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Sunshine Jackson

BAFTA-nominated Documentary Producer, Writer & Speaker

Sunshine Jackson

BAFTA-nominated Documentary Producer, Writer & Speaker

My high functioning Autism and my (well managed) ADHD are my superpowers. They’re the reason I’m twice BAFTA-nominated. I’m perpetually analysing and problem solving - when I watch a film, my brain dissects it at lightning speed - how did the music and narrative structure interact with the camerawork and the performance? Coupled with intense empathy, that makes me an expert at visual and emotional storytelling.

Calling it a superpower is not hyperbole - high functioning neurodiversity is essential to the human race. Without our hyper focus and left-field inspiration, without our disruptive intelligence, lightening-fast brains, default-mode-network creativity, problem solving obsessions and specialist subjects, there would be no great art, literature or music, no scientific breakthroughs, no top sportspeople. If it takes 10,000 hours to become expert at something, the journey starts in childhood (think David Beckham obsessively practicing ball skills). Young brains driven to this kind of specialism are not Neurotypical! Hans Asperger said “for success in science or art a dash of autism is essential.”

With ADHD, research shows physical activity can be as effective as medication, so the downside of fast-brain, fidget-bum, or dreamy-million-idea ADHD is less apparent when we’re fully active.

My diagnosis means I know my strengths and accept my challenges. I have more confidence in my talents, my earnings have grown accordingly.  I strategise and ask for help with things I find difficult, this includes applying for funding for help with my bookkeeping and increasing my cleaner’s hours. I mostly only remember belongings I can see, so have shelves not drawers, and less stuff! I’ve never been more successful, happier or calmer. 

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