The “invisible” spectrum & allied conditions
The Halfling Project
There are sadly many people out there, including those in the medical, education and child support roles who simply don’t accept or choose to ignore the existence of autism in what by all accounts is a “normal” looking child.
This was also the problem for those diagnosed with dyslexia in the early days of reluctant acceptance that the condition of “word blindness” might actually exist.
This is where my interest in “invisible conditions” in childhood began. This happened to be the time when the actress Susan Hampshire and the BBC combined to give publicity to the condition, and start the long haul to eventual acceptance of the condition.
The Halfling project began as a project to build on and promote understanding and acceptance of the many conditions broadly headed as ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Even today  many schools ignore pupils blindly suffering within the spectrum or allied conditions, many young offenders are imprisoned without their autistic condition or mental state being taken fairly and fully into account -
It’s important to note that many autistic children are highly creative and certainly not unintelligent, but often their lack of social skills or strange [to others] obsessions make them targets for bullying and social retraction.
My work with young performers led me to find just how many actors are on the spectrum.
Where halfling is set to make the point it is towards disability where it is not evident by physical appearance -
Ask many people about what a boy with autism looks like they will think of those with Downs Syndrome and a distinctive look -
I wish to also stress that I include within this work conditions not on the spectrum, but where levels of misunderstanding and blindness still apply. This can be gender issues, sexuality, or almost any condition which singles someone out -
From photography through written explanation to audio/video presentation The Halfling Project strives to keep explanation simple and non academic .
The use of long words and medical terms has it’s place -
At times this can and will result in simplistic explanation which gets the point across but may to academics be deemed to simplistic .
However I defend this approach for it’s target audience from children up -
Here the aim is to state in simple terms the impact and consequences, the discovery and acceptance -
[C] The Halfling Project 2015