As the number of people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder continues to grow, more and more stories are being told about their experiences. From inspiring tales of resilience to heartbreaking accounts of dealing with the disorder, these documentaries offer an insightful glimpse into life on the spectrum. Whether you’re looking for a way to gain greater understanding or just want to learn more about autism, these 11 films are sure to educate and inspire in equal measure.
1. Autism: The Musical Documentary
This heartwarming documentary follows five autistic children and their parents in Los Angeles as they embark on a journey to create an original theatrical show. They spend six months composing and practicing for the performance, while cameras capture their struggles and successes along the way. The Miracle Project was established to help these children learn how to communicate with others through creative processes such as theatre workshops, which makes this documentary both inspiring and informative. Watch it now to follow the lives of these courageous families!
2. The Horse Boy Documentary
Do you know the story of Rupert Isaacson and his family? They embarked on a long journey to Mongolia in search of healing for their autistic son, Rowan. Doctors Grandin and Baren-Cohen also appear in this incredible documentary feature film titled The Horse Boy. Watch as Rupert, Kristen Neff, and Rowan explore the high steppes of Mongolia to meet with nomadic horsemen and shamans who may be able to help them find relief from autism symptoms. Learn how their vacation changed Rowan’s life forever!
3. A Mother’s Courage
Are you looking to learn more about autism? Then this documentary is for you! A Mother’s Courage follows the journey of Margret, a mother who embarks on an exploration into the world of autism. Along her journey she meets with other families affected by autism and specialists in the field such as Dr Temple Grandin and Dr Simon Baren-Cohen. Narrated by Kate Winslet and accompanied by music from Sigur Rós and Björk, this film provides a unique insight into what it means to live with Autism. Join us on our exploration as we uncover answers to questions surrounding Autism in this powerful documentary.
4. Kids With Cameras
This documentary follows seven children with high-functioning ASD as they attend a five-day film camp and learn to film, edit, and present their movies. Kids With Cameras provides an insightful look into the minds of these young filmmakers as they discover the power of storytelling through their own eyes. Get ready to be inspired by this heartwarming exploration into what it means to live life on the spectrum!
5. The Hummingbird Documentary
Marco Carrera is an ophthalmologist who has experienced both joy and heartache. He married Marina, a woman with whom he had a complicated relationship, and developed feelings for the inaccessible Luisa. His sister tragically committed suicide, while his parents have been emotionally damaged by their struggles. Marco also had to deal with his brother’s alienation before being consumed by gambling addiction. When tragedy strikes again in the form of his daughter’s involvement in an unfathomable disaster, his only hope lies in Miraijin; Man of the Future – his miraculous granddaughter who helps him find cause to live once more. This film follows a mother’s quest to reconnect with her child after they are suspected of having autism over five years and shows how it can be possible to overcome such obstacles despite all odds.
6. Autism In Love
This documentary follows four adults with autism as they explore relationships and love. Dave and Lindsey, who have been romantically involved for eight years, demonstrate how individuals on the spectrum can find true connection with one another. Lenny is a young adult living with his single mother while Stephen struggles to cope with his wife’s terminal illness. Autism In Love looks at how those on the spectrum handle their love lives despite communication difficulties that come along with it. From finding someone special to adapting to long-term partnerships, viewers are taken through the unique journey of these individuals’ search for happiness in an ever-changing world of romance and companionship.
7. Aspergers The Movie
This documentary follows Alex Sina, a person with Aspergers Syndrome, on his journey of self-discovery and success. Through interviews with individuals living with Aspergers Syndrome as well as professionals in the field, this film offers insight into how people can use their diagnosis to reach their full potential. The movie also features inspiring stories from other high-functioning ASD individuals who have been able to rise above their diagnosis and achieve great things through hard work and perseverance. Learn about the unique challenges faced by those on the autism spectrum, while also gaining hope for future generations of “Aspies” who are determined to make something out of themselves despite any obstacles they may face.
8. Life, Animated Documentary
This Academy Award-nominated documentary is a must-watch for anyone interested in learning more about Autism. Through the story of Owen Suskind, who was diagnosed with ASD at three years old and stopped speaking, we discover how animation can be used to communicate between parents and children with autism. We follow his journey as he regains his voice by immersing himself in Disney movies, creating an animated narrative titled “The Land Of Lost Sidekicks” that mirrors his experience. This powerful documentary will leave you inspired and ready to learn even more about autism!
9. The Most Well Kept Secret
As children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) grow up, they eventually transition out of the public school system. But how do we help them sustain themselves after that? In this documentary, follow a special education teacher in New Jersey as she discovers creative ways to provide her students with the support they need when leaving her class. From complicated and sometimes devastating experiences to fantastic ones, learn more about what it takes for these individuals to thrive beyond their educational years.
10. The Life Autistic Documentary
This two-hour broadcast special is an illuminating look at the life of Iowans with autism. Twelve people, ranging from different ages and backgrounds, are featured along with their families and caregivers to explore the nuances of living with autism. We meet experts in the field such as Temple Grandin who provide us with greater insight into this condition. Tyler Leech also contributes his unique perspective as a member of Iowa’s community of individuals on the spectrum. The documentary covers topics like diagnosis, early intervention, family life, treatment options, education opportunities, employment prospects and independent living for those affected by autism.
11. Stranger In The Family (Autism Documentary)
This documentary takes a look at the efforts of Giant Steps, a special school in Sydney that was set up and is maintained by the parents of students who attend. It also examines the methods used to help those with this incurable condition, as well as exploring the hopes and daily battles faced by these individuals and their families. Get an inside look into what it’s like living with Autism – watch ‘Stranger in the Family’ now!
12. What Is It Like to Live With Autism?
What is it like to live with autism? How do people with autism learn to cope in a world that can often seem confusing and overwhelming? Make Me Normal takes us on a journey into the lives of four students at Spa School in London. Each has their own form of autism, from Asperger’s Syndrome to more severe forms, yet all are striving for normalcy. We follow Moneer as he deals with his mother’s death, Roxanne as she tries to fit in like any other teen, Roy who wants nothing more than a girlfriend and Esther who serves as our guide through this unique world.
13. Life with autism
This documentary follows Markus, an autistic man who lives in Duisburg, Germany. He loves to play with toys and has developed a special bond with people who have Down Syndrome. It explores the questions of what is autism, how do autistic people behave and what are signs and symptoms of autism? Through his story we get an insight into life with autism – his struggle for acceptance from his father, what he can contribute to society and the feeling of being accepted by those around him. See this incredible journey unfold as Markus shows us that it is possible to lead a fulfilling life despite having Autism.
14. Living with Autism: Welcome Home Stevie
Living with autism can be one of the most difficult experiences for a family. In this documentary, we follow the Alexanders’ journey as they try to find suitable accommodation for their autistic son Steven after he was removed from their home by police and committed to Waitakere’s secure mental health unit. We explore how other families in New Zealand are also facing similar struggles and what solutions are available to them. Join us on our exploration of life with autism – Welcome Home Stevie.