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Development   /  Catherine Green

Francesca, You, Me.

A mother refuses to accept a limited life for her child, going on a quest to change her child's brain and her future.

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Impact areas

HEALTH & WELLBEING

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

YOUTH & EDUCATION

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Catherine Green

  • PRODUCER Catherine Green

Synopsis

DURATION: 90 MINUTES

When a mother, Catherine Green, learns her three and a half year old daughter is suffering from a serious learning disability, she is determined to find a cure. Driven by a desperate need to get some answers, Catherine does the rounds of the medical ‘experts’, but they offer little solace. Her daughter’s future appears bleak.
By chance, Catherine uncovers a controversial education program, Arrowsmith, based in the US and Canada. She believes it could provide the answers she has been looking for and she finds herself transported into the brave new world of neuroplasticity, involving rewiring the brain.
Won over by what the Arrowsmith Program offers, Catherine becomes entrusted with the challenge of not only giving her daughter a chance for a normal life, but for many other families throughout Australia with children with learning disabilities.
Catherine manages to instate the Arrowsmith Program in Australia, galvanising support from the most unlikely of places. She unleashes her advocacy skills, finding a level of strength and resilience she never imagined she had, while at the same time supporting her own daughter through the program.
In the wake of Catherine’s success in bringing the Arrowsmith Education Program to Australia, the number of detractors continues to grow. Many educators and scientists are sceptical of it’s benefits and for some participants, the program is not successful. For others however, it goes beyond their wildest expectations, truly chaining the trajectory of children's lives.
Through this personal journey, many larger themes will be explored. On her search for answers for her own child, Catherine will interview;
Scientists, researchers, ethicists, educators and parents. Subjects we would like to interview include:
Those opposed to the Arrowsmith Program and those whose lives it has changed.
A range of notable adults with learning disabilities; from wildly successful entrepreneurs to those overrepresented in the prison population.

Support this project

4.47% funded
  • $190,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $8,500.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • June 2021

    PROJECT ENDS
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Donations

Film Victoria (Offline) $8,500.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

More than 1 in 10 people have a learning disability. Most do not qualify for funding and any help they do receive treats the symptoms without addressing the root causes.
Learning disabilities are widely misunderstood & overlooked. Often sufferers are mistaken for being lazy, defiant, badly behaved or simply "stupid". It is widely acknowledged that learning disabilities in younger years quickly escalate to behavioural, emotional and social problems later in school and adult life, higher rates school dropout, mental health issues and suicide. It’s no coincidence that half of Australia’s young male offenders have clinically significant, previously unidentified learning disabilities.
Despite these facts, learning disabilities continue to be overlooked or treated with band aid methods that have limited effect. This goes to the heart of what it means to live in a democracy and our expectations of inclusiveness and equality.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Increase awareness, understanding & empathy for LDs.
Validation for those in similar situations, in what can be a confusing & isolating experience & show them a different possibility for the future.
As a case study it will help all professionals in the youth services sector; teachers, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, developmental pediatricians etc.
Show policy makers new, innovative ways to tackle these problems that are not only life changing but save money & resources.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

This film will initiate dialogue for audiences, who statistically will all know someone with LDs but most likely not understand or know how to support. It will help parents and LD sufferers to validate their intuition, understand what LDs are, how it impacts their cognitive capacities plus options for treatment & support. Increase knowledge, insight, understanding & empathy for parents, family members, educators, employers, policy makers, the justice sector. Show that there are alternatives to mainstream educational treatments that are working and need support & funding, not a closed mind set. Empower people to take on challenges and fight for a better outcome when what they are being offered is not good enough.

Activities

How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

It will encourage people to get themselves or people they know properly assessed if they suspect LDs. Australian teaching courses have minimal training in learning disabilities. This film will give an unapparelled insight into the students these training teachers will inevitably have in their classrooms and along with the educational guides we devise, help them to identify and support said students. It will inspire parents to lobby their local schools and governments to look at alternatives to treat LDs, firstly by holding targeted stakeholder/community screenings.

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We have a strong relationship with The Arrowsmith Program. They support the film, have participated in interviews and have committed to promoting the film to the worldwide Arrowsmith community via their website, social platforms and newsletters. Throughout the 6-year process of establishing The Arrowsmith Program in Victoria,
Catherine has spoken with philanthropists, politicians, educators, community groups and parents the world over. We now have a broad database to approach for independent screenings and funding.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

1. Get assessed if you suspect you or your child has LDs and encourage others to see the film if you think it may be relevant to them.
2. Encourage those around you i.e. family members, school teachers, colleagues to see the film to give them an insight into the challenges you / your child faces and why you may struggle in specific areas or see the world differently.
3. Parents and school groups can screen the film in their communities, including inviting their local member.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

- Ticket sales / downloads
- Numbers of independent screenings organised by parents / schools / interest groups and the attendance numbers at each screening.
- Survey results from independent screenings including response to "What have your learnt from this film?", "What action will you take as a result of seeing this film?"
- Discussion and response to targeting questions via social media.