An hour before a program titled “The Spectrum” began, featured participant David Amaral, Ph.D., complained that in the weeks leading up to the event, he had had trouble getting his hands on Snow Cake, a 2007 film in which Sigourney Weaver plays a high-functioning autistic woman. “I tried Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, and couldn’t find it anywhere,” said Amaral. “But I was eventually able to find the DVD on Amazon—and liked it very much.”
That’s high praise coming from one of the nation’s foremost researchers on autism. Amaral, UC Davis Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience and the Beneto Foundation chair, and founding research director of the M.I.N.D. Institute, and Weaver, an acclaimed actress, film producer, and noted environmentalist, discussed autism to a sold-out audience at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan.