Flying Under the Radar

Imagine growing up with an invisible difference that only becomes clear many years too late.

About 700,000 people in the UK are on the autism spectrum, according to the National Autistic Society. Five times as many males as females are diagnosed. It was long believed to be due to the characteristics of autism, and it was found in more male patients. However, research in recent years has shown that girls and women are more than likely to be misdiagnosed or to be ‘flying under the radar’. Research even highlighted gender bias in the medical field. 

This short documentary will feature two women who got diagnosed on the autistic spectrum in their adulthood. I want to ask them how it felt, what it meant, and if that helped them, to see if I can relate. More than interviews, I want to have a conversation about their past and present, about how it is to be (a late) autistic.

I plan Flying under the Radar to be around 10 minutes long. Content in interviews will be visually shown or highlighted with animation. Animation is justified in this documentary as autism is a different way of seeing the world and it’d be a good way to show it on screen. 

This short film has been supported by the Arts Council NI and the Level Centre so far. It is in development for a 10 minutes short film and a feature film.

Thanks to the Level Centre, we were able to do a survey about autism in self-identifying female individuals that were diagnosed in adulthood. The results allowed us to expand our research and the animated piece.

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