Alexandra Jackman is a teen who is campaigning and advocating for teens on the autistic spectrum – Part 2

Alexandra Jackman

Alexandra Jackman

Alexandra Jackman, 14 is a film maker from Westfield, New Jersey.

This is part two of our interview with Alexandra Jackman. Part 1 can be read here.

When it came to making the actual film Alexandra told us that there were many challenges to overcome. At the beginning it was trying to balance the making of the film and her studies.

“I did most of the work before filming at home. My dad was helping me with organization, during the filming and editing, getting everything set up. I struggled a lot with wanting to make sure this video was mine. I didn’t want to say when I was done, “This video was made by my dad and I.” I definitely had my fair share of arguments with my dad about wanting to make sure I was working on it and he was aiding just when I needed him to. We found a balance”

Alexandra was determined that she should own the project and this most certainly comes across when you watch the film.

We were interested to know how Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge found out about the film as they will be showing it to psychology students.

Alexandra told us:

“There is a professor, Dr Steven Stagg, who has done a study which indicated that Autistic children look less friendly to their peers. He saw my video and was very interested in the section on hypo- and hypersensitivity as he feels this is an area research has often neglected.”

Alexandra also stated that the Director of the Autism Center at Montclair State University will also be showing the video to one of his education classes.

We asked Alexandra what kind of reception she has received about her film from both children and adults.

She told us:

“The feedback has been really incredible. I have received extremely positive feedback from educators, doctors, families who are impacted by autism and people who have autism and other special needs. So far, the video is being used for autism peer mentor and anti-bullying training in Westfield, in other NJ towns and in (at least) one school in Massachusetts, Minnesota and St. Johns”.

The film has also been shown in the “week of respect” at a number of elementary schools in Westfield, and has been used for training teens about autism at a local church and synagogue.
Alexandra finally adds that there have been so many nice comments on the Autism Speaks website and on YouTube.

“I love hearing different people’s stories, and it is so meaningful when someone says that the video has been of benefit to them or someone that they know.”

Alexandra truly is an inspiring teen and we wish her luck with her Palm Beach International Film Festival entry.

You can follow Alexandra on Facebook
You can watch her film below.