Local family featured in Autism documentary

SHENECTADY, N.Y. — A local family is hoping the release of “The United States of Autism,” a documentary about families living with the disorder, will help raise awareness about the diagnosis when it debuts at Proctors Theatre at noon on Saturday, April 13.

The film follows 21 families from across the nation who live with the diagnosis, offering individual interviews and an inside look at their daily lives. The Washburn family of Colonie is one of those families featured in the 90-minute documentary.

Twelve-year-old Buddy and 10-year-old CJ were both diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders at young ages. Friday, the same day the film is slated for its national premier in New York City, their mom, Trish, was excited to share their story with NEWS CENTER.

“It's going to bring a lot of awareness to the issue for people who don't understand [the disorder],” Washburn said.

She is hoping that her daughter, CJ, will serve as a prime example of an often overlooked category of Autistic people.

“I think girls in particular are not diagnosed the way they should be,” Washburn said. “My CJ is actually one of those girls.”

Washburn said it took much longer for CJ to be diagnosed with the disorder than it did her brother, Buddy.

When the film arrives in Schenectady, State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara will attend to show their support.

There will also be a Skype question and answer session with the director, Richard Everets, who began the project following the diagnosis of his own son.

Tickets are available for purchase at the Proctor's box office, as well as the Village of Colonie Outreach Center. All of the proceeds will go to local autism awareness and outreach programs. The tickets are $10 in advance and $13 dollars at the door the day of the event. 

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