Thank You Please© is a look at at the parents of children with autism who were told to “put this child in an institution and go on with your life.” It also is a “sequel” to “Rain Man.”
Committed for depression, Catherine O’Reilly loses custody of her son when her husband divorces her. Years later, recovered and with leverage against her ex, she takes on a fierce fight to release her son with autism from an institution. After discovering her son’s been abused, the mother from hell rises to battle through the courts for guardianship from his father, a powerful newspaper publisher with politicians and police in his pocket.
She is assisted by an attorney/psychologist/professor who has his own heartbreak and is reluctant to involve himself in the case when Catherine approaches him for training in managing her son and representing her in court. A key witness for her case disappears, and her husband attacks the evidence that their son is intelligent and understands the world around him.
By the 1990s, advances in treatment made it possible for some children with autism to recover and others to improve significantly. Programs for people with autism proliferated, but those in institutions were unlikely to access them without an advocate to seek their release into the community. Thank You, Please is a story with the tone and theme of movies like The Blind Side and Wonder, both hits worldwide. And like those movies, it is a story about a mother fighting for her child’s freedom from abuse and a chance for a better life.