“Im not really one of those parents of a kid with special needs who thinks its a gift from God or a blessing in disguise,” says filmmaker Kelly OBrien. OBrien speaks honestly about her struggle to cope for the first five years following the birth of Teddy, born with extensive brain damage resulting from an in-utero viral infection.
The rewards as well as the challenges of caring for him are evident in Softening, a lyrical cinematic diary OBrien created to celebrate her sons inherent beauty and the joy he brings to his familys life. His big sisters vast affection and his fathers poignant observation that all Teddys physical limitations fall away when he dreams help to dispel the fear and discomfort often surrounding the topic of disability.
In leaving out the grittier details of Teddys daily regimen to focus on the moments of intimacy and play, the film also documents OBriens gradual process of opening up emotionally – her softening – about her sons difficult diagnosis.
Viewing time: 39 minutes. Closed-captioned. 2012. Purchase options: DVD, 3-year Streaming, or DVD and 3-year Streaming; please see the Product Options box above when ordering.
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