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Autism Film Review for “Hide Your Love Away” – Bomb or Balm?


Film review by Dan E. Burns, Producer.

Dear readers and friends:

In grade school choir we sang, “There is a bomb in Gilead.”  Or so I thought as a child.  But as an adult, I understand that the key word is “balm.”  Seemingly opposites – yet there is a connection.

On February 6 of this year my filmmaking team, Appleseed Ventures, premiered “Hide Your Love Away.”  The story: “When a bullied, abandoned, autistic teen threatens suicide, his group home manager, an autism dad, must throw him a lifeline or sink in the storm.”

I’ve submitted ‘Hide Your Love Away” to festivals and friends. Several AoA editors and contributors gave feedback that helped shape the final cut.  Praise has come from autism parents and advocates.  A few examples:

  • “Hide Your Love Away” is terrific and packs a big, satisfying emotional punch. It does much to raise autism awareness.” – Robert Hughes, autism dad and author of Running with Walker: A Memoir, and Walker Finds a Way: Running into the Adult World with Autism.
  • “This film handles the issues of isolation and depression for those with autism with sensitivity and realism.” –  Dianne Doggett, Organizer, Austin Autism Forum.
  • “Hide Your Love Away” is powerful and gives you a glimpse into the reality and heartbreak of young adults on the autism spectrum and the people who love them. Beautifully crafted.” –  Nancy Master, autism mom and long-time advocate.
  • “Hide Your Love Away” brings a rich, interesting, and true approach to the issue of autism and suicide. It shows us the importance of music to clarify and solve things that cannot be solved with just words.”  –  Clarice  C. Gandelman, Autism Advocate.
  • “Hide Your Love Away” comes with both a bang and a balm.  Maybe the title should be, “Give Your Love Away.” Because the breakthrough comes with … Well, take a look.  Here’s the link.

    To promote autism awareness, please watch this 17-minute film and “Like” it.

    Director Statement – Linda Kay Leonard

    I have had the pleasure and honor to collaborate with Dan E. Burns and a host of talented and passionate, amazing artists during our New Age of Filmmaking in 2020. Utilizing a cast and crew of only 10 artists, we created Hide Your Love Away  as a non-traditional look at the world of autism, suicide and prevention. It may feel dark or even Gothic in nature, but the story represents the often realistic response and effort to navigate through the journey of saving a young man with autism from suicide, the sometimes clumsy efforts and the surprising and hopeful results of connection and empathy.

    I began my journey into the world and community of autism several years ago when I cast and directed a web series for Dan, called Saving Hope (originally Saving Zero). I have, in the past, worked in many youth theatre groups with young artists with special needs, but I had never taken on this kind of a project as a director. What I found was a community open to educating others in compassion and understanding of the world of autism, and I discovered just how amazingly gifted and fragile the life of a person with autism can be. There is information and guidance and patience available for anyone who wants to explore that world with the intention of truly "seeing and hearing and learning" in order to bring a greater understanding of autism to others. I am grateful to be a part of this journey.

    Linda K. Leonard

    Director, Hide Your Love Away



    I was threatened with injections, restrained and raped, emotionally and physically assaulted by psych ward staff as an autistic 14 year old child with reverse seasonal affective disorder and my mom says I “deserved it”.

    Thy threatened to restrain and inject me even more because I wanted to peacefully die. Every day I dream of dying and going back to Heaven because my life is destroyed by autism, injections and restraints.

    Shocking how autistic meltdowns and behavior is criminalized in Florida.

    angus files

    Thanks Dan .I thought it showed the frustration that autistics must feel if they are non-verbal. The lad zero is verbal so can convey that verbally and manifests it with the hitting etc. The shouting by the adoptive father I don't know about, as some might see this as this is what you do is shout at autistics to make them understand. Our own son we have not must not react to anything how bad it is, as he will do it again, if ignored he wont repeat it -usually.
    Look forward to the next episode and see how zero grows and the adoptive family learn. The bio-dad is the creep of the film met a few like that sad to say male and female.

    Pharma For Prison


    Dan E. Burns

    Drymeadow, your words affirm and encourage me. I needed that. I'm contemplating making a six-episode series of vignettes like "Hide Your Love Away" based on these characters and more. Each 15-minute episode would focus on a challenge teens and young adults on the spectrum often face: housing, friends, communication, job for starts. Making movies is hard, and I need all the encouragement I can get. Thanks for yours!


    I liked the movie Dan and it left me wanting more. In the manager, I see myself. In the young man, I see my son. In a world of frustration and 'nobody cares', we not only have knock down drag out 'discussions' like the movie but also 'I'm just a poor boy' moments that make it worthwhile. Many things make it worthwhile, not the least of which is love. The subject matter is tough to be sure, it was hard to listen to the words of the biological father , so I do like the balm, thank you for making Hide Your Love Away.

    Dan E. Burns

    Viewers, please leave a comment so I'll know if anyone is watching this movie! - Dan E. Burns

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