She is the founder of Icelandic film production company, Frontier Filmworks, the producer of a documentary The Sunshine Boy, mother of Erik, Unnar and Keli, the latter of whom has nonverbal autism.
Between them (Kate and Margret) they have created a big, glossy collector’s book called The Golden Hat, which is a collection of celebrity photos with a little twist.
It came about when Winslet narrated the documentary about nonverbal autism made by Margret.
As she learned more about autism, and also grew close to the family Ericsdotter, Winslet conceived a plan for a book. Asking friends and colleagues in the film, television, music sport and fashion industries, Winslet gave them her favourite fedora hat, asked them to take a self-portrait, and to add a single quote – what their first words would be if they had been unable to communicate their entire life, and suddenly could.
Some of the photos and comments are predictable (such as Julia Roberts saying “Hi, I love you”). Others are funny (predictably, Woody Allen, who says, “Get off my property”).
Leonardo DiCaprio poses with his very ugly dog wearing the hat, and his comment (or the dog’s) is “Finally!”.
Proceeds from the book will help the Golden Hat Foundation, set up by Winslet and Ericsdottir to assist people with autism.
Bendigo woman Kelly Andrews has also created a book about autism.
The former childcare worker wrote 100 Kisses of Autism about her son, Sam.
While autism is “no laughing matter”, she says, she wanted to focus on the “humorous love-filled moments” that make her smile every day. The first kiss records the day Sam told his father, “I’m better than you Dad – I’m stronger and smarter and I have more autism”.
Kelly says humour helps grow confidence, and is also a “necessary tool for survival”.
100 Kisses of Autism is available online for $19.95.
The Golden Hat: Talking Back to Autism is published by Simon and Schuster, $29.99.
To go in the draw for a copy of The Golden Hat, email email@example.com with Golden Hat in the subject line, by 5pm Wednesday.