‘Steph: The Movie’ has begun production! This documentary is not just about Steph the artist; it is about the transition of a young autistic woman from the education system, in which she has been entrenched for 17 years, to the ‘real world’, and all the difficulties and challenges that presents. The film also deals with public and personal perceptions of adults with special needs functioning in society, as seen through the eyes of her parents (producers/directors of the film) and those close to Steph.
‘Steph: The Movie’ will make one autistic woman’s journey through uncharted territory a story in which we can all find a part of ourselves.
[Funding for the film is being sourced, but we are looking for investors. We feel this is a very important story to tell, as recent data shows that within 10 years, approximately 30% of the public school population will be on the Autism Spectrum. Staggering to think about, when the education system is having difficulty dealing with the present numbers of kids with special needs. At 21 years of age, these young adults are cut from the education system and expected to function in ‘normal’ society, whether they are ready or not. Many are not.
On first meeting Steph, one would see a charming, funny, engaging, verbal and beautiful young woman. One might think she is very “high functioning”. However, Steph does not read or write and has no quantitative skills, including concepts of time, money or space. She needs to be bathed and her food must be made for her. She has no sense of direction and must be taken everywhere she goes. 17 years in a “life skills” program has still not prepared Steph for the realities of living as an adult. When waiting times for social programs are years to decades long, many adults with special needs become isolated and lose the skills they may have learned in school. Try as parents do, there simply isn’t the time nor the energy to keep teaching and engaging their kids all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. So what do we do? What happens to these young adults? This is the crux of the documentary “Steph: The Movie”.]