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Autistic Filmmaker Shatters Stereotypes

close up of woman's feet wearing Vans sneakers, standing in a puddle in the rain

What's it like to have autism? I don't know, I've always been autistic. Just like fish- they don't care when it rains, because they're already in the water...they're already wet!

Jen Msumba shatters stereotypes about autism with her short film entry in the 2020 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

WAUCHULA, FL, UNITED STATES, July 28, 2020 / -- Jen Msumba shatters stereotypes about autism with her short film entry in the 2020 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

Jen Msumba’s can’t-resist-watching-over-and-over-again film will leave you eager to know the person behind the disability--any disability. Find her film here

Jen will shatter every stereotype you’ve ever believed about autism:
She’s clever.
She’s funny.
She weaves an irresistible story.
She uses music to take abstract feelings and write songs people love to sing along with.
She plays piano, violin, keyboards, and guitar.
She recognizes her own responsibility to do life well.
She has deliberately discovered diverse forms of expression to help her connect with people.

“This is the story of how those things combine to make one unrepeated me.”— Jen Msumba

“Find your loyal and true people. Be loyal and true to them. That’s what living in the community is all about”— Jen Msumba

Jen launched her hilarious and heart-tugging short film on July 25, 2020. She wants her four-minute-and-fifty- seconds film to show that:
-Autistic people are not just “autism” or “disabled.” We have interests and personalities like everyone else;
-Autistic people have deep emotions. We aren't robots, like portrayed in many films and television shows (Thankfully, that is starting to change);
-Autistic people can learn new things and gain independence in varying degrees;
-Even if autistic people need lifelong help, they can achieve marvelous goals and create a happy life;
-Autistic people NEED human contact.
-Autism becomes a part of who you are; not all of who you are.

“I laid buried for years, covered in layers of problems… I wanted so badly to break through and soak in the sun.”— Jen Msumba

Jen is grateful for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), celebrated this week, because autistic persons should not be separated out from the general population. “We should participate in school, sports, any part of life a person without autism participates in.” Jen explains:
We have wants and needs and want a good life like anyone else. You can’t fulfill that if you are segregated.

When I was segregated, I used to count popsicle stick bundles all day. Now I’m a part of life- I’m playing on the church worship team, making films, writing music, writing a book, and making friends.
I’m able to use all my talents with the right support in the community.

This film competition has autistic people and people with other disabilities showing their skills in front of or behind the camera, people who years ago may have been tucked away from society.
What would each of us—of all abilities— have missed without coming together?
We are ABLE

“Watching myself on camera made me painfully aware that I wanted to fix my face. I only had one expression. No wonder people always thought I was mad! So I worked on different faces. . . Then I wanted to make friends. ”— Jen Msumba

If you ask Jen the strengths of autism she will say, “Autistic people tend to be honest, loyal, hardworking--and interesting friends. Even though we might not always show it, we tend to be very empathetic and care a lot.

People should see and share this film to show that autistic and disabled people are capable of more than we often get credit for. And no matter how many challenges we face, we can surprise you.”
Do you want to be surprised? Watch Jen’s film here:

About Jen Msumba
In 2013, Jen began her online presence by posting videos to YouTube of her piano interpretations of popular songs. At the time, she did not want to talk much in her videos for fear of being made fun of for her differences. But in 2017, her confidence had improved enough for her to start her YouTube channel, Rebranding Autism, inspiring and motivating her viewers to have confidence, get out of their comfort zone and try new things.

Since starting this channel, Jen has become a speaker who gives interviews and talks about what it is like to be autistic and about confidence when growing up with one or more disabilities. She has addressed groups at such places as The Music Compound in Sarasota Florida, WSRQ Radio, courtesy of Goodwill Sarasota, The Suncoast View, and at Easterseals of Southwest Florida. Her groups included young adults as well as people of all ages.

Jen was recently was chosen by Amtrak to be a social media resident for their #AmtrakTakeMeThere Campaign and to vlog about her experiences traveling on their trains as someone on the autism spectrum.

She was also recently featured on A&E’s new series The Employables, which follows adults with Tourette Syndrome and Autism as they search for meaningful employment in the community.

Jennifer is active in her local community. She is a member of the Bayside Community Church’s worship team where she plays the keys.
It is worth mentioning that she is also a member of American Mensa.

Jennifer has come a long way from living in residential schools and state hospitals since the age of 15, to now having a greater level of independence. She has overcome severe self harm, impulsivity, and aggressive behavior. She is now living a full life with meaningful employment and advocacy work.

Watch her video here

Contact Information
Jen Msumba
Autistic Musician | Speaker | Vlogger

Jen’s YouTube Channel:
Rebranding Autism

Jennifer Msumba
+1 863-832-1455
email us here
Jennifer Msumba
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