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Title:No More Us and Them - Disrupting Attitudes to Autism | Nura Aabe | TEDxBristol

“I felt stuck between two worlds - the professionals and my community. Neither of which understood me, and neither of which understood Zak.” When her oldest son Zak was diagnosed with autism, Nura Aabe had not heard of autism, a condition that has no word to describe it in the Somali language. Despite the challenges of stigma and social exclusion, Nura decided to change her social network and educate herself and those around her, so that she could help her son lead an independent life. Since launching community organisation Autism Independence, Nura has worked tirelessly to challenge and change the often negative and misleading perceptions of autism, pioneering a powerful mix of theatre, education and research, and writing a book about her experiences. Her dedication and passion for autism inspired her to go back to further education completing a degree in early childhood studies and Masters in Education of Psychology registering her with the British Psychology Society at the University of Bristol. This talk is from TEDxBristol 2017: Dare To Disrupt. In a world of constant change and uncertainty, these are the ‘positive disruptors’ ripping up the rule book to challenge received wisdom, demand better, and transform seemingly insurmountable problems into break-through possibilities and new beginnings. From making a big splash on single-use plastics, to a global campaign to end unwanted hair-touching, or a revolutionary approach to combining robotics with human creativity, we hope you’ll enjoy and feel inspired by these talks. Watch all our talks here Our talks were produced, filmed and edited by a brilliant team of talented volunteers and pro-bono partners: Produced by: Mel Rodrigues, Curator TEDxBristol Daniel Edmund, Assistant Curator, TEDxBristol Samuel Williams, Hodos Consultancy Barney Grenfell, Hodos Consultancy Filmed and edited by Floating Harbour Films: Richard da Costa Ben Scrase Tom Young Dan O’Connell Gareth Croft With camerawork and production support from: Steve Webb Giles Edwards Bath Spa University This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at Nura Aabe is a Somali born mother who moved to the UK age 5 after civil war tore her country apart. She has lived in Bristol for 25 years. Her talk explores the journey she went on to raise the expectations and aspirations of Zak and other autistic children, via Autism Independence, the community organisation that she founded. As well as supporting marginalized families affected by autism, she helps them gain access to specialist services and support networks, and connects medical professionals with the diverse needs, experiences and cultures of families affected by autism. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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