory challenges as well as the difficulties reading facial expressions that these individuals experience. Jessica points out that Mozart, Newton, Einstein, and Jefferson had similar characteristics, and yet the important point is that people took the time to look past their different behaviors and focus instead on their talents.


 Having elementary aged children view Intricate Minds II and Intricate Minds III will help them avoid the trap of ignoring or teasing peers who have difficulty fitting in and behave differently. Children who understand the reasons that some students behave differently are more likely to accept them socially and include them in activities. Every school district should have a copy of these videos. I showed the videos to the autism spectrum support group that I facilitate, and the parents commented that they were excellent videos that shared a perspective that only someone living with these conditions could do. These children are the true experts! 


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