“I feel it could help anyone, especially typically-developing teens, to feel that they can interact and get to know people with autism and not be scared of the differences,” said Alexandra Jackman of Westfield, NJ. With the support of local non-profit organization Autism Family Times with Brianna, Inc., who offers family-based programming for families living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Alex has taken upon herself to produce a film that “[helps] teenagers be more aware and understanding of people with autism spectrum disorder.” Having trained with Autism Family Times with Brianna, Alex now serves as a lead mentor and works with teens and young children with ASD.
Alex emphasized that she wanted to include people who had expertise and personal insights in ASD, as well as some children and teens with the disorder. For Alex, the film needed to be entertaining, engaging, and relatable for teens. Working with Jed Baker, PhD and Adrienne Robertiello, an autism educator at Children’s Specialized Hospital, among others, Alex integrates professional research and expertise with spirit and positiveness from the children with ASD and their families in her film.
It is Alex’s wish that her video will help others become more aware and more accepting of the autism community. For more information about Alex and her video, check out the film’s Facebook page at A Teen’s Guide to Understanding and Communicating with People with Autism.