I made a great video discovery on YouTube this week. I found this 14-minute video that explained autism. Most impressive was that this video was done, start to finish, by a 16-year-old high school student who wanted to let her peers know what it was like to have autism. No she doesn’t have autism, nor does anyone in her family. But, after she met her friend Jaime with cerebral palsy, she realized that we all need a better understanding of what it is like to live with a physical disability or learning difficulties. With her single YouTube video, she has helped thousands of teens understand a complex disorder.
Alex Jackman told Choices Magazine that it all began when out of curiosity she joined a girl for lunch at summer camp. Jaime was in a wheelchair and often ate by herself. Alex and Jaime became good friends. Alex tells Choices how that might not have happened had she not approached Jaime and sat down with her for lunch.
Jackman says that through her volunteer work at a local autism organization she was inspired to create the video, specifically targeted at teens, to help them better understand the developmental disorder. She told Choices, “I wanted to make something simple that put you in someone with autism’s shoes.”
After a year of interviewing kids she had met through her volunteering, interviewing experts on Autism, and writing, filming and editing – Jackman posted “A Teens Guide to Autism.” And, guess what? It took off. The video has been seen around the world and has won several awards! Kudos to Jackman for making a difference!
The Autism Activist
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