Disney Movies Animate Jewish Writer’s Autistic Son

This article was first published in The Times of Israel.

Owen Suskind celebrated his graduation from the Riverview School in Cape Cod, MA in June with his parents and his brother Walter. (Courtesy)

Owen Suskind celebrated his graduation from the Riverview School in Cape Cod, MA in June with his parents and his brother Walter. (Courtesy)

Millions of young people love Disney movies, but few appreciate them quite like Owen Suskind. He has watched every Disney film umpteen times and can recite the entire dialogue from each without error. For Owen, who is autistic, Disney viewing is not merely a hobby; it’s a therapy.

Animated films like “The Lion King,” “Aladdin,” and “The Jungle Book” have served as a bridge for Owen to the world, enabling him to get in touch with himself, and interact with other people.

In “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism,” Owen’s father, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Ron Suskind, has chronicled his son’s unique journey from a diagnosis of regressive autism at age three (when a child who seems to be developing normally suddenly stops communicating and reaching milestones) to his life today as a communicative and semi-independent 23-year-old young man.

Click here to read more and watch a video.

© 2014 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

 

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