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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. I'm surprised none of the BTL commentators have criticised the use of the term sufferers, viz: "Lynne Wallis looks at why autism is so misunderstood and what sufferers can offer" Was this article really published only 7 years ago?
  3. Scary film I am in...

  4. Scary film I am in...

  5. Earlier
  6. How do Members with travel with ASD and Aspergers

    And once you're there: Four tips to help you get the most out of your holiday
  7. (Not written by me) Autistic 7-year-old advised to stay off school for sports day to avoid "causing a scene" The school apologised and said the staff member's suggestion was "inappropriate" A furious dad says he was asked to keep his autistic son off school for sports day - to avoid him ‘causing a scene’. Mark Birchall, 28, said a classroom support worker approached him in the playground and said it might be wise to exclude his son Jacob, who has Asperger syndrome. He claims the seven-year-old “cried his eyes out” after he broke the news about missing the event at Banks Road Primary School in Garston . The headteacher apologised over the “inappropriate suggestion” and said it was not the view of the school, which tries to ensure all children can take part in such activities. Mr Birchall, from Speke, claimed the staff member told him earlier this month that Jacob would be extremely upset if he lost, and could “cause a scene” at the sports day on July 18. He acknowledged his son, a Year 2 pupil, might have struggled because of his Asperger syndrome, but said it was completely wrong to suggest excluding him. He said: “I feel they were embarrassed by him, rather than just thinking about his needs. “It was disgusting to single him out. It is excluding him, which is exactly what you are supposed not to do with children with special needs. “It should be about inclusion - even if he didn’t take part, he could have handed out medals or been a referee. “It feels like it was about keeping him away, about showing there were no issues at the school.” He said he had to organise his own sports day and even buy a medal for his son at home instead, as he did not feel they would be welcome attending. He said: “Jacob cried his eyes out when we told Jacob he wasn’t able to go. “He had been practising trial runs at school, and said he wanted to be as fast as his hero, the car Lightning McQueen. “It’s hard to accept sudden changes like that when you have autism. So I had to take the day off work to do my own sports day with him.” He said he had disagreed previously with the school over provision for Jacob, who is likely to move to another school next year. He added: “Because autism isn’t a physical, visible disability, I feel people with autism aren’t accepted the same way.” He said he had been encouraged by the response from other parents after he shared his experiences on Facebook, with many shocked by what had happened. Headteacher Linda Gibson said: “This was an entirely inappropriate suggestion made almost two weeks ago that neither myself nor the class teacher were made aware of until after the event. “We have a clear policy that all of our children take part in sports day and I have taken steps to make sure this can’t happen again. “I am really sorry for the upset this has caused and I am meeting personally with the family together with our Chair of Governors to discuss their concerns.” Liverpool is trying to become one of Britain’s first autism-friendly cities, with many city institutions and businesses taking measures to properly support people with the condition. Source: Liverpool Echo
  8. How do Members with travel with ASD and Aspergers

    As may this: What's the perfect holiday length?
  9. Why did the stories (in the second half of the survey) use American spelling and vocabulary? We Brits fill up with petrol, not gas.
  10. (Not written by me) Finland is offering free trips to people in need of happiness lessons By Katherine Martinko For three days this summer, a local host could show you why their country consistently ranks among the happiest in the world. For the past two years, Finland has been named the happiest country in the world. Its citizens are relaxed and cheerful, enjoying life in a progressive, technologically advanced society, without becoming overly stressed. The Finns themselves attribute this to their connection with nature and their instinct to go outside whenever anxiety rears its ugly head: "When others go to therapy, Finns put on a pair of rubber boots and head to the woods." Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Well, I have some exciting news. You, too, could learn how to live like this, taught firsthand by Finnish 'happiness guides'. A curious project called Rent a Finn, organized by Visit Finland, will send a select number of guests to live in Finnish households for three days this summer, during which they will experience life as the Finns do – and hopefully find their inner calm. All travel and accommodation costs are covered, but you must be willing to be filmed throughout the experience. As a guest, you will experience "anything from visiting a national park to spending a weekend fishing at a real summer cottage, berry picking in the wilderness, enjoying a proper Finnish sauna – basically all the things that we Finns love to do in nature and what makes Finland the happiest country in the world." Hosts include Esko, mayor of a small town near the Arctic Circle in Lapland, who will take you boating and teach you to play mölkky, a Finnish throwing game. If you stay with Hanna, an IT professional, you'll travel to her grandmother's lakeside home outside Helsinki, where you'll pick blueberries, eat traditional pastries, and hang out in the sauna. Linda and Niko live on Utö, Finland's southernmost island in the Baltic Sea with a population around 40. They'll take you sailing through the archipelago, show you the lighthouse, and camp out on an islet. How do you become one of the lucky few? Now is the time to apply by filling out an online application form and filming a 3-minute video describing yourself, your connection to nature, and why you want to visit Finland. Submit, breathe deeply, and wait with your fingers crossed. I know what I'll be doing this weekend... Source: Treehugger Closing date: 14 April Quote Edit
  11. This other thread may be of interest: Finland is offering free trips to people in need of happiness lessons
  12. I am on a research team at the University of Wolverhampton (UK), and I am conducting an online study testing whether people with autism may have a strength when it comes to recognizing cartoon and animal emotions. All participants have a chance to win a £50 Amazon gift card (this can be used on the US Amazon as well).If you have autism and are interested in taking this completely anonymous, online study (~30 minutes) please follow the link below. https://wolverhamptonpsych.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9pq3kjuzZ7wq36R
  13. Can't take it he needs to go

    That was quick, they've rung me lovely lady had a nice talk. Things have settled again now but we do need to put things in place. She's suggested that I get him formally diagnosed with a learning disability so I've rung my gp they ring me for a telephone consultation in 2 weeks, she says we could do with knowing if his behaviours are down to the autism alone or if there's also a learning disability along side. The lady who rang is going to speak to me next week once she's investigated a few things. It was so nice to let it out all my worries over his future as I'm getting older you just become aware of your mortality and the what's going to happen to him. I love him, he's our son I feel so guilty that at times I could scream and run away that I could boot him out just to be free of it to be normal again.. But I'm human and some days are bad days. Feeling more positive. He's away for 2 days with the mencap. So I'm able to re charge.
  14. My son now 25 went to a main stream school with a statement for one year at 5 and it was a nightmare, I was constantly down there going over his needs ect ect long story short we sent him to a special school best decision we made.. We no longer had issues like your haveing where teachers weren't aware ect... Whilst at mainstream our son was allocated 15 hrs a week with a support worker.. Does your son have that.. Does he have a statement.. If he's not got a statement I found to be blunt teachers talk the talk but actually don't have to do anything... I'd complain to the head the goveners and if you get no joy go higher. Not the same but last year I'd a friend had issues with a school and her daughter who has adhd similar thing no one passing on or acting on Info we went to the local news and told the school that's what we would do... They soon sorted out the issue
  15. Son is 15 now. Hes had "issues" for around two years but only got formally diagnosed last october (I guess we all know what CAMHS are like). CAMHS at the time sent the letter to school also. We've had various conversations over the years with the school with various head of years etc. For instance, he has a bit of a toilet thing so they let him use disabled toilets. They did also sort out counselling with a person that came to the school. Fast forward to last week. School parents evening. NONE of his teachers knew he had been diagnosed. Had a chat with the Special Needs teacher. Sat next to her was a lady who I remembered. So I mentioned son to her - never heard of him, not aware. Her assistant had and had arranged the counselling sessions (but obviously had not told her colleague). I asked why they hadn't informed his teachers - not seen the letter. Turns out the letter arrived at the school last October and has only now been seen by the Special Needs lady. Nice one. Even then only because I mentioned it at parents evening. She phoned today and was really rude. Not her fault apparently and, anyway, we should be grateful that a meeting has now been sorted in MAY between CAMHS and the school. This should all have happened 18 months ago! Surely a Special Needs teachers job is to read letters from CAMHS about the pupils? Otherwise I can't see the point. They have been useless. Whats the best way to complain? To the governors? MP? Council?
  16. Can't take it he needs to go

    They've rung me back apparantkt I've to be referred to the enabling team first to see what we can do to help him become more independent.
  17. New member wanting some advice!

    Good it does make a difference when it comes to getting help, applying for benefits and as I'm finding now accessing supported living.
  18. New member wanting some advice!

    Thanks for the reply. His app was 1st March and he got his diagnosis x
  19. New member wanting some advice!

    My son now 25 didn't get his diagnosis till he hit 20 so I hope you get yours sooner. The physcologist asked loads of questions very specific ones going back to his early years, I'd to attend around 4, 3 he sessions but on our first meeting and with in 15 minutes she said he's very autistic but I've to go through the tick sheet. It is hard to remember everything but I'm sure your memory will trigger once you start. Good luck
  20. Can't take it he needs to go

    Spoken to adult social care they'll make the referral for a care assessment and start the ball rolling towards him living away from home. I'm just so drained with it all can't believe I've spent 25 years dealing with this seams like yesterday I first posted on this forum, never imagined it would reach this stage.
  21. Teenager out of control and violent

    Feel for you my sons 25 a nightmare I can't take it anymore so no advice I wish I had, it gets worse as you get older weaker ect and they get stronger and bigger
  22. He's 25 six foot 1 and 17 stone I'm now 50 husbands 56 I can't take anymore of his, aggression and total unreasonable behaviour his holloring shouting slamming doors stealing out of my purse trashing our bedroom I'm sick of it all he's got to go, I'm ringing social services last year I called but was talked into not persueing supported living due to him being better of at home blah blah yes he's better of me and my husband aren't I want my life Back I can't take no more of this sh*t. He's barricaded in his room thank god. I feel guilty but I'll get over it.
  23. National Apprenticeships Week 4 - 8 March 2019

    (Not written by me) Sunday 3 March 2019 23:57 McDonald's kicks off National Apprenticeship Week with 750 apprenticeships Michael O'Dwyer Michael is a financial journalism student at City, University of London. McDonald’s will today announce more than £2m worth of apprenticeship opportunities for new and current employees in the UK this year, making use of the government’s apprenticeship levy. The fast food chain plans to create 750 new apprenticeship spaces in the UK. McDonald’s promised last summer that it would employ 43,000 apprentices in Europe by 2025. Read more: Apprenticeship levy bashed by UK businesses The announcement coincides with the beginning of National Apprenticeships Week, which runs until Friday. McDonald’s, whose UK apprentices range in age from 16 to 58 years old, has been providing apprenticeships in the UK for 12 years. It said that 80 per cent of its apprenticeships are currently held by people already working for the company. “We strongly believe in the combination of workplace training and studying with practical experience to help people progress and develop,” said Harriet Hounsell, McDonald’s UK’s chief people officer. The positions on offer range from entry-level roles to a business management degree apprenticeship with Manchester Met University. Apprentices will be paid a “work-equivalent salary” to the job they are doing, rather than the minimum £3.80 an hour apprentice rate of pay. Read more: Rising international sales give boost to McDonald's shares “I am thrilled to see such ambitious plans from McDonald’s,” said Anne Milton, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships. “Apprenticeships offer people a high-quality route to skilled employment with the option to train at every level,” she added. “You get paid while you train and can start a great career in a huge range of professions ranging from business to hospitality.” Source: City AM
  24. This week (4 - 8 March 2019) is National Apprenticeships Week. You can search for events near to you here.
  25. ADHD and ASD

    How ADHD and ASD relate to each other?
  26. (Not written by me) Sweden's surprising rule for time off The country's unique leave of absence system helps workers launch their own business. Can it be replicated elsewhere? By Maddy Savage 6 February 2019 Jana Cagin had never thought about running her own company until she and her fiancé had “one of those lightbulb moments” while out shopping for a new sofa at Ikea in a Stockholm suburb. They felt that the range of legs available was too limited. After scouring the internet failing to find suitable alternatives, they came up with the concept of developing their own brand of replacement furniture parts, designed to help buyers put an artistic stamp on new flat-pack furniture purchases or ‘upcycle’ existing home staples. “We were just struck by this idea and it really made us so passionate,” she explains. The couple began by running the venture in their spare time. But according to Cagin, it was being able to take a leave of absence from her job as an organisational psychologist that really enabled things to get off the ground. “We started finding suppliers, getting a lot of press, starting building the website,” she explains. The company was also accepted into an acceleration programme for startups, which offered coaching, workshops and mentoring. “If I were to work during that time I wouldn’t have been able to join, and it really helped us to believe in our idea.” Meanwhile, knowing that she could return to her old role if things didn’t pan out alleviated some of the financial risk, especially since her partner was a freelancer in the creative industries. “I’d never seen myself as an entrepreneur, so being able to have that kind of security and something to fall back on, I think that played a pretty big role.” She didn’t go back to her old job. Six years after that “lightbulb moment”, which happened when Cagin was just 31, the couple’s e-commerce business now offers decorative door knobs and cupboard panels, as well as legs for a range of different furniture types. It operates in 30 countries and has six full-time employees. A legally enshrined right While not all new companies become so successful, Cagin’s experience taking time off from fixed employment is far from unique in Sweden. For the last two decades, full-time workers with permanent jobs have had the right to take a six-month leave of absence to launch a company (or alternatively, to study or to look after a relative). Bosses can only say no if there are crucial operational reasons they can’t manage without a staff member, or if the new business is viewed as direct competition. Employees are expected to be able to return in the same position as previously. “To my knowledge this is the only country that offers a legally-enshrined right to take a leave of absence for entrepreneurship,” explains Claire Ingram Bogusz, apost-doctoral researcher in entrepreneurship and information systems at Stockholm School of Economics. “You meet a lot of people who’ve got permission from their employer to start up something in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with their employment, and once that business is up and running, then they take a leave of absence to see if they can actually make a go of it,” she says. “It’s very common, particularly among highly-skilled entrepreneurs who build high-tech firms.” Max Friberg, 31, who runs a software platform, is one of them. He chose to take a leave of absence from a global consulting firm rather than quit his job, even though he had been working on the project in his spare time for over a year and says he was confident his idea would take off. For him, losing the competitive advantage and “social status” he’d worked for years to achieve was as much of a concern as financial insecurity. The possibility of unpaid leave greatly eased some of those worries. “I had this fantastic job. I had been working very hard throughout university to get it and while at the job to keep it and to advance,” he explains. “I was questioning myself: ‘am I doing something crazy?’ But feeling that I could go back took quite a bit out of that scariness.” The secret to innovation? Sweden, with a population of just 10 million, has developed a reputation as one of the most innovative countries in Europe in recent years. The most commonly-cited reasons its start-up scene has grown so quickly include strong digital infrastructure, a culture of collaboration and affordable private unemployment insurance, which provides a larger social safety net than in many countries. Measuring exactly how much the right to unpaid leave has contributed to this is tricky. While the trend – particularly in the tech scene – has been observed by academics, unions and employers alike, there are no national databases that break down how many people registered to take a leave of absence start a business. But what the figures confirm is that rising demand for all kinds of leaves of absence (including paid parental leave) coincides with growing numbers of Swedes starting their own companies. In 2017, 175,000 25- to 54-year-olds on leave were registered, compared to 163,000 in 2007, according to Statistics Sweden. The registration office for Swedish companies, Bolagsverket, says 48,542 limited companies registered in 2017, up from 27,994 in 2007. So what can the rest of the world learn from Sweden’s unpaid leave system? According to Claire Ingram Bogusz, the trend for taking leave to start a business needs to be viewed in the context of the Nordic country’s notoriously strict employment laws. These have traditionally made it harder for bosses to fire staff than in many countries. She argues that it might encourage some employees to stay put once they have the security of a substantive role. “People don’t easily relinquish that [permanent] job once they have it,” she says. “It’s maybe analogous to owning a house or an apartment. Once you own it, you don’t just give it up easily.” Samuel Engblom, head of policy for the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees, explains that the government, unions and employers in Sweden have supported the right to take time off as “a way of promoting mobility in the labour market”. “Most employees hesitate to leave a job that they perceive as secure for something as insecure as starting a business,” he says. “Maybe it’s quite a Swedish view – I mean, you could promote entrepreneurship by making it more profitable, and we do that to some extent, but you can also promote entrepreneurship by making it less insecure.” Ting Xu, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia whose work focuses on entrepreneurial finance, argues that increasing the right to unpaid leave could play a crucial role in fuelling entrepreneurship, even in countries with much more flexible labour markets. He cites a 2016 study by Failure Aversion Change in Europe (FACE) Entrepreneurship, a European project designed to help would-be tech entrepreneurs break the barriers generated by fear of failure. It found that while financial risk was the top concern, career risk came a close second. “The fear of losing a stable professional career if their start-up fails is a major thing holding many people back,” he argues. “Many countries subsidise financing to entrepreneurs. However, reducing career risk can be just as important, and is often ignored by policy makers.” Although his own research focuses on parental leave, rather than unpaid leave, it provides rare empirical data to back up this idea. Xu was part of a team that looked at a reform that extended job-protected parental leave in Canada from a few months to a full year in 2001. They found that women eligible for more time off were more likely to be entrepreneurs five years later that those who gave birth before the change. “This result is strong evidence showing that when we remove career risk it can actually spur entrepreneurship,” he concludes. Are there any down sides? Some observers argue it might be more difficult for employers outside Sweden to allow workers to return to their old roles after taking time off to run a business. These workers could face discrimination when it comes to future career prospects or salary. However in Sweden, this kind if prejudice is against the law. “For someone to have gone out and tried something new and had that opportunity and come back isn’t actually seen negatively. It’s seen neutrally at best, and probably even positively, because then the person has said, ‘oh no, this job is what is actually for me’,” explains Ingram Bogusz. She argues that Sweden’s entrenched focus on work-life balance is a “huge contributing factor”, which might not be relevant in other places. “In Sweden, people are expected to have a balance in their employment – not just in terms of balancing their personal lives, but also balancing other things that are of importance to them or mean personal growth for them. Starting a new business could be [part of] that.” Jessica Petterson is among those currently making the most of this approach. The 30-year-old is wrapping up a period of unpaid leave that she’s spent launching a virtual assistant product for charities. She has decided to return to her permanent job at a non-profit organisation, and to pursue her entrepreneurship more slowly on the side. “I don’t make enough from my company to support myself, and I want to buy an apartment quite soon. So that’s why I need to go back to my old job to get a steady salary every month,” she explains. “They [my managers] are really happy with me going back. They’ve given me some other projects to work on so that I won’t feel as ‘stuck’ as I was before.” However, Samuel Engblom at the Swedish Confederation for Professional Employees points out that while many employers share this positive attitude toward unpaid leave, others can struggle with the administrative and financial challenges linked to covering a worker’s responsibilities while they are taking time off. “For the employer, it means losing someone who knows the job. Especially in situations where there is a lack of skilled workers in a field, this of course can be problematic,” he says. He suggests these challenges could be exaggerated in countries with less stable economies than Sweden. A new future? Of course, both the advantages and challenges of unpaid leave are only relevant when employees have permanent positions in the first place. While the vast majority of Swedes are in stable jobs, there has been a shift towards temporary employment and the gig economy in recent years, which has largely affected younger workers. In 2017, almost 50% of 16- to 24-year-olds and 18% of 25- to 34-year-olds were in temporary work, up from 44% and 14% in 2009 respectively. “It is a problem that Sweden faces as well as many other countries in the world: this polarisation of people with permanent jobs and those who don’t,” says Ingram Bogartz. “For gig economy workers and freelancers... leaves of absence don’t actually affect them, and it creates additional distance.” Swedish lawmakers are monitoring the trend closely. A government committee was recently asked to investigate how more security could be provided for these kinds of workers. Meanwhile, the right to unpaid leave for permanent staff shows no sign of being revoked. Several unions have even struck collective agreements with employers that expand workers’ rights to unpaid leave by offering them 12 months off to try starting a business, instead of the standard requirement of six months. What is vital for all Swedish entrepreneurs to remember, according to Ingram Bogartz, is that whether or not they have the right to unpaid leave, starting a business remains risky. “The general downside of moving from permanent employment to entrepreneurship is true here in Sweden as in anywhere else. You go from a stable [job] and often quite decent salary to unstable and probably a much lower amount of money,” she explains. “But a leave of absence means you can have the best of both worlds: the security of a job that’s not going anywhere, and time off to pursue what’s important to you.” Source: BBC Capital
  27. Posted about him many times I'm sure....15 now, big lad. Got a diagnosis of Aspergers.Not sure if its related to Aspergers or just general bad teenager behaviour. Like most he doesn't listen, makes a mess, is moody and stroppy. Normal I guess. One thing is he generally believes hes so hard done by and thinks we pick on him. In all honestly, he gets away with murder.We try not to get into arguments with him. We warn him then we remove PC priveleges. But he wont take and gets VERY aggressive. He just cannot control himself. In the past, hes been violent towards me.Today, after some typical lazy behaviour that he'd been warned for, he got a 1 day ban. Then he got in my wifes face in a very threatening way. Thing is he would have been back on there by tommorow but hes made it 1000x times worse now.Hes a big lad. What do I do here? Yes understand teenagers can be a nightmare but surely being aggressive towards your mother is just a bit too far.Ultimately, I can see me calling the Police one day and getting him arrested. How to deal?
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