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By Sam Sagmiller

GENRE: Independent, Drama

When their special needs child begins to struggle with adulthood, a devoted father and his career driven wife are presented with an impossible choice- one that will test their commitment to each other and their son.


JOHN (29) and LILLY (28) meet with their gynecologist and discover their child has a one-percent chance of being born with special needs. Lilly, a behavioral physiologist, works with special needs families and doesn’t want to have to deal with that issue 24/7. Lilly wants an abortion. John, having witnessed families destroyed during his tour in Afghanistan adamantly opposes. Ultimately, they decide to have the baby.

12-years later we discover that the child, ALEX (12), is indeed born with special needs. However the diagnosis is unclear. He shows signs of dyslexia, mild autism and self mutism. John, forgoing a promising career in the police force, is the main caregiver for Alex. John is determined to give Alex an opportunity to enjoy life. John regularly takes Alex to therapy classes. Alex’s favorite is horseback riding. TESS (38) is his instructor. Tess and Alex have become extremely close. Lilly, now a prominent figure in behavioral psychology chooses to focus on her career. She secretly resents Alex. Unfortunately, her true feelings don’t go unnoticed.

While at school, Alex has to endure an assortment of teasing and bullying. Because of the strong bond Alex shares with his father, this treatment by “normal” students and even his teacher, only galvanizes his will to succeed. He becomes the protector of his fellow classmates. However, his good deeds don’t go unpunished.

Prior to Lilly leaving for one of her many speaking engagements, she discovers that Alex has been suspended from school for fighting and that he has taken 20 dollars from her dresser. Her resentment boils over and she gives John an ultimatum. Either they get a divorce, or Alex needs to be institutionalized..

While Lilly is in New York giving her presentation, Alex and John are playing ball in their driveway. Alex throws the ball to John but it goes into the street. John runs after the ball and doesn’t see a car coming his way. Alex screams his first word, “DAD!” John tries to dodge the car, but is still hit. Lilly takes a private jet and arrives at the hospital to see John in his hospital bed, conscious, but severely injured. Alex says, “Hi Mom.” Lilly leaves the room. Alex follows and watches her walk to the elevator. Tess, who was in the waiting room, sees this and rushes to Alex. They hug. Lilly enters the elevator, turns and sees Alex and Tess hugging.

Four years later Lilly has moved to New York and is at a book signing. One of her fans asks if she knows of a place that can help her granddaughter who has down’s syndrome. Lilly gives her a note. They take their granddaughter to “Alex’s Dream Ranch.” Alex puts her on a horse and leads her out to the paddock where John and Tess are waiting. Numerous members are cheering her on. She has a huge smile.

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