Epidemic of Knowledge – Film documentary by Olley Edwards explores reality of autism diagnosis for females


photo credit Clive Elkington/Livelywood Pictures

Epidemic of Knowledge is a short documentary film that follows the journey of mother, Olley Edward’s, 32, as she embarks upon her own autism journey of self-discovery. Along the way she also explores how autism presents itself in females.

Olley is a passionate campaigner and advocate for females on the autism spectrum and is an actress, filmmaker and author. Our article about Olley, ‘Why Aren’t Normal People Normal?’ can be read here.

Today 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, and are most are boys. Olley has two daughters who both have a diagnosis of autism, and she asks the question:

“If you had two daughters diagnosed with autism, would you want to know why? Are we living in an autism epidemic, or an epidemic of knowledge?”

The film begins with Olley telling us, the viewer, that her eldest daughter was diagnosed with autism at six years of age, and because of this she made the decision not to vaccinate her youngest daughter. However she then goes on to tell that she was too was diagnose at the age of two years of age with autism spectrum disorder.

photo credit Olley Edwards

photo credit Olley Edwards

Olley speaks openly in the film about her thoughts and feelings on being a mother to young daughters with autism. “It is very isolating being a single mum of two autistic daughters.”

She then adds that she didn’t meet anybody that had daughters on the spectrum, “everybody seemed to have sons.”

Olley now feels that she is in a good place and feels blessed, that her daughters were born into a generation were “autistic females are recognized and supported.”

This is really the crux of the film, the importance of acceptance and being able to get the help and support you need. The documentary charts Olley’s roller coaster ride of gaining a diagnosis of autism. She tells that she made the decision to film her diagnosis journey as no one should feel as isolated as she did.

Olley received her diagnosis from Dr Judith Gould from the Lorna Wing Centre.

You can watch this important documentary at Cannes Short Film corner from May 20 – 24, 2015.

Epidemic of Knowledge is also now on the British Film Council Directory, which Olley says is a great step for females on the autistic spectrum and autism awareness as a whole.

Clive Elkington of Livelywood Pictures produced the film. Their website can be found here http://www.livelywoodpictures.co.uk/

We hope to be able to share the film with you once it has been shown at its various festivals. We wish Olley the best of luck with her inspiring and thought provoking documentary.