It’s World Autism Awareness Week, and we’ve made another film for you guys to address a vital issue around Autism – the world simply doesn’t know enough about it.
According to a survey of families with autistic family members, 87% say people stare, tut or make disapproving noises about behaviour associated with their child’s autism.
This sad reality means that many autistic people and their families tend to avoid public places. The fear is that people don’t realise that it takes them more time to process information than others, hence seeing them as inattentive or rude. The National Autistic Society explains that while almost everyone has heard of autism, a much smaller number actually understand what it means to be autistic.
And that is why this World Autism Awareness Week we have teamed up with NAS to show people what autism really is about and to challenge the public to consider what they can do to make the world more autism friendly. Our Creative Lead, Christopher Ross-Kellam shared this on the project: “We needed to find a way to visually represent a struggle that was otherwise invisible. To depict this battle with insufficient processing time in an emotional way, whilst staying true to the experience. We made sure that each stage of the creative process was tested on, and run by, an autistic adult and/or child.”
So enter the stage Holly, our autistic actor who’s 12 years old and blew our socks off with her performance. The film follows Holly’s character on a single day, showing how overwhelming everyday situations can be for autistic people when they’re not given enough processing time. And on Tuesday our Year 7 star stood up in front of her entire school and told them about her autism with this film. What an incredible, gutsy move for a young Year 7!
So we’re hugely grateful to Holly and the rest of the cast for helping us share this message, as well as our production partner Knucklehead and media partner The Guardian.
Watch the film here, then take a look at www.autism.org.uk to find out more about how you can help.