Film Club: ‘Growing Up Ethan’

Film Club: ‘Growing Up Ethan’

5. After you have posted, try reading back to see what others have said, then respond to someone else by posting another comment. Use the “Reply” button or the @ symbol to address that student directly.

6. To learn more, read “Growing Up Ethan.” Josephine Sittenfeld, the filmmaker, writes:

In the fall of 2006, when I reached out to the Floquet-McGovern family as part of a photography project about raising children on the autism spectrum, I thought I’d spend one afternoon at their house in western Massachusetts. I spent 12 years with them instead. Over the next decade, I kept traveling from my home in Providence, R.I., to watch Super Bowls with them, ride around in their minivan, sleep on the floor of their hotel room, attend their school concerts, trick-or-treat with them, and sing karaoke in their basement.

I loved documenting this family. The oldest brother, Ethan, who has autism, is funny, musical and outgoing, and is unlike anyone else I know. The middle brother, Charlie, is a kind, patient budding cybersecurity whiz. The youngest brother, Henry, is theatrical, thoughtful and mature beyond his years, and owns an impressive sword collection. Mike, the boys’ father, is a talented carpenter, loving dad and die-hard Patriots fan. And their mother, Cammie, is an accomplished author with a quick wit and amazing laugh. She has worked tirelessly to support her family and help other families raising children with disabilities.

That first afternoon I shot still photographs of the Floquets-McGoverns. But I soon realized they were so lively that I should pick up a video camera instead.


See all the films in this series.

Read our list of practical teaching ideas, along with responses from students and teachers, for how you can use these documentaries in the classroom.

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