A deep pain that can lead to isolation; fathers of Spectrum children

Autism is more than a cruel disappointment for men. It is a deep pain that can lead to isolation, self-hate and even cruelty to those closest to us.

Cinematographer Charles “CJ” Jones has walked the walk and now he’s talking the talk. His film Autistic Like Me; A Father’s Perspective tackles men’s issues head-on in a cinéma-vérité style that is poignant, powerful and punchy.

I met “CJ” when he appeared, camera in hand, in response to my request of WNYC Media  for a good videographer to document Dr. Stephen Shore’s presentation at a Mt. Sinai Medical Center autism conference in April. We discussed his vision for the film and the need for an associated community outreach program capable of helping men cope with their unique concerns and fears. Since then, “CJ” has teamed up with Robert Naseef and crack film production pros.  I am pleased that the project has progressed so rapidly.

Superficial men’s issues appear unique while, in fact, they are inexhorably tied to the larger public discussion of family issues. I will be calling upon “CJ” for his assistance with the public outreach services I am planning for use in Saudi Arabia and Southeast Asia.

For now, I’ll let the film speak for itself.

CJ & Malik

Autistic Like Me: A Father's Perspective


  1. Glad you’re following and reporting on this movie Michael. Heretofore under addressed needs of Fathers. I’d like to see more dialogue in the autism community about the specific needs of FATHERS.

  2. As a father of an 18 year old son with autism I can tell you that it was devastating to me when I learned that my son would never grow up as a typical boy and more devastating when I learned that he will never live on his own and require life long care.

    Though the years I have learned to accept my son for who he is as a person and I am now at peace with this situation.

    I urge all fathers in our predicament to learn as much as possible about this disorder, understand your child as a person, and adapt to this.

    I hope Charles in his production of this documentary can send this message to the fathers of the younger kids.

    • Gerard. As you are painfully aware, there are many men and families who do not know much about autism but are attempting to deal with it. I am certain your group is performing an important social function in the Bronx. Entire families benefit from successful grassroots outreach. “CJ” is hoping his work will promote the delivery of outreach and support services and serve to improve community understanding and aacceptance. Why don’t you contact “CJ”. I am certain he would want to hook up with you. Give him some time to respond… he on a tight schedule right now. Perhaps you two can arrange a public outreach evening with the Bronx Angels’ meetup group. Contact me if you need his contact info.

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