Unexpected Insights For Families Dealing With Autism — From A Disney Movie

Disney/Pixar’s movie Inside Out centers on Riley, an 11 year-old girl from the Midwest, whose life is suddenly uprooted when her family relocates to San Francisco. Riley’s actions are guided by personifications of her emotions: Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness, and Disgust. Operating from inside her brain, or “Headquarters,” these five characters control her actions; they protect her, help her make decisions, and influence her reactions to the world around her.

Inside Out

The film’s creators enlisted the help of neuroscientists, psychologists, and child psychiatrists to help accurately tell a story about the difficulties of growing up and learning to understand your feelings. They wanted to present the complexities of our emotions, and in doing so, provide a deeper understanding of who we are and how we interact with others.


The result is a film that is providing children on the spectrum with visual representations of emotions they, to some degree, often have difficulty expressing. These characters offer children tools to understand and explain how they are feeling by allowing them to reference specific characters. It also opens up a dialogue by turning abstract feelings into something concrete that both parents and children can relate to.

Inside Out Sad

Inside Out opened on June 19th, and will be made available in sensory friendly screenings on the 27th.

Check out the trailer here!

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