Discussing Children’s Mental Health With the Child Mind Institute

Andrea Vasquez |
Updated: March 18, 2015 at 12:00 AM

MetroFocus host Rafael Pi Roman talks to Child Mind Institute President Dr. Harold Koplewicz about the portrayal of mental illness in film and television.

One of the toughest subjects to talk about in this country is mental illness. We struggle to recognize it, to treat it, and even to accept the startling numbers of people who suffer from a wide range of mental disabilities. And when it comes to children, we’re even more unaware.

Movies and television may offer some solutions, as was discussed at a panel that the Child Mind Institute hosted in Los Angeles. Journalist Willow Bay moderated the panel of Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, Brian Grazer, the Academy Award-winning producer of A Beautiful Mind, Jason Katims, writer and producer of the hit TV series Parenthood and David O. Russell, writer and director of Silver Linings Playbook.

“These are individuals who’ve made great films, great TV shows, but most specifically they’ve showed us a very realistic portrayal of what it’s like to have a psychiatric disorder and how it affects not only the individual – the child or the teenager or the adult – but more importantly how it affects their family and everyone who loves them,” said Dr. Harold Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute.

The panelists discussed how an increase in the presence and positive portrayal of mentally ill film and television characters helps erode the stigma surrounding mental disorders. Grazer contributed to that effort with the 2001 Best Picture, A Beautiful Mind.

“If I could actually hit the bullseye and try to find a subject and then a character that could really help destigmatize mental disability, that would be a goal of mine,” Grazer said.

Sarandos said when he was growing up he had little interaction with mentally disabled peers, who were kept separate in school. Now, he said, children and adolescents learn from what they see on TV and movies, and Sarandos wanted that to include lessons about mental health.

“I felt an interesting responsibility around putting people and situations on TV that you don’t see normally,” he said.


Watch the full panel above.

Koplewicz said the stigma remains and many people still don’t understand the realities of mental illness.

“There’s still a stigma that surrounds these disorders. In fact, most parents will wait two years from the onset of symptoms before they’ll get some help for their children,” Koplewicz said. “I think they’re worried that they’ve done something wrong, that they feel guilty. They’re hopeful that it’s just a phase instead of recognizing that these are diseases above the neck and they’re brain-based diseases.”

Koplewicz said one-fifth of American children have a psychiatric or learning disorder. That means “every family in America knows one of these kids, is affected by one of these kids,” he said.

“I think that since every family is touched by this, we shouldn’t hide these kids,” Koplewicz said. “These kids should be part of [TV] series. Maybe they’re not the main character, but they should help us recognize that these kids are there and that by recognizing that, that’s why they’re going to get help.”

Mental Health Resources

The Balanced Mind Parent Network

Child Mind Institute resource list

Children’s Mental Health Network

Mental Health America

MentalHealth.gov

New Jersey Mental Health Cares

Resources for Children with Special Needs

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

> FROM THE WORLD'S LEADING CENTER FOR FINANCE, THE ARTS PUBLISHING, SCIENCE, RESEARCH, MEDIA, INNOVATION AND MUCH MORE, THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN

> TONIGHT, CAN HOLLYWOOD MAK A DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY WE PERCEIVE MENTAL ILLNESS AND TH PEOPLE WHO STRUGGLE WITH THOSE DISABILITIES A SPECIAL VIEW FROM SOME BIG NAMES IN THE MOVIE AND T BUSINESS

IF I CAN FIND A SUBJECT AND THEN A CHARACTER THAT CAN REALLY HELP DESTIGMATIZE MENTAL DISABILITY, THAT WOULD BE A GOAL MINE

IN YOUR TIPPING POINT, IF WE'RE QUIET ABOUT IT IT CAN, YOU KNOW, GO BACK INTO THE CLOSE AND BE ASHAMED OF THESE KIDS AND IGNORE THESE KIDS.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS PROVIDED BY THE FOLLOWING -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR METROFOCUS IS PROVIDED BY, MUTUAL O AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

> ONE OF THE TOUGHEST SUBJEC TO TALK ABOUT IN THIS COUNTRY IS MENTAL ILLNESS WE STRUGGLE TO RECOGNIZE IT, T TREAT IT AND WHEN IT COMES T CHILDREN WE'RE EVEN MORE UNAWARE.

WE'LL LOOK AT HOW MOVIES AND TELEVISION MAY OFFER SOM SOLUTIONS WITH THE HELP OF EXCERPTS FROM A PANEL DISCUSSION AT THE CHILD MIND INSTITUT HOSTED IN LOS ANGELES WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF DR. HAROL KOPLEWICZ, PRESIDENT OF TH CHILD MIND INSTITUTE WHO JOINS ME NOW DR. KOPLEWICZ, WELCOME

GOOD TO BE WITH YOU

THE SPEAKERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE SPEECH, WAS WILLOW BAY, BRIAN GRAZER, THE ACADEM AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER OF 'A BEAUTIFUL MIND,' AND JASON KATIMS AND WRITER AND PRODUCER OF 'PARENTHOOD' AND THE DIRECTOR OF 'SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK'

THESE ARE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE MADE GREAT FILMS, GREAT T SHOWS, BUT MOST SPECIFICALLY THEY'VE SHOWED US A VERY REALISTIC PORTRAYAL OF WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HAVE A PSYCHIATRIC DISORDER AND HOW IT NOT ONLY AFFECTS THE INDIVIDUAL, TH CHILD, AND THE TEENAGER, AND THE ADULT AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, HO IT AFFECTS THEIR FAMILY AN EVERYONE WHO LOVES THEM.

DR., WE'LL CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION IN A FEW MINUTE AND LET'S TURN TO HIGHLIGHTS ABOUT HOW TV AND FILM CAN CHANGE THE LIFE OF CHILDREN AS WILLOW BAY BEGINS THE CONVERSATION ON THE FOCUS OF PERSONAL STORIE THAT INFORMED SOME OF THE RECENT HITS OF FILM AND TELEVISION.

I'D LIKE TO BEGIN BY ASKING YOU AND BRIAN, MAYBE I'LL STAR WITH YOU SINCE YOU AND I TALKE ABOUT THIS A LOT, ABOUT HOW YO CAME TO THOSE STORIES AND -- AND WHY.

STARTING WITH WHY YOU CHOSE TO TELL THE STORY OF JOHN NASH?

WELL, I COME TO IT FROM SEVERAL DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS AND FIRST OF ALL, AS A FATHER, I HAVE A SON WHO'S 27 YEARS OLD.

HE HAS ASPERGER'S SYNDROME, BU HE'S PRETTY HIGH FUNCTIONING NOT EXTREMELY HIGH FUNCTIONING AND A VERY, VERY HAPPY KID, BU IT'S, YOU KNOW, IT'S FILLED WITH DIFFERENT PROBLEMS, OF COURSE.

THE FIRST PROBLEM IS AT 3 1/ YEARS OLD YOU'RE TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HIS DISABILITY IS, IF THERE'S A DISABILITY AN DIAGNOSING THAT IS INCREDIBL DIFFICULT AND TIME CONSUMING WHICH WE CAN ALL SPEAK TO, BUT -- SO IT STARTED WITH THAT AND I WOULD WATCH, YOU KNOW, NOT ONLY TRY TO HELP HIM WITH THAT BUT I WOULD WATCH HOW TH EXTERNAL WORLD TREATED HIM SO I WAS HIGHLY SENSITIZED T WHAT THAT IS, AND IN THE CASE OF 'A BEAUTIFUL MIND' IS JUST OVE THIS JOURNEY OF MAKING MOVIE THAT HAD THIS SORT OF CONSCIENCE ABOUT THEM, WHETHER IT'S ' MILE' OR EVEN 'SPLASH' FOR THA MATTER, AND I THOUGHT TH REAL -- IF I CAN ACTUALLY HI THE BULL'S-EYE AND TRY TO FIND A SUBJECT AND THEN A CHARACTER THAT COULD REALLY HELP DESTIGMATIZE MENTAL DISABILITY THAT WOULD BE A GOAL OF MINE

LET ME ASK YOU WITH 'PARENTHOOD' AND THE STORYLINE OF MAX WHO IS A CHILD WITH AUTISM, HOW DID THAT STORYLINE COME ABOUT I'M SURE ALL OF YOU HAVE SEE 'PARENTHOOD,' BUT I BELIEVE TH ONLY NETWORK TELEVISION SHOW T HAVE CONSISTENTLY PORTRAYED CHARACTER WITH AUTISM THROUGHOUT THE SERIES AND NOT JUST AS A ONE-OFF SHOW

YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS WORKIN ON THE PILOT EPISODE I WAS, YO KNOW, I WAS -- YOU KNOW, THINKING HOW DO I ADAPT TH MOVIE 'PARENTHOOD' INTO TELEVISION SHOW, AND I WATCHED THE MOVIE 'PARENTHOOD,' AND THOUGHT, WOW, THAT'S REALL GOOD AND, YOU KNOW, WHAT AM I GOING TO BRING TO IT I THOUGHT OF MY OWN EXPERIENCE OF HAVING A SON WITH A PERRINGERS, WHO AT THE TIME THAT I WROTE THE PILOT IT WAS STILL IN THE MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS AND IT WAS VERY MUCH A HUGE STRUGGLE AND A HUGE PART OF MY LIFE AND MY WIFE'S LIFE TO HELP HIM FIN A PATH AND SO THE NATURAL THIN FOR ME TO BRING TO IT WAS, AND MAKE IT PERSONAL WAS THA STORYLINE.

DAVID, WILL YOU SHARE WITH US HOW YOU CAME -- AND STARTED WITH THE BOOK 'THE SILVER LINING'

THE LATE, GREAT SYDNE POLLACK SHOWED ME THE BOOK I 2006 AND 2007 AND I'M A WRITER FOR HIRE AND I SUPPORT M FAMILY TRUE AND SO THE KEY TO THE STORY, I'LL TRY TO BE BRIEF, WAS TO REACH PEOPLE IT WAS VERY PERSONAL TO ME I TAILORED IT TO THE STORY OF MY SON AND OUR EXPERIENCES WITH HIM.

FIRST OF ALL, TO MAKE IT REGULAR, YOU KNOW?

IT'S A REGULAR FAMILY AND I SE THESE PEOPLE AS EXAGGERATE VERSIONS OF OURSELVES.

I FEEL THAT WHAT THEY MUST LIV BY, WE ALL MUST LIVE BY AND THEY ALL NEEDED MUCH MORE MY SON HAS TAUGHT ME THAT, HE' TAUGHT ME THAT A CYNICAL ATTITUDE, A DEPRESSIVE ATTITUD IS ONE THAT IS SIMPLY TO EXTRAVAGANT TO BE AFFORDED I LIFE I MEAN, IT'S A LUXURY.

IT'S AN INDULGENCE THAT CAN COST YOU YOUR LIFE.

IT CAN COST YOU YOUR SOUL AN WITH THOSE GUYS IT CAN COST THEM THEIR SOUL AND THEIR LIFE.

THAT'S TRUE OF ALL OF US ALSO, IT'S LIKE A RORSCHACH FO EVERY OTHER CHARACTER IN THE PICTURE, ISN'T IT?

THAT'S HOW I SAW THIS STORY.

THIS CHARACTER FIRST WAS TO BE PLAYED BY MATINEE IDOL BRADLEY COOPER WAS A VERY HEALED THING AND WE LET BRADLEY'S SCARS THA HE HAS ON HIS FACE NATURALLY, WE BROUGHT THEM OUT AND WE CUT HI HAIR AND HIS MAGNIFICENT MANE OF HAIR OFF AND WE HAD TO DE-HANGOVERIZE HIM AND I KNE FROM WATCHING HIM ON WEDDING CRASHERS THAT HE WAS INCREDIBL SCARY OR ANGRY AND HIS RESPONS WAS SO SOULFUL ABOUT IT, THAT KNEW HE WAS A PERSON WHO HAD BEEN THROUGH HIS OWN TRIALS WH HE WOULD LOVE THIS PERSON AND IT CAME FROM THE PLACE OF LOVE FO EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER I ALWAYS SAY THAT FILM WAS A GIFT FROM MY SON TO ME AND I NEVER WOULD HAVE MADE IT WITHOUT ME BRIAN EVEN DISCUSSED ' BEAUTIFUL MIND' WITH ME BEFORE THEY DID IT, AND I DON'T THINK I WAS READY, REALLY TO MAKE A FILM ABOUT THAT SUBJECT MATTER AND COMMEND YOU AND THANK YOU FO INVITING ME TODAY.

NO.

NO WE'VE BEEN TALKING FOR YEARS ABOUT OUR KIDS AND WHAT TO D AND WHEN TO DO IT AND FOR OVER 12 YEARS SO WE FIND A COMMUNITY

SO, TED, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE SHOW THAT YOU HAVE DEREK, WHICH IS A SERIES O RICKY GERVAIS.

YOU DON'T COME TO IT NECESSARILY SHAPED BY YOUR FAMILY HISTORY, BUT YOU COME TO IT WITH CREATIVE SENSIBILITY AND A STRATEGIC SENSIBILITY.

I THINK WHAT YOU HAVE TO AD HERE IS WHEN YOU'RE SITTING AT THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE TO HEAR THE STORY IDEAS AND THE PITCHES FOR THE SHOW, I FELT LIKE IT WAS AN INTERESTING RESPONSIBILITY AROUND WITH THE SITUATIONS ON TV THAT YOU DON' SEE NORMALLY THAT'S THE EXCITING PART OF THIS EXPANSION OF NEW AND ORIGINA CONTENT IS THAT PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO TAKE MORE CHANCE WE STORYLINES AND CHARACTERS THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TRIED BEFORE AND WHEN RICKY CALLED ME ABOUT 'DEREK' IT WAS ON EYE THINK HAD THE SAME RESERVATION THA ANYONE WOULD THE FIRST TIME.

HE'D SHOT THE PILOT AS A SHORT FILM, AND I WAS JUST BLOWN AWA BY IT, AND IF YOU WATCH TH SHOW, WE DON'T -- IT'S NOT A VERY SPECIAL EPISODE IT'S A REAL SERIES ABOUT A GUY DEALING WITH LIFE AND HE HAS A JOB, AND HE HAS A SENSE OF SELF-WORTH, AND HE'S IMPORTANT AND IT'S -- AND THESE ARE TH REASONS WHY I LOVE THE SHOW SO MUCH ON 'ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK' W DEAL WITH A VARIETY OF MENTA HEALTH ISSUES, AS WELL, THINGS THAT TELEVISION WOULD HAVE SHIED AWAY FROM.

WHAT I BRING TO IT IS I HAVE KIDS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND WHEN I WAS A KID IN HIGH SCHOOL W LEARNED ALMOST EVERYTHING IN HIGH SCHOOL AND NOW KIDS LEARN ALMOST EVERYTHING ON TELEVISION.

WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL KIDS WITH DISABILITIES WERE CORRALLED SOMEWHERE ELSE AND WE NEVER SA THEM AND THEY HAD A DIFFEREN LUNCH HOUR AND WE'D PASS THE LIKE THIS AND THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY TO KNOW THEI STORIES AND THEIR LIVES.

AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE GET TO USE THAT PLATFORM TO TRY SOM NEW THINGS

DOCTOR, IT'S WONDERFUL WHAT THESE MEN ARE DOING, BUT THREE OF THEM CAME TO THE ISSU BECAUSE OF THEIR PERSONA EXPERIENCE YOU KNOW THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, ARE OTHERS WHO DON'T HAVE THE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE STEPPING UP TO DO WORK THA DESTIGMATIZES MENTAL STABILITIES.

I'M OPTIMISTIC AND I'M ALSO PRAGMATIC.

WE'RE STILL NOT THERE.

WE'RE GETTING CLOSE TO A TIPPING POINT, BUT MOST PEOPLE STILL ARE AFRAID TO STEP FORWARD THERE'S STILL A STIGMA THA SURROUNDS THESE DISORDERS.

IN FACT, MOST PARENTS WILL WAI UP TO TWO YEARS FROM THE ONSET OF SYMPTOMS BEFORE THEY'LL GET HELP FOR THEIR CHILDREN.

I THINK THEY'RE WORRIED THAT THEY'VE DONE SOMETHING WRONG THAT THEY FEEL GUILTY, THA THEY'RE HOPEFUL THAT IT'S JUST A PHASE INSTEAD OF RECOGNIZING THAT THESE ARE DISEASES ABOV THE NECK AND THEY'RE BRAIN-BASED DISEASES WHAT I THINK IS SPECIAL ABOU THESE MEN IS THAT THEY'VE TAKE PERSONAL STORIES AND THEY'VE DECIDED TO RECOGNIZE THAT THER ARE SO MANY OTHER KIDS WHO ARE SUFFERING.

ONE OUT OF FIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN HAVE A PSYCHIATRIC OR LEARNING DISORDER.

THAT'S 15 MILLION KIDS AND FRANKLY, EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA KNOWS ONE OF THESE KIDS, I AFFECTED BY ONE OF THESE KID BECAUSE IF IT'S NOT YOUR SON O YOUR DAUGHTER AND NOT YOUR NEIGHBOR'S CHILD IT'S THE KID SITTING NEXT TO YOUR CHILD AT SCHOOL AND SO WHAT WAS WONDERFUL IS THAT THEY ARE TAKING THESE STORIES AND TELLING YOU, THIS IS REAL, IT'S COMMON AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT'S TREATABLE.

HOW MANY OF THOSE KIDS AR DAIING BECAUSE OF THIS DISEASE THIS IS THE SADDEST PART THA THIS YEAR WE'LL LOSE 5,000 KID BETWEEN THE AGES OF 14 TO 24 FROM SUICIDE, BUT 600,000, THA MEANS ONE EVERY 45 SECONDS WIL MAKE A SERIOUS ENOUGH ATTEMP THAT THEY'LL LAND IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM SO MANY MORE KIDS WILL DIE FRO SUICIDE THAN ALL OF THE KIDS DIEING FROM AIDS AND PNEUMONIA AND CANCER COMBINED.

THESE ARE THE COMMON DISORDERS OF CHILDHOOD

DO YOU THINK IT'S THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TH ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY TO DO STORIES LIKE THESE

IT'S THE RESPONSIBILITY O THE INDUSTRY TO MAKE ENTERTAINING MOVIES AND SHOWS, BUT I THINK SINCE EVERY FAMILY IS TOUCHED BY THIS, WE SHOULDN'T HIDE THESE KIDS.

THESE KIDS SHOULD BE PARTS O SERIES THEY MAY NOT BE THE MAIN CHARACTER, BUT THEY SHOULD HEL TUS RECOGNIZE THAT THESE KID ARE THERE AND THAT B RECOGNIZING THAT THAT'S WH THEY'RE GOING TO GO GET HELP

YOU TALK ABOUT THE STIGMA O MENTAL ILLNESS, WE TALK ABOU ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DESTIGMATIZED HOMOSEXUALITY, WHEN CELEBRITIES BEGAN TO OU THEMSELVES IF CELEBRITIES WHO HAD EXPERIENCED MENTAL DISABILITIE WHO BEGAN TO COME OUT WOULD HAVE THE SAME EFFECT.

WE'VE HAD A FEW WHO HAVE DONE THAT AND IT'S AWE-INSPIRING AN ORLANDO BLOOM TALKED ABOUT HIS DYSLEXIA A FEW YEARS AGO I FRONT OF A CROWD OF KIDS AND I WAS PICKED UP BY 'PEOPLE MAGAZINE AND I WAS WALKING WIT ORLANDO BLOOM IN CALIFORNIA ON A BEACH AND SOME KID CAME RUNNIN OVER TO HIM AND SAID ORLANDO ORLANDO.

I'M SURE HE THOUGHT HE WAS GOING TO SAY I HAVE DYSLEXIA, TOO.

ORLANDO HUGGED HIM I REMEMBER SAYING TO HIM, YOU'RE NOT ONLY FAMIOUS, YOU'RE NOW SIGNIFICANT AND SOME LITTLE BO CAN THINK IT CAN BE OKAY IF HAVE THE SAME THING AS A FAMOU MOVIE STAR WHO MADE IT THROUGH THE TUNNEL

LET'S HEAR MORE FROM TH PANEL.

THIS IS THE RESPONSIBILITY O DIRECTORS, PRODUCERS AND WRITERS TO EDUCATE US ABOUT PEOPLE WIT MENTAL ILLNESS

DO YOU THINK THE INDUSTRY DOES HAVE RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE ON CRITICAL ISSUES, TO CREATE SENSE OF DIVERSITY ON THE SMAL SCREEN OR THE BIG SCREEN THA REFLECTS THE WORLD THAT WE LIV IN WOULD YOU GO THAT FAR TO SAY IT'S A RESPONSIBILITY?

IT'S NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO IT IN A HEAVY HANDED WAY IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO DO IT IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE CAN LEARN FROM IT WITHOUT BEING PREACHED TO AND IT'S STILL ENTERTAINMEN AT THE END OF THE DAY.

'PARENTHOOD' IS A GREAT SHOW 'SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK,' YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT IT WITHOU LAUGHING IT'S A GREAT MOVIE AND A GREAT FILM AND THAT'S WHAT'S IMPORTANT AND THEREFORE, IT'S RESPONSIBILITY AND ONE THAT YO CAN CHECK THE BOX FAIRLY EASIL THROUGH GREAT STORY TELLING.

SO, YOU MENTIONED GREAT STORY TELLING AND YOU ALL ARE, YOU KNOW, PRISTINE EXAMPLES OF BEAUTIFUL STORY TELLING AND I' CURIOUS AT SOME OF THE CREATIV CHOICES THAT YOU MAKE -- BRIAN HOW DID YOU BRING PEOPLE INSID THE MIND OF A SCHIZOPHRENIC?

WELL, ACTUALLY -- THAT WA VERY DIFFICULT THE PERSPECTIVE IS KIND OF EVERYTHING WE FOUND THE STORY AND BOUGH THE MANUSCRIPT, BUT IT DIDN' HAVE THE PERSPECTIVE OF JOHN NASH LIVING IN AN ALTERNAT REALITY.

SO BASICALLY, IT WAS A STORY THAT WAS REALLY COMPELLING, BU WHEN YOU GET DOWN TO MAKING TH MOVIE, CINEMATICALLY HOW DOES IT SHOW HOW A SCHIZOPHRENIC'S MIN ACTUALLY WORKS I THOUGHT, OH, MY GOD, IF WE HAVE AN ENTIRE STORY THA PRECEDES THE REELZ STORY AND THEN WE HAVE THIS CATHARTI MOMENT WHICH ULTIMATELY BECOME THIS EPIPHANY WHERE HE REALIZE EVERYTHING KIND OF COMES TOGETHER OR EXPLODES, HOWEVE YOU LOOK AT IT THAT THE REALIT THAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING WAS THE REALITY IN HIS MIND, AND I THOUGHT THAT WAS PRETTY GREAT, THAT LITTLE BREAKTHROUGH AND O COURSE, HE WROTE A GREAT SCRIP AND WON AN OSCAR FOR IT, BUT I REALLY HELPED TO SHOW AND GAVE YOU AN ENTRY POINT INT UNDERSTANDING HOW PEOPLE THINK AND WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING DOWN WHETHER IT'S OCEAN AVENUE AN WHEN YOU SEE SOME HOMELESS GUY SOME RANDOM HOMELESS GUY DIGGING INTO A GARBAGE CAN AND HAVING FULL-ON CONVERSATION THAT IT'S HIGHLY LIKELY THAT PERSON CAN BE SKITSZ 14IC AND THAT HE'S HIGHLY LIKELY HE'S IN ANOTHER NARRATIVE FORM, RIGHT?

HE'S IN ANOTHER NARRATIVE RIGH NOW, HE OR SHE AND THAT'S QUIT COMMON

SIMILARLY, I'M WONDERIN ABOUT SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHIC YOU BROUGHT THE STORY OF MAX AND HIS FAMILY TO LIFE, EITHER SHAPED BY YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES AND THE NATURAL EVOLUTION AN THE PLOT LINE THAT TAKES U INSIDE THE WORLD OF A CHILD, A CHILD'S PARENT, A CHILD' COMMUNITY.

RIGHT

STRUGGLING WITH THESE ISSUES.

YEAH.

WELL, IT WAS -- IT WAS -- IT WAS CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, AND I WAS TALKING BEFORE ABOUT M HESITANCY TO DO IT IT WAS MORE LIKE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL THAN ANYTHING I HAD WRITTEN BEFORE ONE OF THE THINGS, FOR EXAMPLE THAT WAS SO IMPORTANT TO ME WAS, YOU KNOW, NOT MAX, BUT EVERYBODY AROUND MAX MAX'S SISTER, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE -- YOU KNOW, ONE OF TH STORYLINES THAT WE TOUCHED O WAS, YOU KNOW, HOW THE SIBLING IS SORT OF AFFECTED BY IT AN IT'S, YOU KNOW, IT'S A MAJOR THING AND IT'S JUST BECAUS AGAIN, I LIVED IT AND I SAW HO MY DAUGHTER'S LIFE WAS SHAPE AND HAS BEEN SHAPED AN CONTINUES TO BE SHAPED BY MY SON AND YOU KNOW, AS WELL.

I REALIZED THAT THAT WAS, YO KNOW, SORT OF A HUGE, YOU KNOW A HUGE PART OF IT.

I SHARE THIS STORY WITH JASON, BUT BY TOTAL COINCIDENCE, A COLLEGE ROOMMATE CAME TO VISIT AND SHE DESIGNS AUTISM PROGRAM IN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS IN THE D.C. AREA AND I WAS TELLIN HER ABOUT THIS PANEL THAT I WA GOING THROUGH WITH EVERYBODY'S NAMES AND SHE WAS LOOKING AT M BLANKLY, BUT SHE'S ALSO A TV FREAK.

SO I SAID 'PARENTHOOD' AND SHE SAID, I CLIP EPISODE AFTER CHUNKS OF EPISODE AND I USE THEM IN MY PRACTICE

I SAID, YOU DO?

SHE PROCEEDED TO GIVE M EXAMPLES AND I SAID WHAT DO YO USE THEM TO DO

FOR STARTERS, PARENTS ARE S ANXIOUS AND THEY'RE SO FILLE WITH ALL OF THESE EMOTIONS AND ANXIETY BEING THE PREDOMINAN ONES AND IT JUST BRINGS TH TEMPERATURE DOWN JUST SHOWIN THOSE CLIPS TAKES TH TEMPERATURE DOWN, AND I WOUL ASK ALL OF YOU, BECAUSE I KNOW YOU ALL GET POWERFUL BESIDES THE FACT THAT EVERYBODY HAS SEEN THEM AND THEY'RE CREATIVE AN COMMERCIAL SUCCESSES, YOU GE THESE VERY PERSONAL REACTION AND RESPONSES FROM CHILDREN AN FAMILIES AND I'M WONDERING WHA YOU ALL KNOW EITHER THROUGH YOUR OWN LENS OR THROUGH YOUR STORY TELLING LENS ABOUT WHAT CHILDREN REALLY NEED WHO ARE EXPERIENCING STRUGGLE WITH THESE CHALLENGES AND WHAT THEIR PARENTS AND FAMILIES NEED?

DAVID, MAYBE I'LL START WITH YOU.

WHAT -- WHAT -- I CAN SAY THAT SINCE THE FILM CAME OUT I'VE BEEN APPROACHEDED BY PEOPLE CONSTANTLY WHO SAY THAT -- I WOULD BE AT A MEETING AT SOM STUDIO AND AS I'M LEAVIN SOMEONE I DO NOT KNOW LIKE WHO IS THE HEAD OF SOME OTHER THIN WILL SAY, HI CAN I TALK TO YOU?

I'M, LIKE, OKAY, WHY SO WE GO -- AND THEY CLOSE THE DOOR AND THEY SAY I NEED T SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT MY CHILD.

WHO KNOWS?

I WANT TO ASK YOU WHERE I SHOULD GO AND WHAT I SHOULD DO AND THIS IS WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH M CHILD AND I COULD BE IN THAT ROOM FOR HOURS THE JUDGE IS TELLING THEM, THERE'S THIS DOCTOR AND THIS I WITH THEM AND DO YOU HAVE BEHAVIORAL PROGRAM AT HOME THAT HAPPENS CONSTANTLY BECAUS OF SILVER LININGS AND IT REMOVED THE STIGMA AND MANY PEOPLE HAV ENDED UP IN THE GLEN HOME SCHOOL WHICH MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEE INVOLVED WITH AND THEY'VE FOUN THAT SCHOOL AS A LIFE SAVER AN OTHER SCHOOLS BECAUSE IT'S BEE SPOKEN ABOUT IN THE MEDIA.

WHEN THE SECOND ARTICLE O PARENTHOOD AIRED THERE WAS A ARTICLE THAT THE ASPERGER'S WA MISSPELLED THE WORST OF WHICH WAS ASS BURGER WHEN I SET OUT TO WRITE TH STORY I REALLY DIDN'T HAVE ANY ON EYE DIDN'T REALLY HAVE TH GOAL OF RAISING AWARENESS.

IT WAS A PERSONAL STORY THAT I NEEDED TO TELL, BUT WHEN THA HAPPENED FOLLOWED BY THE LAS FIVE YEARS OF SIMILAR STORIES OF PEOPLE REACHING OUT TO M ANECDOTALLY AND REACHING OUT I ALL DIFFERENT WAYS, YOU KNOW, REALIZED THAT THE -- THAT -- HOW IMPORTANT IT IS AND I THINK AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE, IT' IMPORTANT AS A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO START A CONVERSATION

YOU HAVE YOUR -- YOU'RE TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO YOU PARENTS THE GRANDPARENTS OF CHILD THAT YOUR SON, SOMETHING'S GOING ON, AND THEY DON'T WANT TO SEE IT AND THEN YOU CAN SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW, LIKE, THAT KID MAX ON 'PARENTHOOD,' WELL, S AND SO IS SORT OF LIKE THAT AN I'VE HEARD SO MANY STORIES OF, YOU KNOW -- OF, YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF STORY OF PEOPLE AND ALSO STORIES LIKE YOU WERE TALKIN ABOUT WITH PEOPLE USING CLIP FROM THE SHOW IN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS TO HELP PEOPLE, AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, REALLY MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE, I THINK WHAT -- WHAT WE CAN DO IS SORT OF PUT IT OUT THERE IN A WAY THAT PEOPLE SORT OF UNDERSTAND IT

DOCTOR, THESE MEN HAV TERRIFIC PLATFORMS FROM WHICH TO SPEAK OF FOR PEOPLE SUFFERIN WITH DISABILITIES AND THEI FAMILIES TO PUT IT OUT THERE AS JASON SAID, WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF US, BESIDES CONNECTING WITH TH CHILD INSTITUTE WITH THE RESOURCES AND INFORMATION THAT WE HAVE TO OFFER WHAT DO WE DO?

I THINK IT'S TIME TO REALLY HAVE ALMOST A REVOLUTION AND T KEEP THIS CONVERSATION GOING THE FIRST STEP IS NOT TO B ASHAMED.

SO IF YOU ARE A PARENT OF ONE OF THESE 15 MILLION KIDS YOU HAVE TO BE PROUD OF THAT CHIL BECAUSE LET ME TELL YOU, THE KIDS WHO HAVE PSYCHIATRI ILLNESS AND LEARNING DISORDERS REALLY ARE HEROIC.

EVERY DAY THEY GO TO SCHOOL AN THEY DO THINGS THAT ARE SO EAS FOR THE REST OF US AND SO HARD FOR THEM AND THEY STIL PERSEVERE AND THEY DO THAT AND THAT'S COURAGE THAT'S REAL HEROISM AN RECOGNIZING THAT YOUR KID HAS DEFICIT AND HAS LIMITATIONS AN HAS TICHL SOMS CAUSED BY A BRAIN-BASED DISORDER I SOMETHING THAT YOU SHOULD TALK ABOUT NOT BE ASHAMED BECAUSE ONCE THAT CONVERSATION GOE AROUND, CHANGE WILL HAPPEN AND WE SAID IT HAPPENED IN THE GAY MOVEMENT AND SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND IT HAPPENED WITH AIDS.

THIS THIS COUNTRY, ONCE IT UNDERSTOOD AIDS, NOT ONLY DID WE GET GREAT SCIENCE GOING FOR IT BUT WE ALSO GOT MORE COMPASSIO AND UNDERSTANDING FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE DISEASE, AND I THIN THAT'S WHAT WE NEED BECAUSE WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT THESE KIDS ARE SO COMMON AND THE DISEASE IS SO REAL AND IT'S SO TREATABLE AND YET, WE DON' TREAT ILLNESSES ABOVE THE NECK WITH THE SAME KIND OF SKIENT IFIC RIGOR AND THE SAM COMPASSION AS THE REST OF TH BODY

OR THE SAME KIND OF RESOURCES, RIGHT

WHAT ARE SOME OF TH RESOURCERS FOR PEOPLE WITH MODEST MEANS WHO NEED HELP I ORDER TO TAKE CARE OF THEI CHILDREN

THE NUMBERS ARE PRETT FRIGHTENING, THE CDC SAYS WE SPEND OVER $2 HINN BILLION A YEAR TAKING CARE OF THESE KIDS AND IT'S NOT FOR PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENTS AND IT'S FOR DISABL SXITS JUVENILE JUSTICE AND KID WHO HAVE THESE DISORDER ARE MORE LIKELY TO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL AND USE SUBSTANCES AND HAV INTERACTIONS WITH THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND WE SPEND $240 MILLION ON RESEARCH TO TRY T FIND BETTER UNDERSTANDING AN BETTER TREATMENT, BUT TH RESOURCES ARE GETTING BETTER S AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE WILL GIV PARODY, WILL GIVE EQUALITY TO -- FOR TREATMENT OF CHILDREN WH HAVE MENTAL ILLNESS VERSUS CHILDREN WHO HAVE PHYSICAL ILLNESS AND THAT'S SOMETHING THAT PARENTSES HAVE TO KNO ABOUT, TOO, ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC THAT THEY DISAPPEAR AND TH MENTAL DISABILITIES IN OUR LIF TIMES.

AND I THINK THAT WE'RE NEAR TIPPING POINT, AND I THINK THA IF WE'RE QUIET ABOUT IT, IT CA GO BACK INTO THE CLOSET AND BE ASHAMED OF THESE KIDS AND IGNORE THESE KIDS AND BY THE WAY, THI IS A TRIALY BIPARTISAN ISSUE AND THERE ARE VERY FEW BIPARTISA ISSUES TODAY, THE CHILDREN'S PSYCHIATRIC ILLNESS AN ADVANCING TREATMENT GETTIN BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND UNDERSTANDING THE BREAKS O THESE KIDS BECAUSE THAT'S TH BIGGEST BREAKTHROUGH IS THAT W CAN NOW LOOK AND SEE HOW BRAIN FUNCTION AND NOT ONLY HOW THEY LOOK WILL GIVE US BREAKTHROUGH THAT WILL GIVE US BETTER IDENTIFICATION AND BETTE TREATMENT AND THEREFORE BETTER LIVES FOR THESE KIDS

DR. KOPLEWICZ, THANK YOU VERY MUCH ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO TALK WITH YOU.

THANK YOU

THAT'S ALL OF THE TIME WE HAVE THERE'S MORE INFORMATION ONLIN ON OUR WEBSITE, METROFOCUS.ORG AND LINKS TO THE FULL PANE DISCUSSION JOIN US NEXT WEEK WITH NEWS, CONVERSATIONS AND IN-DEPTH REPORTING FROM NEW YORK AN PUBLIC TELEVISION.

I'M RAFAEL PI ROMAN.

SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

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Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Denise Schwartz, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Janet Prindle Seidler, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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