Kate Winslet sent a camera and her favourite hat to a few famous friends in a bid to raise awareness for autism
Inspired by a mother’s courage to communicate with her autistic son, and a poem he wrote, Kate Winslet made it her mission to raise awareness of the capabilities of those with autism.
Inspired by The Golden Hat, written by autistic teenager Keli Thorsteinsson, Kate sent her beaten up trilby to as many well-known people as she could.
She then asked the famous-faces, including Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and Julianne Moore, to photograph themselves wearing it.
‘Amazingly nearly every person I asked said yes,’ says Kate, who created a book of the self-portraits to accompany Keli’s writings and his mother Margret Ericsdottir’s story of living with an autistic child.
The proceeds from the book will go to the Golden Hat Foundation, a charity set up by Margret and Kate to improve awareness about the talents of autistic people.
The Golden Hat also celebrates some of the first communications of people with non-verbal autism.
It took sufferer Josh Andrus until he was 19 before he was able to communicate this message to his parents: ‘Try and fully understand my condition, I get so lonely.’
‘With your generosity and support we can change the world for people living with autism,’ says Kate.
All Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) result in communication and language difficulties. Up to 25 per cent of individuals with ASD can’t speak because they can’t physically say words or because it’s thought, they don’t understand the meaning of language.
Sufferers of non-verbal who do understand what other people say to them still generally prefer to use other forms of communication, such as visual symbols or sign language.
Speech in non-verbal sufferers is impaired because of differences in brain function that inhibit spoken language.
Non-verbal sufferers often use communication tools such as voice-output devices that read messages aloud.
The Golden Hat by Kate Winslet with Keli Thorsteinsson and Margaret Ericsdottir, $29.95 (£18.50) Simon & Schuster, is available from The Golden Hat Foundation website.