Same Story, Different Ending Video
Why We Made the Video
Although this video focuses on the lives and changes of seven children with autism, its primary message is one of hope for all kids who are struggling. That’s because feelings of despair are not exclusive to families with children who have diagnoses and severe problems. Unresolved concerns related to areas such as reading, writing, and attention can also create feelings of hopelessness when there seems to be little or no progress.
Who is in the Video
For this video, we deliberately chose kids who had autism. Within that population, we then selected those who demonstrated very concerning behaviors—i.e. those with no language, as well as those who self-stimulated themselves with erratic, repetitive behavior, bolted out of doors without warning, experienced multiple intense meltdowns, overreacted to simple sensory stimuli, and more.
It is important to note that these seven kids were not exceptional successes; we could have chosen another and another and yet another (and so on) group of Brain Highways participants to be in this video. In short, these seven’s transformations are common among those who participate in whole brain organization.
We chose kids with extreme behaviors for two reasons. First, we did not think that families with severe cases of autism would think that similar change would be possible for them if the children in the video didn’t have problems similar to their own. Likewise, we believed that parents of children with less concerning problems would be especially encouraged about possible change for their own children after watching what these seven kids accomplished. In other words, if the brain organization made such a difference in children who were significantly underdeveloped, then all families could be encouraged about possible change.
What We Recorded
In the first half of the video, we visited the families’ various homes and just let the camera run as the parents recalled their lives before their children participated in the Brain Highways program. The video was filmed at a time where the kids’ positive changes were quite new, so the parents still had heartbreaking memories of the past fresh in their mind. Such recollections, coupled with their new confidence that their children’s lives had changed, allowed the parents to (unexpectedly) share prior thoughts and fears that they had never previously dared to say aloud.
For the second half of the video, we asked the families to choose an accomplishment that showed their child engaged in something that was previously perceived as improbable for their son or daughter.
Note that this video is not a “how-to-do” Brain Highways. Rather, it’s a celebration of kids doing what nearly everyone thought was impossible and a reminder that none of us can really know a child’s potential if the lower centers of the brain are not fully developed. These kids’ stories are reason to believe that a different ending is truly possible.