I'm Making a Documentary About Autism and Aspergers

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Louise
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23 Oct 2006, 2:52 pm

Hi,

For my Media course, the students have to make a short film, of three to five minutes in length. The better ones will be submitted to the Video Nation roject, and might be viewable on the BBC website, some even being shown on tv.

We were told to choose a subject close to us, one that we feel we could discuss the reresentation/misrepresentation of, and/or one that we feel is currently under represented. Considering the outrage at the 'Autism Every Day' video, I thought I might have a go at choosing autism as my subject. I had a talk with my teacher, explaining about the underrepresentation of it as a spectrum, and the over-representation in the media of those on the sectrum as either disabled or criminals. She thought this could be a really good opportunity to set the balance as a bit more ... well, balanced.

The thing is, I could do with some help and support. As it's such a varied thing, I don't want to talk about solely my experiences - but as it's such a personal thing, finding other people in my area with Aspergers or Autism, who would be willing to talk about it on camera, is kind of difficult. Also, considering how upset people got over 'Autism Every Day', the last thing I want to do would be to give an inaccurate representation. If nothing else, it'd be ironic that in attempting to address misrepresentation, I ended up contributing to it.

So ... I was wondering whether anyone from Wrongplanet would be interested in helping. This could be by suggesting facts or information that could go on it, providing quotes (either personal or already existing quotes), and even sending in video footage of yourself speaking. Most people will be doing interviews as part of their film, but as all of you live so far away, and some are even in different countries, I was told I could include a 'half interview' instead. Essentially, we would still have people answering questions, but the questions would be ones you received by email, from this board, or even ones you come up with yourself, rather than me actually asking you questions in person.

If anyone wants to contribute but doesn't want their name or face appearing in the film, we could do anonymous options such as not having your name after a quote, having your face obscured in footage of you (I should be able to edit the video to do this) or providing a script for someone else to read as an audio file.

Any thoughts or suggestions?



Last edited by Louise on 25 Oct 2006, 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KenG
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23 Oct 2006, 3:59 pm

Hi Louise,

I am sure there are many people who would be happy to participate in your film and who live in your area.
You can try and find participants from the following sources:

1. http://www.aspievillage.org.uk/ - a forum of autistic spectrum people in the UK and Ireland.
2. http://www.aspiesforfreedom.com/ - an international forum of autistic spectrum people, which operates from the UK.
3. http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/autscape-chat/ - the chat list of Autscape, an annual gathering of autistic spectrum people, which is held in the UK.


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Louise
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25 Oct 2006, 4:51 pm

Thanks, Ken. I'll take a look at the sites you listed.


I'd still appreciate any input from people on this board, though. The more information and suggestions I can get, the more balanced and accurate the film will be. I'm surprised Wrongplaneters aren't seeing this as an oportunity to help educate people.



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25 Oct 2006, 5:16 pm

If I were in your area I'd contribute something. But I don't think I'm near anywhere called Suffolk.

I can film myself for a minute and a half on my digital camera (or several minute and a halfs) and send you that, if it's useful, but I'd need a topic. Email me at amanda at autistics dot org if you want me to answer questions on camera or something.


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25 Oct 2006, 5:24 pm

Isnt Suffolk in like West Virginia or something?


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Louise
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25 Oct 2006, 5:29 pm

Thanks, Amanda. That's another thing - I'm still working on what questions to ask people for my interviews. Is there anything about having an ASD that is especially important or relevant to you, or that affects you in a life-contributing way? I think what I'm trying to find out is what it means to people to be on the autistic spectrum, and how they see it in relation to their identities and everyday lives. I'm considering just asking people to start with 'having autism/aspergers means that..." and then to continue with whatever springs to mind next.

If you have no comment on the above, though, or would prefer already lined out questions, when I have some sorted out I'll email them to you, if that's ok?

Thanks again,
Louise



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25 Oct 2006, 5:32 pm

Fraya wrote:
Isnt Suffolk in like West Virginia or something?


Please! Please! It's in England...


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25 Oct 2006, 5:36 pm

Theres also one in Virginia so HA :P


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25 Oct 2006, 5:42 pm

Fraya wrote:
Theres also one in Virginia so HA :P


Ah but is their an Ipswich in Virginia? Didnt think so feel pity for the habitants of Ipswich its like a going nowhere fast town only its not called Hull



Louise
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25 Oct 2006, 5:42 pm

Heh. It is, indeed, in England. But I'm interested in hearing people from all over the world - it's not only a British condition, after all, and it might be interesting to see if people's geographic location affects their ability to get diagnosed, and any stigmas associated with the label.

Oh, that's another thing that I forgot to mention. I'd like to include a section about diagnosis, if possible, and need to know whether it's consistently difficult to get. (I was told it would cost me £1000 as the NHS couldn't afford it.)

Also, while I'm remembering things, I've been tentatively considering looking at how aspergers and autism can affect a person growing up - this could mean asking about people's childhoods, their development of social skills and comparative functionality depending on age (the issue of how often a low-functioning child turns into a medium or high-functioning adult), and spekaing to parents with autistic and aspergic children. I have limited space on the film and aren't sure if I could fit this in, let alone if anyone would be comfortable talking about it - but if anyone thinks it's important, or has an opinion at all, let me know.


(And yes, Laz, it's a terrible place to live. Although rumour has it that Felixstowe is worse. 8) )



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25 Oct 2006, 5:53 pm

Louise Im from roughly the same region (Hertfordshire) Though I now live in Sheffield. I was one of the first aspergers diagnosed in hertfordshire in 1992 at a total fluke (saw a locum instead of the actual person who was going to assess me who referred me to the person who diagnosed me with suspected aspergers syndrome)

I can talk to you about
a) Diagnosis, how its changed since 1992 and how the current diagnosis criteria are flawed
b) diagnosed at 10 through to the age of 25
c) discrimination in education and employment and even voluntary work and on the dole
d) work ive done with autistic people as a volunteer and health care worker
e) Being a student nurse working in learning disability/autism

So there thats me whored out for the night

I would go on the aspie village site theres some people based in London and Essex who may be able to help you



Louise
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25 Oct 2006, 6:02 pm

Wow, Laz ... that'd be terrific. :) If you wouldn't mind, I think the best way to go about it mght be for you to send me an email with the basics/anything you consider important, and possibly for us to then talk on msn about it if anything could do with expanding upon? Or, as I said to Amanda, I could just send you specific questions if you'd prefer we do it that way.

Either way, I've been up for about twenty-four hours and should really go collapse somewhere, so I'll do some more work on questions/check for any other replies tomorrow.



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25 Oct 2006, 6:04 pm

Okay, what about you email me questions and I'll try to answer whichever ones (including possibly your first one that you already suggested) are easiest to answer. Then I'll email you the video clips. (Not sure if there's any information you want to know about me that would guide your questions, but if so feel free to ask.)

Normally I'd direct you at a couple of my websites so you'd have some idea what my interests are around autism, but the server they're on is down. :-/


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Laz
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25 Oct 2006, 7:57 pm

Louise wrote:
Wow, Laz ... that'd be terrific. :) If you wouldn't mind, I think the best way to go about it mght be for you to send me an email with the basics/anything you consider important, and possibly for us to then talk on msn about it if anything could do with expanding upon? Or, as I said to Amanda, I could just send you specific questions if you'd prefer we do it that way.

Either way, I've been up for about twenty-four hours and should really go collapse somewhere, so I'll do some more work on questions/check for any other replies tomorrow.


Best give me a structure to go on it helps keep it relevant to what you want out of it. Also how would you like me to give you this information. You talk about making a video/documentry of some sort just i havent got a video to hand but i do have a microphone.



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25 Oct 2006, 11:06 pm

anbuend wrote:
Okay, what about you email me questions and I'll try to answer whichever ones (including possibly your first one that you already suggested) are easiest to answer. Then I'll email you the video clips. (Not sure if there's any information you want to know about me that would guide your questions, but if so feel free to ask.)

Normally I'd direct you at a couple of my websites so you'd have some idea what my interests are around autism, but the server they're on is down. :-/


anbuend, may I ask you a question? Your first name is Amanda, right? Are you Amanda Baggs and I've been talking to you this whole time and thinking "anbuend" and "Amanda Baggs" are two completely different people?

Or is your name coincidentally Amanda also?

If it's the former, I totally didn't recognize you in the Getting the Truth Out. I'd only ever seen that pic of you from high school with the blue hair (I think it was blue...).

Anywho, if not, just ignore me...

*wanders off*


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