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    • Kris

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   Depression and other mental health difficulties are common amongst people on the autistic spectrum and their carers.   People who are affected by general mental health difficulties are encouraged to receive and share information, support and advice with other forum members, though it is important to point out that this exchange of information is generally based on personal experience and opinions, and is not a substitute for professional medical help.   There is a list of sources of mental health support here: <a href="http://www.asd-forum.org.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=18801" target="_blank">Mental Health Resources link</a>   People may experience a more serious crisis with their mental health and need urgent medical assistance and advice. However well intentioned, this is not an area of support that the forum can or should be attempting to offer and we would urge members who are feeling at risk of self-harm or suicide to contact either their own GP/health centre, or if out of hours contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or to call emergency services 999.   We want to reassure members that they have our full support in offering and seeking advice and information on general mental health issues. Members asking for information in order to help a person in their care are seeking to empower both themselves and those they represent, and we would naturally welcome any such dialogue on the forum.   However, any posts which are deemed to contain inference of personal intent to self-harm and/or suicide will be removed from the forum and that person will be contacted via the pm system with advice on where to seek appropriate help.   In addition to the post being removed, if a forum member is deemed to indicate an immediate risk to themselves, and are unable to be contacted via the pm system, the moderating team will take steps to ensure that person's safety. This may involve breaking previous confidentiality agreements and/or contacting the emergency services on that person's behalf.   Sometimes posts referring to self-harm do not indicate an immediate risk, but they may contain material which others find inappropriate or distressing. This type of post will also be removed from the public forum at the moderator's/administrator's discretion, considering the forum user base as a whole.   If any member receives a PM indicating an immediate risk and is not in a position (or does not want) to intervene, they should forward the PM to the moderating team, who will deal with the disclosure in accordance with the above guidelines.   We trust all members will appreciate the reasoning behind these guidelines, and our intention to urge any member struggling with suicidal feelings to seek and receive approproiate support from trained and experienced professional resources.   The forum guidelines have been updated to reflect the above.   Regards,   The mod/admin team

KenG

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Everything posted by KenG

  1. April's issue of Asperger United is now available to download from http://www.autism.org.uk/aspergerunited Click on the link about halfway down the page to download the PDF: http://www.autism.org.uk/~/media/nas/documents/about autism/adultlife/resources/au 90 apr 17 web.ashx This issue includes some fascinating articles, book reviews and letters by some of the most prolific autistic authors in the UK and beyond. This issue is highly recommended to all connoisseurs of Autistic culture.
  2. Everyone is invited to visit Autscape's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/autscape.org/
  3. Would you like to do a presentation at a non-profit autistic conference, run by autistic volunteers? If so, check Autscape 2017's call for proposals. The theme for this year is 'Autism in context'. This is a broad theme that encompasses exploration of autism from within every possible context. We invite proposers to interpret the theme freely and creatively. The one common thread is that proposals should not be introspective – that is, not just about "us" or the autistic community. This year's theme is about the interaction of autism with something else: http://www.autscape.org/2017/proposals/cfp
  4. The Autistic Rights Movement UK Annual General Meeting Official Notification http://www.facebook....25673914250920/ The 2012 Annual General Meeting will take place at Voluntary Action Camden 293-299 Kentish Town Road London, NW5 2TJ on Thursday, November 8th 6.00 p.m. for 7.00 p.m. until 9.30 p.m. The guest speaker will be Michael Swaffield, National Autism Policy Lead (Department of Health) who will give a presentation on Reviewing the Autism Strategy: Opportunities for Autistic Participation Tea, coffee and a buffet will be available from 6.00 p.m. Non-members are welcome to attend Membership forms will be available on the night A new Committee will be elected at the AGM. The current Committee members are: Steve B. (Autism North East) John B. (Autism Gateshead) Wayne H. (People First) Claire L. (Autistic Greenwich) Steve M. Sally P. (Autism North West) Josh P. (London ARM) Russell S. Adrian W. There are twenty places on the Committee. Committee members contribute as much or as little as they are able. If you are interested in serving on the Committe but are unsure as to what is involved then contact us by telephone to discuss the details. Members are being asked to approve a constitutional change. ARM UK would benefit from a change of name. Feedback from the statutory and the voluntary sector (and from some prospective members) indicates that the current name is sending out an unintended message. It is perceived by some as “strident”, “militant” or even “confrontational”. Similar comments have been received about the ARM UK logo. After some consideration the Committee has decided to take a lead from member organisation, Autistic Greenwich, and re-launch the organisation as “Autistic UK”. ARM UK’s work is not only to do with rights; its agenda has always been much broader. Changing the name of the organisation requires a change to Clause A of the Constitution and that is what members are being asked to approve. There is also a minor proposed change to Clause N which concerns Extraordinary General Meetings. Both of these constitutional changes are detailed below. We look forward to seeing you at the AGM, The ARM UK Committee http://www.autisticr...movementuk.org/ Proposed amendments to the Autistic Rights Movement UK Constitution It is proposed to members that two amendments are made to the ARM UK Constitution. The wording of Clause A is currently; A - Name The name of the Association is "The Autistic Rights Movement United Kingdom” (Hereafter referred to as "the Association”) The Association shall also be known as “ARM UK” It is proposed that the wording of Clause A be changed to; A - Name The name of the Association is "Autistic UK" (Hereafter referred to as "The Association") The previous name (“Autistic Rights Movement UK” or “ARM UK”) is retained by the Association. The logo is similarly retained [see Appendix 1]. The Association retains full intellectual property rights to all documents physical or electronic using the previous name or logo. Any objects incorporating the name or logo remain the property of the Association. [Appendix 1 will be the ARM UK logo.] The wording of Clause N is currently; N - Extraordinary General Meetings (1) The Executive Committee may call an extraordinary general meeting of the Association at any time. (2) If at least three individual members or three member organizations (or a combination thereof) request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the secretary shall call such a meeting. (3) At least 21 days' notice must be given to all members. (4) The notice must state the business to be discussed. It is proposed that the wording of Clause N be changed to; N - Extraordinary General Meetings (1) The Executive Committee may call an extraordinary general meeting of the Association at any time. (2) If at least three individual members or three member organizations (or a combination thereof) request such a meeting in writing stating the business to be considered the secretary shall call such a meeting. (3) The meeting must be held within 60 days of the request being made (4) At least 21 days' notice must be given to all members. (5) The notice must state the business to be discussed. Autistic Rights Movement UK - AGM 2012 on Facebook: http://www.facebook....25673914250920/
  5. Autistic Rights Movement UK is the FIRST NATIONAL CAMPAIGNING ORGANISATION RUN ENTIRELY BY AUTISTIC PEOPLE ARM UK MISSION STATEMENT ARM UK is an Autistic People’s Organisation (an APO), an organisation run by autistic people. ARM UK campaigns throughout the UK and elsewhere to advance the interests of all autistic people and those with “related conditions”. ARM UK will work to; • encourage the establishment of Autistic People’s Organisations (APOs) in every local authority area in the UK • encourage autistic people to have a voice, to “speak up” and to represent themselves • encourage and support autistic people to develop the skills needed to be able to represent themselves • ensure that autistic people are given the opportunity to be involved in developing services locally, regionally and sub-regionally as well as at a national level • ensure that the parents, the siblings, the spouses and the children of autistic people are given the same opportunity as well as other family members, friends and supporters, paid and unpaid • ensure that the civil and human rights of autistic people are understood and upheld • improve services, facilities and conditions for autistic people • increase the understanding of autistic people and their differences and needs with the general public • raise awareness within the voluntary and statutory sectors as to what it means to be autistic • promote the positive as well as the negative aspects of being autistic • forge positive working relationships with parent-carer groups and other autism-related organisations across the UK and beyond • establish links with and to seek to influence academics and academia • ensure that the autistic population of the UK is empowered and is composed of happy, healthy, fulfilled and empowered individuals ARM UK VISION STATEMENT ARM UK envisages; The establishment of Autistic People’s Organisations (APOs) within every local authority area in the UK For these autonomous, independent APOs to come together to form a network covering the whole of the UK The establishment of regional and sub-regional APOs as needed A membership figure which reflects the autistic population of the UK (There are 600,000 or more autistic citizens in the UK) Autistic citizens being given the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making processes which directly affect their lives at all levels; local, regional and national Every local authority area having; • appropriate services for all autistic people • the reasonable adjustments required to enable all autistic people to access mainstream services • the opportunity of social inclusion and independent living for all autistic citizens • clear diagnostic pathways leading to appropriate post-diagnostic support, appropriate medical treatment and appropriate social care ARM UK encourages autistic people to come together so as: • to better understand each other • to better understand what is meant by being “autistic” • to campaign together for their rights to be recognised and upheld • to campaign for the autism-specific services needed • to campaign for the “reasonable adjustments” required for us to access mainstream services • to campaign for the recognition of our access needs and for these needs to be met so that the world is made a more autism-friendly place • to form a consensus as to what it means to be autistic ARM UK will participate in efforts to establish European and global networks of Autistic People’s Organisations. ARM UK would like to help solve the “problems of autism” and begin to celebrate the autistic experience. ARM UK VALUES STATEMENT ARM UK believes in the central principle of the Madrid Declaration; “nothing about disabled people without disabled people” and seeks to ensure that autistic voices are heard. It seeks to include as broad a range of autistic people as possible. It seeks to challenge the consensus view of the meaning of the word “autism”. It seeks to encourage the emergence of a consensus view on the nature of the autistic experience within the autistic population of the UK. ARM UK believes autism is not something a person “has” any more than a person “has Englishness” or “has heterosexuality”. It does not seek to answer the question, “What is autism?” It seeks to ask the question, “What does it mean to be autistic?” It applies the social model of disability to autism arguing that autistic people are disadvantaged because society disadvantages them, not because they “are autistic”. It challenges the various myths and falsehoods regularly propogated concerning autism. It insists that autistic people must be invited into the discourse regarding the nature of autism and what it means to be autistic. It challenges: • the Triad of Impairments as a meaningful summary of autistic characteristics • the terms “high-functioning autism” and “low-functioning autism” • the concept of the “autistic spectrum” • the claims that autistic people “lack empathy”, are “emotionally illiterate”, are socially illiterate, lack a sense of humour, lack imagination, lack creativity ARM UK promotes the concept that being autistic involves difference rather than deficit. ARM UK operates on the principle of inclusivity. The autistic population is an extremely heterogeneous group. It is probable that the only feature common to those people diagnosed autistic is the fact that they are all diagnosed autistic. It argues that all those interested in addressing the various questions surrounding the experience of being autistic ought to be involved in that conversation (including those whose views are sharply divergent with those of ARM UK) ARM UK recognises that many autistic people are struggle to represent themselves and some are incapable of representing themselves Some can represent themselves without support Some would benefit from support Some need support Some need a high level of highly skilled support Some, even with support, will be unable to represent themselves This last group, although they might be able to express preference and even participate in, for example, designing their own “care package”, nonetheless will struggle to engage with a “political” or “strategic” agenda (such as designing local services). We are aware that in some situations the most appropriate people to speak on behalf of these people are their parents or other family members. In other situations it might be appropriate for these people to be “represented” by ensuring the involvement of more able autistic people. We encourage family carers to represent themselves as carers. Some autistic people are family carers of autistic people too. Non-verbal or uncommunicative autistic people should always be given “the benefit of the doubt” in terms of IQ. The definition of a “person with a learning disability” in British legislation follows that of the World Health Organisation; a person with an IQ of 70 or below. ARM UK challenges the presumption that non-verbal or otherwise seemingly “low-functioning” autistic people are learning disabled. If a person is unable or unwilling to communicate then it is impossible to administer an IQ test and it is therefore impossible to determine whether that person is learning disabled or not.