Brisbane Woman Asks For Authentic Representation Of Autism In Media

For years, there have been issues on how people with autism are being portrayed in the movies and other media. This is the subject of Jessica Finn’s message, a Brisbane local with autism who is calling for authentic portrayal of people with autism in the media.

Ms Finn, 22, shared her views in time for Autism Awareness, an annual event celebrated every April. She talked about autism stereotypes in the media, stating that people make movies about people with autism and try to make them look like they are incapable of living productive adult lives.  Ms Finn believes there’s no need to treat autistic adults like they’re incapable children, particularly those who are in their twenties and beyond.

“I have thought we would have better representation [by now] but sadly I’m sort of used to seeing that right now for people who are deemed marginalised,” Ms Finn shared in a media release.

This makes people not very accepting towards her and she hope it would change. She’s waiting for the day when the portrayal of characters with autism will align closer to real life, and all the success that people with autism are able to achieve.

Herself is a brilliant example, Jessica Finn took the time to further her skills at STEPS Pathways College in the Sunshine Coast. As she resided in Brisbane at the time, Jessica originally undertook the online program before moving on to face-to-face classes when she moved into the Sunshine Coast area.

“I did the online program until October of last year (2020),” Jessica said. “When I was in Brisbane, there was no STEPS, there was nothing like it. I’m glad I found it, it is a really good place, for me it was the best decision I made last year.”

Ms Finn’s aspiration is parallel with the STEPS Employment Solutions campaign called #SeeME. This campaign aims to dispel common misconceptions about hiring young people with a disability, mental health issue or other barrier to employment, and give the opportunity and space for more diverse stories to be heard.

Ms Finn herself is looking to pursue a possible career path that will make use of her wild imagination and steady drawing hand. During her spare time, she enjoys joining a visual arts course where she’s given the opportunity to create sculptures and draw pictures.

Ms Finn is dreaming of making a career out of her passion for arts, and that employers will give her the same opportunity as others. For now, Ms Finn keeps on striving to reach her long-term goal and that is to move out of home and gain her independence. Ms Finn shared her teachers at STEPS Pathways College are helping her reach her goals.