In discussions about autism, the stories and experiences of autistic adults are often overlooked. A new film, Autism and Trauma, aims to change that by bringing greater awareness to the issues faced by adults on the spectrum.
The Autistic Global Initiative (AGI) is a national program focused on initiatives that bring greater awareness to the growing population of adults with autism. The program itself is staffed and self-directed by adults with autism. AGI is partnering with the CU School of Medicine’s JFK Partners to screen the premiere of Autism and Trauma, produced by Dr. Valerie Paradiz, executive director of AGI.
Autism and Trauma features adults with autism sharing the effects of trauma in childhood and their survivorship stories. Many autistic individuals experience trauma as a result of being mistreated in childhood or bullied in school. Oftentimes, these negative experiences continue into adulthood, through harassment in the workplace or other social situations. This can lead to the development of other conditions, such as PTSD.
AGI’s executive director, Valerie Paradiz, states: ”We are determined to get this important message out there, not only for adults who need support in recovery from trauma, but also for children with autism and their families. With the program’s recent move to Boulder, we are building strong relationships across Colorado and in neighboring states with service organizations, hospitals, schools, universities, family advocacy groups and self-advocates with disabilities. AGI leadership feels that solutions to many of the issues that face our community in adult services and adult life can be found within the adult autistic population itself. By designing and directing initiatives specific to adult concerns and to those who provide support to adults, AGI aims to be a part of the solution to the demand that lies ahead.”
This screening of Autism and Trauma is the first in a series of national initiatives aimed at bringing awareness to this overlooked, yet pervasive, problem. Increased societal recognition and understanding is needed to address the urgent need for capacity-building in education, research, employment, housing and residential support, and community involvement for autistic adults.
What: Film screening ~ Autism and Trauma
When: Friday, June 6, 2014, 6pm
Where: Anschutz Medical Campus, 13121 E. 17th Ave., C234, Aurora, CO 80045 (Rm. 1102-Education 2 South)
This film is open to the public. For more information, visit www.jfkpartners.org.