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      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

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  1. Last week
  2. (Not written by me) Brain power: how government can make the most of neurodiversity From long-standing initiatives in the intelligence services to new staff networks, training and work experience, the civil service is waking up to the benefits of a more neurodiverse workforce. Tamsin Rutter reports on what is being done – and what more is to come "When you’ve met one person with autism,” says civil servant Tia Shafee, “you’ve met one person with autism.” In a workplace setting, this means that every person with autism – or indeed other neurological differences – will require different levels and types of support, and will be able to offer different strengths. It also speaks to the importance of empowering all people to share their experiences, and of avoiding assumptions. As the civil service steps up its efforts to become the UK’s “most inclusive employer” by 2020, it has turned its sights to neurodiversity – which Shafee describes as being “about people who think and function differently, because neurodivergent individuals’ brains are wired slightly differently from the norm. It is part of the natural variation in human brains”. Shafee recently joined the Civil Service Disability Inclusion Team, which sits in the Cabinet Office and responds to the priorities of disability champion and Home Office permanent secretary Sir Philip Rutnam. On neurodiversity, these priorities include making the workplace adjustment service as user-friendly as possible; expanding the Autism Exchange Programme to give young autistic people experience working in government; and organising a series of events with KPMG to share cross-sector best practice on disability, including a session planned for October on neurodiversity. Shafee, who uses the pronouns they/them, also set up the Public Sector Neurodiversity Network in February 2017. Diagnosed with autism at 19, they went on to join the Fast Stream and founded the network after being a member of a couple of different departmental disability networks that didn’t feel quite right. “They are brilliant organisations, they do some really good stuff for disabled people,” Shafee says. “But one thing I found was it just wasn’t covering the different needs and community groups that neurodivergent people like myself were finding. “If your disability network is still focusing on getting access to rooms... or recognising mental health, that’s an incredibly vital job but it isn’t necessarily hitting the more complex managerial needs that a line manager managing someone with dyspraxia or autism or ADHD might find.” Shafee, for example, doesn’t work well with changes to their routine at short notice, so has asked to be told a week in advance if they will be required to travel to another office. They struggle with identifying their own behaviours and matching them to civil service competencies. “It takes particular awareness of that from my line manager to work with me to help me understand how I fit in that competency framework, how I’m phrasing things, how I can respond to it,” Shafee says. They also frequently work while wearing a headset (to counter noise sensitivity), use lilac paper (to counter light sensitivity), and have been given a laptop with software to tint the screen and do text-to-speech (to help with information processing). Sometimes they take advantage of the civil service practice to guarantee an interview to disabled job applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a role. The network, which now has more than 170 members, issues a quarterly newsletter with stories from neurodivergent people sharing their experiences and the adjustments they have in place, and organises events to raise awareness. It plans to link up with the newly created Civil Service Dyslexia and Dyspraxia Network, which encourages senior officials affected by these conditions to become role models and provides support and mentoring opportunities. Eventually, Shafee wants to be able to provide resources for neurodivergent staff and their managers, though not by duplicating the “fantastic” resources already out there, such as the Department for Work and Pensions’ online Autism and Neurodiversity Toolkit for staff and managers. ‘Dull uniformity would destroy us’ Rupert McNeil, chief people officer, supports Shafee’s network, and spoke at its inaugural event. He says it’s his job “to ensure that we are both attracting diverse talent and effectively utilising the skills of our existing staff”. “That’s why I am encouraging the civil service to focus on the strengths that neurodiversity can bring to an organisation,” he adds. “For example, people with dyslexia often possess advanced problem-solving skills and can be highly innovative, while many people with autism have enhanced perceptual functions and a keen eye for detail.” Some areas of government are further ahead on this than others: the intelligence services, for example, have long been known to promote neurodiversity to meet specific skills needs. In 2016, then- GCHQ director Robert Hannigan said his organisation had many staff on the autistic spectrum, describing them as “precious assets and essential to our work of keeping the country safe”. He added: “To do our job, which is solving some of the hardest technology problems the world faces for security reasons, we need all talents and we need people who dare to think differently and be different… dull uniformity would completely destroy us.” Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, in a recent report on diversity in the UK intelligence community, highlighted best practice at GCHQ, MI5 and SIS (MI6) in recruiting and supporting disabled staff. It said GCHQ and SIS have launched “a comprehensive Neurodiversity Service, offering a range of support to GCHQ staff with dyslexia, dyspraxia or [an] autistic spectrum condition”, which has also been offered to MI5. The three agencies this year began participating in a programme to support disabled people into leadership positions, and they all run workshops on issues such as autism and Asperger syndrome, deaf awareness and visual awareness. The committee also said the intelligence agencies often enlist the support of members of their disability networks to test new IT infrastructure, something it argued should become common practice across the UK government intelligence community. A more coherent approach will enable individuals to hot desk or work at other sites or overseas, instead of relying on ad-hoc efforts to adapt and personalise systems, it said. The right opportunity Other parts of the civil service are also finding new ways to support neurodiverse staff. At the Home Office, employees with dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism run “train-the-trainer” workshops for line managers to help them better understand these conditions. HM Revenue & Customs has also run workshops on adapting recruitment processes and reasonable adjustments, and has consulted autistic people on the design and layout of the regional hubs staff will be moving into over the next few years. The Fast Stream has strong links with the workplace adjustment team, and also invites disabled candidates to visit its assessment centre prior to the date of their interview, which can help alleviate anxieties sometimes felt by people with neurodivergent conditions. Many departments take part in the Autism Exchange Programme, run by charity Ambitious About Autism, which aims to increase employment opportunities for autistic adults, just 16% of whom have full-time paid jobs in the UK. The programme was initiated in 2015 with HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions and a cohort of five young autistic people. It has since expanded, with 22 people doing three-week paid work experience placements in eight different departments this summer. Deutsche Bank, Santander, and other companies including in the professional services, marketing and advertising sectors now also offer work experience through the scheme. Alison Worsley, the charity’s director of external affairs, says the breadth of roles available in the civil service make it a particularly good option for matching up the various skills of participants with employers’ needs. Autistic people can make great employees. Although she says it’s important not to generalise, Worsley says they’re often very loyal because they often don’t like change. Some find routine or repetitive tasks stimulating, while others bring different perspectives to bear when problem-solving. “It’s about finding the right opportunity for the right person,” says Worsley, which is “why work experience can be so beneficial”. She also says that neurodiversity is something that “people across the board have tackled least in terms of diversity”, and schemes like this one give the civil service a chance to become more neurodiverse. Part of it is about giving people the confidence to disclose protected characteristics and making them more aware of the adjustments available to them. The charity also offers training for line managers as part of the scheme. For Amy Walker, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s aged 12, the Autism Exchange Programme was a perfect opportunity. She wants to join the civil service: “I have always had a ‘special interest’, as we say in the autism world, in politics, legislation, government policy,” she says. But Walker has previously tried applying for Whitehall jobs including the Fast Stream, and says she’s sometimes tripped up by the situational judgment questions that are looking for evidence of flexibility and adaptability – not usually core strengths for autistic people. She plans to keep trying, and had the chance to get tips and employability training from a Fast Stream psychologist during the two-week placement she did at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy last year. She spent the two weeks researching the nuclear industry and putting together a briefing document for civil servants new to BEIS’s nuclear commercial team. The experience helped her build confidence, and attracted her to the culture of the civil service, which is “easier to read” than some other workplaces. There are barriers to employment for Walker – some social interactions cause anxiety and “it takes me longer to adapt to new situations” – but these are counterbalanced by her analytical, admin, data and IT skills, she says. With organisations like the civil service waking up to the opportunities of a more neurodiverse workforce, Walker is optimistic that things will get easier for autistic jobseekers. She’s even developed a website, neurodiversityworks.uk, to collate and disseminate opportunities for neurodivergent people. ‘Embrace difference’ David Buck, a member of the One Team Government movement who works at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (which has launched a neurodiversity staff network of its own), believes the civil service has come a long way since he joined in 2000. Back then his manager, “unbeknownst to me at the time, had an objective to improve my spelling”, Buck says. His manager didn’t know that he was dyslexic. “What can I say… they didn’t do well on that objective.” Buck remembers disclosing his dyslexia and his type 2 bipolar disorder at the same time. “I was advised not to mention it, not to bring it up,” he says. “And for me, at that time this was the right thing, not just because of the prevailing culture of the civil service at the time – which reflected how things were in 2000 – but also for me personally. It meant that I could just get on with things.” It had only been a few years since Buck’s condition led to him being hospitalised three times while at university. In around 2010, he began to tell more people at work, opening up first to close colleagues and eventually getting to the point where, “I don’t mind chatting about what happened to me and my journey”, he says, adding that it was “a massive relief”. Buck joined Defra’s mental health staff network, Break the Stigma, where he volunteers as a “buddy” for people who need support. He has also now starting ticking “the diversity box on the internal staff system”, something which – like many people with disabilities – he avoided doing for a long time. Buck says the civil service’s commitment to diversity can only be a good thing, but he fears that an over-concentration on measurements and targets may sideline real efforts to make change. “It seems to be simple to me – just embrace difference, look for it, actively seek it out, listen to it, and keep working out what privileges you have,” he says. He adds that the “pace of work in the civil service can be quite astounding”, making it difficult for neurodivergent people to settle, but also that there are “thousands of people out there to support you”. Buck recently responded to a call from Shafee’s network to lead a session on neurodiversity for an audience of Fast Streamers. “I’ll be talking about difference, about how we’re all individuals and how the more comfortable we can get in explaining our difference the better,” he says. “Understanding and appreciating different people’s perspectives is what makes a good civil servant.” Source: Civil Service World
  3. Son wants to move out

    Well done for being so proactive in getting what's best for you and your son. It's a shame that sometimes what you need and what your son needs aren't coordinated.
  4. Son wants to move out

    Thanks trekstar We've sent of his med report re his diagnosis of Autism. We're trying to get his banding increased. I've been to the gp and they've diagnosed me with stress. Its just very frustrating. We plod on.
  5. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSetfHBUtoZvsc9qMMuL2pHyDO-UsGPOCRR3h-XXC2Vogy50UA/viewform This is for psychiatry experiences of ours and could help to influence change in how services are run that support us.
  6. Earlier
  7. New member

    Hello there, my name is Alan and I was diagnosed with ASD at a very young age. I used to be a mute Autistic and didn't begin talking until I was four or five years old. I know sign language as I was taught it because people thought I was deaf. I also have learning disabilities and mental health issues. My hobbies and interests are video games, manga/anime and computers. I want to make friends with other Autistic people.
  8. I note a previous post saying accounts cannot be deleted but this is against new GDPR rules. I request to have my data deleted or I shall be forced to report this
  9. I guess you didn't get to delete your account then! I also want to delete mine... no obvious way

  10. You've been gone for years now. :(

    homeawayfromhome.mp4

  11. New Aspie Dating Site

    Found a free Aspie dating site if anyone’s interested aspiehearts.com
  12. In case anyone doesn’t know there’s an Asperger’s hangout centre in Worcester and from it I’ve made lots of new friends so I hope this helps other Aspies in similar positionsSaturdays are a lot quieter so it’s better for a first time visit compared to Wednesday’s which are usually busierhttps://www.aspie.org.ukThey also have an information app in case you need help deciding https://prospero.digital/library/Zc2rin4KtJ2prvbwT/LKr6zrmCygjHQcXvJHope this helps out anyone who may be interested in coming
  13. Hello

    how are you all?
  14. piedro boots at disney

    I have to use boots with insoles like in the pic help me walk which I get from the hospital will the he hot to use them when disney in orlando i go on 31st for 3 weeks
  15. Asperger's in Cornwall

    Good morning. I'm new to the forum. I live in Cornwall and have discovered that I had more options for help prior to an Asperger diagnosis than after said diagnosis. I'm over forty and was diagnosed nearly two years ago. I went to my GP last August as I was having problems coping day-to-day; anxiety and depression. I have poor eye contact, like most of us, and my GP kept looking around behind him everytime I lost contact which became unsettling. I stated that I'm having problems processing stuff and he just stated 'we all process stuff'. The best he could offer was 'Blue Therapy'. Apparently, as a person who is anxious and doesn't socialise much I should go out into the wilds and exercise near water... I then contacted an organisation in Truro who I was advised to contact for advice. They informed me that they can't help me. Apparently If I was a parent of or a child with autism then I'd have more options. Does anyone else have similar problems? I get frustrated that as an adult with Asperger's there's basically no help at all.
  16. (Not written by me) What is it like to work with Asperger’s? Jonathan, 25, who is a desktop support engineer at an insurance company in the City of London, has Asperger’s syndrome I have worked at my current company for two years, since graduating with a degree in business computing from Brunel University London. I had an interview for a job at a different organisation but it was a very formal panel and that was hard, as I can feel quite anxious and worried if there are multiple people watching and listening to me and I have to interact with groups at once. I know that my eye contact isn’t always the best and having to make eye contact with lots of people at the same time can be challenging. "I have a mentor as well as a specialist therapist who works with people with Asperger’s and helps me with any issues I face" Someone at my university mentioned Aspierations was helping to link people who have Asperger’s syndrome (AS) with employers, so I looked it up and made contact with the team. Aspierations responded quickly. I met them and they helped with mock interviews and providing tips for interviews, which was really helpful. I was then set up with a one-to-one interview with the hiring manager at my current company. I was given very clear instructions on how to get to the office, including a picture of the building, and what to expect at the interview. The interview started off very informally, with the hiring manager asking me how my journey had been, which helped me relax. He then gave me lots of technical skills questions to answer, which suited me as this is what I like most about my job. Since starting work, my employers have been very supportive. For example, I have a mentor as well as a specialist therapist who works with people with Asperger’s and helps me with any personal or workplace issues I might face. We’ve recently had a big transformation at work, as we used to have four offices in close proximity to each other but last December we moved into one building in Aldgate, in the City of London, occupying the top eight floors. Previously I had been supporting about 100 users in one of the offices and now I’m supporting more than double that. Although we all moved just a few months ago, I am still adjusting to the new offices. I think the adjustment is perhaps taking me a bit longer than other people. "I would like to see more people with AS in the workplace. We need more employers to realise that we have lots to offer" If someone has an IT issue that can’t be resolved by our remote service desk, I will go and fix it. A good day for me is when you come in, work from 09:00 to 17:30 to resolve all the tickets (IT queries – often I manage more tickets than the others on the team) and have a few conversations with colleagues, and then leave the office having accomplished your tasks. Sometimes I can get stressed, such as with ad hoc queries, if people come up to my desk and tell me they’ve got a problem. Multi-tasking is challenging for me, but I’ve been given some Post-its on which I can write a note to myself, which means I can carry on with what I’m doing and then deal with the new issue afterwards. Also I used to get a bit anxious if I was reading messages on my work phone handset on the train coming into work or at the weekend, so now I leave my handset and laptop in the office so that I have a separation between home and work. I did a presentation when I first joined the company. It was organised by Aspierations and held at Lloyd’s. It was shared on LinkedIn. I’ve also done another event and written an article that was shared on my company’s intranet. It means that lots people at work know about my condition, which is good, but I would like to see more people with AS in the workplace. We need more employers to realise that we have lots to offer. One organisation helping those on the spectrum into work The experience of Laurel Herman’s son with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) led her to found Aspierations, the organisation that helped support Jonathan into his job. Ms Herman’s son was diagnosed with the condition as an adult. As Ms Herman saw more and more high-achieving people on the autistic spectrum not succeeding in the workplace, she was convinced to help them. “We help with things like conversation technique, interview technique – all the things over and above their education to make them business-ready,” says Ms Herman. “And we help them with career progression because once they get in they don’t progress.” Aspierations is also building an alliance of AS-fit-and-friendly employers by teaming up with businesses such as the National Grid, BAE Systems and Linklaters to support neurodiversity in the workforce. “We’re helping them to attract, recruit, develop to potential, support and retain their autistic talent,” says Ms Herman. Additionally Aspierations organises awareness events for businesses, and provides training and consultancy on recruitment and preparing workplaces for neurodivergent employees. Ms Herman says it is crucial to remember that there benefits on both sides when people with AS are brought into an organisation. For the individual there is a feeling of self-worth; for the business, it is about bringing in talent with a fresh approach. She says: “If you’ve always got the same people, you’re just doing the same thing. But if you’ve got people with different ways of thinking, which is what neurodiversity is, you will get real innovation and a challenge to the status quo.” Full names have been withheld at the interviewee’s requestSource: Telegraph
  17. Son wants to move out

    Can Mencap help you with filling out the forms? Can you get your GP to write a letter explaining how the "current housing situation is having a detrimental effect to both your wellbeings" also to get social services to write a supportive letter. That's what I had to do so I could get a higher banding to bid for the housing I needed.
  18. New member wanting some advice!

    Congrats on getting him his diagnosis. How is the school with him?
  19. Can't take it he needs to go

    Can Mencap help you to get him diagnosed with a learning disability? Really hope you get the help he needs to move out. Can't a care provider that supports him in the home at first just try and be aware he could have an additional learning disability? If it helps I had a care agency that helped me to go out and get food to cook for me and granny. Later that progressed to me moving out. 10 years later I temporarily moved back to mums for 15months then moved out again. 3 years ago I moved into my current home. It's not perfect but the care agency I currently have help me with a multitude of things.
  20. I've posted many times over the years, son is now 25. We're involved with the community enableing team and I'm trying to step away from him more not easy has he lives at home. Anyway he's insisting he wants to leave home so I've contacted gateway to care to request a assessment for care, and they've told me to register him on the choose nd move housing.. I've done that but not filled in form best wait till he gets, a social worker plus I need a few tips and help re the forms. Anyone else can give me tips, advice at working through this mindfield of you're autistic son or daughter moveing out. I think he's better of at home but at the same time eventually hell be alone because I'll be dead.. And I'm getting too old for to be blunt his sh*t he's always shoring and kicking off he really upsets the home. It's time for him to move on. But I need him to be happy and safe and reasonably close by.
  21. Apologies for the duplication. Moderators - could you please delete this thread?
  22. (Not written by me) Oxford doctors puzzled by case of 'miracle man' who came back from the dead  25 March 2019 By Tom Williams OXFORD doctors were called in to try to solve the mystery of how a postman who had been 'dead' for 21 minutes managed to come back to life. Joao Araujo, 48, was being wheeled into the morgue after suffering a cardiac arrest when nurses noticed he was moving and tests revealed circulation had spontaneously returned to his heart. A team of medics said there is no exact explanation for what happened to him or why he was able to go back to work after just three weeks. It was recorded on his medical notes as 'spontaneous return of circulation' and Mr Araujo is known as the 'Miracle Man' on the cardiac ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. During his rehabilitation, he was sent to Oxford so doctors could decipher what could have happened but they have been left puzzled by the episode. Dad Mr Araujo said: "It changed me. "I give more value to all the things every day. Every single day. "I say thank you that I am alive, I say thank you that I have a job. "I give more value to my family and my friends. "When I was at the hospital they had no explanation for my problem so people started calling me the 'Miracle Man'. "Unlike everything else in the body below the eyes, they said that the brain is a mystery, it's like a Pandora's Box. "They did not have the knowledge to know the reason behind what happened. "Doctors can't believe I am alive without any damage in my heart, brain or body." Mr Araujo was in the car and about to pull off the driveway with wife Grazielle when his eyes rolled in towards the back of his head and his hands clenched rigidly around the wheel. She grabbed his phone and wedged it in between his tongue and the roof of his mouth to prevent it going down his throat. She screamed for help and a neighbour called for an ambulance. Paramedics arrived and said he was suffering a cardiac arrest and rushed him to hospital. But after six hours of injections and failed attempts at CPR, doctors ruled there was nothing more they could do. They pronounced Mr Araujo, of Linden, Gloucester, dead at 16:00 on Saturday, April 18, 2009. Doctors told his wife and children he was dead, who then phoned his parents in Portugal to tell them of the sad news. But while his body was being moved from intensive care to the mortuary, nurses noticed movement. Doctors rushed to Mr Araujo's distraught family to tell them circulation had spontaneously returned to his heart. They were told Mr Araujo, a lorry driver at the time, could be left permanently brain damaged due to a 21-minute lack of oxygen. He remained in a coma for three days before waking up in his hospital bed to staff calling him 'Miracle Man.' Doctors moved him to a separate room but he remained confused and disorientated, continuously pressing the emergency button. But two weeks later his condition miraculously improved and he was moved to Oxford. With no prior history of heart problems and being in good shape for his age, doctors reached the conclusion that Mr Araujo's brain had not sent the correct signal to his heart. Medical notes about the episode state: "Out of hospital cardiac arrest with prolonged and unsuccessful attempt at CPR but with spontaneous return of circulation soon after CPR was discontinued." He was fitted with an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) against his heart, which sends an electric shock through to his heart if it stops again. The device also monitors his heart rate and sends readings back to the hospital. Three weeks after the freak cardiac arrest Joao returned to work as a cleaner and continued to live a healthy lifestyle. He said: "I remember my son and wife asked if I could carry on watching football - because I am crazy for football!" Mr Araujo, now a postman who lives with his new partner, visits the cardiology ward every six months for a check-up. He said: "Every time I go back, the nurses and the people who work there go 'The Miracle Man is back!' "Even people I don't know or recognise from different areas of the hospital say 'It's the Miracle Man! Everybody knows you, you are famous!" The postman has only had one issue with his heart since the attack in 2009. In 2015, he collapsed while working as a delivery driver but continued a full day's work before driving back home and visiting A&E. He said: "The doctors said that I have too much energy. It doesn't matter if I am in too much pain, I carry on." Source: Oxford Mail
  23. (Not written by me) Oxford doctors puzzled by case of 'miracle man' who came back from the dead  25 March 2019 By Tom Williams OXFORD doctors were called in to try to solve the mystery of how a postman who had been 'dead' for 21 minutes managed to come back to life. Joao Araujo, 48, was being wheeled into the morgue after suffering a cardiac arrest when nurses noticed he was moving and tests revealed circulation had spontaneously returned to his heart. A team of medics said there is no exact explanation for what happened to him or why he was able to go back to work after just three weeks. It was recorded on his medical notes as 'spontaneous return of circulation' and Mr Araujo is known as the 'Miracle Man' on the cardiac ward at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. During his rehabilitation, he was sent to Oxford so doctors could decipher what could have happened but they have been left puzzled by the episode. Dad Mr Araujo said: "It changed me. "I give more value to all the things every day. Every single day. "I say thank you that I am alive, I say thank you that I have a job. "I give more value to my family and my friends. "When I was at the hospital they had no explanation for my problem so people started calling me the 'Miracle Man'. "Unlike everything else in the body below the eyes, they said that the brain is a mystery, it's like a Pandora's Box. "They did not have the knowledge to know the reason behind what happened. "Doctors can't believe I am alive without any damage in my heart, brain or body." Mr Araujo was in the car and about to pull off the driveway with wife Grazielle when his eyes rolled in towards the back of his head and his hands clenched rigidly around the wheel. She grabbed his phone and wedged it in between his tongue and the roof of his mouth to prevent it going down his throat. She screamed for help and a neighbour called for an ambulance. Paramedics arrived and said he was suffering a cardiac arrest and rushed him to hospital. But after six hours of injections and failed attempts at CPR, doctors ruled there was nothing more they could do. They pronounced Mr Araujo, of Linden, Gloucester, dead at 16:00 on Saturday, April 18, 2009. Doctors told his wife and children he was dead, who then phoned his parents in Portugal to tell them of the sad news. But while his body was being moved from intensive care to the mortuary, nurses noticed movement. Doctors rushed to Mr Araujo's distraught family to tell them circulation had spontaneously returned to his heart. They were told Mr Araujo, a lorry driver at the time, could be left permanently brain damaged due to a 21-minute lack of oxygen. He remained in a coma for three days before waking up in his hospital bed to staff calling him 'Miracle Man.' Doctors moved him to a separate room but he remained confused and disorientated, continuously pressing the emergency button. But two weeks later his condition miraculously improved and he was moved to Oxford. With no prior history of heart problems and being in good shape for his age, doctors reached the conclusion that Mr Araujo's brain had not sent the correct signal to his heart. Medical notes about the episode state: "Out of hospital cardiac arrest with prolonged and unsuccessful attempt at CPR but with spontaneous return of circulation soon after CPR was discontinued." He was fitted with an Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) against his heart, which sends an electric shock through to his heart if it stops again. The device also monitors his heart rate and sends readings back to the hospital. Three weeks after the freak cardiac arrest Joao returned to work as a cleaner and continued to live a healthy lifestyle. He said: "I remember my son and wife asked if I could carry on watching football - because I am crazy for football!" Mr Araujo, now a postman who lives with his new partner, visits the cardiology ward every six months for a check-up. He said: "Every time I go back, the nurses and the people who work there go 'The Miracle Man is back!' "Even people I don't know or recognise from different areas of the hospital say 'It's the Miracle Man! Everybody knows you, you are famous!" The postman has only had one issue with his heart since the attack in 2009. In 2015, he collapsed while working as a delivery driver but continued a full day's work before driving back home and visiting A&E. He said: "The doctors said that I have too much energy. It doesn't matter if I am in too much pain, I carry on." Source: Oxford Mail
  24. Moments That Relax You

    (Not written by me) Forest Holidays Doing Their Bit Forest Holidays are privileged to be situated in beautiful corners of the UK’s forests. They make a promise, hand in hand with local partners, Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland and Natural Resources Wales to help the forests thrive, so that they are better than ever for future generations. Here’s how: Over the last 45 years, Forest Holidays have sustainably created a small number of cabin locations in Great Britain. Whilst we occupy just 0.02% of the Public Forest Estate, the benefits each location brings to its local community are considerable. The locations remain in public ownership, are Countryside and Rights of Way designated and open to the public. By creating employment, sharing the economic benefits of tourism, and actively contributing to communities, we can help to sustain the quality of rural life for generations to come. Nature is central to our business ethos and we believe it is our responsibility to care for Britain’s forests, provide favourable conditions for wildlife to thrive and enhance the environment around us. Their commitment to caring for Britain’s forests starts with the immediate environment and extends to the wider forest, helping to support the work of Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland, and Natural Resources Wales. They care for the forest environment for today and manage it so that it thrives into the future. They have a long-term biodiversity enhancement strategy, which aims to make a positive contribution to biodiversity, wildlife habitats and people’s enjoyment at each of our locations They provide a long-term, sustainable source of funding to help Forestry England, Forestry and Land Scotland and Natural Resources Wales to carry out their responsibilities. They support projects on the wider public forest estate and their Conservation Fund is used to support ecological enhancement projects They contribute to the creation and maintenance of forest trails to enable people in and around the local community to enjoy the forest more easily It’s perhaps easy to think that nature should just be ‘left alone’ but many forests need to be actively managed to enhance their biodiversity. This is because many of our forests were actually shaped by man’s practises over centuries meaning that the ecology they support is dependent on those conditions being sustained. Forest management must take a long view and our commitment spans decades. We hope you’ll agree Forest Holidays are going lengths to ensure every contribution towards protecting and sustaining the environment matters. They design their locations to be in harmony with the forest, managing them in an eco-friendly way, taking active steps to protect and enhance the forest, and educating their teams, guests and visitors so that they can play their part too. Source: Greenfinder
  25. How do Members with travel with ASD and Aspergers

    That link is broken. Try: The new disability travel site making exploring accessible for all
  26. How do Members with travel with ASD and Aspergers

    Wilder Me (formerly Cool of the Wild) is offering autism retreats in Cornwall for autistic individuals travelling with their carers "from only £395pp".
  27. Help with Eco wellbeing & Activity break

    Cool of the Wild is now Wilder Me. Their autism retreats are targeted at autistic individuals travelling with a carer, so that rules me out.
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