Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Director: David E. Simpson
Genres: Kids & Family, Documentary
Studio: Facets Multimedia Release Date: 10/28/2008
Good documentary but should have been longer
Kelley Hunt | Texas, USA | 07/15/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This documentary examines the popular perceptions about autism in America from the 1940's to the 1970's. Perceptions about autism were created by child psychologist, Bruno Bettelheim who theorized that autism was caused by emotionally withdrawn mothers, i.e. "refrigerator mothers". Bettelheim was an immigrant from Austria who had spent time in a Nazi concentration camp before coming the the U.S. He compared the parents of autistic children to concentration camp commandants and their autistic children to Nazi Germany's Jewish victims. This lead to a great deal of suffering for the mothers of autistic children. When seeking out help for their children, the mothers felt the heavy weight of judgment upon them for causing their children to change from normal babies to autistic toddlers. In the 1960's a new theory came out about autism that suggested it was not caused by "refrigerator mothers", but Bettelheim dismissed it. Most of this documentary involves interviews with the mothers of autistic children and their experiences raising their children in the mid-20th century era. It was an interesting documentary but I thought it lacked depth and wished it would have been longer."