May 23, 2009 Recently Fiona Hughes, a Vancouver-based  journalist did a story on how 3 years on, The Boy Inside continues to reverberate around the world. Here is her story from the Vancouver Courier weekly newspaper: Documentary about Asperger's still touching, changing lives Fiona Hughes Vancouver Courier Wednesday, May 20, 2009 When I first saw Marianne Kaplan's documentary The Boy Inside three years ago, I remember thinking, "What a brave, strong woman. What a hard life." Kaplan, a local filmmaker, took an unrelentingly honest look at what it's like to be the parent of a child with Asperger's syndrome. The Boy Inside is the story of her son Adam, a highly intelligent and startlingly articulate 12-year-old diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. It's a form of autism that makes social interaction and normal conversation tremendously challenging. For his entire elementary school experience, Adam was virtually friendless. Kaplan's decision to share intensely personal moments of her family's life on film has reverberated around the world. Kaplan has gone on to work on other projects, but she's never let go of The Boy Inside. In fact, she's taken it to the next level, getting it translated into Punjabi and Mandarin and travelling around B.C. to schools and film festivals with Adam by her side for question and answer sessions. That experience has proven invaluable for Adam, whose life has only improved since the film's release. The Vancouver School Board deserves special mention. It purchased 600 copies of the film, likely because it saw the film as a tool for changing attitudes about people who are "different." The film is the ideal starting point to discuss bullying and how the world tends to treat people who are "different." I caught up with Kaplan last week to get an update on the film and Adam, who is now 16 and writing his own rap songs. She looks as energized as when I first met her in 2006 and is thrilled to see her film go global and have such a positive effect. But she's not surprised by the attention. "People are desperate and when they see something that mirrors their experience it comforts them," she said. "It can be a very isolating experience to go through. The film has touched a lot of people and made parents and kids feel they are not alone." A Swedish teen named Mike can attest to that. Here's what he wrote on Adam's blog at . Hello Adam, im not so good in english. I have just seen your movie on the tv. I was just like you when i was on elmentery school. But when i starting high school i got big trouble with the swedish laws. Now i have accept my autism and have start a collage that im really like. Im think you are a brave man ho have show the world from our side off this sick palnet. Your are my hero. Mouth better then all the baseboll player. you are real human Mike From Sweden A heartbreaking posting from a desperate mother in Singapore inspired people in similar situations to post a reply and offer moral support and suggestions. "Dear Marianne, yesterday night, The Boy Inside was shown in Singapore one of the TV Channel. I cried thr' the show because what you have felt is the same as me, however, nobody understand me, include my son's teachers and principle. My 11 yr old son was diagnosed with AS when he was about 4-5 yr old. He was often bullied in the school. School was informed of his condition but they can't do much to stop the bullying. Why can't they educate the others normal kids and their parents about AS? If the normal kids know more about AS, know how my son & me feel, i think the bully will slowly stop.......however, singapore MOE(ministry of education) is not doing anything as what you people doing out there, SAD....(MOE only interested in supporting the bright kids). In 2 years time, my son is going to secondary school(=high school), my fears grow everyday...Adam said before: I feel like dying. Me too. from:a sad mum." Adam no longer travels with his mother to screenings. Kaplan has seen her son blossom with so much self-confidence over the last three years that she wanted other teens with autism or Asperger's to have similar opportunities. Six boys, trained in public speaking by a UBC grad student, now accompany Kaplan to community screenings in the Lower Mainland. They'll be with her when The Boy Inside screens June 7 at Langara College (604-323-5322) and again June 13 at Fifth Avenue Cinemas (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). Admission is free or by donation. Call 604-257-6976. "We're giving them a voice, like we did with Adam," Kaplan said. "These boys are really amazing and people seem to be moved and inspired by them." A little understanding can go a long way. It's wonderful to know The Boy Inside is still out there helping change attitudes. © Vancouver Courier 2009

great documentary

Dear marianne, I just saw your documentary for the first time last night. It was so recongnizable, even though my son does not have asperger. He was diagnosed with ADHD and RAD, he's almost 5. I will not bore you with my son's story, but I know what it is like to have a child that acts different from other children and it's tough. I was especially moved by that mother that said, when they reject my kids, it's like getting stabbed. It was heartbreaking. I was shocked at how your poor son was so alone at school and how he was bullied. That is exactly what I fear will happen to my son when he gets older. I was surprised that your son attended a regular school. My son was admitted about 6 months ago, for his diagnosis and because I could not deal with anymore and he switched schools. He goes to a special school now and that little boy that would not listen in class, that would hit the other children and even hit the teacher, that would come home complaining it was too busy in class (they had 30 kids in there) is now the sweetest boy in his new class. He no longer hits anyone there, and they only havre 12 kids in that class, with strict rules and structure which is exactly what he needs. He is learning to write numbers and he enjoys school now. So in our case it was a great move to switch schools. So I wondered if a special school would have made things easier for your son? Which ever way, with kids that need extra care, the choices to make are always more difficult and you never know in advance if you are doing the right thing. I thought you remained so calm trough everything. At one point you said you slapped him and it was upsetting to you. I slapped my 4 year old as well out of pure frustration and not knowing how to get trough to him. Eventually I had to have him admitted, because what I was doing wasn't working and I felt like I was not best thing for him at that time. Part of my family blames me, I am not a good enough parent, I don't have the skills etc. 'That's hard after you had to make a decision like I did, giving your child away when he is just 4 because you can't deal with him. He's still not home full time, but he comes to spend 2 nights a week at home and I get help, to teach me how to deal with him. He's learned a lot of social skills the past 6 months so I have good hope for him. But he will always stay a child with special needs and a special approach. So in that way, it was very recognizable. I was moved. You did a great job with that documentary. It was very pure. Well done. Regards from the Netherlands, Jane

thanks for your reply. Not

thanks for your reply. Not sure if you live in the Lower Mainland , but if you do you should come to one of our "Beyond the Definitions" events. Adam is doing quite well these days. Check out his blog update. best wishes Marianne

Thanks for your replay too

Hey Marianne. I would like to participate on these special events but unfortunately I am from Israel. I have checked Adam's blog and it seems he is on the right path. I am full with hope that as time goes he would become better and better in noticing what are the actions he do which helping him to keep friends and what are the actions which do the other way around. I wish all of you and especially to Adam a lot of success in his new path. Be well, Almog.

Hey Marianne

Hello Marianne. Thank you for sharing the exciting story of your wonderful son in this amazing movie. I think you and your husband are adorable parents and like all the other watchers the movie left me with a feeling of hope-I hope you will never give up and I know you will be very proud of your son one day-he is really smart and charming. I hope Adam will succeed in his new path-its about time the kids would start to notice his impressive character and act nicely to him-if he was in my class I am sure we were a really good friends. All the best, Almog.