An autism campaigner and author from Staffordshire is looking for a film director who can help turn his autobiography into a feature film.
Kevin Healey, who has Asperger’s syndrome, decided to write a book based on his experiences and those of his identical twin brother Shaun, who has autism.
The book, Twin Brothers Worlds Apart, was published 15 months ago with proceeds being split between the charity Kevin founded, Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society (SAAS) and the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge.
Kevin, 35, said: “As a person with autism, I feel that autism has never been portrayed correctly.
“All the autism films show adults on the high functioning end of the spectrum, and adults with genius savant abilities, like Dustin Hoffman in the film the Rain Man.
“My twin can’t communicate – he is locked in a world of his own, he can’t even tell you if he feels ill, or if he is in pain.
“On one occasion we nearly lost my twin with double pneumonia because the health bodies thought and assumed he was OK.
“There have been other instances where people have not accepted my twin because of his condition, maybe because they don’t understand him.
“Even though I love my twin so dearly, I have never been able to communicate with him because he does not understand, and for a twin that is incredibly hard.
“Most twins grow up playing together and enjoy the social aspects of life such as going out, and we have not been able to do this.
“I didn’t get diagnosed until my late 20s and if it was not for Professor Baron-Cohen and his team at the Autism Research Centre, Cambridge, I wouldn’t be writing this today.
“At 26 I was contemplating suicide, because I was not understood or accepted in today’s society.
“People’s attitudes have moved forward slightly in the autism field, but more educating and understanding of the condition needs to be addressed.
“Hopefully this can be achieved with the film.”
Kevin hopes to obtain funding for the film and find actors will play the roles. All the proceeds from the film would go to SAAS.
SAAS aims to provide support to people with autism and Asperger in Staffordshire. It arranges activities and outings for adults the conditions. For more information visit www.saas.uk.com.
Any director interested in making the film should contact the charity on 01782 617088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.