Mapping dynamic trajectories of development in autism spectrum disorder: gaining new insights into aetiology and heterogeneity


  • Dr Virginia Carter Leno

    King's College London, United Kingdom

Project summary

This project will culminate in a series of co-produced immersive performances for the public which explore the idea of neurodiversity and the experiences of neurodivergent individuals. Musical compositions, which sonically and verbally depict neurodivergent experiences, will raise up neurodivergent voices and engage neurotypical audiences to reflect on what it means to be neurodivergent. Audiences will be encouraged to contemplate how we conceptualise individual differences in how our brains function, and to challenge negative stereotypes surrounding neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., autism, ADHD).

The project will commence with a series of online interviews[1] with people who identify as neurodivergent to explore the concept of neurodiversity: how neurodivergent people experience the world differently, what may underpin these differences, and how does the neurodiversity approach differ from the traditional medical model. The project team will attend a co-production workshop to reach a consensus on themes that emerged in the interviews that should be showcased in the final performances. From this, musical interludes will be created based on the agreed themes. In parallel to the creation of interludes, a Neurodiversity Framework document will be created to summarise the neurodiversity approach, key themes from focus groups and lessons learnt from the project. This will serve as a guide to others interested in co-production projects with neurodivergent communities. A short film of the project will be disseminated through social media and public film festivals nationwide to ensure far-reaching impact.

[1] We will also offer alternative methods of engagement (e.g., written, voice notes) to ensure the project is inclusive