Leo, my six-year-old son, was diagnosed with autism at the age of one. Whatever goes through his mind is an enigma to me as he has never told me a single word. Somehow his existence gives me deep thoughts and constant questioning. This film narrates my search for his voice through a record of our daily life, evidencing our process in the development of communication, but it mainly talks about how my quest ends up challenging my concepts about family, the expectations we have about others and the importance of our individualism in a society, in which we are all governed by the same pattern. Those are concepts that I must rethink at the age of 37 when I had already made my own idea of the world, love, and society. I have allowed myself to unlearn in order to learn again a different way of living, under a new wonderful perspective that my son Leo has brought to my life.
The way I see it, Leo greatest strength is placed in his particularities: he has no edges, corners, nor vertices; he carries a genetic sincerity. The intriguing issue is that this attribute suggests vulnerability and eccentricity within a society that contemplates the lie as an operational value.
As Leo's mother, I feel the need to share my knowledge and this attempt at getting into me. Exploring Leo's word is a way of rummaging in me, and due to that research, I find myself with my own words, with my own voice. Leo will never stop being autistic, it is up to us, his environment, to renew ourselves and step towards the understanding of all that he really is. People like Leo challenge us, have the virtue of generating in us deep changes and, therefore, push us to become better human beings: we accept ourselves in depth and, consequently, we accept others. In my experience with autism I have had the opportunity to be close to other families who live the same situation, even though in a different way. It's hard to dispatch the projections we have toward the others. From my point of view, autism has never been a tragedy, but a trial, an opportunity. This film is for everyone who feels or has ever felt like Leo and for their families, who have to make their particular processes and be incessantly confronting presumptions.
One in sixty-eight people has some kind of autism, this makes it a social issue. It is necessary to expand our knowledge about this condition. But I also find the pretext to address the topic of diversity, of the need to accept the other in their individuality. It is necessary to broaden our level of tolerance towards sexual identity, gender, ethnicity, socio-cultural position and, especially with this film, towards neurodiversity. Knowledge and empathy are the antidote to stigma and rejection.