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About Colin_and_Shelagh

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    West London
  1. Paul You make a fair point about alcohol but it is also worth remembering that many studies have found that, in moderation, alcohol can be good for you. Most people are aware that alcohol abuse is bad for the individual and, because of the behaviour it encourages, bad for society. I think 24-hour licensing is wrong. However much of the food we buy and eat is garbage, and people are not aware of it. Remember the Sudan 1 food scare a short while back? We are at the mercy of food companies who lace our food with God knows what. Colin
  2. The problem with the freedom of choice argument is that is it difficult to make informed choices. How many people thought turkey twizzlers were made out of wholesome chunks of turkey before Jamie Oliver's series? And if it is difficult for us as adults then it is impossible for children. Furthermore, if diet does affect behaviour then schools are right to be concerned about what children are eating while they are at school. After all, cigarettes are banned! If you are concerned about the food on your plate then I urge you to read Felicity Lawrence's marvellous eye-opening and scary book 'Not on the label'. Read about it on Amazon Colin
  3. �The National Curriculum requirements for PE...seem, from the perspective of a person with Asperger's Syndrome, more like punishment or torture than anything else.� Clare Sainsbury, A Martian in the Playground pp109-110
  4. Colin_and_Shelagh

    found this

    This outfit took out a full page ad in the TES and the education supplement of the Independent a couple of months ago, calling for the end of the right of parents to send their children to special schools. Some heated correspondence followed, some of which complained about the offensive use of the term 'segregation'. I get the impression they are from the physically disabled lobby, so quite possibly have no idea at all about ASDs.
  5. A former work colleague, now a teacher, told me it was a waste of time trying to teach after lunch because the kids are so hyperactive. The high school where Patrick started this term has a really long morning - 8.40 until 1.20 with only one lesson after lunch. We have heard that the reason for this is hyperactivity. Personally I wouldn't be able to function if I had to go that long between breakfast and lunch. What Jamie Oliver's fantastic series helped demonstrate is that there is a link between diet and behaviour. Without realising it, we had allowed Patrick's diet to contain more and more sugary food - he was having a sugary cereal for lunch, something sweet with his (otherwise healthy) packed lunch, as well as something after his dinner. Following advice, we restricted this to one sweet item after dinner and the result on his behaviour was dramatic. Almost immediately he was less hyperactive and he began to sleep for much longer. I don't know if anybody here has been watching the American version of the Apprentice? There was one episode where the contestants had to come up with a marketing campaign for a new kind of coke. The otherwise calm and collected Andy began sloshing down cup after cup of the stuff and started behaving completely out of character! The link wasn't made on the commentary, but it didn't seem coincidental to us! Colin
  6. 'I resent the assumption that autism is simply a disability. In fact, I believe that it may be an incredibly important asset for humanity.' The Times
  7. I went on a course a couple of years ago in London and echo what Simon says. The information about schools and the DDA was especially useful. I would definitely recommend going. Colin
  8. In the debate about special schools on 22 June Jacqui Smith, who is Minister of State for Schools, said: "Previous work by the (National Autistic) Society and by the all-party group on autism has shown that about 80 per cent. of parents with autistic children in mainstream education felt that they were getting very good support." I emailed Jacqui Smith via the DfES website to ask for the source of this figure and have received the following reply from Nigel Fulton: The figure that Jacqui Smith was referring to was contained in the National Autistic Society's report 'Inclusion and autism: is it working?' (2000). This was based on responses from 1,000 of the Society's members and it found that overall 73% were quite satisfied or very satisfied with the education their children were receiving. If you would like to read the report it is available on the NAS' website and here is the link: http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=160&a=3462 The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism's 2001 'The Rising Challenge: a survey of Local Education Authorities on Educational Provision for pupils with Autistic Spectrum Disorders' was not, as the name implies, a survey of parental satisfaction with their children's education. What the Minister may have been referring to is that the All Party Group's report cross referred to the 73% figure in the NAS' 2000 report. If you would like to read the All Party Group's report it is also available on the NAS' website and here is the link: http://www.nas.org.uk/nas/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=368&a=3921 You may be interested to know that a more recent report 'Parental Perspectives on Seeking Provision' [for children with autism] by Tissot and Evans from Brunel University (2005) found that 70% of the parents surveyed were happy with the provision their children were receiving, although the report did point out that for many this was only after a fight with their local authorities to get the provision they wanted. Almost 80% had their children in the school placement that was their first choice. The report is not available on Brunel University's website but here is the link to the press notice: http://www.brunel.ac.uk/news/pressoffice/p...h/autism140305/ So there you have it. The report is five years old, and 35 (not 80) per cent were 'very satisfied' with the support their child was receiving. (The figures are on page 16.) Colin
  9. I would like any debate to recognise that the terms 'disabled people' and 'special educational needs' cover a multitude of different conditions. (Just as the phrase 'ethnic minority' is lazy shorthand for people from all kinds of different backgrounds.) Whilst it is undeniably a good thing that AS is now recognised in law as a disability, it is something of a double-edged sword as it means that organisations such as the DRC can talk about 'disabled people' as though they are an homogeneous mass with identical needs. We must argue for the particular needs of people with AS, otherwise pro-inclusion fanatics like the frightening Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education will do it for us. We do not want our children to be discriminated against, but we want their differences to be recognised and engaged with accordingly. That's my view, anyhow. Colin
  10. That's interesting because in the debate about special schools on 22 June Jacqui Smith said: "Previous work by the (National Autistic) Society and by the all-party group on autism has shown that about 80 per cent. of parents with autistic children in mainstream education felt that they were getting very good support." Perhaps they are referring to different sets of figures, or perhaps they made them up. I think it's important that these sorts of figures are challenged because otherwise they become established as 'fact'. I emailed the DfES asking Jacqui Smith for the source of her figures but didn't get a reply. I've sent a follow-up. Colin
  11. I agree entirely with Simon and Carole. Mary Warnock makes the point that there are many different kinds of disability. Simply to talk about 'disabled children' as though the issues concerning, say, a wheelchair user and a child with an ASD are the same is absolute nonsense. And yes, it makes me angry. Colin
  12. The Disability Rights Commission has issued a briefing paper on the issue of inclusion. It takes issue with some of Mary Warnock's views. Disability Rights Commission ASDs are not mentioned.
  13. As the parent of a child with AS, I would go as far as saying that if you only read one book on AS then read this one. What she says about schools is particularly interesting. She challenges the view that mainstream schools are 'neutral', arguing instead that they are specifically designed to meet the needs of neurotypical children. A precis of this argument can be found here: Clare Sainsbury Colin
  14. Sir: In your articles and obituary on Sir Edward Heath (18 July), the following aspects of his personality were noted: abrasive style; never tried to be liked; prone to stony silences in interviews; enjoyed his own company; sour and graceless reputation, and so on. One could say that all of this was out of keeping with his intelligence as he was a very gifted person. All the above could be descriptive of somebody with mild Asperger's syndrome, which could explain why things went wrong for him. Independent Not convinced myself, but if true then an Aspie PM gives us all hope
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