Thursday, 8 December 2011

I was in a documentary!

If you've read my previous post first, you'll know that there were two things that I wanted to write about. The first is about my final psychologist report: I blogged about that in my previous post. My second thing to blog about is what I'll write about here.

Back in early October (a week or so after I got diagnosed), my mum forwarded me some of the posts on an online mailing list for families of people with autism. A lot of them had studies that people with Asperger's/families of autistic people could take part in: I've done a few of those (they're very mixed, one asked about empathy towards an autistic sibling while another asked about adult fantasies...). One email was from a group in America who were hoping to film people with Asperger's in the UK for a short documentary: I emailed to say that I was interested, and a few weeks later I met up with the filmmaker. We met in a public park near to where I live, in full view of the traffic: while this meant that we had a few issues at the start with the microphone and being able to hear me over the traffic, I much preferred being easily-seen to inviting strangers into my house. I'd been sent a few questions beforehand ('What was school like?', 'How have you felt since diagnosis?' etc), so I was asked those and I answered. Than we just had a conversation about Asperger's and how it affects me in general: I think the idea was to get me to speak as much as possible so that they'd have enough material to try and get soundbites from. It was quite an enjoyable hour-and-a-half: then we packed up, and I cycled back home.

A week ago, I got an email with a consent form attached regarding giving the rights of the video to the producers, so I signed and sent that back.

Then today, I got an email with the completed documentary attached! It's just shy of half an hour long, and there're interviews with a doctor, a support-group worker, a music therapist, and four adults with Asperger's, myself included. I've just finished watching it, it's quite a well-made documentary, and I don't think I sound too foolish on camera (although I somewhat hope my voice doesn't really sound like that, it sounds far too posh!). The filmmaker said in the email that it was screened on 3rd of December 2011 at a conference in America, and that he'd been told it was "...well received, and the participants acted as wonderful advocates to help more people know about Asperger's disorder. They made a very positive impact." So I'm quite pleased with that! If the video ever becomes available on the net then I'll link it: however given that I don't have any rights to it, it can happily stay on my computer. Still, some people saw me speak about life as an Aspie, and hopefully a bit more understanding will come about as a result of that documentary to the few who watched it: that's good enough for me at this stage!

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