The producers who brought the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) award-winning documentary series Employable Me are back with a new show, this time helping raise awareness and debunk myths and stereotypes around autism.
The four-part series, Love on the Spectrum will follow the journey of people with autism spectrum disorder as they navigate the often overwhelming journey of companionship, friendship, dating and relationships and finding a partner.
Series Producer at Northern Pictures, Jenni Wilks says the focus of the series is to promote awareness and understanding of autism.
“As with Employable Me, we feel we have the opportunity to educate an extensive audience about ASD and disability, breaking down some of the myths, misconceptions and stereotypical views.
“The motivation for the series came from talking with the participants of ‘Employable Me’ who told us that not only was employment important to them so was companionship, friendship and finding a partner.
“People on the spectrum have the same desire for relationships and companionship as the rest of the population yet difficulties in social interaction and communication can sometimes be a key feature of autism, which makes finding a partner an often daunting and difficult experience.
She says knowing what to and what not to say on a date, when to say it, how to read another person’s body language can be very challenging for someone on the spectrum.
“Through the people's stories we follow we hope to shine a light on the true nature of meaningful relationships for everyone in society.
“This series sets about to teach us all new lessons on love, romance, intimacy and acceptance.
“Filming the stories of neurodiverse people will also promote positive perceptions and build an environment that encourages active inclusion at work, school, and in the community.
“The goal is to follow the stories of individuals as they achieve the independence and identity they so deserve.
Northern Pictures and the ABC are working with autism organisations, academic and clinical experts as well as individuals on the spectrum.
“It is important to us that the people involved tell their stories as they want them to be told,”Ms Wilks says.
“We try to keep narration to a minimum as our aim is for participants to be the voice of the series to speak for themselves, not be spoken about.”
If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in Love on the Spectrum, please send an email with a brief description of yourself and a photo to [email protected]