Elisabeth Wiklander – Acknowledged cellist sheds light on autism

When you hear the word autism, what do you think of? A lot of stigma and misconceptions surround this condition and the people diagnosed face a lot of challenges due to intolerance and the lack of understanding by the general public.

Born and raised in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere in Sweden, Elisabeth Wiklander moved to Amsterdam to study and work before she acquired the highly competitive position at the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She is no stranger to trying new things and reaching for her dreams. Besides being passionate about nature, rock climbing and playing cello, Elisabeth is autistic and was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome when she was 28 years old. Until then, she had no explanations of her sometimes different thoughts and behaviour.

In her talk, Elisabeth will communicate to us how it is to be autistic yet lead an independent and successful everyday life. Autism is a whole spectrum and it affects all sorts of people. The different way an autistic brain processes information causes friction with the surrounding world and can lead to misunderstandings. It is up to both sides to improve this as there is no channel of communication if there is no knowledge – and Elisabeth wants to make a difference.