A video starring a 10-year old autistic boy from Halifax has gone viral with more than 50 mllion views in three weeks.
Alex Marshall is the face of the National Autistic Society’s (NAS) Too Much Information campaign and shows what it is like to feel overwhelmed by bright lights, loud noises and other people in a shopping centre.
Shot from Alex’s point of view, the film called I’m not naughty, I’m autistic demonstrates how overwhelming and painful it is to experience too much information – and how difficult it is when people make judgemental remarks or glares at people getting overloaded.
Alex’s mum Kathryn Marshall said: “Alex cannot believe that so many people have seen the Too Much Information film, from all over the world. One of my friends pointed out that the film has had more viewers than Eastenders. Alex is hoping that the film achieves real understanding and respect for people on the autism spectrum.
“We are so proud that he has done this. It just hasn’t quite sunk in with Alex, or us, what a difference the campaign is making to so many people and the part he has played in that.”
Alex was diagnosed with autism two years ago and his family joined their local branch of the National Autistic Society in Calderdale. When they went to the charities annual general meeting, they met some of the charity’s campaigns team and spoke about Alex’s love of film and dreams of being an actor when he grows up, so the team suggested he came along to the casting auditions of the campaign film.
The charity thought it was important to cast an actor who was on the autism spectrum themselves, to get that first person perspective and understanding, which really brought Alex’s performance to life and landed him the lead role in the film.
Mark Lever, chief executive of the NAS, said: “We couldn’t be happier that the Too Much Information video has been so well received by both the public and by autistic people. Alex was a fantastic choice as the star of the film, and he’s been amazing every step of the way.”
To watch the video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z08D-6qSeS0