Oops, Wrong Planet! Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome
Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Jane Ramsey
Directed by Stephen Ramsey
DVD, color, 55 min.
Sr. High - Adult
Psychology, Child Development, Learning Disabilities
Date Entered: 9/20/2010
Stephen Ramsey, director of this film, thinks that he may have Asperger’s Syndrome. Knowing that he has eccentricities, identifying with a checklist of characteristic Asperger traits and hearing what his wife has to say on the matter leads him to believe that it is a strong possibility. At the same time, he finds it hard to believe because he is not disabled. In search of answers he sets off on a journey that leads him to interview experts and children and adults who have been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, along with some of their family members. Expert and author on the subject, Michael Fitzgerald, discusses many famous people—some geniuses who had Asperger’s—and suggests that there is a strong correlation between their intellectual gifts and their disability. One example, referred to throughout the narrative is that of the famous children’s author, Hans Christian Anderson whose writings strongly reflect his experiences with Asperger’s.
A recently diagnosed five year old boy, three members of an Asperger’s support group, a whistleblower and former policewomen, professor and well known autism advocate, Temple Grandin, Wired magazine’s Steve Silberman, and Professor Simon Baron-Cohen provide some of the interviews and personal stories on Ramsey’s journey of questioning and discovery. Family struggles, personal pain, social difficulties, heredity, intelligence and giftedness are key topics that are explored. The film provides helpful information and various perspectives on Asperger’s Syndrome that presents a balanced view of the difficulties and the possibilities for those who are affected by it.
The documentary is well directed, written and edited and both sound and video qualities are professional. It was a pleasure to watch and offers something for anyone interested in autism spectrum disorders.