10 min / documentary / 2010 / USA
filmmaker: Anthony Morrison
Follow Jayden, a two and half year old diagnosed with autism, through his first months of school in the Bronx.
Filmmaker Anthony Morrison’s statement: I spent two months filming Jayden, at home with his parents, Anne and Benny, and at school with his teachers. As I immersed myself in Jayden’s world, my crew and I were able to document the seemingly small challenges and successes of Jayden’s daily life as a recently diagnosed toddler. We saw adults working intensely with him toward basic milestones — responding to his name, making eye contact, pointing at objects he wanted, learning to say the word “bye” — and we came to identify with Jayden at the same time. The resulting footage provided the raw material for many suspenseful and compelling scenes and a natural narrative arc. In letting go of my original “big picture” goals and letting the storyteller in me win out, I ended up making a film that drives my message home better than I could have imagined.