By AGI eBulletin Staff
In June 2104, the Autistic Global Initiative (AGI) joined with JFK Partners of Colorado University’s School of Medicine to premiere Trauma Warriors, a film co-produced by Anthony Morgali and Valerie Paradiz, executive director of AGI. The film, which is now available to communities that wish to host a screening, plays an integral part in AGI’s series of national initiatives aimed at bringing awareness to the still hidden, yet pervasive problem of trauma and its effects on people with autism.
Many people with autism experience trauma. They are bullied as children at school or as adults, they are harassed during post-secondary education, at the workplace or in public; often leading them down the difficult path of developing other disorders such as PTSD and contributing to a high incidence of depression and anxiety. The 45-minute feature presents adults with autism as they discuss trauma experiences in childhood and adult life, as well as their survivorship stories. The film also explores the role of sensory differences in people with autism and how individuals may experience trauma when their triggers and reactions to various environments are minimized, dismissed, punished or treated with strict behavioral interventions rather than with sensory-based interventions.
“We are determined to get this important message out there, not only for adults who need support in recovery from trauma but also for children with autism and their families,” says Dr. Paradiz. The film underscores AGI’s basic organizational philosophy that solutions to many of the issues that face our community in adult services and adult life can be found within the adult autistic population itself. By designing and directing initiatives specific to adult concerns and to those who provide support to adults, AGI aims to be a part of the solution to the demand that lies ahead.
Host Trauma Warriors in Your Community
Although the film will not be available for viewing online, AGI offers two options for communities to bring the film to their own towns, schools, agencies and organizations.
Option 1: Make a Donation to AGI
You can host the film in your community and offer AGI a donation in return. The donation amount is up to you or your organization but AGI requests a deposit for the DVD, which will be refunded upon return after the screening event. All donations will be earmarked for the AGI Young Leaders Division and Trauma Prevention Initiatives.
Option 2: Book a Person with Autism to Speak
Another option is to host the film in your community and pay a speaking fee plus travel expenses for an AGI member featured in the film to offer a talk or Q&A session following the screening. In this way, you are providing income to an individual with autism, which is just as valuable to AGI as a donation.
Additional Hosting Materials
Along with the 45-minute film (which must be returned after the screening), AGI provides a sample press release, a sample flyer and a publicity photo that can be used or adapted to promote your community event.
“With this production,” says Dr. Paradiz, “AGI hopes to usher in a new and committed dialogue about trauma prevention and survivorship within our community, including new research and interventions.” With the film already booked for 15 communities across the US and Canada, Paradiz hopes that more sponsors will join in “to spread the word that the time has come for trauma prevention programs to become an integral part of our schools, agencies, places of work and homes.” If you or your organization is interested in hosting the film, contact AGI at [email protected].