The movie “The Other Sister” is a romantic comedy released by Touchstone Pictures in 1999 by director Garry Marshall about Carla Tate (Juliette Lewis) a 22 year old woman who is developmentally delayed and her struggles and accomplishments she has showing her family her father Dr. Radley Tate (Tom Skerritt), her mother Elizabeth Tate (Diane Keaton), and her two sisters Caroline (Poppy Montgomery) and Heather Tate (Sarah Paulson) that she is capable of making her own decision in her life. After growing up in a “special school for people like her” (Special Education Schools pg. 70) she has been sent home to reconnect with a family who does not know how to relate to her condition or see her for the person she is inside. Her biggest struggles are with her mother who has deep seeded guilt for being the one who chose to send her away and cannot seem to except she is different and always will be. In this paper I will try touch on her journey through the movie and how she finds someone who can love her for who she is Daniel McMann (Giovanni Ribisi). Carla and Her Family
The movie starts with her father going to get Carla from the “special school” she spent most of her life. When Carla was younger her parents did not understand her and could not deal with her outbursts, yelling, slamming doors, and general aggression. They received a letter from her school that they couldn’t deal with her and would not allow her to return. (That letter would be a violation of FAPE of 1975 PL 94-142. pg. 14) When other children taunted Carla she didn’t have the skills to cope with them so she becomes angry and aggressive with another child to the point she pushed him down some stairs because they wouldn’t stop laughing and mocking her. Carla’s mother decided to send her away to a place where there were others “like her” to protect her other daughters and in her mind protect Carla. She let her daughter’s disability define who she is and that was all she could see of her (not using people first language pg. 11). Carla is grateful to her sister Heather for treating her like a person, writing letters, and talking to her unlike her sister Caroline who just drew pictures to communicate with her like she wouldn’t be able to understand. When Carla returns to her parents’ home she is uncomfortable and Elizabeth thinks she has to hover over Carla’s every move and decision to protect her from harm. Even though she always talks about Carla where she can hear her and she talks about how much Carla embarrasses her and she want to quit being her mother. This makes Carla run away back to her old school where she is comfortable. (Least Restrictive Environment pg. 16) The Headmaster at the school informs the parents what Carla needs is school, social interactions, and independence to gain her own dignity and have to opportunity to grow into an adult (Transition Components of IEP pg. 62). Carla and School
Even though Elizabeth is afraid Carla will be humiliated the same way she was when she was when she was younger little Dr. Tate takes her to enroll in a class. Carla enrolls herself in a computer course. Carla is uncomfortable during her first general education course in a regular school because she is afraid she doesn’t fit in like the others. She doesn’t act like the other girls or dress like them. However with some reassurance from her father she adjusts well and the instructor does check on her making sure she understands the material. She is so proud when she passes her first class ever in a regular school with a regular teacher. One of Carla’s greatest assets is that she has a great amount of self-determination to achieve any of her goals. She sees going to school and getting a diploma the first step to become a veterinarian assistant what she wants to do. Carla and the Community
Carla has always been a source of great embarrassment to her mother. Even now when she comes home as an...