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"I simply couldn't conceive of how devastating it would be not to be able to hear my children's voices. Not to be able to communicate with them, to hear them learn, grow, and express themselves verbally. How fortunate, how blessed I am. This overwhelmed me. I can talk to my children, I can respond to their needs and comfort them when they tell me they are unwell. I can tell them stories and hear them tell theirs."
Imagine what it would be like not to be able to communicate with those we love. For many individuals living with nonverbal autism and their families, this is their everyday reality. "The Golden Hat "is an intimate response to this reality created by Kate Winslet, Margret Ericsdottir, and her son Keli, who has nonverbal autism.
Kate and Margret's stories, their personal email correspondence, and Keli's poetry give us a profound insight into the world of those living with autism. Kate has shared this story with some of the world's most famous people, posing the question: "What is important to you to express?" Their responses are a collection of intimate self-portraits and unique quotes. Among them are:
John C. Reilly
Kristin Scott Thomas
Put together by Kate, Margret, and the dedicated team who work daily on the Golden Hat Foundation, this project has been a labor of love.
All the author proceeds from this groundbreaking book will benefit the Golden Hat Foundation, founded by Kate Winslet and Margret Ericsdottir to build innovative living campuses for people with autism and raise public awareness of their intellectual capabilities.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-02-13
- Reviewer: Staff
While making the English-language recording of the Icelandic documentary on autism, A Mother’s Courage, in 2009, actress Winslet befriended the film’s creator, Margret Ericsdottir, and her young son Keli, who suffered from severe nonverbal autism. At age 10, Keli, who had been unreachable and deemed to have a mental capacity of a two-year-old, suddenly found expression through the use of a letterboard, with the shattering words: “I am real.” In fact, Keli had been aware all the while yet unable to break the “locked bars” of autism. Winslet started up the Golden Hat Foundation—titled after Keli’s poem about a magical golden hat that could talk—as a way to generate money for the cause and create learning communities for the children; she enlisted the support of famous faces who agreed to photograph themselves with Winslet’s beatup trilby accompanied by a quote sounding in some fashion the urgency for expression. (Winslet’s quote: “I’m here, and I love you.”) From the first participant, Meryl Streep, through other familiar names often depicted in unfamiliar, stark black-and-white settings, all wearing or posing with the hat (John Krasinski wonders from the bathtub, “Let’s take a chance!”; Emily Blunt vogues, “Is anybody listening?”; Elton John grins, “I’m nobody, but I’m alive and I matter”; Woody Allen covers his face, growling, “Get off my property”), these are engaging, moving public gestures for a notable cause. Testimonials by autistic young people including Keli lend the entire effort warmth and sincerity. (Apr.)