2024 Presentations

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2024 Performance

The Flux

Presenter:
Kate Fox
Description:
This gently, optionally interactive spoken word show (stimming is invited!) imagines a future in which the Double Empathy problem has finally been solved. Thanks to the intervention of the trees…
It consists of some poems from Kate’s Dr Who show Bigger on the Inside which featured at Autscape in 2018 -but mainly new poems. There is accompanying music and a mixture of uplifting, funny and relaxing words.
It draws on Nick Walker’s idea of the “Neuroqueer” to imagine a world that looks a lot like Autscape.

2024 Lectures

Applied Needs Analysis - neuroinclusive support for autistic people

Presenter:
Joanna Ławicka
Description:
In opposition to the behavioral approach, we have developed a support methodology for autistic individuals and their environments at the Neurodiversity Support Center of the Prodeste Foundation, which we have named Applied Needs Analysis. I will present the principles of this method, based on my own theoretical models "Separate development paths" and "individual emotional codes", which I presented at Autscape in 2018 and 2019. It also includes an strategy "lifebuoys".
ANA is a support method based on autistic development and its properties. It consists of several key and easily replicable strategies that are neuroinclusive and support the actual developmental needs of people on the spectrum, at any age, and considering every type of possible disability too.
ANA excludes any actions aimed at modifying the behavior of autistic individuals. It is a neuroinclusive standard in which the environment meets the real needs of the autistic person and provides them with support.

Dancing together – a toolkit

Presenter:
Corsin Gaudentz
Description:
I love dancing. I love to dance. I can dance wonderfully on my own.
I find it difficult with others.
As soon as communication becomes necessary or physical contact arises, joy turns into stress.
I asked myself why this is the case and what I need so that my joy to dance can be a joy to dance together.
I thought about it, researched, practiced things, read books and also did a theater performance. I did my research together with a dancer and dance therapist. We developed tools together. We documented these tools on film, together with a filmmaker. I would like to talk about this experience, present the tools and show the films.

Experiences of Autistic Joy - findings from a participatory research project

Presenter:
Elliot Wassell
Description:
“All these make my heart sing” (Participant 15). This talk presents findings from a pioneering participatory study of Autistic Joy conducted within an autism charity as part of my Master’s research. Qualitative responses from 84 participants provide rich data and the talk will spotlight the voices of autistic females, an underrepresented segment.
Challenging prevailing academic discourses of autism as disaster, most participants reported often experiencing joy. Themes include the autistic sensorium as itself a source of joy, the importance of circumstances being “just right” and that biggest barrier to joy is lack of acceptance and understanding by non-autistic people.
I will discuss Assemblage Theory as an academic and activist tool which can do justice to the complexity and heterogeneity of the phenomenon, whilst theorizing autism as potential not lack. Practical applications will be discussed, and it will be suggested that Autistic Joy is a revolutionary and transformative concept.

How to love your work: Breaking down what makes great employment

Presenter:
Dr David Thorpe
Description:
This lecture offers a detailed discussion of employment for autistic workers, with a particular focus on those that have achieved an employment experience that they claim to 'love'.
Two different approaches are presented. Those that love their job because of the work itself, and those that love their job because of the place. This lecture shares experiences of the different types of love one might experience and the challenges faced trying to achieve this.
Employment is challenging for many autistic workers. As such, the discussions around employment are largely negative. Within my research I made sure to feature discussions of positive employment, what it looks like when work is a source of joy, and how important it is that we aim for this. While the negatives and challenges of employment are not forgotten, this talk is a showcase of what it can look like when things are right.

Sensory joy to the rescue: emotional containers and portable safe spaces

Presenter:
Alicja Nocon
Description:
It's well-known that having a more sensitive nervous system means that autistic people experience more sensory triggers and are more easily dysregulated. But what if we could use our sensory sensitivity to our advantage to bring a sense of peace and joy to helps us get through difficult experiences?
In this presentation, I will share a number of practical ways using sensory joy to help contain overwhelming emotions and prepare for unfamiliar of predictably stressful situations, based on my own experience and the experiences of my clients.

The Joy of Engineering

Presenter:
Barnabear
Description:
Careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are a good match for many autistic strengths and as such tend towards a very welcome over-representation of talented autistic people in their numbers. The contribution of autistic people in these fields has been and continues to be huge.
This talk will draw on historic and current autistic figures in STEM, as well as the speaker's own lived experience to explore the intrinsic motivation and joy that comes from challenge and achievement in these sectors.
The talk will look at first steps in self-discovery as an engineer, and how one might enjoy engineering on an informal basis. If a hobby turns into a career, then that is all to the good!
This talk will be light-hearted and family friendly, young people are warmly welcomed.

2024 Workshops

Creating a Sensory Experience and Special Interest Toolkit

Presenter:
Saffron
Description:
'Autistic joy' is the intense feeling of joy and excitement many autistic individuals experience, and is often linked to positive sensory experiences and engaging in your special interests. My workshop will focus on introducing the concept of autistic joy, with a focus on embracing it and building these experiences into daily adult life to support your mental health. I will guide people to create an 'autistic joy' toolkit that they can use to manage their wellbeing and support themselves, by scrapbooking/mindmapping their favourite sensory experiences. We will take each sense one-by-one, sharing stories if desired, and then will also create a collage or mindmap about their special interests. Participants can choose to use collage, write, or draw. Materials will be provided but people may bring their own if they wish.

Drama Workshop Exploring Autistic Joy

Presenter:
Jess Garner
Description:
In a guided workshop, Jess will invite exploration of experiences of autistic joy through the medium of drama. This workshop will allow for experimentation & self-expression through theatrical various forms such as physical theatre, mime & sound collage. Following some time together as a whole group, attendees may choose to explore & create independently, in pairs or small groups & will be supported to do this in a manner that prioritises their comfort at all times. There will be invitation rather than requirement to share performances with other attendees - the process of creation being valued as highly as any outcome. No previous experience of drama/theatre is necessary, just a desire to explore the theme using this artform. Attendees are invited (but not required) to bring something to represent autistic joy if they wish - perhaps an object, picture, poem or photograph for instance.

Exploring Artificial Intelligence tools for Autistic Joy

Presenter:
Sara Rocha
Description:
Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming one of our era's most important technological advancements and several AI tools are already available to support work, education, and others. Autistic joy can happen by engaging and finding information about our interests, creating art, engaging with our community, sensory pleasing situations, and others. With this workshop, we aim to use the knowledge gathered by the EUCAP Artificial Intelligence and the Rights of Autistic People project to identify what brings autistic joy to the participants and show available AI tools that can support those activities. AI will become an integral part of our lives, and learning how it can be used to increase autistic people’s support and joy is essential to know what type of AI the autistic community needs to advocate for.

Music, word-sounds and the taste of languages: vocal stims and autistic joy

Presenter:
Max Marnau
Description:
This is a workshop about word-sounds and music and and the “taste” of the music and word-sounds together in different languages. You could call it a session of vocal stimming. Different languages have different “tastes”, just as the foods of different countries have different tastes. We will experience the “taste” of nine languages through nine traditional songs (lyrics provided). Everyone is encouraged to join in the singing – no musical knowledge or ability is required, nor is knowledge of any of the languages that will be used: this is about the joy of sound, not performance.

Finding joy through sport

Presenter:
The Neurodiverse Sport Team
Description:
We understand that encountering invisible barriers can make it difficult to engage in sports, especially for Autistic people. Our aim is to offer guidance and motivation. Our team comprises neurodivergent Olympians and top athletes who have triumphed over challenges in structured sports environments. We believe that everyone, regardless of their differences in behaviour and communication, should have the opportunity to reap the benefits of participation in sport and physical activity.
Through our organisation Neurodiverse Sport, we strive to transform mainstream sports into more inclusive spaces. We value input from our audience about their experiences in sports and physical activities, as well as any obstacles they have encountered as this feedback helps to shape our future initiatives.

Writing workshop

Presenter:
Courtney Ward
Description:
I want to provide a writing workshop based on the theme of things that makes us happy- based off autsacapes theme “autistic joy”. We will do a stream of consciousness to ease us and clear our minds, and then talk about what joy is- specific things that make us happy, why, and create a masterpiece poem, story or prose from this.