Autism and Imagination: beyond the stereotypes
A talk by Dr Ilona Roth, The Open University
Autism, according to formal diagnostic criteria, involves restricted, repetitive activities and a preference for structure and predictability in most aspects of life. These traits might seem far from the original, innovative thinking skills that are the hallmarks of an imaginative mind. Yet some autistic people excel in fields typically associated with creativity, such as visual art and music, while media and popular culture often promote an image of autistic people as eccentric geniuses. What lies behind these different characterisations of autism and how can they be reconciled? What are the implications for ideas about creativity and how it can be nurtured?
Ilona Roth is Honorary Associate in the School of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences at The Open University, having recently retired from a senior lectureship. Her work over several decades in the autism field includes distance teaching, research and outreach activities. Pursuing her mission to promote understanding and action in relation to autism, in 2018 she launched a free online course Understanding Autism that has already attracted many thousands of learners. She is the recipient of the Herald Higher Education Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019.
This event is suitable for anyone with an interest in autism and imagination.
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In association with The Crichton Trust, The Open University in Scotland and the Better Lives Partnership