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First Steps (1947)

 |  Documentary, Short
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United Nations, 1947 - In this film one crippled child learns to walk: first to move, then to stand, and finally to take his first steps. The film deals with modern techniques of ... See full summary »



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Title: First Steps (1947)

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United Nations, 1947 - In this film one crippled child learns to walk: first to move, then to stand, and finally to take his first steps. The film deals with modern techniques of physiotherapy, and the need to develop the whole child - his emotions and his mind as well as his muscles - is stressed. Skilled adult workers offer not only massage and therapy, but also love and understanding, and occupational therapy for children and takes the form of both play and work. Movements learned become part of the daily jobs of feeding and dressing. Early attempts to walk are made with the help of apparatus. Finally the initially hesitant steps on his own are taken. As the film ends the boy walks. Written by Anonymous

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Even after 66 years, still quite useful and pertinent
17 January 2014 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

This short, which won the Oscar, is about the rehabilitation of the disabled, specifically disabled children. Having been there and done that myself (I was born with a disability and have done a fair amount of physical and occupational therapy) this short is of more than passing interest. There will be mild spoilers:

This short talks about rehabilitation of the disabled, focusing on children broadly in the beginning, showing how occupational therapy can often take the form of play or fun work for a child. Swimming is also a useful form of physical therapy for many disabilities. Toward the end of the short, they focus on one boy's efforts to learn to walk. The exercises he went through, the therapy he went through, was very familiar to me. A fair number of the exercises were still in use very recently, when I had to rehab from a broken leg a few years ago. They're still in use because they work.

Therapy is hard, repetitive work and a good therapist is worth their weight in platinum. A bad therapist can do more harm than the disability. Something this short touches on nicely has to do with one of the greatest challenges which the disabled can face-attitudes, their own and those of other people. For all the hopeful phrases found in the narration here, all too often in that era and for some years after, kids wound up being warehoused as "for the best". Raising children is a challenge even under "normal" circumstances. I was lucky and had a mother who didn't give up on me. Not every child is so fortunate.

Excellent short which is still relevant today. Most worth seeking out. Most recommended.

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Where can I find this film? williamecook
Available on YouTube! markholoubek
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