Filmmaker Seeks Videos From Fathers of Children with Fragile X

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by Mary Chapman |

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Fathers or male caregivers of children with fragile X syndrome are invited to contribute to a U.K. film project exploring what it’s like to raise someone with learning or behavioral challenges.

Olivia Hird, a documentary filmmaker for the nonprofit organization Nip in the Bud, is seeking cellphone videos of fathers answering questions about their caregiving experience. Videos can be submitted by email to [email protected] by April 30.

In the video — to be produced in landscape mode — fathers or male caregivers are to provide their name, their child’s age, their child’s diagnosis, a description of the journey to diagnosis, a description of what a “good day” entails, a description of what a “bad day” means, the main thing they wish to share about their caregiving experience, and their future hopes for their child.

While Hird is not focusing on fragile X specifically, the U.K.-based Fragile X Society is spreading the word about the project. The disorder causes intellectual disability, behavioral and learning challenges, and various physical characteristics. While fragile X occurs in both genders, males are more frequently affected than females, and generally with greater severity.

“The film is about dads/male guardians sharing their experiences of raising a child with mental health and/or learning and/or behavioral challenges,” Hird states in the organization’s announcement. “We feel this is an underrepresented area and would love this film to provide solace for dads in similar situations.”

Nip in the Bud works with mental health professionals to produce short films and fact sheets to help parents, primary school teachers, and others who care for and work with children to recognize potential mental health conditions. The aim is to heighten prospects for early intervention and to lessen the risks of those conditions becoming more serious.

The organization’s films cover anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as autism spectrum conditions, which includes fragile X syndrome.

The films seek to illustrate common behaviors in mental health conditions in children along with explanations for them. They also offer information about how to get help.

If contributors have questions or need more information, contact Hird by email or call her at 07837579732.