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The Movie Radio, Movie Review Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1049

Movie Review

In the movie Radio, the director depicts the stigma against children with autism within society and the education system. the film highlights how autistic children face stigma within the education system. It also depicts how autistic children are largely segregated and never get the opportunity to participate in activities and living a full life. It also shows the sources of these stigma and the forces that are constantly working to oppress and suppress children with mental illnesses. In the movie, Radio is a teenage boy who is autistic. He requires special needs education and he cannot attend the level of education that his peers do. He is constantly ridiculed and as a result is very shy and mostly keeps to himself. As a result of this withdrawn nature, Radio can communicate using the fundamental language skills but has considerable difficulty in reading and writing.

Cappadocia, Weiss and Debra’s research found that children with ASD found it more difficult to develop and/or maintain positive relationships over extended periods of time. This was largely owing to the fact that social status plays a huge role in the manner in which friendships develop in high school (Cappadocia, Weiss, & Pepler, 2012). By virtue of having social problems and difficulty fitting within the social system within school, children with ASD become especially prone to victimization.

He is depicted as minding his own business one day, when he is accosted by a number of high school football players. They push him into an equipment shed and lock him in there. During this time, they constantly throw footballs at the shed, frightening Radio. This incident would go on until Jones, the football coach steps in and rescues Radio. Radio is clearly traumatized and at this point coach Jones realized.

The bullying by members of the football team relates with the research conducted by Catherine Cappadocia, Jonathan Weiss and Debra Pepler. In their study, 192 parents of children diagnosed with ASD gave regular responses on their children reports on being bullied (Cappadocia, Weiss, & Pepler, 2012). The study found that children with ASD found that children with ASD are bullied more often bullied when compared to the general population. Afterwards Coach Jones takes it upon himself to get Radio involved in the team, he develops the idea to make Radio the team mascot. While this is received well, the star villain, Johnny Clay constantly picks on Radio at any opportunity he gets. His father, Frank Clay, is also an instinctive bully, ever holding that Radio is an interference to the team, its goals and objectives. This insistent bullying by Jonathan Clay depicts aspects of victimization that embody status and position. Schroeder, Cappadocia, Bebko, Pepler and Weiss highlight the fact that victimization of children with ASD was usually an issue of status within the social system within school.

Victimization of Children with ASD has been found to be largely associated with social status. The aggressors are usually individuals who seek to exert and/or assert social dominance (Schroeder, Cappadocia, Bebko, Pepler, & Weiss, 2014). Owing to the fact that children with ASD are generally considered intellectual weaker to other children, they are naturally easier targets for children looking to ensure their position within the social hierarchy within the school setting.

Research has shown that there are still high levels of stigma towards mental illness (Corrigan, 2004). One of the ways found to reduce stigmatization is through contact with mental illness (Desforges, et al., 1991). In addition, there is evidence to suggest that indirect contact with mental illness also reduces the level of stigma. Stigma has been defined as an attribute that discredits an individual and in essence tainting or discounting them. People that are stigmatized have or are believed to have specific attributes that make them different and in turn devalued in certain aspects of society. Link & Phelan (2001) identified five components of sigma; labelling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination and further suggested that power must be exercised for stigmatisation to occur.

Numerous studies have documented the stigmas attached to mentally ill individuals and the negative effect it can have on people’s lives including poor self-concepts (Wright, Gronfein & Owens, 2000) and being views as less socially acceptable (Farina, 1998). A longitudinal study of men with dual diagnoses of mental illness and substance abuse focused on consequences in regards to men who were hospitalised due to their mental illness whereby only 6% of participants reported no forms of rejection subsequent from release. The other 94% reported social rejections such as losing their jobs, avoided by others and denied housing (Link & Phelan, Conceptualizing stigma, 2001).

In conclusion, Children with ASD are particularly prone to victimization of bullying. The movie Radio, the director depicts how children with ASD are exposed to extensive bullying on different levels. Owing to their difficulty with reading, writing and a general inability to speak eloquently, children with ASD find it increasingly difficult to develop long lasting relationships (De Boer, Pijl, Post, & Minnaert, 2013). Instead, they become withdrawn and generally segregated from their peers. Victimization of children with ASD usually has to do with social status within the schools social fabric. Aggressors look to exert their dominance over a much weaker opponent.

References

Cappadocia, C. M., Weiss, J. A., & Pepler, D. (2012, February). Bullying Experiences Among Children and Youth with Autism. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 42(2), 266–277.

Corrigan, P. W. (2004). How stigma interferes with mental health care. American Psychologist, 59, 614-625.

De Boer, A., Pijl, S. J., Post, W., & Minnaert, A. (2013, November). Peer Acceptance and Friendships of Students with Disabilities in General Education: The Role of Child, Peer, and Classroom Variables. Social Development, 22(4), 831–844.

Desforges, D. M., Lord, C. G., Ramsey, S. L., Mason, J. A., Van Leeuwen, M. D., West, S. C., & Lepper, M. R. (1991). Effects of structured cooperative contact on changing negative attitudes toward stigmatized social groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(4), 531-544.

Farina, A. (1998). Stigma. In K. T. Mueser, & N. Tarrier, Handbook of Social Functioning in Schizophrenia.Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. C. (2001). Conceptualizing stigma. Annual Review of Sociology, 27, 363.

Schroeder, J. H., Cappadocia, C. M., Bebko, J. M., Pepler, D. J., & Weiss, J. A. (2014). Shedding Light on a Pervasive Problem: A Review of on Bullying Experiences Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 44, 1520–1534.

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