People Like Me

People Like Me challenges Western biomedical perspectives on autism that frame autistic people as in need of treatment and cure, and applied behavior analysis (ABA) as the optimal treatment for autism. Non-speaking autistic adults assert the richness and beauty of autistic culture, and describe ABA as abuse and torture. Blurring the line between ethnography and cultural document, this film pushes for a different vision of the future for autistic people.

People Like Me has been nominated for the International Documentary Association (IDA) David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award for 2020. The winners will be announced in January.

PLM Poster

Image is a film poster. In maroon handwritten letters, the title People Like Me dominates the top third. Above the title is a row of small film festival laurels. Directly below the title is a cartoon front of an AAC device, and the screen reads “You are beautiful.” The bottom third, in the same color and handwriting, reads a film by Marrok Sedgwick. Standing on top of this lower title are three cartoon figures. One is a person wearing a blue jacked and maroon dress sitting in a red scooter in profile. There is a small patch on the shoulder of his shirt which bears a star and crescent over the trans flag colors. At center is a person in orange shirt and khaki shorts, facing front. To the right is a person with blue shirt, black pants, and a rainbow kippah, leaning against a green elbow cane. On the rightmost person’s shirt there is a line drawing of the transgender symbol. At the very bottom of the poster is the website The background is a semi transparent photo of rippling ocean water, with foam just under where the three people stand.

Sedgwick_6_Huan and Scribe with Marrok_high res
Autistic self advocate Huan Vuong (orange shirt) tells Marrok Sedgwick (straw hat) his vision for the future, through the assistance of his scribe Micah Budway (blue shirt).

[Image description: An overcast day. On the left, Vietnamese-American person with short hair points to letters on a plastic letterboard held by his scribe, who is seated next to him. On the right, a white person in a straw Stetson hat sits in his walker, holding his hand in the Y shape signing “Oh-I-See.” Behind them are trees and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC. An orange subtitle box floats center-top, reading, “I want us all to have access to a form of communication that works for us.”]

Read Creative Producer Marrok Sedgwick’s interview for San Francisco Transgender Film Festival here:

Special thanks to generous contributions from:
Anonymous (1)
Brett Kashmere
Judi Levine & Ben Lewin
Isaac Sachs
Susan Walton