Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Tamsin Parker

Category: Sports, arts and entertainment

I believe what I have done has made a difference in the world for other autistic people.

Inspiring others to speak out

Tamsin is a “boisterous and outspoken” young woman with Asperger’s who has a love of Western movies.

She’s also an artist, and uses her talents to educate people about autism. She’s determined to show that people on the spectrum can’t be stereotyped, and definitely shouldn’t be.

A powerful film with a powerful message

Her spotlight film is called ‘Force of Habit’ – a mix of hand drawn animation, puppet animation, drawings, paintings and live action footage.

The candid film has had over 8,000 views and gives an insight into her experiences living with autism. In it, she explains how Western character Tuco Ramirez helped her understand herself – and how she learned the hard way that you shouldn’t kick open church doors like a swashbuckling cowboy…


“Tuco is a feisty, impulsive, very charming and tenacious Mexican bandit whom I identify with.”

‘Force of Habit’ was originally created for the National Autistic Society’s ‘Uncut’ competition, where it reached the finals and was presented at BAFTA. It will also be included in the Other Film Festival in Melbourne.

Painting the way to autism understanding

Tamsin’s skills aren’t limited to the screen though. She’s also a keen painter and enjoys getting involved in campaigns.

In 2018 she packed up her painting supplies and headed to Bristol Temple Meads Station – setting up her equipment and creating an acrylic painting of the railway going into the station.

Sports, arts and entertainment LDA Leaders' List 2018

This was for National Rail’s ‘No Boundaries’ exhibition, which was a campaign for the Disabled Person’s Railcard, designed to encourage travel without boundaries.

Going beyond the artwork

Tamsin is a self-identified outspoken person. She is also kind and generous.

By climbing the Three Peaks in one day she raised £800 for the National Autistic Society.

She has also spoken to the media about her experiences with autism.

In 2018 she was controversially removed from a film screening of one of her favourite films, ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ for laughing too loud. She used this experience as an opportunity to educate more people about autism and continues to do so in everything she does.

“I believe what I have done has made a difference in the world for other autistic people and has inspired them to speak out about themselves.”

Tamsin is a passionate and strong self-advocate. She has a clear message she wants to share with people and uses her bad experiences to help make sure others don’t go through the same thing.

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