I watched an incredible documentary shot over six years about a nonverbal young man with autism, DJ “Deej” Savarese, who says, “being included is every kid’s right, it shouldn’t be a lottery.” DJ was abandoned by his birth parents, and without the ability to speak, he was presumed incompetent, but he was eventually adopted from foster care by a loving family who made speech available, and now he communicates through a text-to-voice synthesizer. The documentary shows his touching journey from high school to college as he manages the fears of change and growth that come from reaching ones dreams, and dealing with the obstacles to inclusion that he must face along the way.
Deej graduated just this spring Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College in May 2017 with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing and he advocated across the country for autistic civil rights.
I absolutely love how this film showcases the full potential individuals with autism can achieve when they are included, accepted, and encouraged by the people around them. Check it out at www.deejmovie.com.