By Naomi Taylor
Autism — a challenge to communicate.
Autism is a disorder that I have long been interested in, not only because it runs in my family but because I have worked with some incredible young people that have varying severities of it. It’s a complicated disorder and can result in extreme behaviour if not supported in the correct manner.
Imagine a brain where all the wires communicating back and forth to control different thoughts, emotions and behaviours are tangled. If one of these wires is slightly interrupted all of a sudden because of a change of habit enforced on the individual, it can cause severe challenging behaviour.
As creatives at SCA, our number one goal is to communicate to an audience, to encourage and solve problems. However I can imagine that there won’t be a brief set where the target audience is those with Autism or any other mental disorder for that matter. Why? Because even their own family struggles to communicate with them.
Methods have been created in order to communicate effectively in their daily lives such as timetables with imagery of activities and people that they will be seeing that day, but my question is how can we as creatives use these strategies in place to talk to a very unheard demographic.
I think we can, obviously we don’t want to get inside their heads to make them buy the latest game or a specially scented washing up liquid but they are humans, they have the same needs and crave for love and attention just like me and you. Their brain is just wired different, they like routine, they like the same food but they still deserve to be treated as individuals who should be targeted in creative work as if they are one. We should cater to them as much as we cater to everyone else.
This is a challenge but I think it is something that can be achieved and I am down to give it a go.
How are we going to create ads that don’t enforce a sensory overload on these fascinating minds, how do we interrupt their routine without chaos, but most importantly; how do we start treating those with Autism as individuals?
We start accepting that they exist.