TRANSITIONS TALKS WITH PRIYA
The best new Disney films for people of all ages to watch during Developmental Disability Awareness Month.
This March, consider celebrating National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month with a film to enjoy with your family. Enjoying a film with your young adults can allow them to share a positive memory with you. Developing social skills, whether at home or in a theater, opens up doors for learning at all ages. It offers social opportunities, making choices and focusing on something of interest. Developing relationships with these shared fun experiences will give them opportunities for conversation with you as well. Most students don’t enjoy talking about their day at school, but they will probably engage with you about a movie that you watched with them. This will give them practice to have fun experiences with their friends that they can talk about together, which will help them socially.
Growing up as a millennial, the classic Disney films were extremely popular. Many of them focused on a princess finding love or romance. Decades later, Disney came out with three fantastic films with other wonderful messages:
1. Inside Out
Little Riley’s life changes significantly when her family decides to move to San Francisco. Inside Out portrays her emotions at this time in her life. This film is has such a fantastic message on the importance of every emotion, including anger and sadness. It is okay to feel those emotions sometimes. In fact, it is healthy! Joy and happiness are important, but without the other emotions, we will not be able to navigate the world and our relationships with other people effectively.
Soul tells the story of a man who experiences a taste of the afterlife.He was previously a music teacher but wanted to be a jazz musician. This film teaches us that our purpose on this planet is not just about our career or even a specific activity that we really enjoy. Our purpose in life is to enjoy it along with the people and places around us.
Encanto tells the story of the Madrigal family. Everyone in the family is given a specific gift in the form of a skill or magical power. Mirabel is the only family member who doesn’t receive one. The family is at risk of losing its magic. Against the wishes of others, Mirabel does everything that she can to stop anything from happening to it. This film teaches us that human beings can offer valuable contributions outside of specific skills or attributes like outer beauty, physical strength and intelligence. They can offer the content of their character and kindness to others.
Take the time to enjoy these films with your family. Remind your children and maybe even yourself of these lessons. Students with disabilities are often under a lot of pressure to prove themselves with academic grades or to always be in complete control of their emotions. These films are a great reminder of what is really important. Enjoying these films with your families will provide them with messages that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives.