Lauren was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and sensory processing disorder when she was 13. This means she experiences the world differently. Her senses can become overwhelmed by her environment and she can find social interactions difficult.
She also suffers from ‘spontaneous anaphylaxis’, which has no trigger or cure. It’s resulted in numerous hospital stays, medication and a six month course of intensive immunotherapy.
Lauren has been through more than any young adult should have to endure, but is shining and proving to all who know her that she is a humble, talented and selfless young person.
Adversity in education
Throughout her school life she was often misunderstood by her teachers and bullied mercilessly by her peers.
The sensory sensitivities, uncontrollable anaphylaxis and mental health troubles triggered by the school environment made this an extremely tough time for Lauren.
Despite this, and her selective mutism, she gave talks in school about autism and went on to speak up for others as her college’s student rep – pushing through her anxieties and advocating for better autism understanding.
Lauren excelled at her G.C.S.Es and regular hospitalisation didn’t stop her achieving a distinction in her media course at college.
Creativity at college
College gave Lauren an opportunity to explore her passion for film making.
As part of her work, she’s produced a number of videos, including: editing animé clips together for a music video, producing and acting in a spoof horror film and working with others to create thought provoking documentaries.
Her final video – and contributing factor to her course distinction – is a documentary about video games and their association with violence: “Gunz or gaming” puts together different perspectives in a well-rounded and easy to understand film.
Her skills and talent are clear, watch the rest of her videos on her YouTube channel to see for yourself.
Lauren has shown strength and determination throughout her school and college years. She’s continued to help raise autism understanding, as well as pursuing her dream of working in film.
We, Dimensions, are proud to work with her on our autism friendly projects. Lauren has helped write our training materials and has overseen production of multiple resources.
Happy to be one of our spokespeople, she’s given interviews to the media. Most recently she spoke to CBS News who broadcast her interview across America, promoting autism inclusion.
Lauren is also on our project panel for, and will star in, our new national autism friendly screenings training. She’s used this opportunity to make positive connections across the film industry and we’re confident she’ll continue to excel.
A family driving change
It’s no surprise that Lauren is so proactive and determined to help people. Such compassion runs deep in her family.
At home she helps care for her two autistic siblings, and helps her mum with her advocacy work.
Together, the mother-daughter team host the ‘Big Day In’, an annual gathering for parents and people with additional needs, and organisations who support them.
Lauren helps make sure the children and young adults are included in a variety of ways to make this a fun filled day for everyone.
The team also manage “Autism adventures – Minecraft and meltdowns”, a thriving Facebook group with over 3,000 members where members can share experiences, fears and advice.
We’re extremely proud of all Lauren has overcome and achieved. She’s an invaluable asset to our autism friendly work and we are over the moon that she was chosen by the judges to be one of our Leaders’ List winners.