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Carleton Convocation Provides Ground-Breaking Insights on Autism

September 22, 2013

Todd Drezner, Carleton Class of 1994, will present Carleton College’s weekly convocation address on Friday, Sept. 27 from 10:50 to 11:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Drezner will share his first-hand experiences as a parent of a child with autism. Drezner’s ground-breaking film, “Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic,” which provides the basis of his presentation, will be screened at Carleton on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity Cinema. Both the film screening and the convocation are free and open to the public.

Drezner’s first documentary film, "Loving Lampposts: Living Autistic” (2010), was inspired by his son Sam, a child with autism. The title of this important film refers to the circuit of lampposts that Drezner’s son likes to visit in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York.  In the film Drezner asks himself “What would you call a four-year-old who caresses all the lampposts in the park? Quirky? Unusual? Or sick?”

Such labels are at the center of the debate about autism: Is it a disease or a different way of being—or both?  Motivated by his son's diagnosis, Drezner explores this debate through his ground-breaking film with the parents, doctors, therapists, and people with autism who are redefining the changing world of autism.  "Loving Lampposts" received the Best Feature Documentary award at the 2011 Peace On Earth Film Festival. For more information, including a trailer, visit

Drezner earned a BA in English in 1994 from Carleton College. Drezner went on to earn an MFA in Film from Columbia University and is the editor of several award-winning documentary films and commercials.

This event is sponsored by the Carleton College Office of College Relations. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street, between College and Winona Streets, in Northfield.