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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Important Information Dyslexia

Due to popular demand we will now be running our dyslexia events again. These events will follow a very similar format to the ADHD and ASD day courses and will be run both as advertised day courses and full and half day insets.
Watch this space or email for further details.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Autism Christmas strategy

Christmas can be a very difficult time for many children on the Autistic Spectrum. The sheer chaos that ensues from changes in routine added to the growing anticipation could be a recipe for stress and behaviour problems. Strategies that help the child visualise the period may be helpful for some.

Helping children to cope by using visual images.

Make a timetable – maybe for weeks to begin with and then into days nearer the event.

Use photographs and cut outs from magazines to explain what is happening (stores stocked with cards, presents and such things).

Obtain dates of events from schools and clubs and insert these into the timetable.

Use specific dates for putting up the tree and decorations or baking the cake.

Mark off, on the calendar, events as they happen – so the child can progress visually through the time. Some children prefer an actual ‘washing line’ with events pegged on and taken off on completion.

SOCIAL STORIES could be used to help the child understand the WHY behind some activities – WHY do the shops start selling Christmas items in September??? (There is no other commercial event between summer and Christmas – also they have so many things to sell the shops start early – the shop hopes if you will buy from there and not from another shop.)

Christmas Fayres happen early to enable people to buy gifts in good time before the shops get far too busy – with too many people rushing around.

Build into the timetable details of the removal of Christmas decorations – tree and so on to prepare the child for a return to ‘normal’. Photographs of previous years may help – a kind of before and after shot – to remind the child what the house looks like decorated and a reminder of the home in its usual state.

Some children need structure in the holiday break from school and a timetable with activities on may help. Many children may need to be reminded of schoolwork with reminders of how to do certain schoolwork tasks before returning to class.

For some, the extra noise, sights and smells of this time of year are just too much –so maybe consider NOT taking the child shopping at this time and allow times every day for the child to ‘chill out’ and be alone and quiet.

Receiving presents can also be problematic. Many do not like surprises and so it can be best to pre-warn the child of what his/her gifts are going to be – relatives may have to be told what to buy. Practice the art of ‘accepting’ an unwanted gift – Give the child some idea of stock replies to use at this time – ‘Thank You’ - ‘That’s nice’

It may help you to know that many children on the autistic spectrum find this time of year very difficult to understand – you are not alone!

Told You So!!!

Broken yesterday, the story that Michael Jackson had his body scanned back in the '90s presents a number of interesting possibilities, particularly since there's a big push for 3D video tech right now. Still, let's not get too excited. We don't know exactly what these images include, but it seems unlikely that they're anything like concert footage that's shot specifically for 3D. As reported, the images were meant to help create some kind of "virtual double" of Jackson, much the same way that special effects for movies like Spider-Man were created. Creating some kind of 3D concert video from that would be a big leap.

Still, for an artist as popular as Jackson was, it's not hard to imagine someone dedicating the resources to make that leap. With some progress in holographic tech, and even more intriguing idea would be to recreate a real-live Jackson concert with a Jackson hologram as the main attraction. Given how much lip-synching goes on in today's pop, would a full-on virtual performer be much of a stretch? Or just too macabre in this case? Whatever happens, you can bet the images won't end up in a green screen challenge (though we can hope).

Via The Telegraph

Inclusion and the Net

Many autistic children prefer interacting with computers, rather than humans. Computers are more reliable, their reactions are more consistent

Professor Arun Mehta
Blind campaigner, Gerry Ellis, says that "it's becoming more difficult than ever for the disabled to get access to information" as more and more of it goes online.

There are not enough programmes for the blind and deaf, many websites are too complicated for people with disabilities to navigate.

The IGF, through the Dynamic Coalition for Accessibility and Disability, is calling on companies to do more.

It also makes the good point that if they simplify their web pages, that will help all users, not just the disabled.

Another expert in the field, Professor Arun Mehta is also using computer technology to help children with autism. He's spent a large part of his life developing software which helps those with disabilities.

His Special Kids project (SKIDS) help autistic children to improve their education by recognising pictures and naming the objects which are featured on the computer.

" Many autistic children prefer interacting with computers, rather than humans," he says. "Computers are more reliable, their reactions are more consistent."

It is just one of a myriad of applications which are now being developed with the emphasis on access for the millions who don't currently have it.

Overall, the mood amongst the delegates in Sharm el-Sheikh is optimistic.

The internet is alive and well and as dynamic as ever. Ask anyone here, though, what it will look like in five years ' time and you'll get as many different answers as there are participants in this forum.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Landmark Autism Bill Passed

The Autism Bill passed its final stage in the House of Lords on 22 October 2009 to become England’s first ever disability-specific law. Once it receives Royal Assent, the Bill will officially become the Autism Act, under which the Government’s forthcoming adult autism strategy will be legally enforceable and must be published within the next six months.

Under the new law, the NHS and local authorities will have to provide diagnostic services for adults with autism and better training for health and social care staff, and they could face legal action if they fail to provide appropriate support for people with autism.

The bill was drafted by the The National Autistic Society (NAS) and steered through Parliament, as a Private Members' Bill with cross party support, by Conservative MP Cheryl Gillan. NAS chief executive, Mark Lever, said; “Thousands of adults with autism told us they were experiencing serious mental health difficulties due to a lack of support. After a year of lobbying, this is the watershed moment they have been waiting for - this law could literally transform lives”.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Important Announcement Liverpool

Please note our ASD event in Liverpool on the 1st December is now full. However, we are repeating the same event the following day (2nd December) at the same venue and there are places available. If you would like to book on please visit the website by clicking the sunflower to your right.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A Special Thanks to Innkeeper's Lodge Northampton Round Spinney

Sometimes life is like that isn't it?
Well, a couple of weeks ago life was like that for me. Disaster upon disaster befell our meeting. However, we were lucky enough to have the team at Innkeeper's Lodge Round Spinney on our side; particularly Andy and Sarah. As a result of their support the day was a blinding succes.