22 March 2023

Aria wants to celebrate creative brains that are wired differently

| Chris Roe
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Aria Amore

TRAC student Aria Amore is hoping to celebrate Wagga’s neurodivergents. Photo: Chris Roe.

Aria Amore wants to tackle people’s misconceptions about neurodiversity head-on.

The Year 11 TRAC student and talented musician is providing an opportunity for locals whose brains are wired differently to celebrate what makes them unique.

“I find people’s perceptions are changing with things like dyslexia or ADHD, but I think that there’s still a stigma around autism specifically,” she said, explaining why she has chosen to begin work on the ‘Farout Showcase’ as part of her studies for the International Baccalaureate.

“The first day my teacher brought up this CAS (creativity, activity, service) assessment, I just came up with this idea of doing an autism awareness concert, but now it’s a neurodivergent showcase, which is much more expandable and much more general because it includes more people and more voices.”

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The term ‘neurodivergent’ has become widely used in recent years and covers a range of conditions and learning disabilities in which a person thinks and interacts with the world differently.

Neurodiverse people may have challenges to overcome, but they also have strengths and are often gifted creatively.

“People don’t understand it and that’s one of the reasons why I want to do this,” explained Aria.

“I just want to say, please just understand it. Just try to get your brain around it because it’s just been so long that people just don’t get it and there are all these terrible representations of things like autism in the media and movies and shows and it’s really disturbing.”

Aria hopes to set the record straight and help people to understand that not everyone processes the world the same way – and that’s OK.

“What people don’t understand is that it is a spectrum and it really differs from person to person and there’s no ‘right way’ to perceive autism because it’s so different,” she said.

“There are so many amazing people I’ve met who have been diagnosed with autism or ADHD and I think that that’s amazing.

“We should celebrate it and I think that we as a society should understand it and work towards improving the lives of these individuals.”

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The first step is to get people together at a meeting at the Curious Rabbit Cafe on Thursday to discuss how they can be involved and what shape the event will take.

“I want to open the platform and meet these people who are interested and talk to them about all of their art, what they love, their personal experience and how they want to express it,” she said.

“Someone might be like, ‘I really like poetry’ or ‘I really like painting’ or ‘I really like performing music’ – awesome, now let’s workshop that and try to put together this amazing artistic showcase!”

Once the idea begins to crystallise, Aria hopes to fundraise and apply for grants to help pay artists and performers and she will also nominate a charity to support.

With a date locked in for 19 August at the Curious Rabbit, Aria hopes that local artists and musicians will join her this Thursday to discuss ideas.

“I just want our great young musicians and artists who are neurodiverse to be like, ‘Hey, look at me. Look at me, please. I’m amazing!”.

You can follow Aria’s Farout Showcase on Instagram or sign up here.

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