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Unnoticed No More

Jett was a textbook spinning, rocking, stacking, non-verbal, no eye contact, fits of endless rage kinda kid. This happened, just like the research predicts, after 20 ‘typical’ months of having a happy, smiling, dancing, loving child. With devastation came realization. Acceptance brought therapy, and lots of it.

Two years passed and each day got better. We hunkered down. We did the work. Jett progressed but his odd tendencies remained. He would focus on something SO HARD that it was an obsession. I kept thinking, “If only that power could be used for good.” I knew, one day, it would.

By the time Jett hit kindergarten he began taking an interest in what his family was doing and wanted to be a part of things, a part of us. As a filmmaker and parent of two special needs children I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

I had begged Jett to be in all of my films. He refused me for two years. But, one night, he asked me if he could make a movie of his own. I gave him a quick, two-minute tutorial on stop motion filming. An hour later, a very excited Jett came rushing into the kitchen, cell phone in hand, and declared that he had made a film, PEOPLE WHO BURY ANIMALS.

I reluctantly grabbed the phone and there it was - a film, an actual film! It wasn’t perfect but it was a film. Teary eyed, I showed my husband, and said “Edit this, now!” Jett watched excitedly as Daddy downloaded his ‘footage’ into our editing software.

A few months later he premiered at a film festival in Australia.

He’s even agreed to act in my next film. Something tells me, one day, I’ll be asking to be in his.

Julie Ufema
Lewistown, PA

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The Autism Site was founded to provide therapy to help children affected by autism spectrum disorders and their families. With a simple, daily click of the blue "Click Here to Give - it's FREE" button at The Autism Site, visitors help provide therapy for children in need. Visitors pay nothing. Therapy is paid for by the site's sponsors and distributed by charity partners of The Autism Site. Visitors can help more by shopping in The Autism Site store. With each item purchased, shoppers fund research into autism and even more therapy for children living with autism and their families. The store offers a wide array of items to show your support, as well as fair-traded and handcrafted items from around the world.

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