Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reviews I've been meaning to write...

Autism the musical- an HBO movie

I had been meaning to watch this since it came out, but the lack of cable while I was away at school prevented me. Luckily I arrived home a few weeks ago with the tivo ready and watched this heart warming (and breaking) HBO documentary about a theater company that was created to work with Autistic children and their families. The movie documents the creator and her son and a few of the families in the group, with children ranging in their abilities. While the end product was a musical the improv and acting seemed to me like a form of play therapy in hiding. Children learn to act out social interactions and a child who is bullied takes on the role of the bully. What is more striking than the development and struggles of the children is the emotional roller coaster the parents seem to have been on since their children's diagnosis. Between divorce, separation (over the course of the movie), and fights with each other and other adults galore you really feel the pain of the parents who will do everything to help their children. There are no answers in the documentary, only truth. A truth everybody should know. 

John and Kate Plus 8

I spent one summer nannying for a family of four. Between shuffling the older children off to camp, tending to all of their different needs, and making sure the baby was taken care of I left every day exhausted. How is it possible to take care of 8 children? I'm honestly not sure as I sat watching a marathon on John and Kate Plus 8 one afternoon. Do they have funding from the television show? Are their parents rich? Or is there an immense amount of product placement that I was missing. Besides from money I wonder about the children's safety, and oh yea, their development. These are not answers I can realistically seek from a television show that I'm pretty sure is usually coupled with Little People, Big World. But as a teacher to be and psychology major I have started to think about these children a lot. They all seem typical, I'm not saying the parents are doing anything wrong, but I just want to get in there and see the kids live, not from the editors eye, and analyze the interactions of such a huge family. Piaget argues about the strength of moral development in large families. The younger children look to the older children as a star to follow after. But what about when the children are multiples. I have a lot of questions that John and Kate Plus 8 does not have the answers to. I can't really say I recommend this show as a piece of developmental material, but to look at children and say, "aww, isn't that cute," sure. 

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