An educational tool made by and for people with ASD
The thousands of children with ASD who are growing up need to learn crucial safety skills for interacting with the police. There is a pressing need for an effective teaching tool to help teens and adults with ASD learn to handle emergencies and other police encounters. Proactive teaching, modeling, and practicing safe behavior can make a huge difference in a person’s life. It can also prevent mistakes, escalations, or tragedies in an emergency.
As important as this subject is, there were no good teaching tools available for teaching these skills, certainly none that were custom designed for people with ASD and similar conditions. This critical unmet need was the inspiration to create BE SAFE The Movie and the Companion Curriculum.
Very importantly, BE SAFE the Movie was made by teen and adult filmmakers with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities, for others with similar conditions, which makes the project authentic and unique. The filmmakers are students of Joey Travolta’s Inclusion Films Workshop, a work training program for youth with disabilities, who are building skills for future employment in the entertainment industry.
Individuals with ASD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s, Traumatic Brain Injury, Seizure Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Apraxia and Intellectual Disability worked as actors in BE SAFE The Movie. Credit and many thanks go out to the Inclusion Films students and professional mentors who worked behind the cameras. They had important roles in set design, makeup, costumes, continuity, script management and editing.
BE SAFE is tailored to meet the needs of teens and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Yet while making the movie, the film makers (who have various disabilities) convinced us that BE SAFE could be a helpful tool for teens and adults with a wide range of disabilities or conditions. They are right! So while the message remains the same, BE Safe can support a person of any age who needs to learn the skills and can benefit from it, whether they have a diagnosis or not, and whatever the diagnosis might be.
BE SAFE actors are similar in age to the target audience which adds a unique social validity to the message of The Movie. The film makers also helped select the topics to be included in BE SAFE, which speaks to the relevance of the material to their lives. Viewers will relate to the everyday scenarios, like skateboarding, driving and hanging out with friends. The realistic conversations use every-day language.
The filmmakers embraced the message of BE SAFE and understood the importance of each lesson in the film. They helped create a safety tool that everyone can use to become safer and more independent in the community.