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Todd Drezner
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Todd Drezner has recently directed his first documentary film, "Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic," (available on DVD, queue on Netflix) and he is also the father of Sam, an autistic child. The title of the film refers to the circuit of lampposts that Drezner’s son likes to visit in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Drezner received his MFA in Film from Columbia University and is the editor of several award-winning documentary films and commercials.

Entries by Todd Drezner

Autism Fantasy, Autism Reality

(7) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 2:40 PM

If you are the parent of an autistic child, you may be surprised to hear that you are not actually living. Yes, I'm sure it's a shock, but you can find this and many other startling statements about autism in a recent article written by Suzanne Wright, the...

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Nobody Knows Anything: Autism Edition

(125) Comments | Posted September 6, 2012 | 3:21 PM

The novelist and screenwriter William Goldman famously wrote that until a movie opens, "nobody knows anything" about how well it will do at the box office.

This quotation came to mind as I read two recent stories about possible causes of autism in the New York Times.

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The Curious Case of Autism and MMS

(546) Comments | Posted June 14, 2012 | 12:45 PM

I'm going to say something radical, something that may shock you. Brace yourself. Are you ready? Here goes:

It's not a good idea to make children drink bleach.

If you're not familiar with the autism community, you may wonder why my statement would ever be considered controversial. Unfortunately, in the...

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Autism and the Hypothetical Child

(21) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 12:40 PM

Given how many autistic people there are in the world, it's odd how much of the conversation about autism revolves around children who don't exist. The most common such child is the one who is "indistinguishable from his peers." This is the child who will supposedly emerge after successful therapies...

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A Parent's Guide to Responding to a Child's Autism Diagnosis

(6) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 5:20 PM

What are the first things a parent should do after receiving an autism diagnosis for their child? In this Autism Awareness Month, there is no shortage of answers to that question, particularly since the month began with the news of an increased rate of autism.

Why, then, am...

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The New Autism Numbers

(5) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 4:42 PM

The Centers for Disease Control isn't usually known for its sense of dramatic timing. But by releasing its new report about autism prevalence just before Autism Awareness Month began, the CDC sparked a renewed discussion about what the nation should do about autism. The report shows that 1...

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Nickels, Dimes and 'High-Functioning' Autism

(17) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 4:46 PM

At my son Sam's school, the math curriculum has recently been focused on coins. By the time Sam is an adult, all financial transactions will probably take place via the microchips implanted in our heads, but nevertheless, we've been dutifully working to help him understand pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.

...
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Finding Humor In Autism

(15) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 12:44 PM

An autistic guy walks into a bar.

If you haven't yet heard a joke that begins with that line, it may only be a matter of time. Over the last couple of months, autism has suddenly become a popular subject for comedy. In an earlier post, I suggested...

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Labeling Autism And Creating Community

(2) Comments | Posted August 15, 2011 | 9:22 AM

My son Sam's recent birthday party was a festival of so-called "high functioning" autism. One young guest tried to guess my phone number without any hints. Another refused to go on the carousel until performing a careful study of its mechanics. A third was a bit late because he devised...

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Decoding the Language of Autism

(14) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 9:18 AM

Autism has its own language. Just ask any parent whose child has received a diagnosis of PDD-NOS and now has an IEP mandating EI that includes OT. But the specialized language of how we talk about autism is actually easier to master than the language -- spoken or not --...

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Autism Prevalence: Are More Children Really Developing ASD Now Than Before?

(11) Comments | Posted June 8, 2011 | 10:00 AM

The collective gasp you heard coming from the autism community last month was a response to the American Journal of Psychiatry's publication of a study of autism prevalence in South Korea. The study, which focused on the Ilsan district of Goyang City, South Korea, found an autism rate...

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Supporting Real Autism Science

(131) Comments | Posted May 16, 2011 | 8:45 PM

Suppose you have the flu. You also have diabetes. Would you expect that being treated for the flu would cure your diabetes?

Of course not. And yet for many years, parents of autistic children who also have gastrointestinal disorders (GID) hoped that treating their children's GI problems would cure their...

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My Fantasy for the Future of Autism Awareness

(36) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 11:16 AM

It's April 2021. Still riding high two months after her inauguration, the first female President of the United States (do I even need to mention her name?), pushes her balanced budget through Congress and turns her attention to the upcoming Autism Acceptance Month. At a press conference with parents, autistic...

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Can We Do More to Accommodate Autism?

(11) Comments | Posted April 21, 2011 | 5:20 PM

Walk for the cure. Race for the cure. Dance for the cure. In a world where every disability or disease seems to have its own sweaty fundraising event, these phrases sound perfectly normal to us.

Autism, not surprisingly, is part of this trend. Google "autism walk cure" and you'll get...

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Autism: The Most Popular Disability

(20) Comments | Posted April 14, 2011 | 1:15 PM

Autism is hip. It's hot. It's now.

It may seem strange to talk about a lifelong developmental disability in the same terms we usually reserve for a popular TV show, but there's no doubt that autism is having its cultural moment. My film, "Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic," is...

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Reconsidering the Nature of Autism

(66) Comments | Posted April 7, 2011 | 9:20 AM

"Autism ... steals the soul from a child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life's marrow out of the family members, one by one." So wrote Dr. Jerry Kartzinel in the introduction to Jenny McCarthy's bestselling "Louder Than Words." No wonder, then, that the concept of neurodiversity-- the idea...

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Learning to Embrace Autism

(116) Comments | Posted March 31, 2011 | 9:58 AM

As another Autism Awareness Month begins, those of us who are parents of autistic children are wondering just how much more awareness the world needs. For more than 10 years, the debates have raged on Oprah and Dr. Oz, in books by Jenny McCarthy on one side and...

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