Autism Is a World

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Autism Is a World
Autism is a World.jpg
Directed byGerardine Wurzburg
Produced byGerardine Wurzburg
Written bySue Rubin
Distributed byCNN
Release date
  • 2004 (2004)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Autism Is a World is an American short subject documentary film allegedly written by Sue Rubin in 2004, an autistic woman who is purported to have learned to communicate via the discredited technique of facilitated communication. The film was produced and directed by Gerardine Wurzburg and co-produced by the CNN cable network. It aired as part of the series CNN Presents. It was nominated in the 77th annual Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Subject.[1] Wurzburg previously won an Academy Award in 1992 for the film Educating Peter. The film is controversial for promoting the debunked facilitated communication technique.[2]

Summary[edit]

Rubin is an autistic woman who is intellectually disabled. The film alleges that at the age of thirteen, she learned to express herself through typing of a computer keyboard, revealing that she was in fact highly intelligent. Rubin's dialogue is narrated by actress Julianna Margulies.[3]

Criticism[edit]

Autism researchers such as Gina Green of San Diego State University have criticized the film for its positive portrayal of facilitated communication. Green stated that making a film without "even a hint, much less a disclosure" of the evidence against facilitated communication "is appalling".[3] Autism Is a World is considered as a propaganda film for the pseudoscience facilitated communication in a report of the magazine Slate. Douglas Biklen, the director of the Facilitated Communication Institute, was coproducer of Autism Is a World.[4][5] The Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan (BAAM) pointed out that although Sue Rubin has en:2q37 deletion syndrome, which causes handicaps like skeleton malformations and severe developmental disabilities, this issue is not mentioned in the film. In addition, there is skepticism that Rubin, has an alleged IQ of 133, but cannot perform simple tasks independently, needs a 24 hour care and only has the articulation skills of a two to three-years-old child. The Nancy Lurie Marks Foundation which is a supporter of the Facilitated Communication Institute gave away 16,000 free copies of the film to public libraries in the United States to promote facilitated communication. CNN supported the campaign for the pseudoscience of supported communication through ad-free broadcasting of the documentary in schools.[6]

Literature[edit]

  • Behinderungsmodelle in: Franziska Felder: Inklusion und Gerechtigkeit: Das Recht behinderter Menschen auf Teilhabe, Campus Verlag, 2012, p. 61 & 62[7]

Publishing[edit]

  • The film was released on DVD in June 2005.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NY Times: Autism Is a World". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  2. ^ Riggott, Julie. "Pseudoscience in Autism Treatment". Pasadena Weekly. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b Mann, Lisa Barrett (February 22, 2005). "Oscar Nominee: Documentary or Fiction?". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Auerbach, David (12 November 2015). "This Pseudoscience Preys on People With Disabilities and Is Infiltrating Schools". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  5. ^ Kreidler, Marc (11 May 2015). "Facilitated Communication: The Fad that Will Not Die | Skeptical Inquirer". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  6. ^ "BAAM Review of Autism is a World". Behavior Analysis Association of Michigan. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  7. ^ Felder, Franziska (2012). Inklusion und Gerechtigkeit: Das Recht behinderter Menschen auf Teilhabe (in German). Campus Verlag. pp. 61–62. ISBN 9783593395913. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Autism is a World - CNN". Amazon. Retrieved 10 July 2019.

External links[edit]