Official trailer: FAR FROM THE TREE by Andrew Solomon

Official trailer: FAR FROM THE TREE by Andrew Solomon

When I was born deaf, my mother cried. She really did not see a future. The doctor said he would never amount to anything,
his mental capacity would be little to none, and you should probably give him up
and think about adoption. I really didn’t even know that something was going on, that there was something wrong in my mind. I didn’t know the word “transsexual”; the word “transgender” hadn’t even been invented yet. He has a mentor that helps him. No biting, Chris. Chris probably had one of the worst diagnoses ever: self-injurious, swollen intestines, poisons in his system, mental retardation, severe autism, and I was pretty much told to put him in an institution. When I was born, my mom refused to see me for three days. She was scared. Before I transitioned, I just wasn’t all there. I couldn’t quite share my feelings,
I couldn’t quite be a full member of the family. You sort of get what you get, and you go from there. And, you know, it’s your choice.
If you want to make the best of it, you make the best of it. If you want to make the worst of it,
throw yourself a pity party. I set out to write a book which was about
how people found meaning in difficulty. It’s hard for the kids to accept themselves, it’s hard for their families to accept them, it’s hard for the larger society
to accept the kids and their parents. All of it is a struggle. I wouldn’t ever want to pretend
that these aren’t difficult lives. They are very difficult lives.
They’re full of pain and complexity. We have joints and bones that are twisted and distorted. So our life is marred with a lot of surgeries. Myself, I’ve had thirty. And there was one guy that I had a crush on. He said to me, “Why do you lisp?” And my heart was crushed. Chris did not communicate, he didn’t sit down,
he didn’t put on clothes, he wouldn’t go outside. He ate the walls, he ate the table, he ate the rug. I could feel the back of my neck, you know,
popping and sizzling, like my head was just heating up. We couldn’t eat in the home, we couldn’t have lights on,
we couldn’t have the TV on. If I coughed, he would run downstairs and punch me. I actually felt that I was a surgeon,
and I felt I had to, to literally
extricate the demon from inside of my body. When I started this book,
I knew that I was going to be looking at
a lot of desperate situations. And I would do that by cutting and burning myself. What I didn’t know was how much joy I was going to find. When I was born, my dad said, “He looks cute, he’s just got a big head and little arms.” The funny thing is, I still look that way. And the relief that came over my face when I,
when I heard that there was a name
to what was going on with me. I used what God gave me
and God didn’t give me, you know, legs to run, he didn’t give me arms to play football with, he gave me a brain and he gave me a heart, and I try to use both of those things to the fullest. The thing I’ve learned most over the years
is to be a parent first. I thought to myself,
if he’s happy, if he stops hurting himself; you know, if I could hug him,
that that would be the greatest gift in life. It’s kind of pretty sure that I’m going to have obstacles, but I would have had them anyway. I know my dad was very, very proud of me. because I went on a journey
that he never dreamed possible. I don’t think of myself as a schizophrenic I am Susan. There really isn’t any definition
of what’s “normal” or “not normal,” or “far from the tree” or “right under the tree.” I’m lucky to have had her
in this particular period of time and… I’m lucky, too. Thank you. The love that parents have for their children… I guess we are pretty lucky, honey. Yes, Mom. …can see them through an enormous amount.

28 thoughts on “Official trailer: FAR FROM THE TREE by Andrew Solomon

  • Midway through the book – excellent reading for anyone who has ever faced questions of accepting difference. The videos online are a real plus. I only look when I've finished the chapter!

  • I just finished this audio book, and I immediately started listening to it again. I'm a mother of two children with autism and I can't recommend it enough. This should be on every parents book shelf, but especially of those with exceptional children.

  • I am still reading your book, Mr. Solomon, after having seen/listened to you on TED talks. One thing I do is search out these people you talk with/about in Far From The Tree, on YT for example. And it gives me another dimension to the reading experience, because, say, while I read the chapter on dwarfism, I can see Mr. Clinton Brown III on YT, hear him, or put a face on Dr. Kopits, learn more about this wonderful man, and I find this enriching. I am deeply moved by your book, and the depth of your thoughts and perspectives (e.g. horizontality vs. verticality), and I admit I can't read more than 10-15 pages, or less, and not cry. I am a French General Practicioner, and it would be fantastic if my non English-speaking colleagues coul read you. THANK YOU for who you are.

  • I spend so much time researching, reading, trying to find answers to help my girl. I can not believe I am just finding this book! There is a part of me so excited to read it and another that is not sure I can handle it. I have a daughter that was born with down's syndrome and is autistic. Her birth mother also drank and did drugs so she has an array of issues and sensory disorders. She hardly sleeps, is pre-verbal, in diapers, is self injurious and suffers from seizures. I always felt like no one else could possibly "get it" and when I saw Bill and Chris Davis, I was like….yes, they get it. My sweet daughter is not broken and brings me more joy than anyone could imagine. I am not saying it is not wicked tough and stressful but I love her dearly. Ordering this book now.

  • I'm really moved by your work and dedication to breaking down barriers between parents and their exceptional children. I will be telling all my friends as young parents to read your book.

  • A year ago my daughter came up missing and stopped calling me. Brokenhearted I resigned myself to the fact that my child didn't love me . The truth was worse .
    My 19 year old daughter is a prostitute for Dennis Hof ,a man I have always detested . Even worse , she has willingly picked to do this and does not want to see us . I raised a stranger . And no she never loved me .

  • I may decide to view some of the books. However, I am suggesting that the families (and my own) read on line (free) two books I endorse. The New Self-Hypnosis by Dr. Paul T. Adams and Unleash the Hidden Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. James K. Van Fleet D.C. I am certain that reading, learning, and practicing what these books suggested would be beneficial to the parents. Bruce W. Marchetta Th.d. Hypnotherapist -educator Baja Ca.

  • Andrew, thank you the attention and care in this book by uncovering ALL that we are as humans with vast and unique potentials. Your sensitivity and comprehension of the "abnormal" is a testament to the sublime nature of our genome.

  • I've just returned to read Far from the Tree for the third time in a year. It's insight, wisdom and compassion are perspective changing and I regularly encourage people to read it. Thank for your diligence and care in writing it.

  • portraying these families as tragedies, and being surprised that there's also joy…does more harm than help. far from the tree? disability is a natural part of humanity, it's not some kind of bizarre thing.

  • Yet more homosexualist propaganda, i.e. if you're not convinced homosexuality is normal, then you hate kids with disabilities. Yeah, right… Absolutely disgusting exploitation by yet another selfish, narcissistic, mercenary activist.

  • Omg I could cry just watching the trailer! I was looking at what movies were being shown at the theater nearby and this movie popped up, after watching the trailer I will DEFINITELY be going to see this next week!

  • I just watched your documentary on Netflix and was blow away by the candor, realism, and love shown by the wonderful people featured in this honest account of life with disabilities and challenges. Well done on you Mr. Solomon for looking past despair and going further. To find the beauty and acceptance through love from family and friends. I will be looking into your book and will recommend the Netflix documentary to others.

  • Thanx Andrew, for so much inspiration. I like different, it's why I can be happy with myself… and I think it's why I find it easy to connect with other 'differents'… well maybe not all…. but a lot.

  • I'm confused.. I just saw the 2017 film Far From the Tree.. then I watched this trailer and it has completely different stories.. where can I find the film that features the stories in this trailer?

  • WOW! Just watch this documentary. I had no idea what it was about before watching. Now I want to read the book. Interesting that the clips in this trailer are from people not in the documentary I saw on Hulu.

  • Thank you so much for this. I just watched your documentary … going to get the book now. I'm one born far from the tree — and I have children born close to me. So a family born far from the tree. Your documentary has helped me incredibly expand my thoughts on non-Autistic parents of Autistics. Your documentary on the family there so helped me to see a view I can't understand — I'm autistic and I am so fortunate to have an understanding with my children. To see the struggles of non-autistic parents and the pain … I have much to think on. So much. As an autistic parent to autistic kids, I never felt that. Thank you for helping me to understand the others.

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