Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), commonly referred to as Autism, is a social impairment disorder that results in a delay in a child’s development, in what therapists call the “triad”: deficits in imagination, social communication, and social relationships … at least, that’s what the theory tells us. No doubt, there are few people who haven’t met someone on the Autism spectrum.
But, as the creative team at Company @ shows us, led by Artistic Director Julian Jaensch, nothing can limit the imagination, determination, and potential of these guys and gals. My partner and myself attended this performance with piqued interest and curiosity, as we both work daily as therapists with these incredible individuals (in the fields of neuropsychology and speech pathology, respectively).
What followed was an enlightened journey through the history of how Autism was discovered, how it was perceived by the pioneers in the fields of medicine and psychology, and what it’s like to live with the ‘label’ of ASD. It’s the age-old tale of looking through their eyes, filled with laughter, tears, tender moments, and more. It was an intense experience to see the primitive nature of early therapy, and the tribulations these individuals were made to endure.
It was disappointing that the final stage of the evolution of therapy was left out, as there are thousands of individuals around the world who dedicate their lives to helping these folks. Some of the stereotypes presented were overstated and the narrative occasionally spoke out too strongly against established therapies and professionals. It’s a one-sided, anti-establishment view, but a side to the story that’s rarely heard.
It’s also important to not forget the low-functioning individuals on the spectrum, and the impact on the lives of themselves and their families.
A thought-provoking and inspirational performance that showcases the incredible talents children with Autism, just like any of us, are capable of.
Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio
Venue: Hall C, Adelaide Convention Centre
Season: August 8, 9, 7:30pm
Duration: 1 hour
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