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Michelle Smith - Coming of Age on the Autism Spectrum

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All Autism Talk

All Autism Talk


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In this episode, we speak to the young women who is the focus of the award-winning documentary, Best and Most Beautiful Things.  

In rural Maine, a bright and magnetic 20-year-old woman named Michelle Smith lives with her mother Julie. Legally blind and on the autism spectrum, Michelle defies labels as she chases big dreams with humor and bold curiosity. After graduating from Helen Keller’s alma mater, she finds herself unemployed and isolated. Searching for community, Michelle explores an uncensored world online and experiences a provocative sexual awakening. Her joyful story of self-discovery celebrates outcasts everywhere.

From New York Times Review:

What happens to children with serious disabilities when they reach adulthood? They disappear, at least as far as most of society is concerned. “Best and Most Beautiful Things” is a remarkably forthright documentary about a young woman in Maine, Michelle Smith, who rebels at the idea of becoming invisible and wants desperately to find a place in the grown-up world and to find herself in the process.

Ms. Smith is legally blind and has Asperger’s syndrome. The filmmaker, Garrett Zevgetis, followed her over several years but focuses on the pivotal time when she is entering her 20s. It’s a difficult transition for someone with disabilities — the end of the schooling years, with their structure and relative safety.

All Autism Talk (allautismtalk.com) is sponsored by Autism Spectrum Therapies (autismtherapies.com) , Trellis Services (trellisservices.com) and Learn It Systems (learnitsystems.com)