M3 Discussion 2: Refrigerator Mothers
Please watch the movie (link provided in the module) and read the Module’s “Book” (Social-Emotional Exceptionalities, 4 chapters) before participating in this discussion.
The film “Refrigerator Mothers” explores the traumatic legacy of blame, guilt and self-doubt suffered by a generation of women with autistic children, who were branded “refrigerator mothers.”
Autism is one of today’s fastest growing disorders, affecting one in 500 people. It is now known to be a neurological condition, but from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, the medical establishment mistakenly believed it had found the root cause of autism. They attributed the cause to emotionally cold mothers with poor parenting skills. Despite the difficulties faced by the mothers in the film, they show remarkable coping skills.
For this discussion, please respond to these questions:
- Please share some of the coping skills and strategies that you saw in the families described in the film.
- What might be one difference you see today? Please provide an example. (e.g. Difference in the law, ethics, medical opinions, type of support available, coping skills of parents, etc.)
As you watch the movie, and read this week’s content guide in Moodle (“Book”), what 1 question do you have for your classmates for this discussion?