Exploring Diagnosis: Autism and Neurodiversityresearch
Exploring Diagnosis is a research project based at Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences at the University of Exeter. The research project explores the role that diagnosis plays in society and in medicine, using diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder as a case study. On the way, it aims to celebrate and value the abilities and attributes of the neurodiverse community.
One way the research team has done this is through the development and creation of three short films. The films are designed to raise dialogue about neurodivergent adults’ experiences of diagnosis and how the notion of neurodiversity has influenced their lives, as well as showcasing work by some autistic artists. Their films were produced in collaboration with the production company, Calling the Shots.
The films, The State of Being Different and Sometimes I Think I’m Better, feature the voices of autistic adults accompanied by animation produced by neurodivergent artists. Animation was a new skill taught to each of the artists by experts from Calling the Shots. Blogs were posted along the way to document the whole film making process, and can be seen here. The other film In My Head and Heart provides a glimpse into our artists’ working lives and their understanding of themselves and their artwork.
The State of Being Different features the voices of autistic adults reflecting on what it is like to receive an autism diagnosis.
In My Head and Heart follows the three featured autistic artists asking them what art means to them with snippets about the process by which they create their art.
Sometimes I think I’m Better invited autistic adults to explore the notion of Neurodiversity and what it means to them.