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Found 48 results

  1. Hi everyone! For my dissertation, I am conducting surveys about the effect of friendship quality on mental health in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If you have a child age 4-13 with a diagnosis of Autism, I invite you to complete my survey, which will take only 20 minutes! Findings could lead to a greater understanding of the effect of friendship quality on mental health in autistic children. Please email me at pt00254@surrey.ac.uk if you have any questions. The link is here: https://surreyfahs.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_etCpqsUlJzZiWH3
  2. I have no idea if medical professionals or technically minded people read this forum, but I hope someone can possibly provide some information. I am somewhere on the autism spectrum, albeit of the high functioning variety. I have always had a problem with spatial navigation and orientation. Even playing first person ‘maze’ style computer games as a kid, I used to get lost. I have played guitar for longer than some professional players have been alive, and am still pretty hopeless. A major factor is that I am blind to the patterns of scales on the fretboard, which some people can pick up intuitively in weeks. Recently, I was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) too, and after being given amphetamine based medication I saw a dramatic improvements in my productivity. This has made me wonder if there is something for spatial navigation. I am open to different strategies whether medical or mind training or any other method. I wonder if such treatments exist and where I can find more information? Thanks
  3. Hi, I am living in Middlesbrough. My 8-year-old son has autism and has additional needs. We have now decided to move to Leeds, so I am looking for the choices of primary school for him. The best choice for him is probably a mainstream school with autism unit/provision, but I don’t know how to find these schools in Leeds since I don’t know anybody there. The Council has given me the names of two of them but I am searching for more choices if there is any. Does anybody have anymore info in this regards? How is the level support for ASD children in Leeds?
  4. Hello everyone, I am newbie here. My son has been diagnosed with autism and so has my partner (diagnosed 5 days apart) I am here to hoping get some tips and advise when I need it. thanks
  5. This is a question which I have asked all of my support staff, but I haven't really been able to get a satisfactory answer for it. Namely why do so many of us (namely those who are on the more 'higher functioning' end of the spectrum, and thus are more aware of ourselves) 'look autistic'? When I say this, yes I am aware that ASD is not a physical condition, but raher a mental one, so thus (to cut a long story short) it does not effect ones outward appearance in itself. Rather I would like to know why so many Aspies and Auties look scruffy, are overweight, don't brush or comb their hair, wear ill fitting or dirty clothes, don't shave the appropriate areas of the body and (even when they are no longer teenagers) have spots or boils. I know that sometimes people aren't aware of what they look like, have little interest in looking like an NT, have sensory issues regarding things like razors or even are happy with the way they look regardless of how they may appear. But let me share with you all a little story... Some years ago I knew a girl (by the name of Becky) with AS, (who should now be in her early thirties) who was into all the kind of things a typical girl in he teenage years/early twenties would be into, but due to her AS, she was into them a lot more intensely (eg she would write her own fanfiction based on characters in music videos) as she had an obsession with Britney Spears (I think she even had a lesbian crush on her). However partly due to her being cooped up in, firstly a special school and then later a care home, she had become institutionalized. Thus she was sorely lacking in various skills. One day I asked her why she did not put more effort into her appearance (I did not use those words, rather I simply pointed out all the things I saw her carers do that she didn't). Her answer, as she knew I wasn't having a go at her, was "I never thought of it." So why don't more people (eg parents and care staff) point this out and tell them what to do bout it?
  6. Not long had my account activated, but would love to share my Documentary. Currently a web series, the first 6 episodes tell of my life story which I hope to combine into a Short Film. After this, I will make another 6-12 episodes and combine into "I Have Asperger's: So What Now?", so for now, please feel free to critique, discuss, and let me know what you think. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLr9KnlUKCQjM_fi7RWZvNjrCFvJqQY31z I'm also hoping to look for people willing to be interviewed and share their life experiences and life stories with living with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. If you're interested, please get in touch. Thanks.
  7. Hello there! Took me a while to have my account validated, but I'm here! Decided to join this forum to use, as well as share my life story documentary, entitled 'I Have Asperger's: So What?'. More details in General Discussion. In the mean time, I hope you like me as I plod around each forum. Thanks
  8. First post, and looking for some helpful advice. I was first diagnosed with Aspergers at age 9, in 2008. I was diagnosed in a rather traumatic period of time, following a close bereavement, and have gone on to live a normal life. I gained good GCSE grades, and now at 17 board at a 6th form college, taking 4 strong A-levels, including a foreign language. I have a larger than average social-group, a long-term girlfriend, and hopes and plans for the future. The diagnosis I was given at age 9 has caused problems for me, to say the least. I feel that the diagnosis was wrong, as I no longer show any of the traits, if not the opposite of those commonly seen. I am considering trying to get re-diagnosed, or un-diagnosed, and wondered if that was the best route, or if there were others, and how I would go about them. Thanks!
  9. Seeking adults (18+) with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who have access to the internet and are able to complete an online 20-30 minute questionnaire independently. This study is designed to learn the relationship between anxiety, sensory processing difficulties and intolerance of uncertainty in a population of adults with ASD. Research is being conducted by Kathryn Flatley (k.flatley@dundee.ac.uk) with collaborative supervision from Dr Ashley Robertson (a.z.robertson@dundee.ac.uk). To begin the survey, please click on the following link - http://www.instant.ly/s/HZ33r
  10. www.awares.org/conferences Just a reminder that the first presenter this year in Autism Cymru's exciting series of monthly one-day online autism conferences is Professor Simon Baron-Cohen - one of the world's best-known and most highly respected names in autism research. This conference is kindly sponsored by Options Group, a leading provider of specialist care, education and therapy for children, young people and adults with autism, Asperger's syndrome, learning disabilities and complex needs. Simon's paper is available to read right now at www.awares.org/conferences once you have registered and he himself will be online all day from 9am (UK time) tomorrow - Thursday, January 31, 2013 - to answer your questions. The event is open to all - so please let your friends, colleagues and networks know about this unique opportunity. Simon is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, Fellow in Experimental Psychology at Trinity College, Cambridge and Co-director of the Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge. He is also Director of CLASS, the Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service.He is the author of many books, including: Mindblindness (MIT Press, 1995), Autism: The Facts (OUP, 1993), Teaching Children with Autism to Mindread (Wiley, 1999), and The Essential Difference : Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain (Penguin UK/Perseus, 2003). He is also the author of a DVD-ROM, Mind Reading: The interactive guide to human emotions. For information about this and all other Awares online autism conferences, please contact me at: adam@autismcymru.org Best wishes, Adam Feinstein
  11. hello, my name is ricky baker. and I am fifteen years old and I have a diagnosis of aspergers syndrome. I also suffer from a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, anxiety, and OCD. I have joined this forum in the chance of meeting other autistic people who I'm hoping may know how I feel. I am struggling very much on a daily basis in terms of my autism, and I am starting to loose all faith at the possible chance of recovery. I am extremely depressed, and incredibly lonely as I don't have any friends I can invite over or go and see.. all of my past school friends found my autism incredibly difficult to handle and stopped talking to me.. I used to get incredibly exhausted being around a lot of people, but nowadays I get exhausted from being alone all the time. as of today, I have been out of an education for almost two full years. I was bullied verbally and physically by teachers and pupils at my old school, and I had to leave as I could no longer deal with the bullying. I am very sad and lonely ;__; and I really just want a friend, as cheesy as it sounds. thank you everyone for reading. I am willing to post some more if I get some replies.
  12. My name is Keighley Vincent, and I am currently studying BSc Psychology at Northumbria University, and I’m currently working on my dissertation. I have chosen to investigate ‘The impact of parenting stress on prospective memory and everyday functioning’. I would like to invite parents of children between the ages of 3-17 years, who are living at home full time to take part in the st...udy. The study consists of a completing an online questionnaire which will take approximately 10 minutes. Questions will ask about socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, mood, memory and the ability to carry out everyday tasks. The study has been approved by the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Ethics committee. Your participation in this study is greatly appreciated. Please click on the link below if you wish to take part. If you have any more questions please feel free to email me at Keighley.vincent@northumbria.ac.uk. https://nupsych.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cZv2AVQEc4De33v Sincerely, Keighley Vincent
  13. Hello, I have been a Teacher Assistant for over 10 years, working with many children that have been diagnosed with autism. Over the years, I have designed many resources for my school, as they were very costly or didn't meet children's individual needs. Recently however, I have created an eBay shop to provide these resources cheaply to everyone. If anyone is interested or would like to ask any questions, please check out my eBay Shop... http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Kan-Do-Kids This is something that is very important to me, and something I'll be growing over the coming months. Please contact me, as I'm very interested in peoples suggestions and feedback. KanDoKids
  14. Warning this is a LONG POST In the past I have posted posts and started treads where I have spoken all about my views on people with various forms of Autism who 'show' their condition more than myself or some of my friends. This may have made me seem a little judgmental and unfair, but the truth is that I am far from those kind of things indeed. For example, I have a VERY close friend (we aren't together in case you were wondering, long story) who is not only a member of the transgender community but is also OS (Objectum Sexual, or at least I think that what it stands for) as he (for he was once a 'she' and a VERY macho one at that) is into robots, such as the Transformers and RoboCop and so will often use his toys (which he will often play with like a big kid) for sex for he has told me that OS people believe that objects have soul (an interesting concept in any case) and so thus he feels that when have he uses his toy of say Megatron, he is having sex with him. Otherwise my friend is perfectly verbal, can go out on his own, is streetwise, is VERY clean and tidy (more so than me), can fix computers and do repair work on robots (he once worked behind the scenes on 'Robot Wars' as a volunteer for his uncle worked on the house robots for the show) knows a number of kinds of marshal arts, among other things... I am not judgmental towards him one bit as I feel that he has 'proven' himself to be a good friend. Granted I (and my friend) find it difficult to cope with those who have much lower functioning ability than I have or those who engage in far more 'challenging behaviors' than myself (I used to hit people, but I have stopped now, I only bellow when I have a meltdown now) as I tend to 'judge' people by their actions or behaviors and thus I expect people to act 'good' all of the time, even when they don't feel like it. However my friend also knows his limits and so has long ago given up the idea of going to work or leaving the care company he is in, for he has a short fuse, is very strong, has no qualms about beating someone to a pulp, see's himself as something of a superhero and would most likely find himself in prison if he went to work and go involved in office politics. Anyway I digress so now onto the point of my discussion. My friend, although having a number of robot partners also has a boyfriend called Luke. Luke is in his 30s, has a number of degrees and works full time. However he still lives with his mum and dad, who have kept him at home as he has a lot of 'immature' or 'Autistic' behaviors, suchs as drinking out of coke bottles like a baby would, sticking his fingers in his ears when talking and also closing his eyes. On top of that he doesn't change his underwear and hangs around with a man called Tim, who he likes to go bus and train trips together. This would be fine save for the fact that when the bus is late Tim kicks off and calls the bus drivers (as in all of them not just the one driving the bus at the time) 'pedos' and runs away yelling 'bus drivers are pedos!' and sticking his fingers at them. Luke is in the habit of following Tim when he does this, in some of the roughest parts of Liverpool.... For a while me and my friend thought that it would be a good idea that Luke be allowed to leave home and live on his own. But when we last met him we also discovered that as well as being unwilling to change his ways he also is totally unable to defend himself as he does not know what to do if someone tried to attack him. Granted I'm not the greatest fighter in the world (I come from a middle class background) but even I know how to push a thug to the floor and then run away! Like on the other hand just let my friend take his phone when we tested him. Now we feel that he should not be allowed to go out on his own or go to work, as he is THAT vulnerable. This reminds me of a girl I once knew who was VERY naive, would over spend on her credit card and get herself into all kinds of situations where she'd have problems with her co-workers. If I had my way I'd have had her kept on the premises of the group home she was living in and only allowed out with staff, banned from contact with certain members of her family (she did not get on with them) and forbidden to go to work. This is not me being sexist or saying that people with ASDs should be forbidden from following their dreams, but rather in cases where the person is vulnerable enough more measures (than those which exist already) should be put in place to keep them safe.
  15. A question I often ask is 'Why am I so lucky?' Now I'm not trying to sound like arrogant person who looks down on those who've had a hard life (although I prefer not to hear such stories from people as it overload me with being upset) but all things considered compared to the stories that I have heard on this and other sites plus in real life and in books (about Autism) on the whole I've had an easy life. Consider this... When I was nine years old I was diagnosed with HFA, and then later AS after the condition became better known among professionals and teachers. This was I may add due to my (back then) violent outbursts towards other kids in school when I felt that they had cheesed me off or had broken the school rules, like some kind of superhero would with criminals. When I was ten I went to an Autistic school which at the time I hated due to the abundance of LFA kids there, however I do have fund memories of the trips my class (I was in when became the AS class) would make to museums, stately homes, the library, the cafes, nature trails and best of all Summer Camp. All things considered I was a lot better off there in my early teenage years than in a so called 'normal' school as I (and others) weren't picked on and would learn in a relatively stress free environment. Later I went to a school for kids who had been in hospital for a long time, were in Special Ed or quite a few other reason that I can't think of right now. There we did mainstream school work and exams. However the school was quite small so we only attended half of the day, and so many of us would (with the consent of our parents) study subjects of interest rather than the whole curriculum, all spread out over the week, while some of the rest was done as part of our homework. Later when I was sixteen I left home (of my own choice) and went to a group home down south for a number of years, before moving on. I would have left earlier if I could but the sad truth was that was all lacked the kind of opportunities such as supported living and outreach support (rather than care) at that time, so I told myself that it was 'better than nothing'. When I left I went to a rest-bite unit for a while until they could find somewhere more permanent, which they did. As it stands I was an only child, come from a loving home where my dad earned quite a large wage before retiring and you could say I had the perfect childhood. I have known other people who's home situations were very much the same (ie loving family and lots of money) but they had been sent to mainstream schools (in some cases even after being diagnosed) where they got bullied or when they became adults had no support, barring family. I also read that it is a lot harder to get diagnosed with ASD or AS when you are an adult (or sometimes with children) nowadays, partly I think this is due to some people cheating the benefit system and so they had to make it harder for them to get 'free money' (which is what benefits are when you boil it down) or other kinds of special treatment. So why am I so lucky, while others in the exact same situation as me aren't .
  16. How much of you is ASD and of you much of is you upbringing, possible internationalization or your own personality? Consider this... I knew a man in his mid thirties has got AS likes to play video games on his X-Box One. All is well and good, however he spends all day in his room, doesn't tidy up after himself, hardly speaks to anyone and tries to act like a 'badass' (from one of his fave games) which sadly makes him look like a dickhead, if you pardon me saying so. He also hardly washes, sees women as sex objects (as in living sex dolls, not just people who only exist to have sex with) fancy's Japanese school girls (not just the henti mind, I'm talking about photos and videos of real people) At present (to the best of my knowledge) he still attends a day center (I've long since stopped attending) for those who are lower functioning, which he started going to when he was 17 or 18. Please bear in mind that this is someone with more or less the same kind of AS as Bill Gates, attending a day center (granted he could have been forced to go by his mum, but he could get himself a flat with the benefits he's on) Also I might add that he spends all day sitting at his X-Box in a little room (which was where the phones used to be kept) where he is separate from everyone else and has taken it over as his own 'work space'. If he is traveling in a car with someone he will insist on the staff flipping a coin to see who goes in the front seat. Also he was VERY spoiled as a boy as his mum saw him as 'special' due to his conditions (he has epilepsy as well as AS) and be very controlling towards his 'friends'. The main question I am asking is this... How much of Autism is pure Autism and how much of it due to the differences in treatment which sometimes happen when a kid get diagnosed? Or indeed how much of it is due to spending much of your adult life 'cut off' from the outside world (be it in care homes and day centres) I'll put out some more info about Phil (that is his name) when I get the time.
  17. Mikecunniffe


    Hello everybody in the same boat as each other, i have just board this friendly boat in a hope to boast my confidence and morale by making some new friends who share the same interest and similar conditions as me. My name is mike and i currently working on a rolling temporary contract working in like pool staff covering the hospital admin needs. I have a main interest in changing the world and traveling. I'm currently going through what i call periods, it where i go for long stretch feeling low and struggling to make friends and fit in. I have and all my life getting lifelong conditions, currently i have Autism, Dyspraxia, Learning Difficulties and getting investigated for rheumatology problems due to my height. I hope to make some new friends and hopefully sometime get some love back in my life. Chaw Mike
  18. Yesterday, when surfing YouTube I found a video with a man who was diagnosed with Autism when he was a toddler. He claimed that his mother was told that he would never live independently and at best only speak a few words. However his mum refused to believe that he would be unable to live a normal life, and so put in in mainstream school, which I will add was in the early 1980s. Now he is a CEO and has written a book called Am I Still Autistic? This made me wonder about my own diagnoses's as a child in the early to mid 1990s. Back then I was diagnosed with what was then called 'High Functioning Autism', as back then I used to have a hot temper (when things didn't go my way) have wild flights of fancy (more on that later) and when I was about two or three I stopped talking, only to begin again (slowly over time) when I was about four or five, although I was still fully aware of my surroundings, albeit as best a toddler can be at that age. I also had issues with being touched and the all time classic, clothing tags (thus I would often play in the nude) although this later disappeared when I was six years old. Thus I was sent to an 'Autistic school' which although I hated as there were so many Classic Autistic pupils there, thus the funds and attention was put (for the most part) on them, however I made a number of close friends (both among the staff and the higher functioning pupils) there and so have one or two fond memories of my time there, if only for the people rather than what went on there (barring perhaps the year we went to summer camp, which was wonderful, but that's another story). One teacher, or maybe in was one of the care staff (I don't know which) wrote in my yearly report that I may have been misdiagnosed and that I may have Aspergers Syndrome. Thus, I was briefly reassessed, and although I remember little of what happened regarding this, I still remember to this day being told that I in fact had AS not HFA, which I must confess made me feel a little important. Since those heady days it would seem that I have outgrown many of my original traits, firstly I can talk (although that said I could at the time I was diagnosed) secondly I don't run about in the nude (it still had an appeal for me for quite some time until my late teens) thirdly I don't have anywhere near as short the temper I had back when I was a kid. Lastly I don't confuse fact with fiction the way I did when I was a kid (although I do often consider a great many situations, which while they are possible, don't often happen) as back then I used to tell tall tales about my adventures and come up with madcap plans (like most small boys do) but, I would also believe that they happened and that they would work. Granted this could be put down to growing up, but I have seen a number of other ASD adults, who haven't matured at all! And I don't mean those with 'classic' Autism. Please do not think that I believe that Autism, can just 'disappear' for as far as I'm aware, it doesn't. What I am asking is, have any of you out there, outgrown your 'original' traits? Or if you were diagnosed earlier in life would you have a more 'severe' diagnoses's? Or even if you were taken up for assessment now, would you even be diagnosed now?
  19. Is there anyone from Liverpool or anywhere else in Mersyside here on this site? Anyone? Just wondering...
  20. What do you think of Internet 'Clowns' or 'Idiots', such as Chris Chan? Don't you think that it is funny that so many of them a) have some form of Autism are American c) live with there parent(s) and d) are obsessed with video games, cartoons and sex? Just wondering.
  21. Hey all! A while back I introduced myself and I also said I might have some questions regarding a translation of a book I'm doing (I'm Not Strange, I Have Autism by Ellen van Gelder). I do have some questions now, and they're probably quite easy to answer, because it's mainly what you call certain concepts in English. 1. What do you call someone who has ASD? And do you refer to it as 'someone with ASD' or 'someone with an ASD'? This book refers to them as 'fellow-autis' and 'ASD-ers'. 2. What do you call something that is kind of an obsession, but mainly just a very big hobby? Examples are watching animal skeletons, insects, veganism, etc. The Dutch word for it is a 'fiep'. 3. What do you call a kind of club thing where people with ASD gather to hang out? (Is there even a thing like that in the UK?) Thanks, guys!
  22. Hi, I'm a single mum and have a son with Autism. But I'm having a lot of problems with his behavior. He's 8 and goes to a special school and behaves when he's there but in the house he doesn't listen to me, he runs from room to room and screams when he doesn't want to do what I tell him. When he gets angry he throws whatever he has in his hand on the floor, a few days ago he threw his laptop and broke it!! Another thing he does is roll on the floor, I'm not sure why he does that but when I tell him to stop he doesn't listen(it gets embarrassing). Recently he's started to chew on the leaves of my mum's plants as well, he breaks them off and sometimes pulls up my mum's plants. He normally needs to wear glasses but he doesn't wear them either, only puts them on for 1 min then pulls them off again and throws them away. I'm getting very tired of his behavior but don't know what to do. I've not been able to get any respite as I've been told he needs to be 12 before we can apply!! I'm sorry to ramble on like this. But can anyone give me any ideas on calming him down or to make him listen. Thanks.
  23. Take the definition of animal kingdom to include anything from insects, snakes, spiders, lions, tigers, sharks, whales, zebra's, gazelle's, horses, goldfish, cats, dogs, mice, rabbits, foxes, donkeys, pigs, cows, chickens, turkeys, geese, swans, sparrows, bats, frogs, toads, cuckoos, viruses, bacteria, germs, sea urchins, rays, jellyfish, ringworm, earthworms, ants, scorpions, stick-insects, aardvarks, beavers, bees, wasps, buffalo, butterflies, caterpillars, chimpanzees, roaches, cranes, crabs, crocodiles, doves, elephants, flies, gnats, gorilla's, hornets, leopards, lemurs, moose's, octopuses, panthers, parrots, pelican's, penguins, raccoons, sheep, shrew's, tapir's, walrus's, weasel's, wren's, woodpeckers, yaks, sand dollars, sea lions, seals, salamanders. rooks, reindeer, ravens, rats, quelea's, turtles, ponies, pigeons, seagulls, pelicans, panda's, bears, oysters, ox's, owls, okapi's, mules, narwhal's, otters, opossums, oryx's, ostrich's, newts, mosquito's, moles, meerkat's, manatee's, ducks, mink's, magpie's, lyrebirds, loris's, llama's, lobsters, locusts, larks, kouprey's, komodo dragons, koala's, kangaroo's, jackal's, jay's, jaguar's, iguana's, hyena's, hummingbirds, hippopotamuses, herons, rhinoceroses, hawks, hedgehogs, guanaco's, grasshoppers, grouse, gophers, gnu's, gaur's, giraffe's, albatrosses, camels, gerbil's, ferrets, falcon's, elands, eagles, dugongs, echidna's, doves, dolphins, dogfish, tyrannosauruses, coyotes, cormorants, cod, chinchilla's, clams, chamois, caribou, barracuda's, armadillo's, apes, anteaters, alpaca's, alligators, etc etc Plus I suppose you could also include the plant kingdom of which there are many... Please provide an explanation as to your answer.
  24. www.awares.org/conferences Don't miss this unique opportunity next Tuesday (April 29, 2014) to put your questions directly to Dr Darold Treffert, who coined the term 'autistic savant' and was a chief advisor on the 1988 film 'Rain Man'. Register now at www.awares.org/conferences to read Dr Treffert's superbly illuminating paper right away and then join in the discussions all day on April 29. Dr Darold Treffert is the world's leading expert on the autistic savant syndrome. He has been studying savant syndrome since he met his first savant in 1962, when he developed a Children's Unit at a hospital in Wisconsin, USA. He maintains a very active web site on savant syndrome at www.savantsyndrome.com through the Wisconsin Medical Society and also maintains an world-wide savant registry. He has written two books on this remarkable condition: Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome (1989, and revised edition 2006) and Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant (2010). He has also written widely in the professional and popular press as well as participating in numerous documentaries on savant syndrome. He was a consultant to the 1988 movie Rain Man, in which Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of an autistic savant. Dr Treffert has been a Clinical Professor at the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry and has been a member of the Behavioral Health Department of St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin where he presently continues research on autistic disorder, his life-long interest. That interest was inspired by Dr Leo Kanner himself when a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, where Dr Treffert received both his Medical School and Psychiatric Residency training. For more information about this and all other Awares online conferences, please contact me at: adam@autismcymru.org Best wishes, Adam Feinstein
  25. www.awares.org/conferences We are delighted to announce that the latest in our series of monthly one-day online autism conferences is with Anna Kennedy. Join us next Monday (March 17, 2014) to put your questions directly online to Anna, who is a leading British autism campaigner, lobbyist, author and mother of two children on the spectrum. Register right now in the Awares Conference Centre (www.awares.org/conferences) Teesside University Honorary Graduate Anna Kennedy OBE is the mother of two boys, Patrick and Angelo, who are both affected by autism. In 1999, having been turned away by no fewer than 26 special needs schools when searching for appropriate educational facilities for her sons, she decided to take matters into her own hands and remortgaged her home to transform a derelict council building in Middlesex, West London into Hillingdon Manor School. The school, which is now a centre of excellence for children and young adults with autism, has earned considerable recognition for its outstanding work and early in its life caught the imagination of Esther Rantzen who is now Hillingdon Manor's patron. In 2008, Anna co-authored her best-selling biography 'Not Stupid' which poignantly portrayed her struggle to find appropriate provision for her boys - a story which will be familiar to many parents who feel they could not get what they felt their children needed from the local education authority. Anna's story appeared as an hour long BBC 'pick of the day' Video Diary documentary and her story has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Times Educational Supplement, The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail. Anna is regularly invited to speak at conferences on the subject of autism and has also taken part in many high profile TV talk shows, debates and news programmes. Recently, Anna met with the Department of Health to share results of their charities survey on autism diagnosis. Anna will share these results and feedback at her presentation in April at the University. In 2008, she merged her school with Hillcrest Autism Services to gain access to greater resources to continue her work. Anna went on to win 'Woman of the Year' in 2009, an award run in conjunction with The Observer newspaper and during the same year was also the recipient of the coveted Institute of Directors (IOD) Chairman's special award for outstanding contribution to the community. Samantha Cameron named her the Daily Mail's most Inspirational Woman of the Year 2010 and most recently Tesco Mum of the Year 2013. In November 2013, Anna, who is from Middlesbrough, received an Honorary Doctor in Professional Achievement from the University. For further details about this and all other Awares online conferences - hosted by Autism Cymru, Wales's pioneering national charity for autism and run by myself, Adam Feinstein - please contact me at: adam@autismcymru.org Best wishes, Adam Feinstein
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