All Grown Up
What do children need in order to flourish? Should we discipline them gently or should we be tough on them because we know better? These questions are even harder to answer if we’re raising a child with special needs.
A female filmmaker closely monitors her teen brother with ADHD and mild autism as he enters college. It is her brother’s first time to be away from home— a perfect time for him to prove that he can be independent. Although he is smart (a genius even), his maturity level is that of a 12-year-old. At the age of 19, he’s still scared of crossing streets. He lacks social skills and self-management skills, among others. This makes the whole family nervous.
The filmmaker considers it her duty to guide her brother during the first few months of his college life. She follows him around campus, checks on him from time-to-time and reprimands him when he starts to slack off. However, as she obsessively monitors her brother’s progress, she starts to notice the same traits on her little daughter. Weeks later, she receives phone calls from teachers saying that her daughter needs to be evaluated for developmental delays.
In the course of one year, the filmmaker observes how her brother deals with his new world and, at the same time, she investigates if her daughter actually has developmental delays. In this short journey, she will try to find answers to her questions such as: what is normal, how can we be gentler to them and to ourselves, and when is discipline beneficial and when is it detrimental.