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Research into autism in girls

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A research project is under way aiming to shed more light on the impact of autism in girls.

Group of friends.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a range of conditions which affect how a person communicates and interacts with the world around them, as well as their interests and behaviour.

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Unsung Heroes 2018 - East Midlands' Matthew Chilvers
We take a look at East Midlands' Unsung Hero winner for 2018 - autistic tennis coach Matthew Chilvers who wants to encourage people with disabilities to get involved in sport.
Adam Makey

Dougal Shaw

World Hacks, BBC News

Two brothers on the autistic spectrum were looking for work when one had the idea of opening a comic shop. It turned out to be an inspired choice.

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The twins who travelled to find a place to play
The Ellis family take their two nonverbal autistic toddlers to an "ultra-accessible" theme park.

A House With Two Rooms

Can the arts help Marie Louise Muir understand her autistic daughter’s world?
In the second of a three part series exploring the theme of ‘Dwelling’, Marie Louise Muir set out to explore the world her 14 year old daughter Catherine daughter inhabits and asks whether the arts can help provide access and insight into the autism spectrum.

Marie Louise doesn’t want to ‘fix’ Catherine, she doesn’t feel there’s anything wrong with her. She would just like to understand her a little better. 

“Although we are so close and live in the same house, we experience the world differently. It’s a bit like living in a house with two rooms, and I’d like to know what it’s like in her room”

Inspired by an innovative, immersive theatre experience called Reassembled Slightly Askew, which was based on the artist Shannon Sickels’ experience of a serious brain infection, Marie Louise and Catherine wonder if they can use immersive sound technologies to give audiences a better understanding of autism. 

Through a series of intimate conversations, they explore the different ways they view the world around them, discuss the art that has helped bridge the gap between them, and consider the potential for creativity to give neurotypical people a better understanding of the spectrum. 

Marie Louise also talks to author Vicky Martin who wrote “M in the Middle” with the girls of Limpsfield Grange, a school for girls on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum - a novel which had a huge impact on both Catherine and Marie-Louise. 

She meets The AutistiX, a rock band featuring three musicians on the spectrum, and joins Catherine at a physical theatre class called Kids in Control to explore the different ways that creativity and the arts can help us all feel more connected to each other. 

Produced by Conor McKay for BBC Northern Ireland.

Extract from ‘Virtual Barbershop’ courtesy of QSound Labs.