1 in 100 people in the UK are autistic.
Autistic adults are 9x more likely to die from suicide.
Autistic children are 28x more likely to attempt or think about suicide.
I lie awake along with millions of others worrying about this every night. Along with countless other worries. Will he ever live independently? Who will care for him when i'm no longer here? Will he ever talk? Will he work? Where will he go to school? Why are the services so dire? Why must we wait years for help?
We are working with an incredible award winning team at TryLife (example below) to make a feature film which we will not only entertain a mainstream audience but will educate to better equip the general public’s understanding of autism and family dynamics. Drama, be it theatre or film has proven time and time again that it is a phenomenal catalyst to promote understanding.
What makes our film different is it will utilise many autistic actors and crew. The film is based on actual events and will hit every emotion. A Northern gritty film which will follow this incredible family with a great insight from autistic Reilly and how he sees the world in a very different way to those he shares it with.
The script is written, the crew is in place including many BAFTA winners. The actors are ready. The film score will be written and performed by the incredibly talented Aukestra.
This film is crucial. For people like myself and Reilly who are unfairly judged everyday.
For employers who could help with a little understanding for the parent who has already fought a war before clocking in each day.
For professionals to see that the systems in place are just not good enough.
Mental health services are dire and support is sparce for children - it's practically nil once they hit 18.
For everyone to just be a little more understanding.
The Life of Reilly began as a blog about my young autistic son Reilly.
Absolutely astounded at the lack of understanding and provision for our family I decided to talk about it with the aim of educating along the way. The blog is very successful, it has helped many families on their journey.
It quickly became a sell out stage play with outstanding reviews, it changes perceptions, it encourages conversation.
There is a play for schools to educate children and staff in mainstream settings and a short film (at the top of the page) which was created as a festival short - all about an extraordinary family on an ordinary day and how quickly a world ruled by routine can quickly be launched into chaos.
Overall we are making great strides in educating many people.
This film has a chance to reach millions and make a real difference.