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  2. Seen on BBC news web page: "Early baby therapy could reduce autism diagnoses Training parents how to respond to babies showing early signs of autism could reduce by two-thirds the number of three-year-olds meeting the criteria for diagnosis, a small study suggests. ... " https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58626945
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  4. (Not written by me) Showman Milly Ayers has become the first student from a travelling family to win a place studying Classics at Oxford, hailing the prestigious place as “a win for the entire fairground community.” A showman from Chertsey has become only the third student from a travelling family to win a place at Oxford, having taught herself Classics after leaving school at 13. Milly Ayers, who has worked on fairgrounds since she was three years old, will join St John’s College this September, and hailed the news as a victory for Showmen. “My success is a win for the entire fairground community, and if any good comes out of that, I’ll be over the moon,” Ayers told the Oxford Mail. “Perhaps while I am there I can show people that showmen and travellers in general aren’t these stupid Neanderthals like the stereotypes suggest.” Ayers was raised as part of a traditional travelling Showmen family, and spent most of her childhood helping both her parents and grandparents operate rides, strikers and food stands. Despite attending primary school, Ayers – who has autism and Asperger’s – found that the secondary school system was not “a good fit,” and left school in order to give herself an education beyond the state syllabus. “It wasn’t a traditional education by any means, it was very flexible, but I suppose because I’d always had that love of education, of learning, I was able – with the help of my parents and everything – to find a way that suited me.” Over the next three years, Ayers taught herself the GCSE syllabus by studying books, watching documentaries, and visiting museums and historical sites, and though she dismisses the grades she achieved as “pretty average,” her studies allowed her to pursue A-Levels in English, History and Classics at college. With higher education a long-time goal, Ayers then looked to Oxford, and found support through mentoring organisation Zero Gravity – which paired Ayers with a Cambridge PhD student during the admissions process. “I’m really excited to be able to go and learn there,” Ayers told Steph McGovern during an interview on Steph’s Packed Lunch. “I think it’s a good opportunity not just for me but for the entire Showmen community, to put our voices out there and show that we do exist, and we are capable.” Milly Ayers made her national TV debut on Channel 4 recently explaining life on the road and her self-education journey to Oxford University. “It’s a good opportunity to put our voices out there,” she explained to a live audience. “We’re a community, now recognised, and I want to try to educate people about who we are.” Well, Milly is an intellect who decided to leave school at 13 due to autism and went on to pursue her ‘love for the ancient world’ by studying classics. From the age of three, she has lived the fairgrounds, travelling the country opening up and down working the markets and fetes. “We’re primarily businessmen,” she explained proudly. But education, and a switch to one of the world’s top five universities, has drawn the fairground teenager. But it hasn’t all been comfortable. That journey, she explained, has included insults and signs daubed outside the yard her family live in. But she’s going to work on that: “That’s what I want to change,” she confirmed. And no doubting she will. An engaging character, Milly has attracted a wave of support from the travelling community and beyond. Her blog Antigine Journal includes a Showman’s Odyssey, and her Channel 4 interview drew widespread plaudits: “So inspiring and a fantastic representation of our community”; “You’re a credit”; “a wonderful advert for showmen and women.” Ayers certainly rocks. Source: Coinslot A more detailed article about Milly Ayers has appeared in the Daily Express, according to PressReader, but I'm unable to access the article directly. Fairground traveller Milly wins a place at Oxford
  5. Your feelings regarding your experiences with your ex wife are totally understandable. I had to leave my last place because of gaslighting myself. I haven't been dating recently myself so am unable to give much advice. Be guided on what your new partner says. Ask your partner what their mother likes to talk about. Then pick 2 or 3 of her hobbies that you both have in common and go from there. My mother likes to talk about serial dramas, my latest embroidery pieces, what I've been doing that week. So I stick to those subjects. I'm currently working on starts and ends to conversations. I'm particularly hard at ending conversations.
  6. It is normal to feel some amount of anxiety even for people without any conditions. Things that could help to deal with anxiety inducing situations depends largely on your individual, but often can include firstly letting others know about your condition(s), things that could make the situation less unpredictable- ie talking through with your partner beforehand whats the general plan, and some things that may likely happen, etc, (keeping in mind that obviously some things may change and its ok-easier said than done, i know), finding something that works for you to reduce stress if things get too much, ie, planning where you can go to have some space and calm down, or some item you can fidget with, etc, and finding something that would help reduce stress before or after the event, ie a comforting ritual, having 5 minutes to chill listening to music, some like yoga or meditation, some like arranging or doubble checking some things etc. If your partner understands your situation, they shoudl be able to accommodate it at least to some extent to make it easier for you, keeping in mind that any relationship is give and take, meaning if she is going out of her way to adjust and accommodate, you should try do so aswell, when you can. There will be some things you cant do as well as expected, but there are certainly things you can do for her, and can do them well. Im sure of it. Relationships tend to fail if the (generally multiple)needs of one or both parties is persistently unmet(ignored)/insufficiently met. Communications is important (unfortunately!). If you find out what she wants or needs and what her visions for the future are and let her know yours, i am sure you two can figure things out:)
  7. Hi. I am 31y old, also with asd. It is a bit of a difficult question in the sense as we do not know him and what is important for him, but i would say it is correct that ritual/like behaviours are usually caused by an attempt to create a predictable environment with specific known actions, in a form of stress management. The choice of action can be changed, obviously, but should come from a decision of his own. personally id suggest to think the topic through and discuss it with him, why is this activity important to him, what is positive about it, and what is not so positive about it, and raise your concern that while you understand this is something he likes and makes him feel better, that you think in long run its not a good thing to be doing continuously as an adult and maybe discuss looking into some other things he may like doing instead that wouldnt be something that would have so much impact on others around him in the future(or any other outcome you may have in mind Keep in mind that unless theres a drastic change in current environment, the need for something ritualised like this wont go away, and is simply likely to be replaced by somehting sort of similar in its basic nature in regarding to the function it fulfills). But definetly give it some time to process and figure it out, rather than cause any abrupt changes. It may help to also ask his opinion(without pushing yours on them) what he would think if the neighbor started doing something similar or one of his peers, if he saw them doing something like this, especially a role play of some other childrens series he doesnt like as much. And what does he think they would think of him if they saw it. And draw a parralel that anyone outside the family may feel the same regarding his behaviour (if his opinion is similar to reality). this approach may cause some self complex and insecurity, while trying to work it through and find something else he would be comfortable with, but can work as a quick catalyst in a change of behaviour regarding it
  8. Hi all, I have a son (22) who has ASD. He has a ritualistic obsession that he likes to do every day. It also involves me. I understand that he needs that since it gives him a sense of security but I am not sure if I should go along with it or discourage it. It is a short clip from Come outside bbc series for children that he likes to copy, as a pretend game. I don’t find it hard to do that for him (I love him to bits and would do anything for him) but I am not sure if it is good for him in a long run. What are your thoughts? Any suggestions greatly appreciated. Mina
  9. What does your son plan to do after his chemistry degree?
  10. (Not written by me) EXCLUSIVE: Plymouth killer's school teacher tells how he was obsessed with guns and had a history of compulsive disorder and anger issues - so how is it possible he was allowed to have a shotgun? Jake Davison, 22, shot dead five, including a girl, 3, and her father, before killing himself in Plymouth rampage Police removed his shotgun licence but returned it mere months before the deadly attacks on Friday evening Experts have called for an urgent overhaul of firearms licensing laws, said police decisions were failing public By Jonathan Bucks and Scarlet Howes and Nick Constable for The Mail on Sunday Published: 22:12, 14 August 2021 | Updated: 07:40, 15 August 2021 A teacher who knew Plymouth killer Jake Davison expressed his fury and disbelief last night that his former pupil was allowed to own a shotgun – and revealed that he had been obsessed with firearms from a young age. In the wake of Davison’s terrifying rampage – during which he massacred his mother, a three-year-old girl and her father, a dog walker and a bystander – stunned teacher Jonathan Williams described the decision to grant him a gun licence as a ‘catastrophic mistake’. Mr Williams, who taught English, drama and music to Davison at Mount Tamar special school in the city said: ‘You have to ask, what the hell were they thinking giving him this licence? ‘If you ask anyone who was involved in Jake’s schooling whether giving him a licence was a good idea, they would all tell you absolutely not. ‘How is it possible that a police officer read Jake’s history of obsessive compulsive disorder, anger issues and depression and concluded he should be allowed to own a firearm? ‘It was a catastrophic mistake with utterly tragic consequences. Something went badly awry and you can’t help but feel this whole tragedy could have been avoided. There will be serious questions now about who is responsible for all this happening. ‘I’m imagining what we, his teachers, would have thought about the prospect of him requesting a gun licence. We would probably have laughed in disbelief to be honest.’ Mr Williams, who taught the killer when he was aged 14 to 16, recalled how Davison’s obsession with guns developed as a boy. He said: ‘He used to have books and books about guns. Whenever I put a film on in class which had a gun in it, he would instantly recognise it and knew the exact make and model. I remember him saying: “Oh, that’s a Glock” and he would be right. ‘His mum Maxine and I decided to try to help him get into the Army Cadets as an outlet for his fascination. She was extremely supportive and only wanted to do the best for him, and I remember going out to help get him boots.’ Mr Williams said Davison’s autism diagnosis should also have barred him from holding a shotgun licence. He questioned whether the 22-year-old had been receiving adequate care in recent years and believed that the killer would have had a ‘bright future’ if he had been given the right support. He spoke of his shock that the boy he once described as the ‘success story of the year’ had gone on to shoot dead five in Britain’s first ‘incel’ mass shooting – named after a misogynistic online subculture of ‘involuntary celibates’ unable to find a sexual partner – before turning the gun on himself. He said: ‘It is utterly horrifying and tragic. My heart goes out to Jake’s friends and family, as much as to those of his victims. ‘For me, having spent so much time with him and done all I could to help him, for it to end like this is heartbreaking. Jake would have had an education, health and care plan, which means the State would be required to provide support up to the age of 25. Was he really receiving the support needed?’ Mr Williams’s comments came as Devon and Cornwall Police faced mounting criticism over their decision to return Davison’s shotgun licence after an alleged assault last December. Friends of the killer’s victims, as well as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Plymouth MP Luke Pollard, called for urgent answers as to why the permit was given back to him last month after attending an anger management course. In a 12-minute massacre, Davison first shot dead his 51-year-old mother, then killed three-year-old Sophie Martyn and her adoptive father, 43-year-old Lee. His two next targets – Ben Parsonage, 33, and his mother Michelle, 53 – both survived. He then killed 59-year-old Stephen Washington, who was walking his two pet huskies in a nearby park. His final victim was Kate Shepherd, 66, who was smoking a cigarette outside a hair salon. In further developments related to the tragedy yesterday: The Independent Review of Terrorism Legislation said the Government could start treating ‘incel’ shootings as terrorism incidents; It was warned that there are 10,000 people in Britain with ‘incel’ views; Home Secretary Priti Patel laid flowers at the scene of the massacre and described the killings as ‘tragic beyond words’ – but declined to answer questions about gun control; Mourners also left hundreds of bouquets; A former leading prosecutor said Davison was ‘exactly the type of person’ the authorities should have had on a watchlist; Last night, Mr Williams added that despite Davison being well-built as a teenager, he never had to physically restrain him. ‘We often had problems with some students, I don’t remember ever having to use physical force with Jake,’ he said. ‘He was never violent. In fact, he was often very gentle and kind with his classmates. ‘He liked to get people involved with class activities and he was witty too. He had fantastic creative writing skills too and was just very thoughtful. It is just utterly tragic to think what has happened.’ Meanwhile, a relative in Shetland where 51-year-old Maxine’s family came from, who asked not to be named, criticised the authorities. Another unnamed relative added: ‘The family members up here in Shetland are traumatised, we struggle to string a sentence together as we are all devastated not just for our family, we are grieving for every single person that was affected by this – and we have to live with that for the rest of our days.’ Survivor Ben Parsonage is a former junior boxer whose strong character will help him cope with Davison’s murderous rampage, a family friend said last night. The friend, who asked not to be named, said Ben was a promising teenager fighter who had boxed at shows across the West Country. He said: ‘He was well respected at junior level. His mum Michelle used to travel with him and watch him ringside. ‘He is a strong character and he knows how to look after himself. I do feel he will come through this, though. He has a good family and a lot of good friends ready to support him.’ Speaking to community leaders in Keyham, Ms Patel said: ‘The impact of this will be long-standing. It’s a very sad time, very tragic. I think in the aftermath, so many people will be affected. ‘People will have seen things that, quite frankly, in all our lifetime we would never, ever want anybody to witness or experience. ‘It’s very hard. But you are not on your own, there is a great deal of support.’ Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal told BBC radio that there were 10,000 people with ‘incel’ views like Davison in the country. Mr Afzal said: ‘How many of them, a small minority, are a threat? We have to recognise that we have a responsibility to identify them and share that information. ‘He was exactly the kind of person that you would be keeping an eye on or the authorities should be keeping an eye on.’ Meanwhile, the Government is likely to consider treating so-called ‘incels’ as terrorists if there are more attacks like the Plymouth shootings, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation has said. Jonathan Hall QC told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: ‘The question is really whether or not the authorities want to treat the incel phenomenon as a terrorist risk. That would involve diverting resources or putting resources into it. ‘If we see more of these sorts of attacks, then I have got no doubt that it will be treated more seriously as terrorism.’ SO WHAT TURNED THIS 'COMPASSIONATE' BOY INTO A MASS MURDERER? Gunman Jake Davison was praised as ‘compassionate’ and a ‘success story’ in a glowing school report. His former teacher Jonathan Williams wrote that classmates had warmed to ‘his exceptional sense of humour, compassion, readiness to accept the rules and to help others’, and that he had ‘learned to ‘develop strong friendships’. The report, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, contrasts starkly with the disturbing YouTube videos Davison recently posted in which he railed against women, claimed he had been ‘defeated by life’ and that he was ‘fat and ugly’. Mr Williams, who taught autistic Davison for three years at Mount Tamar special school, wrote in 2013 that Jake had been ‘the success story of this year’. He wrote: ‘At the beginning of the year, much of Jake’s attitude and behaviour were typical of children with his condition. ‘Something seems to have had a terrific effect on Jake, as over the year he has made exceptional progress, both on modifying his behaviour and putting in a much harder effort with his work. ‘His grades have increased considerably in literacy and other subjects. ‘The real change, however, has occurred in Jake’s social skills, where he has learned to develop strong friendships. ‘It is particularly pleasing to see Jake involve himself in Army Cadets, and the support he has received at home should ensure that this becomes a rewarding and valuable part of his training. ‘I’m really pleased with Jake this year, and look to him to set the example to other students next year.’ Last night, Mr Williams said: ‘I really thought Jake had a bright future ahead of him. I just can’t believe that the kind young man with such a bright future turned out like this. It’s an utter tragedy.’ Weapon licensing laws in need of urgent overhaul, says expert A firearms expert last night called for an overhaul of gun licensing laws in the wake of Jake Davison’s murderous rampage. Under the current system, would-be gun-owners are assessed by their local police, who judge whether they have a ‘good reason’ to own a firearm and whether they pose a threat to the public. But an expert last night said police forces were failing to visit people in person at home, and that there were insufficient mental health checks. Weapons expert Mike Yardley said: ‘There is a glaring error in the way the licensing system works. We need to have more people laying eyes on people in their own home.’ Davison, 22, who was autistic, was stripped of his shotgun licence last December, following a violent altercation with his father Mark. The gun was returned to him in July after he attended an anger management course. A month later, he blasted to death five people – including his mother -– before turning the gun on himself. It is unclear what checks were made on Davison before his licence was reinstated, but Mr Yardley said someone would have had to vouch for him. He queried why vetting officers had overlooked Davison’s disturbing YouTube videos, in which he described himself as a ‘Terminator’ and said he had been ‘defeated by life’. He said: ‘This was clearly a disturbed young man. It does not take an awful lot of research to work that out. How on earth could he be given a licence? There will be a lot of questions for everyone involved.’ Source: The Mail on Sunday
  11. I heard about Spectrum 10K on the BBC radio 4 news last night. "Researchers are looking for 10,000 people to take part in what a university is calling the UK's largest ever study into autism. The Autism Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Cambridge wants autistic people and their families to take part. It want to investigate how genetic and environmental factors affect autistic people in different ways. Prof Sir Simon Baron-Cohen, from ARC, said there was "an urgent need to better understand" autism. The Spectrum 10K project will examine the different needs of people with autism, many of whom have additional conditions including epilepsy, anxiety and depression. … ": Here is a link to it on the BBC website. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-58322263 "Spectrum 10K is the largest study of autism in the UK and is a research study involving 10,000 autistic individuals of all ages and abilities, and their relatives living in the UK. It is led by a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge, including the Autism Research Centre, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). … ". Link to Spectrum 10K web site: https://spectrum10k.org/about-spectrum-10k/
  12. Winston Churchill was a prolific writer, see link below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill_as_writer He even won the Nobel prize for Literature in 1953 "for his mastery of historical and biographical description as well as for brilliant oratory in defending exalted human values".
  13. (Not written by me) Ryanair sorry it made autistic Harlow boy take Covid test Ryanair staff in Spain made an autistic boy have a Covid test before boarding a flight, despite having an exemption letter, his mother has said. Katy Hollingsworth, who was travelling to the UK from Valencia with her son Callum, 12, said he was "petrified". "They said if you don't have a Covid test you can't go home, so we had no choice," said Ms Hollingsworth, who is from Harlow in Essex. The airline has apologised and says it "regrets to hear of the stress" caused. Callum, who also has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), had struggled with lockdowns, so the family wanted to take him for a break to his "happy place" in Spain. Ms Hollingsworth said his one previous test in January had been "a nightmare", so his doctor had provided a medical exemption letter. He did, however, have a test before he left the UK, but his family said they spent two months preparing him for this. Government guidance says people with medical conditions which mean they cannot take a test, do not need one to travel to the UK, providing they "present a note from a medical practitioner at check in". 'Not our problem' On their return on 3 August, the family was told at the airport that Callum must have another Covid test in order to return to England, despite showing Ryanair staff the letter. Ms Hollingsworth said Callum "lost it" and had a "meltdown because he thought it was his fault". "He started hitting the chair and then started hitting himself," she said. "The staff were just ignoring us. All they kept saying was 'it's not our problem'." Ms Hollingsworth said while they were not "rude or aggressive", voices were "raised" and police were called to help. "My husband then had to physically restrain my son with two members of staff to try to get him to have a test," she said. "Callum tried to be brave but he was petrified. "The fact that he didn't need this one made it even worse because we'd told him the previous one was going to be his one and only test." A spokesman for the airline says it "regrets to hear of the stress" caused to the family. "Ryanair fully complies with EU and government travel restrictions, which are constantly changing in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic," a statement said. "We continue to make improvements and implement procedures to ensure the health and safety of our passengers and our crew is prioritised while complying with each country's government guidelines at all times." Ms Hollingsworth said she now hoped it would not happen to others with hidden disabilities. "If my child was in a wheelchair or had something you can see, I don't think they would have treated him the way that they did," she said. Source: BBC News
  14. Some recent Autism Spectrum Disorder related research articles: https://medicalxpress.com/tags/autism+spectrum+disorder/
  15. Churchill also foresees genetic engineering: Microbes, which at present convert the nitrogen of the air into the proteins by which animals live, will be fostered and made to work under controlled conditions, just as yeast is now. New strains of microbes will be developed and made to do a great deal of our chemistry for us. Including lab-grown meat: With a greater knowledge of what are called hormones, i.e. the chemical messengers in our blood, it will be possible to control growth. We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium. And artificial wombs: There seems little doubt that it will be possible to carry out in artificial surroundings the entire cycle which now leads to the birth of a child. Winston Churchill, futurist: Fusion, artificial wombs, and lab-grown meat
  16. Video clip from the BBC web site, about an autistic-friendly toy shop in Bath is trying to take the anxiety away for parents and children with their 'A-board' outside to show it can be a safe space.: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-58026672
  17. Published last week, "Summary of findings from the government’s review of the National Autism Strategy 'Think Autism': call for evidence": https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/review-of-the-national-autism-strategy-think-autism-call-for-evidence/outcome/summary-of-findings-from-the-governments-review-of-the-national-autism-strategy-think-autism-call-for-evidence
  18. It has been a drag. Although I don't understand why they lifted the lockdown and are allowing public transport to be crammed with folk, making social distancing impossible. It's like some things are maybe being seen as an improvement during the road to recovery, while everything else they decide upon makes little sense. The virus still exists.
  19. Please could you unmix your metaphors?
  20. Responsible Travel have produced a guide to Holidays for people with cognitive issues.
  21. I seem to have forgotten how to insert the video (as people have done earlier in this thread) in to my post rather than just the hyperlink, can somebody remind me how to do this, please?
  22. I find this tune by Alan Hawkshaw called 'Beat Me 'Til I'm Blue' quite catchy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq3n-YuQwlA
  23. Article on the BBC website today, titled "'Autism and Strong Man go together' says World's Strongest Man": https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-scotland-57612405
  24. Has anyone got the same problem with their autistic young adult as I have? My son who is 27 has been in independent living for 4 years, has 2:1 24 hour care. The problem is there has been a high turn over of staff during the past 18 months. I went to visit again after the covid lockdown, while the first visit went well with 2 new carers there, the next 2 visits went really badly, he became extremely agitated, hit out at staff and me and the property, staff managed to get him to his room but this behaviour continued until he starts to calm down but not for long, I’m told to leave as they don’t want the behaviour to escalate further. In the past the visits have been varied but these recent ones have been far the worst overall in the 4 years. I really don’t know what to do, any help would be grateful. Thanks
  25. Co-presenter Robyn Steward has been mentioned elsewhere on these forums: "This is not a disability gig": the musician putting on inclusive nights to break down barriers Compare and contrast with Robyn's first (AFAIK) appearance in the mainstream media ten years prior. No mention of any musical talents, nor even her nine other disabilities. How did she manage to go from computer technician turned job coach to a contender for the Glastonbury Festival? Employing adults with autism: Don't write them off
  26. As a woman with autism you're likely to receive a diagnosis much later in life than if you are a man with the condition. Why is that and what impact does a late diagnosis have? Kim Chakanetsa is joined by two autistic women who are speaking up about their experience of the condition and seeking to help others. Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is part of the Autism Women's Network in US. She says many of her early symptoms of autism were dismissed or ignored because she is Black and explains how autism can amplify stereotypes around Black women. Sara Gibbs is a British comedy writer and autistic. Labelled as a cry baby, scaredy cat and spoiled brat – she finally got a diagnosis in her thirties. She has written a book, Drama Queen, about trying to fit into a world that has often tried to reject her, and says that being on the spectrum doesn't have to be a barrier to a happy life full of love, laughter and success. The Conversation
  27. Autism story from the BBC website: "Bubble wall helps non-verbal boy with autism to speak A mother has described how a bubble wall in the family kitchen prompted her usually non-verbal five-year-old son to start naming the colours he could see. ... ". https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-57360503
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