Stirling-based Square Peg offers support and creative outlets for young people aged five to 25 from challenging backgrounds and who may fall on the autistic spectrum. Through animation, film and art workshops it aims to support families and young people, helping their students grow and reach their full potential – “greatness through uniqueness” – and learn social coping mechanisms that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Indie said: “I believe that we must try and educate the world that autism is simply a different way of developing and seeing the world – different, not less. Seeing the world differently is something I can personally identify with as I have always viewed the world ‘upside down’ as my mother puts it, as I am both severely dyspraxic and dyslexic.
“I come from a very creative and artistic background and believe strongly that art and animation can be a wonderful way to reach out and connect with young people, especially in those with complex and challenging needs, such as communication difficulties for example. Through a medium like art they can transcend this barrier and describe their feelings and emotions. Young people love creating art because there are no fixed expectations.
“I place importance on equipping the young person I am supporting with good social coping mechanism skills to cope with stressful social situations and to feel comfortable enough to avoid feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to sensory overload.
“It may not always be an easy path to walk, but without those square pegs in the world what a sadder, duller, colourless world we would live in.”
Square Peg recently worked alongside Stirling Family Support Service to deliver workshops to a group of young people who have been affected by drug and alcohol misuse by a family member.
"We created numerous animations and our very own horror film, what was great to see that although young people were reluctant to begin with they soon became dedicated film makers.
"One young boy K showed every little interest to begin with, but once he was given minecraft figures to animate rather than making them out of traditional animation materials, he became engrossed in his work, picking up animation techniques quickly and teaching others. He also took over directing our horror film, successfully organising a group who could at times be challenging. Regular support staff said that they had rarely seen him so focused."
Square Peg received funding from the Social Entrepeneurs Fund.
Do you have an innovative idea that tackles a social and/or environmental issue? You could apply for the Social Innovation Competition.
This year the Social Innovation Competition will celebrate and support individuals and start up companies in Scotland that are using their creativity and imagination to solve pressing social issues, focusing on culture, heritage and tourism.