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  2. Hey everyone.I’m autistic and have mental health issues. I’m currently 22-years old, I’m turning 23 in June. I live in Essex. I want to go to college; however, I can’t go back to my local college because they won’t take me back due to the fact that I dropped out on 3 different occasions due to my bad mental health. Nor do I want to go back to my local college. I’m thinking of going to college (a different one), but here’s the thing. I want to do A-Levels. The closest college that does A-Levels for adults is over an hour away from me. I couldn’t travel there unless I moved there. That college is still in Essex but it’s just quite far away from where I live. Getting there everyday would be tiresome, so the easier option would be to move near the college.So, I was thinking about just moving away to an entirely different county in England and just living there for a few years. The county I was thinking of was Hampshire. Hampshire have a few good colleges. I so badly want to do A-Levels because I am more than capable. I can’t do online A-Levels because the ones I want to do are practical ones like fine art, graphics and illustration and media studies. I got quite good GCSE results a few years ago. Here are my grades (from newest to oldest):GCSE Japanese – A gradeIGCSE English – A* gradeGCSE Media Studies – C gradeGCSE Maths – C gradeGCSE Science – C gradeGCSE Citizenship – A gradeGCSE Catering – C gradeSo those are my GCSE grades. I want to progress onto A-Levels this year, but here’s the catch: I have bad mental health and worry like mad. I’m currently under a secondary mental health team (they are not very good). If I moved away for 3-years, I would worry that my mum wouldn’t be safe or she’d think that I didn’t love her. I know these are silly thoughts, but what if they are true? I don’t have much family (well, I do, but I hardly see them) and I worry my mum would be lonely without me.I also worry about my physical and mental health. I am worried if I get things like cancer or something else deadly! I'm a worrier. Plus, I'd have to lodge with someone. I would lodge with a family that maybe has a dog or young children (so I'd feel safer).My sister says I should do what I want to do, but it’s difficult with my mental health at the moment. I think if I moved away, my mum would worry about my mental health and whether I was ok or not. I can’t keep stopping myself and holding myself back. I know not many people move away for college in the UK, but I want to do something different and get my A-Levels. I know A-Levels may not matter after university, but I really want to have a range of A-Levels and not just a diploma in art and design.Does anyone have any sons or daughters that have moved away for college (not uni)? I know some colleges have residential.Thank you.
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  4. Sorry your post was missed. Welcome to the forum. Two books I highly recommend you try are... "People with autism behaving badly" by John Clements "Asperger syndrome and difficult moments, practical solutions for tantrum, rage and meltdown" On a personal note, my mum and I tend to be more prone to meltdown if we've had a poor night's sleep, if more changes than we can handle happen at once (unless we've made them ourselves with no consequences from others), as a way of expression physical or emotional pain, as a result of perfectionism "either everything goes 100% right or it all goes wrong", angry depression (I wish I had the hopeless crying depression but I don't). Hope these help Alfie
  5. Gold MD

    E3...

    Everybody knows E3 is the one big gaming event. Sadly, they decided to cancel it for this summer... However, I think there's another summer event planned. It's definitely not going to be absolutely dull, hopefully.
  6. Seen on the BBC web site, article about a woman who was diagnosed as being autistic when she was aged sixty: "Autism: I was diagnosed at 60": https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220405-the-life-changing-diagnosis-of-autism-in-later-life
  7. I agree. It is begining to look a bit like the 1970s, with high energy prices, high inflation, leading to higher cost of living, which will likely lead to more strikes. Likely higher taxes, and possibly at the end of the decade a Mrs Thatcher type figure that will cut public spending and public services. No doubt there will be also be more laws restricting people's freedom to do what they want and / or to express themselves. Also likely greater surveillance of ordinary law abiding people.
  8. Dunno why, but it's just a hunch.
  9. Thanks. I think my mother is getting home today.
  10. I am sorry to read that Gold MD. I hope that she makes a full and speedy recovery.
  11. Autistic father and his 8 years old daughter are backpacking from John O'Groats to Lands End to raise awareness of Autism in both males and females of all ages. https://www.gofundme.com/f/eve-and-ian-john-o-groats-to-lands-end Ian Alderman has a blog page at: https://ianaldermanoutdoors.co.uk/about/
  12. Seen on the BBC news website "Autism: MLAs pass bill to strengthen support in Northern Ireland": https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-60653674 This has been welcomed by Autism NI (Northern Ireland’s main autism charity): https://www.autismni.org/news
  13. (Not written by me) Mar 8, 2022 Professor Amanda Kirby Highlights Forgotten Neurodiversity Heroines On International Women’s Day Nancy Doyle Contributor Diversity, Equity & Inclusion I am an organizational psychologist specializing in neurodiversity. In celebration of International Women’s Day, it is becoming a trend to right the wrongs of the past and amplify the work of women who were erased from the popular discourse. Famous examples include Dr Rosalind Franklin, whose work on DNA was essential but was overlooked by the Nobel Prize committee when they awarded her colleagues, Crick, Watson and Wilkins in 1962. We are also aware of Ada Lovelace, who wrote the first algorithm, yet her boss Charles Babbage is hailed as the ‘father of computing’. Also regularly overlooked in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is Dr Gladys West who invented the core mathematical principles behind GPS technology. Neurodiversity And Sexism The social and medical sciences are not immune from historical sexism. We see this in the story of sociologist Judy Singer, who originated the concept of neurodiversity but is rarely referenced academically by the male academics who are now famous for their writing on the subject. Singer’s academic career was cut short by her position as a single parent raising an autistic child. Singer rightly criticizes the neurodiversity discourse around “pushy mothers” advocating for their kids and being chastized by professionals. What about the dads? Where are they? Why are we singling out only half the parents as responsible for their child’s welfare and then berating them for being hysterical and making up their problems? The layers of gender bias in neurodiversity are many and their tentacles stretch way beyond the diagnosis disparity. We might also suggest that the reason we have such a wide disparity in diagnosis between men and women is because the male scientists who have dominated the field have created the definitions and checklists from their own standpoint. Today, we acknowledge the many women sociologists, psychologists and physicians who have contributed to the neurodiversity narrative and advanced our mission without recognition and fame. Professor Amanda Kirby presents two women whose work she would like to amplify. Dr Grunya Sukhareva Professor Kirby states: “Introducing Dr Sukhareva. Perhaps you have not heard of her? Surprisingly I had not done so till recently. Two full decades before Hans Asperger and Leo Kanner published work relating to autism there was a Russian Jewish female doctor in Moscow who was ahead of the field.” Only in the past 4 years has this come to light with Spectrum News and the Scientific American reporting her findings from her 1925 published article: “It was 1924 when the 12-year-old boy was brought to the Moscow clinic for an evaluation. By all accounts, he was different from his peers. Other people did not interest him much, and he preferred the company of adults to that of children his own age. He never played with toys: He had taught himself to read by age 5 and spent his days reading everything he could instead. Thin and slouching, the boy moved slowly and awkwardly. He also suffered from anxiety and frequent stomach-aches.” Where Sukhareva worked children sometimes lived in a residential setting for 2-3 years having detailed interventions. This allowed her to observe their ‘behaviours’ first- hand and over a prolonged period. Over the course of the following year, Sukhareva identified five more boys with what she described as “autistic tendencies.” All five also showed a preference for their own inner world, yet each had their own peculiarities or talents. In 1925, she published a study describing in detail the autistic features the six boys shared and these directly mapped to the later DSM criteria, yet Dr Sukhareva is virtually missing from the history of autism. Professor Kirby explains how this happened: “Very little Russian research from that time was translated into other languages besides German. And although her 1925 paper on autism traits appeared in German the following year, the translation butchered her name, misspelling it as “Ssucharewa.” The paper was only translated into English nearly 70 years later. Interestingly it was translated into German it was likely that Asperger would have read it but he never referenced her work. It was translated into English in 1996.” Dr Esther Thelen Professor Kirby describes a second expert in developmental psychology to whom she thinks we should be indebted. This is Dr Esther Thelen. Professor Kirby explains Dr Thelen’s work: “Thelen's research in the 1980s was focused on human development, especially in infant development. We used to think that child development followed a set pattern from babyhood to toddler: reach, grasp, roll, sit, crawl and then walk (we call these developmental milestones). We used to think that if you didn’t follow the order, it was problematic. The description, prior to Thelen’s work of these milestones resulted in a view of motor development as a rather rigid process. Developmental milestones are a core component of diagnosing neurodevelopmental differences such as dyspraxia, dyslexia and autism. Thelen and her co-workers demonstrated that there was complex interplay between infants' bodies, their environment, and earlier experiences which impacted on the course of development. Specifically, through careful observation they determined that new born leg kicking patterns are affected by their weight, their context (lying, being held up, being in water) and it was these contexts determining their progress, rather than a natural order of development. Importantly, they showed there was not one single factor but a complex mesh of interactions with resulted in the outcome.” Professor Kirby draws the following conclusion from Dr Thelen’s work to the neurodiversity movement and the wider concepts involved in the social model of disability. “For me, this is fundamental to our understanding and provision of support for neurodivergent children and adults today in school or the workplace. We need to move to thinking of people with a diagnosis of dyslexia or autism for example as all needing the same support but always also thinking about the task the person is doing and the environment they are in as this will affect everyone differently.” Dr Thelen was quoted as saying "The mind simply does not exist as something decoupled from the body and experience," this sentence indicating the trend towards biopsychosocial, holistic understanding of human development. Dr Thelen was able to show that we develop as part of a dynamic and complex system and the environment we are in also interacts too and impacts on our development. Her theory called Dynamic Systems Theory proposes that movement is produced from the interaction of multiple sub-systems within the person, task, and environment). This is of great use to those being diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyslexia and others, as in doing so one's childhood history is analysed for missing skills or unusual trajectories. Dr Thelen's work helps us them determine interventions could help children develop skills that they need for independence. Professor Kirby Herself It would be remiss of me to not to mention Professor Kirby’s own work on dyspraxia (aka developmental coordination disorder(DCD)). Her research is world renowned and remains the only consistent academic reporting on this minority neurotype, which is present at similar levels in the population as ADHD and many times the prevalence of autism, yet remains under served. Professor Emeritus at the University of Cardiff, she has 2663 citations for her writing, showing how it has influenced others in the our field. Professor Kirby's work ensures that we don’t forget dyspraxic voices and helps us understand the routes of support required for dyspraxic adults. Thank you to these great women! Source: Forbes
  14. (Not written by me)EAT upholds serial claimant’s appeal after tribunal struck out discrimination case because of previous ‘vexatious’ attempts16 Mar 2021 By Elizabeth HowlettExperts say ruling highlights the need for HR to vet potential candidates after job hunter launches more than 30 claims in three yearsA dyspraxic jobseeker who had a discrimination claim struck out after the tribunal said he had launched more than 30 “vexatious” disability discrimination claims in the space of three years will have the decision reconsidered, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has said.The EAT remitted a 2019 ruling by the East London Hearing Centre that found Christian Mallon was not discriminated against by infrastructure consultancy firm Aecom when applying for a role at the company.Mallon had argued that his dyspraxia – also referred to as developmental coordination disorder – meant he was unable to complete an online application, and the company failed to make reasonable adjustments for him. Mallon claimed he was unable to interact with online forms, password characters and drop-down menus and requested that Aecom allow him to submit an oral application.However, despite Aecom’s requests for Mallon to outline what was problematic and how they could assist, he did not offer any details of his disability and insisted on an oral application. The initial employment tribunal (ET) also noted Mallon had lost multiple tribunal claims against various employers between 2017 and 2019 – including one in which he was ordered to pay the employer costs of nearly £4,000.Judge Burgher, who ruled on the initial ET claim, said that because Mallon had previous claims relating to similar matters against recruitment agencies and other organisations that were either dismissed or withdrawn of his own volition, this was “one of the rare cases” where the exception to the rule that discrimination clams should not be struck out applied.He added this was indicative of a “lack of substance” to those claims and “no credible basis” to maintain them.However, the EAT said despite the number of previous claims made by the claimant, it was not possible without further investigation to determine on a summary basis that Mallon’s claim – that he was put at a substantial disadvantage by being asked to complete an online application – was false. Nor was it possible to determine on a summary basis that Mallon already knew the claim was false.As such, the EAT ruled that the case would be heard again by a different ET judge.The initial East London ET heard that, on 5 June 2017, a fair employment tribunal in Northern Ireland threw out his claim of disability discrimination against the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) when he was not shortlisted or interviewed for a position. Mallon argued that he couldn’t complete the online application and had difficulty clicking on the activation button to begin his online application in an email. The tribunal did not accept that Mallon “was not familiar with the concept of clicking a blue link on his screen” and found his evidence to be “at best confused, and at worst misleading”.The tribunal heard that, following this claim, Mallon withdrew 17 separate claims because of his “lack of knowledge of the requirements to advance a claim”. But Burgher said he found this “hard to believe” given the detailed findings of the DAERA judgment. Burgher then brought Mallon’s claim against John Lee Recruitment in August 2018 to the tribunal’s attention, in which he was ordered to pay 50 per cent of the costs, amounting to £3,995, when he withdrew his claim. Mallon then withdrew a further 12 remaining claims from 2018-19 “as a result of the costs judgment” in the John Lee Recruitment case.Following this, in March 2019, Mallon entered into another employment tribunal for disability discrimination against recruitment agency MBA Notts after he failed to be shortlisted for several jobs. During the hearing, employment judge R Clark pointed out that Mallon’s CV demonstrated he was highly educated and had held a number of senior positions, and that it disclosed his disability and detailed how dyspraxia may manifest.However, Clark struck out Mallon’s claim as he was rejected for having no experience for the roles he applied for and his claim had “little reasonable prospect of success”.Jules Quinn, partner at King & Spalding International, said the case highlights how employers could avoid finding themselves in a similar situation to the organisations mentioned above by conducting background checks on potential candidates.“It is very easy for an employer to conduct a background check to determine what, if any, tribunal claims or cases a job applicant has brought against previous employers,” said Quinn.But she added that acting on any findings also risked putting the employer on tricky legal ground. While “careless hiring practices” can leave an organisation exposed, Quinn also warned that taking any action against a candidate, such as not shortlisting them for an interview, could amount to victimisation.Source: People Management
  15. Thanks very much for recommending this Aut_Scot, I was fortunately able to watch the whole series in two days and it left me wanting more. Hopefully there will be!
  16. Not that he's the first autistic Eng Lit graduate to go into law. This from the Guardian five years ago: ‘I saw being autistic as an opportunity, not a weakness’ As you may have gathered, I can't be bothered to copy and paste the article out in full, but these lines really stood out for me: (emphasis added) Why was Ben from Employable Me so ignorant of how competitive the legal profession was? Or rather, why was he allowed to be so ignorant?
  17. Sadly the article seems to have disappeared from The Guardian website. I've found it on the Wayback Machine though: Article on the Wayback Machine
  18. Here's one autistic individual who has made a success in the legal profession. Interestingly, his undergraduate degree was not in law but in Eng Lit... ‘I just think differently’: how an autistic lawyer landed his dream career
  19. I heard about this on the radio yesterday, "As We See It" an Amazon Prime series about three roommates on the autism spectrum, link to Wikipedia article about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_We_See_It
  20. Seen on the BBC website: "Bristol Autism Support charity founder to receive award": https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-60062445
  21. Seen on the BBC website: "Autism: Grimsby mum's blog aims to show reality of condition": https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-humber-60071772 The blog can be seen at: https://thefinchfamilylife.wordpress.com/
  22. Hello, I am looking to start up a support service for those with a diagnosis of Autism at risk of homelessness in the Bath and North East Somerset Area. As there is little to no Autism specific support in this area I would love for people who are passionate to come forward and discuss ideas of getting such a service up and running. Kind regards Alex
  23. Son was diagnosed 4/5 years ago. Its been a very tough time for him and the family....Good news is he's doing OK now. In 6th form doing his A-levels and, after lockdown blips, planning college.Been learning to drive. He's OK to be honest. Bit slow and hesitant and takes things a little too literally (as with everything)Failed his test xmas time because he was too hesitant but nearly.Had another test today. Lasted 9 minutes!!! They got back, Examiner refused to discuss with me. He was so upset, took me a while. They use a sat nav now for the tests. The examiner said to him - "you're not capable of using the sat nav so I'm cancelling the test".All because he got confused as to what turning the sat nav meant and went straight on instead of turning. Only twice. He's flagged as ASD when I booked the test and they're supposed to make allowances. No allowances given here! I don't think the examiner even knew.Absolutely fuming to be honest..... NINE MINUTES (and that includes probably 5 of those driving in and out from the test centre).I know my son - when he passes his test there is 1000% no way he's going to be doing 120mph down the M4 or doing donuts in Tesco car park. All the poor sod wants is to be able to drive to his GFs house.....I can probably appeal. Might get my £62 back but that's not important. Its 6 month waiting list for next test and, at the moment, his confidence is shot to bits because of this. He might decided he doesn't want to bother any more. I know people make mistakes but I'm just mad at this examiner, what a waste of oxygen he is. Honestly, if he was in front of me now... I'm STILL bomping mad.....
  24. Anyone know of a good cranial osteopath in Surrey? I am more north Surrey? I am interested in this intervention.
  25. I've got the feeling I have to make an update here: Now my son has reached age 17 I'm in fact moderating a self-help group of young people on the spectrum (aged 16-25), with (by now) 7 participants (4 male, 3 female). We're meeting every 4 weeks, since fall 2020 (the rules here allow face-2-face meetings of self-help groups for medical reasons for a number of diagnoses, e.g. autism, even during the lockdown phases).
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