REVIEWS - Intricate Minds: Understanding Classmates with Asperger Syndrome
Fred R. Volkmar, M.D., Yale University, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Pediatrics and Psychology
"This video provides an excellent introduction to Asperger Syndrome for typically developing adolescents and children. Individuals with the disorder movingly describe their own experience of the condition. This video will serve as an excellent resource for teachers, school psychologists, speech pathologists and guidance counselors in helping typically developing peers understand classmates with AS."
Daniel Rosenn, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry; Founding Member, Asperger's Assoc. of New England
"Intricate Minds is a concise but inspiring tape of teenagers with Asperger's Syndrome talking about themselves. It is moving and empowering to hear these children talk in such an authentic, earnest, yet optimistic way. While it is fascinating to see the many varied faces of Asperger's Syndrome, at the same time it is even more poignant to see their common yearning to be understood and valued by their peers. This tape is a clear, succinct and crystallized representation of Asperger's Syndrome in adolescence. It could and should be shown in assemblies, classrooms, and other school settings as a catalyst for discussion."
School Library Journal "Best Books"
"Students with Asperger Syndrome (AS), the high end of the autism spectrum, talk about how they think and feel, and about their behavior classmates may find quirky, in this excellent film. The narrator, a college student with AS, explains that their brains are wired differently and they often have difficulty with social interactions because they don’t recognize body language or other social cues, even though they may be highly intelligent…Ten articulate AS students talk poignantly about difficulties with ordinary interaction, as well as their strengths and interests…"
Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Kansas
"Intricate Minds offers an authentic view of Asperger Syndrome through the eyes of adolescents with this exceptionality. This poignant video is a must-see for teachers and children who interact with students with AS. It fosters an understanding that is unfortunately rare in today's world."
Jed E. Baker, Ph.D., Director, Social Skills Training Project
"Every school system must have this video! What better way to understand and build acceptance for students with Asperger Syndrome than to see and hear such unique, intelligent, and likable teens speak for themselves. It is both enlightening and compelling to watch these individuals explain their difficulties and simply ask to be accepted for who they are. All middle and high school students should see this!"
Robert L. Hendren, D.O., Professor of Psychiatry, Executive Director, M.I.N.D. Institute; Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UC Davis
"This much needed educational videotape has teenagers with Asperger Syndrome touchingly describe what it feels like to have the disorder. Young people and adults will learn to interact with people who have Asperger Syndrome with greater understanding as a result of this well-produced video. I highly recommend it to teachers and librarians to review and show to their students."
Gena P. Barnhill, Ph.D., Author of Right Address…Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Becoming Adults
"Drew Coulter, a college student with Asperger Syndrome (AS), narrates this excellent video designed to explain this condition to high school and middle school students as well as educational staff. The viewer is given a clear picture of how teenagers with AS think and feel. Drew gives excellent analogies to help the viewer put him or herself in the shoes of the person with AS. Most of the video consists of short interviews of 10 adolescents with AS who discuss their talents and vulnerabilities and very poignantly convey that their greatest wish is to be treated with respect. After viewing this 12-minute video, students and educators will have a deeper understanding and sensitivity for persons with AS. The video also highlights the strengths, accomplishments, and diversity that people with AS contribute to society. Their individuality and perseverance in their area of interest can lead to great discoveries and accomplishments. For example, individuals such as Mozart, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein may have had AS. If they had not pursued their intense interests or preoccupations, the world would not have benefited from their significant contributions. Intricate Minds is an outstanding video that will raise teens’ awareness level of AS. With the increasing numbers of individuals being diagnosed with AS, most teens will encounter these students in their classes. As a result of watching this video, they will have gained an understanding of the condition and realize how it affects others who have AS. Their increased awareness will help dispel previous myths about the condition and lead to acceptance and hopefully encouragement for the individual with AS. Every school district should have a copy of this video. I will be sharing this video with my school district and with the support group that my husband and I facilitate for families of individuals on the autism spectrum."
review by Jackie Igafo-Te'o
As I sat and watched student after student with Asperger Syndrome (AS) describe their feelings, it dawned on me that this is something that EVERY student who has a classmate with AS should see. The kids featured in the video were candid, open and honest. They really hit home. I felt so many emotions while listening to their accounts of personal taunts and triumphs. I felt myself going from sad to proud. This video shows the most basic of human emotions: the need for love, companionship and acceptance. In my opinion, there is no better way to share this emotion than to listen first-hand as the children who are directly affected by AS tell their stories. What these kids have to say applies to kids with all types of disabilities. People with disabilities just want to be accepted for who they are. They don't want special treatment. They want to be treated equally - and with respect - not judged or made fun of. After all, isn't that what we all deserve?