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With the ever-increasing numbers of children being affected by autism, people are searching for a better understanding of this baffling disorder.  The DVD, Understanding Autism, is designed to help meet this need for families, pediatricians, childcare providers, educators, religious organizations, and anyone else who cares about someone with autism.

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Understanding Autism is divided into four segments:

Colby’s Story:  A Journey of Hope traces the journey of one child from birth through his teenage years, including an overview of autism and the intervention of Applied Behavior Analysis.  (21:50 minutes)
Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Visual Overview provides a more detailed compilation of information about the symptoms of autism, using videotaped clips of a variety of children at different ages.  (27:36 minutes)
A Conversation with Morgan:  Asperger’s Syndrome gives a glimpse into living with Asperger’s Syndrome from the perspective of an insightful, articulate 13-year-old.  (16:35 minutes)
HOPE Academy:  A Story of Hope describes a unique school specifically designed to include children with autism in classrooms with typical peers.  (6:44 minutes)
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Reviews of this DVD

1. Dr. Glenn Holiday, Charlotte, NC wrote:Understanding Autism is an outstanding resource for both lay and medical people. It gives important clinical information to help better understand the broad spectrum of autism. Perhaps even more importantly, through real life portrayals, it shows the personal and emotional side of autism in a very touching way. I highly recommend this DVD.

2. Barri Burrus, Ph.D. Community Psychologist wrote:Understanding Autism: A Resource for Families, Pediatricians, and Caregivers is an excellent resource that delivers everything its title suggests and more! I wholeheartedly recommend this as powerful tool for use by parents, health care providers, caregivers, educators and anyone else whose lives are affected by a child with autism. The stark documentation of one child’s progression from a very normal appearing child to one displaying profound symptoms of autism is informative for any audience. Physicians who are faced with the difficult task of delivering an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis to anxious parents will appreciate that basic information is succinctly portrayed in a layperson’s language parents can readily understand. The parents sharing their own experiences and solutions offer powerful messages of hope for parents facing similar challenges. Caregivers and educators will benefit from viewing the educational techniques demonstrated throughout. Graduate and undergraduate education and psychology classes also will benefit from viewing the educational strategies depicted in a field-based application.

3. D. Holladay wrote:As a teacher, I think this DVD is an excellent resource to have and to share with other teachers, parents, administration, and caregivers. The story of Colby is a "must see" for anyone whose life has been touched by a child with autism. It is a story of reality, but also one of hope and inpsiration. Morgan's, a child with an autism spectrum disorder, story is both insightful and profound. Hope Academy and Hope Reach are prime examples of what can and should be done for all children with autism. This DVD is thorough and informative...... a must have for anyone who wants to become more aware of the challenges and hope of autism. Thanks to all who made this video.

4. Amy A. Barrington wrote:I recommend this DVD to the entire gamut of folks who come face to face with the challenges of autism. For medical professionals, it provides a personal and moving look into the daily lives of these children and their parents as well as offering a highly informative view of one child's progression. From a normal infancy, to symptoms and diagnosis, to amazing strides in treatment, Colby's story is shared. Through Colby, as well as other children highlighted in the DVD, parents, doctors, and teachers are all offered hope and encouragement as well as specific information on treatment options and where to go for help. Overall, the information is presented with moving, personal stories, and yet there is nothing sappy or somber to weigh spirits down here! All the focus is on moving ahead, with progress, friends, sharing, and joy as the students and teachers of the remarkable school featured in this film work tirelessly together each day in the spirit of hope - at Hope Academy.

5. John Braddy wrote:This DVD opens with a very moving and personal story of one family learning their child had autism and their efforts to provide the very best help for their child, seeking out and even creating their own resources. Once you have seen this story, the DVD soes on to educate you in layman's terms about this disease. The DVD is a great resource for anyone from parents and teachers to medical professionals about autism.

6. Lori Schur wrote:I highly recommend this dvd to anyone suspecting or dealing with the diagnosis of autism. I also suggest that anyone with a friend, relative or co-worker dealing with austism watch this video. I have friends whose children have autism and this dvd gave me such insight into the world of autism in a very easy to understand manner. Highly professional and yet non-threatening approach to educating people about autism.

7. Thomas E. Moore wrote:If you or anyone you know is dealing with the effect of autism spectrum disorder (add) then you must own this DVD . Project Hope foundation has compiled a concise and comprehensive message for parents, pediatricians, and educators that will allow those who are faced with the reality of asd a very real promise of hope.

8. K.A.L.F. “Kelly” wrote:As a parent of a child with an autism diagnosis, this is the video I longed for when we were "new" to the syndrome. The video examples in "Colby's Story" as well as in "A Visual Overview" helped me to put words to things I was seeing, but didn't know they were more than quirks in my child. The video is informative and accurate. This video can be useful for a parent who wonders about her child's development. At the same time, it is useful for caregivers and extended family who don't always understand the full scope of autism spectrum disorders. The video was written by a parent, who is also an autism "professional" (BCABA and Director of HOPE Academy), so the overall tone of the video is respectful and realistic without being overwhelming


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