Too Much Information Make it stop

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National Autistic Society in the UK has worked with Holly, a 12-year-old schoolgirl, to release “Make It Stop”, an awareness-raising film. Launched to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April, “Make It Stop” follows the plight of an autistic girl who becomes overwhelmed when she isn’t given enough time to process information. Holly used the film screening at her local school assembly to tell her friends and classmates about autism for the very first time. As much as 80% of the public say they would endeavour to change their behaviour if they knew autistic people needed extra time to process information. Holly’s painfully honest depiction of the world for an autistic person is a clear message to everyone about the difference small changes can make. The Too Much Information campaign, online at autism.org.uk/get-involved/tmi, includes an interactive action list for reducing information load, a section of tips, a virtual reality headset, t-shirts, and support for the workplace.

Too Much Information - crowd in National Autistic Society commercial

“If just one person sees the film and is more understanding to autistic people, I’ll be happy,” the young star proclaims. Holly is using her new star status to encourage people to get involved in the pledge action attached to the film, asking people to make a change and to think about the things they can do to make the world a more autism friendly place – whether in the classroom, at work or at the shops. For Holly, these are small changes that can make a big difference. Her mum Jo explains, “We worked closely with the school to put in place lots of really small strategies, like letting her leave lessons 5 minutes early because she gets so overwhelmed by noisy and busy spaces, and it’s made such a difference.”

Too Much Information - graphic

Christopher Ross-Kellam, Creative lead on the project, says “We needed to find a way to visually represent a struggle that was otherwise invisible. To depict this battle with insufficient processing time in an emotional way, whilst staying true to the experience. We made sure that each stage of the creative process was tested on, and run by, an autistic adult and/or child’

More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which means they feel overwhelmed by ‘too much information’ when out in public. “I hope her film helps other people to understand more about autism and how they can help make life a little easier for people like Holly,” Jo explains.

Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society , says “We know that people don’t set out to be judgmental towards autistic people. The problem is that they often don’t see the autism, they just see the ‘tantrum’ or the ‘difficult person’ and this is making autistic people feel isolated.”

National Autistic Society’s film, “Can you make it to the end?”, featuring 11-year-old Alex Marshall, launched their “Too Much Information” campaign in 2016. The film went viral – over 56 million people viewed it on social media, with over one million also sharing it. Over 17,000 people put their mark on the Too Much Information map to show they care about autism. 8,000 people in shopping centres across the United Kingdom tried the virtual reality film, “Can You Stand the Rejection?”.

Too Much Information Make It Stop Credits

The Too Much Information campaign was developed at Don’t Panic London by project lead Helen Jackson, project assistants Robyn Kasozi and Angela Kwashie, strategist Ellie Moore, creative lead Christopher Ross-Kellam, creatives George McCallum, Alistair Griggs, Tom Loader, and managing director Joe Wade, working with National Autistic Society national campaign manager Jessica Leigh and head of campaigns and public engagement Tom Purser.

Filming was shot by director Tomas Mankovsky via Knucklehead with director of photography James Blann, producer Francis Mildmay-White, production manager Cat Irving, and production designer Sam Tidman.

Editor was Tim Hardy at Stitch Editing. Colourist was Simon Bourne at Framestore. Post production was done at Nineteen Twenty Post.

Sound was was designed at Sound Canvas by Tom Joyce.

Casting was by Sophie North Casting and Hammond & Cox Casting.

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