John F. Kennedy High School in Newark, N.J., provides an exceptional environment for students with special-education needs as seen in POV’s (documentaries with a point of view), Best Kept Secret, which airs on WGBY Monday, September 23, at 10pm. In the film Janet Mino, who has taught a class of young men for four years, is on an urgent mission. She races against the clock as graduation approaches for her severely autistic minority students. Mino must help them find the means to support themselves before they “age out” of the system. Watch a preview.
POV free resources for educators include 200+ online film clips connected to 100+ standards-aligned lesson plans, discussion guides and reading lists. Registered educators can use any of 80+ full-length films in the classroom for free through their documentary lending library. Two POV lesson plans about autism are:
Neurodiversity: Negotiating the World . . . Differently (Grades 9-12) Students explore how people who are “differently wired” — or not “neurotypical” — negotiate, view and interact with the world. As students learn about autism through the lens of individuals with autism, they analyze the wide range of perceptions, reactions and means of engagement among those on and off the autism spectrum. They determine how to embrace neurodiversity, and how everyone might recognize and accept the diverse ways all people function in a norm-prescriptive society.
Medical Scene Investigators (Grades 6-8, 9-10, 11-12) All or individually, three videos are used to follow an investigative pattern similar to the popular television show “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigators) with the title of the project being “MSI” (Medical Scene Investigators) who work with individual medical conditions — HIV/AIDS, autism, asthma and cancer — that are revealed in the videos.
You can also search for resources on “autism” at PBS LearningMedia.