My first blog- it feels like a rite of passage. Adam and I just returned from 2 days of screenings in the Maritimes- Friday night in Halifax sponsored by the Autism Society of Nova Scotia and the Autism Society of Canada, and a Saturday afternoon screening in Charlottetown sponsored by the Autism Society of PEI and Canada. As usual the response to the film was very emotional, with lots of frank discussion after, many of the questions being directed at Adam.

It seems that government support for Maritime families affected by AS disorders is very inadequate. Luckily the communities themselves seems tight and strong. The Provincial Autism Centre in Halifax runs a fantastic drop in program for small groups of kids with AS, where the kids get together and hang out on a regular basis.

This is something I’d like to explore creating in Vancouver. It is so hard for our kids to get regular opportunities to socialize in a setting where they can just be themselves, without having to fit into neurotypical expectations. I’ve put it on my to-do list.

The Boy Inside

My son is 28 yrs old and has A.S. In grade school, he did not fit at all. The teacher he had could not cope so he was sent to a special ed. program, in another school with a lot of agressive kids with more serious problems. He did not fit again. It was a battle for us to reintegrate him in the regular school system. His psychologist never identified him with A.S. At this time, A.S. was not well known, but with the help of articles found here and there, and my husband being a teacher himself, dealing with similar kids, I recognized my son's behaviour and diagnosed him myself. Today, he has graduated magna cum laude in chemical engineer and biochemistry. He is having the most difficult time finding a job in his field of work because, we think, of poor interviews due to his difficulty in communication and picking up in conversation to sell his habilities. He is still living with us and has frequent outbursts and a lot of hang-ups. He understand his disability, but has a lot of trouble controling behavioral responses to situations irritating him. He tells us he knows he should'nt be doing this but his response is so quick that he can't control a lot of them. He does not know why he acts this way. With him, however, he does not have a need to have friends. He is perfectly happy with himself and his pastimes. I am writing you because I do share what you are going through with Adam, and I am glad to know that people are going to know more about A.S. through the excellent film you made. Martin, my son saw it and recognized himself in Adam. Having a child with A.S and not knowing what he had when growing up was a real challenge for us. However, the strange behavior of A.S. recipients, does not improve with age, and unfortunately cause a lot of misinterpretations. I only hope that society will understand and tolerate more these individuals and give them respect and the love they deserve. Your film is a big step in this direction. Thank you very much for all your work.

Lastnight's screening

Hello Marianne. I was one of the parents privileged to see your film and hear your comments lastnight. I was right there with you through so many of Adam's episodes. I have looked at the clock during meltdowns, soooo many times! Oh, if only I had seen your film when my son was younger. His troubles began in grade four. He was ostracized and shunned by his peers. He once said to me "Mom, I wish to be born again". Thankfully, he is now in grade nine and in a special class. He has a room to call home, where all the kids have challenges. In the afternoon, he takes regular elective classes with his typical peers. I am so thankful for our high school. They have done a tremendous job of including him. I am so thankful that you have made your film. I too hope that all teachers, TA's and students will see it. Most people respond well when they are given enough information. I look forward to seeing what else will come of your special journey with Adam. Sheri (in Victoria)

The Boy Inside

Marianne I offer the following comments on you documentary. It may seem a little emotionless, but then you should be used to that having an autistic child. Essentially, we pass on our good or bad genetic characteristics to our children. Good or bad depends on the luck of the draw. In your case your child was unlucky in the draw. Nothing we can do about that. However, you are doing enough to blow the horn about his ailment as if everybody is responsible for it. It is a typical selfish, arrogant reaction, however, not uncommon under the circumstances. You are screaming, “How dare you exclude my child?” To answer that question is a subject of another discussion. You have achieved financial gains as well as publicity and have certainly received enough attention. Making the documentary must have also had a therapeutic effect on you. So it was a win-win situation for you. You have also educated the public about autism, which is commendable. You’ve also got paid for it. Your son will eventually learn to receive painful remarks in return for giving the same. This will teach him (hands on in real-time) how much it hurts to insult somebody such as, “ Oh boy, you are fat” or “it is not a twin day today”, or “you stink at baseball” remark. His exclusion by his peers is normal and justifiable, instinctive reaction to his derogatory actions and remarks. Only you, his family, can tolerate that, nobody else is obligated to. Children have the choice to play with whom they chose. If he is excluded so be it. He is considered abnormal in their eyes. He should be hanging more around autistic children like him. That way, he does not get hurt as much or hurt other’s feelings as often. One more comment I would like to add; I think you are a very good documentary maker and a rather intelligent and attractive person. Keep up the good work Please remember, we all live by the luck of the draw! Best wishes.

Dear anonymous thanks for

Dear anonymous thanks for taking the time to watch and comment on The Boy Inside. I enjoyed reading your letter- the endless letters of praise get a bit repetitive ; P so its great once in a while to receive a critical one such as yours. Yes the movie making process was unexpectedly therapeutic, and yes I was paid for my work. I am usually paid for the films I make, although that is not the only reason I make them. If that were the case, I would not be in the documentary filmmaking business. All my films generally present my own personal point of view, which I consider a luxury. But its the incredible outpouring of responses from other families in similar situations that has been the most gratifying aspect of this. Parents who see "their story" being represented for the first time. That and letters from kids with AS who see that they are not the only ones out there, or parents who diagnose their here-to-fore undiagnosed kids. We are starting to show the film in schools and here we have an opportunity to create more respect and tolerance amongst typical kids for others who are different. I believe that is something to strive for. As for Adam hanging around more autistic kids, that is not his preference. He prefers to hang out with typical kids and has learned to improove his social skills the hard way. But his social skills have deifintely improved and i believe will continue to do so. Thanks finally for your comment on my filmmaking abilities. I tried hard to make a film that was cinematic and would touch people emotionally. From all responses it seems I was successful. best wishes, Marianne

RE: Scientific American Article

Thanks, will definitely check it out. And good to hear your son is doing so well. We need to hear more of these positive stories bout our kids getting older. Marianne

Hi: This article is

Hi: This article is available at: Paul

RE: Hi: This article is


Marianne: Greatly enjoyed

Marianne: Greatly enjoyed your documentary. You should tell your husband not to be so pessimistic about Adam's future. I am a 44 year old man recently diagnosed with Asperger's. During my childhood in the Seventies I did not have the benefit of the services available today yet I turned out OK. Between his intelligence and self-awareness I'm sure Adam will do just fine. Paul

RE: Marianne: Greatly enjoyed

Hi Paul, thanks for your message. We are getting many encouraging emails from adults with AS. Many parents of kids with AS worry about their futures, especially once we are no longer in the picture. Thanks for offering a note of hope to parents, and to kids for an easier future. Please stay in touch on the Parents/Adults forum. Your unique perspective as an adult with AS will give hope and support to many parents. Marianne

Thank you for your Courage

I just simply want to say "Thank You" for having the vision and the courage to put your families story out there for the world to see. I have a 9 yr old boy diagnosed last year with Asperger's and he is struggling through it trying to figure out why he has to be "different" than everyone else. Thank you for the reminder that as hard as it is for me being a parent to a child who has Asperger's, it in no way compares to how my son feels in his own skin every moment of his life. I hope that there will someday be a way that this can be included in the general curriculum of all schools across Canada. The knowledge it would bring to educators and the student body would be absolutly nothing short of a miracle for some families. Keep up the good work and once again Thank You for sharing and giving the gift of sight into an unknown world! Melissa Hiscoe

Thank you both for your courage.

I was previledged to see you and your son at the Halifax presentation last Friday night. Thank you so much for your courage in openning your life to all of us. I cried through most of it as I felt that it was my life being shown. I also have a daughter who is 2 years younger and she is also glad that my son is no longer at the same school. She is very understanding but at times feels less important because of the time I spend with my son. I worry about her also. I try to spend time alone with her and do special things together however, I am not sure if I am doing enough. Does your daughter talk to someone or do you go to family councelling? It is obvious by the replies to your film that many of us will not feel so alone now in our struggle to help our children and to bring much needed awareness of the problems that our children face everyday. My son is 12 and he is in grade 7. This was a new school and he was very excited to make a fresh start. At first, socially he seemed to be doing O.K. however, he has recently told me that he came on too strong (he is very dramatic) and he is now excluded from the groups and feels it is now too late to make friends. He is very frustrated and becoming depressed. Like your son my son has a lot to offer and I am hoping that through your web-site he may find support or make a connection with someone from Halifax. Once again thank you. I also enjoy reading everyone's reply. It helps tremendously. Jacqueline


hey im kitten i posted a comment on adams blog.. u gotta set something up with my mom! ive never met another aspie..ur son is really awsome :P i been though alot of the same stuff he has bullies, etc... those kids at his school r jurks... i would love to be adams friend..if he doesnt mind... ^-^ i dont have many ya...well et him to email me if he wants to chat or something!...and keep up the awsome job at parenting! he lucky to have a mom like u! ...kitten


Hi Kitten, ask your mom to send me a message and I will get in touch with her. Note that its not great to post your private email on the site becuase companies search sites for email addresses and them bombard you with spam. thanks Marianne

AS Therapist

Wow! I am so glad I turned the tv on when I did. What a moving and useful documentary. I cried through much of it and feel very deeply for what your family is going through. I work with two boys who have AS, one is 5 and the other is 3. I would love to meet Adam and help your family if you need it. Please e-mail me if you are interested. I live in the Vancouver area. Adam has A LOT of potential and will do very well. I am so glad you got him into a school where he can focus on his abilities rather than having his disabilities highlighted. Is Adam still in any form of therapy? Or does he only have an aid who shadows him at school? Please contact me. :) Jenefer

RE: Yr movie shld be mandatory to watch by all school personell

Hi Julie, thanks so much for sharing your story and your advice about protecting one's marraige and health, and the book on sibling issues. There have been other postings that deal with siblings issues. Perhaps we should think about starting a discussion forum for siblings. Good luck, Marianne

Just Watched the Movie

Hello Marianne, Thank you for sharing your life with us (the world). I felt it could have been me there. I have had conversations with my son very similar to ones you had. It was comforting to see I am not the only one. My son went to computer programming camp this summer and although there were only 5 kids one thing he said stood out to me. He said "Mom, they're great they're so fun they think like me and have a humor like me." I live in Richmond, BC my son is 12 almost 13 and I would love to have or find information about a recreational program where kids like this can get together, play games and just be themselves for a few hours. Cathy Eytcheson

RE:Just Watched the Movie

Hi Cathy, I too am very keen on finding social opportunites for our kids. One I learned about recently is a basketball program for male youth aged 13-25 with developmental challenges- with programs in Richmond, Rcihmond and Surrey The website is and it looks like a great program which we will be checking out. thanks, Marianne

I called you eailier tonight..

Good evening. Your a stronge women for dealing with people like Adam. I completely understand him where everyone gives up. I know what it is like being on the inside of the glass box. Aspergers is different when you are one and when you deal with it. Please email me when you get a chance, I'll be in vancouver in December and It will be neat to meet a aspie that has been there and can feel the frustration. Also please tell your husband to never give up on his kid. He might be strange but There is no telling what he can do. Look at me, I'm a accomplished paramedic and Military medic and a clerk. And I'm just like Adam. Adam will amaze him and you. The frustration will be there. and the social problems will always be there but he will find his family the biggest support. you are a great family. All the best Candace Cochrane Edmonton Alberta

RE: I called you eailier tonight..

Thanks Candace, you are an inspiration. Marianne

RE; from another mother of a son whoo has autism

my son is now physically 20 years old. I am sorry but i will not be watching your movie as we have to deal with these `issues' in our own lives. I am always saddened to see how lonely he is and is such an uncertain future for him. we have 2 other sons also,but they dont have anything like autism. so i worry constantly over mathew and the world around him and how each day will be towards mathew. the other 2 I worry but not as much as I do over mathew. mathew doenst have the earning potential as others,or the ability to take care of himself as others like his brothers can.... I always feel guilty for making him this way and he too knows that he`s different than others. amanda

RE; from another mother of a son whoo has autism

Amanda, you cant blame yourself for how Mathew is. There is help and support out there if you look for it. Marianne

Just watched the documentary

I felt like I was watching my family on television -- my son has Asperger's and is presently in grade 7. We have had to change schools because of the bullying and "death threats" starting around grade 3 or 4. He presently is in a gifted program in a middle school, but feels lost, especially in gym and indoor recess. Over the summer he was also diagnosed with depression, Tourette's, and OCD, and we are trying to cope as best we can. We have two other children and the tantrums can be scary for them and exasperating for us. I love him immensely, but at the same time we are exhausted. We keep hoping his giftedness and enthusiasm will transcend his other issues. Thank you for opening your life to us. I feel less alone.

Just watched the Documentary

Hi, My son is also in grade seven and is presently in late French Immersion he is getting very frustrated with the new language and the new school. In the beginning of the year he seemed to be doing well socially however, he has now told us that he has made a very bad first impression and nobobdy wants him around. I feel he is getting depressed but my psychiatrist is not very helpful. Does your son take medication for his depression? I am very worried about him especially since I am ADHD and I also have times where I get very depressed. He does take Celexa for his panic attacks. Jackie