real life

"The pressure builds; it squeezes": The video showing people what life is like with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

For most of us, they’re the details that fade into the background. The phone buzzing nearby. Hot coffee slurped from a takeaway cup. A baby’s cry. The squealing brakes as a train pulls into the station. Just the unremarkable sights, sounds, smells of daily life.

But as a new campaign from British research charity Autistica demonstrates, for some people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, these mundanities are impossible to ignore.

The clip, voiced by actor Jules Robertson, highlights what it’s like for members of the Autistic community to navigate everyday life, to “find our way in a world that wasn’t built for us”.

Warning: This film has flashing lights and unexpected noises.

Video via Autistica

“All the unpredictable stuff that you don’t notice, we notice all of it,” Jules explains in the video. “Our minds are racing, trying to deal with everything hitting us all at once.

“The pressure builds and builds; it squeezes. It makes it hard to function.”

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that chiefly affects the way an individual relates to his or her environment and the ways in which he/she interacts with other people.

In Australia, there are 164,000 people living with Autism, which is equivalent to one in every 150 people. Of those, 83 per cent are under the age of 25, with men four times as likely to be diagnosed than women. While many live largely unhindered lives, government data shows that half of people with ASD reported having difficulty finding their preferred job or changing jobs, while 63 per cent of those of school-age said they had trouble fitting in socially.

As Jules explains in the Autistica video, people with ASD often find their own ways of coping and adapting to society, so they can share all the wonderful things they have to offer. But there’s something we can all do to make their experience of the world that little bit easier: listen, learn, understand.

“If we understand more,” he says, “we can built a better world.”

For more information, visit the Autistica website.

Tags: autism , autism-spectrum-disorder , features
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