Something is terribly wrong when adolescents too young to buy beer or cigarettes carry out acts of unspeakable violence within the walls of schools, movie theaters, and malls. It’s been less than a month since a 12-year-old shot and killed a teacher in Nevada. Days later a 14-year-old allegedly murdered his teacher in Massachusetts. And last week a 20-year-old died at his own hands in a shootout at a New Jersey mall.
Thankfully, these horrific events are not the norm. Most teenagers and young adults find ways to integrate themselves into their families and communities in ways that make them a joy to be around.
But for some it’s more of an effort than for others. Like the more than 2 million children and youth in the United States who have diagnosed emotional/ behavioral disabilities. With the right support they can learn to manage their symptoms and lead productive, happy lives. But often their needs go unnoticed or are misunderstood.
That’s where Dan Habib comes in. Dan makes documentaries. His earlier work Including Samuel chronicles the ongoing struggle of people with disabilities to achieve the civil rights enjoyed by everyone else.
Dan’s latest film Who Cares About Kelsey? records the life of an at-risk teenager as she tries to come to terms with a long list of problems including ADHD and a history of abuse. The film was released in 2012. It received a lot of critical acclaim, including acceptance at eleven film festivals.
But perhaps more importantly, it inspired the I Care By initiative. Started in October 2013 the movement hopes to bring people together to support vulnerable children and youth. Members are asked to commit to a specific personal show of support. These are recorded and uploaded to YouTube.
You can follow the movement on Twitter @Icareby or become a member at www. ICareBy.org.
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