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Autism and Creativity: Thinking Differently Is an Asset to the Creative Industries

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Alex Shifrin, former CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi Russia and now managing partner LP/AD, says neurodiversity is key for creative problem-solving

Autism and Creativity: Thinking Differently Is an Asset to the Creative Industries

Toronto-based animation production studio Thought Café has partnered with managing partner at LP/AD, Alex Shifrin, for the new film ‘Autism: Think Different’. The thought-provoking animated short, written by Shifrin, shows why the neurodiverse thinking of individuals who are on the autistic spectrum needs to be celebrated in the creative industries. 

Using Apple’s famous ‘Think Different’ commercial as a springboard, Alex tells us that 13 of the 18 individuals celebrated in the iconic ad were either diagnosed, or thought to be on, the autistic spectrum. He explains that creative fields have always been environments for people who think differently. Given that those on the spectrum approach problem-solving differently, he says that individuals with autism can become part of the community.  

Increasingly, conversations on neurodiversity are shedding light on how those with neurological difference can drive creativity. Alex says: “Thinking differently is a valued characteristic in the creative fields. Individuals diagnosed with ASD are programmed to think different and have been integral to critical change throughout history.”

Alex has two sons who have both been diagnosed with autism and the topic is close to his heart. He says: “The idea of what will happen to my boys when I’m not around began to bother me. We don’t know if they’ll require lifelong care or what type of care that might be. But, perhaps it’s not a matter of administering care and more about creating places in society where people who have autism can integrate and contribute without needing to be ‘cared for’.”

The film is the first in a series by Thought Café that focuses on topics around critical awareness and social issues.

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LP/AD, Tue, 20 Nov 2018 15:00:08 GMT