About my life with autism the documentary Birsen has been made. I have been followed by a camera crew for 3 years in my present life, at home, work, friends and while giving presentations. Together with my mother, I looked back on my childhood. My mother told me frankly how difficult it was for her and me. I visited my former family doctor and talked about my help relief. The filmmaker wrote about the documentary: “During the presentations among others like a group of Turkish women, we see a strong woman who is not afraid to bare herself. At the same time she finds it difficult to make social contacts and feel home in the Dutch and Turkish community.” She tweeted on Twitter: “Why can I arrange a national television show and can’t socialize with girls. I wish it was vice versa.” The documentary has been broadcasted on the national chanell of Turkey and the Netherlands. There has been made a special subtitled English version of this documentary and this can be viewed through the following link:
Documentary ‘Somebody like me’
Birsen Basar, a young Dutch-Turkish woman travels with her boyfriend Mehmet to Turkey to break the taboo around mental disorders such as autism. In several cities in Turkey, Birsen gives presentations about autism and talks with children with autism, their parents, care workers and teachers. She asks the question ‘do you know somebody like me?’ It is not easy to meet somebody like herself.
A mother of a daughter with mental retarded autism explains the reason:
“From the behaviour of my daughter it is clearly to see that she has autism. We can not hide that. But people like you, normal and high functioning, don’t tell other people because they are afraid to be shut out.”
The documentary gives a vivid picture of the situation of young people with autism and theire parents in Turkey. There are little services, children get hardly access to education and parents who spent mostly whole long days with their children are not understood. At the same time Birsen and Mehmet meet initiaves of parents who fight for the rights of their children and come with solutions. By following Birsen during her journey the viewer gets a good image of Birsens autism, like she is obsessively trying to perform on the Turkish television to tell about her autism. Also we get to see her relationship with Mehmet who is very affectionate and straight. We see how he handles Birsen and her autism. This documentary has not yet been broadcasted on the television and there not to be seen on the Internet.