SPIN Chats To Filmmaker Anna C...

Movies & TV

SPIN Chats To Filmmaker Anna Czarska About Late Life Autism Diagnosis

Jessica Spencer
Jessica Spencer

05:13 12 Nov 2021

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SPIN Chats to filmmaker Anna Czaraska

SPIN's Sarina Bellissimo caught up with Anna Czarska to chat about how being diagnosed with autism as an adult has affected her.

Anna's short film Mildly Different follows a young woman with autism who struggles to feel accepted. Seeing as autism is not expressed the same way in different genders, the film aims to promote awareness around autism in women.

Speaking about why she wanted to make the film, Anna said she struggled searching for a reason to explain why she was "so different from everyone else."

When she was finally diagnosed with autism, the judgement and misunderstanding she faced spurred her to create Mildly Different.

"The way people see autism isn't really what autism is," she explained.

"I wanted to create a piece of media that would give an authentic voice to autistic individuals and show non-autistic individuals what it's actually like for us."

Autism in women

When Sarina asked Anna about how gender affects autism, she described the reasons in which those born female are less likely to be recognised as autistic.

One of the big factors is a lack of research. As more studies have been done on male autism, this misunderstanding and lack of information can delay a woman's diagnosis by years.

Anna also told Sarina that differences in the way boys and girls are raised can lead to differences in the ways their autism is expressed.

"A lot of people that are born female or have atypical presentation of autism have a good way of masking their traits," Anna said.

"They tend to get a lot of emotional support [when] they're younger because they're not male. Males don't get that kind of training or support."

A diagnosis changed everything

Before being diagnosed with autism, Anna felt "imbalanced" and "broken."

But once she received her diagnosis, Anna found she could pull herself away from that negative mindset. She now embodies the attitude of "there's nothing wrong with me. I'm just autistic."

You can watch Anna Czarska's full interview with Sarina below.

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Anna Czaraska Mildly Different Sarina Bellissimo The Bellissimo Files