Film camp gets kids with autism to form teams

August 13, 2008 4:06:03 PM PDT
When we hear the name Travolta, we usually think of John. But he has five siblings and all of them have been involved in show biz. John's older brother, Joey, has been a successful actor and director and now Joey says he's doing the most important work of his life-- working with autistic children.

When your name is Travolta, you better know how to dance. Joey Travolta, 57, has some of those familiar family moves made famous by kid brother, John, in "Saturday Night Fever." John danced for the movies and so in a sense is Joey. He's teaching kids with autism how to make movies. Kids with autism often can't get in to other summer camps.

"A lot of times they don't get to work with other kids so here they have to work in groups and then work as a team because filmmaking is all about collaboration," said Joey Travolta, Runs Film Camps for Autistic Kids. "Yeah dancing together ... so it's cool."

The two week camp at Hinsdale High School is all about getting autistic children to work together to make movies together. The effort convinces the youngsters, who have difficulty communicating, that they are not alone. Michael Romano, who has child with autism, sponsored this camp.

"So the kids come here and they actually have friends. A little boy hugged me the first day and he said, 'Mr. Romano this is the happiest day of my life. I have friends,'" said Romano.

Travolta's career has involved the music industry, movies and theater. But right now he's dedicating his life to helping kids with autism.

"I was a former Special Ed teacher and now I get to do both. Work as a filmmaker and work with kids with disabilities and combine the two together," said Travolta.


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