When GS student Zoe Clarke-Williams became the godmother to Henry Stills, son of musician Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash, she never imagined she would spend the next 11 years trying to educate people about her godson’s disease, Autism.
An award-winning director-producer, Clarke-Williams took her knowledge of Autism, the brain development disorder, which impairs social interaction and communication, and developed an idea for the documentary, “Autism: The Musical.” The documentary, which is playing throughout the month of April on HBO, brings attention to the epidemic of Autism and how American families living with the disease meet the challenges.
As associate producer of the documentary, Clarke-Williams was responsible for everything from film finance to introductions of families profiled in the film. Her main focus, however, was a realistic depiction how Autism affects children like her godson, who co-stars in the film. “Anytime I spoke to anyone about Autism over the years they could only relate it to Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man.” I wanted to make a documentary, which portrayed this disease in a different light; a film depicting these children as loving and joyful with a beautiful voice that needs to be heard,” said Clarke-Williams.
Outside of the production of “Autism: the Musical” and time spent with her godson Henry, Clarke-Williams is an advocate for the organization Autism Speaks. She also has spent many years as a nanny for Autistic children.
For more information on “Autism: The Musical,” visit http://www.autismthemusical.com.