It all began with my colleague Martina S’s quite bold idea to make a documentary about autism. When she presented it to us, she said: “And it will be shot by Jaro Vojtek”.
To the rest of us, who had until then had no experience with this subject, the plan seemed too bold. But when we thought more deeply about it, we had to admit that it was just the thing needed to enlighten people. It happened then and happens to this day that people’s consciousness and image of those who have the disorder is significantly distorted. There is an opinion that it is now a modern diagnosis and the number of those diagnosed is growing thanks only to better diagnostic methods. But this cannot be entirely true, since statistics in the world are alarming and indicate a incidence of one child in 100 born as compared to one in 5,000 15-20 years ago. We often meet with another opinion – that these are gifted children who have certain ingenious gifts and capabilities, which we just have to find in them. The film Rainman partially contributed to this distorted point of view. It was one of the first that dealt with this diagnosis on a global scale, but it only presented highly functioning autism in the tiniest representative case. Everyday life with autism is, to a very high degree, diametrically different from the story in the film. It often exists alongside mental retardation, metabolic disorders, aggression and auto-aggression. Causal treatment of autism, despite years-long research efforts, does not exist and the only thing available is behavioural approaches for improving these people’s quality of life and developing their ability to communicate with their surroundings.
In addition to our colleague Martina, to whom we say a big THANK YOU, there were other people on the path to today’s introduction of this film onto the market. Without these people, we would have had trouble orienting ourselves in an area that was new to us. For a nonprofit organization, taking on the role of producer was biting off more than we could chew. So we took Jaro Vojtek’s advice and decided to work together with the production firm AH Production. Thus, our cooperation with producer Barbara Harumova Hessova began. During seven long years, while our long and time-consuming project gradually took shape and became what it is today, lovely friendships also emerged between all of those who took part in the film’s creation. We felt their strong support, for which we are extremely grateful.
Today I am very excited that seven years after we first met with director Jaro Vojtek, a documentary film that strives to bring life with autism in Slovak families closer to the viewer has actually arrived. I believe that in addition to being educational, it will also be a platform for further discussion about this society wide problem that is growing at an alarming rate.