November 2015

Hospital closures The number of hospital beds for people with learning disabilities and autism will be halved in England, the NHS has announced. It is a response to the abuse scandal exposed by the BBC at Winterbourne View and will see patients "live in homes, not hospitals". More

Autism rides the waves Surfers for Autism returned for their fifth annual Gulf Coast Beach Festival, and Fort Myers Beach was once again transformed into an oasis of acceptance and inclusion. More

Champion wins prize Author Steve Silberman has won the £20,000 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for his book about autism.
The judges said Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently was a "tour de force" of journalistic and scientific research. More

Have autism need job The transition between adolescent to adult is a difficult process for anyone. It can be even more challenging for individuals on the autism spectrum, especially when it comes to finding a meaningful vocation. More

Seeing and hearing? More and more research seems to suggest that the difficulties with communication and social interaction that are central to autism might well have their roots in sensory differences. More

Parents path to school success Dorothy Gallagher recounts the small steps that helped her son negotiate school. More

Hair hero Sometimes a haircut can be a sensory step too far for youngsters on the spectrum. Here’s how one determined barber approached the problem. More

Age and autism Focus on childhood research means that many older adults with autism today may not have been diagnosed and risk having their autism mistaken for mental illness or dementia. More

Eye on autism Researchers at Washington State University say that a simple eye exam may assist in predicting a diagnosis of autism earlier than is currently possible. More

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October 2015

How social? Social understanding and social motivation are NOT absent in autism! They vary a lot though. Take a look at the social skills profile tools on the Resources page of our site. More

Support our senses! Do not miss the forthcoming courses we are running around the UK this November - Positive Sensory Approaches for Autism. More

Attention diagnosis A new study finds that the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can significantly delay the recognition of autism in children. More

Get the message Here’s a really great video project that you could replicate to help spread the autism acceptance message. Simple but effective. More

Get ‘appy As you know we are a bit TabletTastic and enjoy running courses on how tech can help folk with autism. Well don’t just take our word for it. More

It’s a Dad’s life Get this really great book - Chasing the Rabbit. It’s about the challenges faced by one dad bringing up his son with autism and one boy’s challenges growing up with Dad. More

Social work and autism The Department of Health have published new guidance for adult social workers on autism. The guidance is designed to be used by social workers at all levels, from front line practitioners to senior social workers, social work supervisors and managers, to support them to deliver the best outcomes for adults with autism. More

Ask an expert Don’t miss this chance to put questions about autism to Professor Francesca Happe. Simply visit this page on Tuesday 20 October 2015, 12.30-1.30pm GMT.

Can my iPhone find autism? Apple are funding Duke University research team to look at whether the front-facing camera on an iPhone can be used to detect signs of developmental issues at a much younger age. More

Don’t lose sight A two year collaborative project has shown that educating autism practitioners in vision awareness has increased access to eye care and improved day-to-day support services for people with autism and sight loss. More

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September 2015

Only accept Fifteen years ago, when Steve Silberman broke the story of Silicon Valley’s autism ‘epidemic’, he saw it as a problem. Now he’s changed his mind and has published a book about understanding and accepting autism More

Get a move on Children with autism are having to wait an average of three-and-a-half years before diagnosis, experts claim. More

Which way for diagnosis? What’s the most reliable way to know if your child has autism? Is it a genetic test? Or are more traditional behavioral assessments, which measure talking and social skills, more accurate? The latest research provides some answers. More

... and as we are talking diagnosis, don’t miss our ADOS2 course coming up in November More

Peer support Watch this great video which is designed to help peers understand kids with autism. More

What cause? Over $1bn has been spent in just ten years, chasing the elusive ‘cause of autism’. What if it doesn’t have one? More

Girls with a story Imagine feeling different in a world of 'normal'. A ground-breaking new book looks at what life is like for girls with autism. More

Speech and language angle Multiple blogs focus on autism but special educator Catherine Pascuas takes a new approach to sharing insights and resources. Check out her interviews with Speech and Language professionals. More

Coming to terms “I was diagnosed with autism in my 40s. I had no support, and spent a year weeping with regret for what felt like a train wreck of a life”. More

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August 2015

Making a meal of things School meals can be tricky. Now, thanks to a remarkable Brazilian chef, one west London school for children with autism has changed mealtimes for the better More

Autism buzz Vance Kanell and his sister, Jenna entered a national competition called The Disability Film Challenge, where competitors have just 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film. Thier film ‘Bumblebees’ is a story about Vance, who has autism doing something he has never done More

Bullying The effects of bullying are not confined to the child who is experiencing it. Families caring for a child with SEN often face a unique combination of emotional, social, physical and financial pressures, and the additional stress of having to deal with the bullying of a child can be considerable. More

Am I on the spectrum? A self-assessment test for autism has been developed by psychologists at Cardiff University More

ADOS2 Training ADOS-2 is the latest revision of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and has been adapted to anticipate the changes to the diagnostic definitions of DSM-5 . The ADOS is the most widely used observational assessment in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, for both clinical and research purposes. It is often described as the “Gold Standard” research assessment for autism More

Approaching sensory Positive Sensory Approaches for Autism is a great new course presented by Richard Hirstwood and Chris Barson with lots of sensory ideas for your school, home or centre More

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July 2015

Starting out right Early intervention for toddlers with autism may improve their intellectual ability and reduce autism symptoms years after originally getting treatment, according to a new US study. More

Rules for autism Small things can have a massive impact on how a person with autism feels in an appointment. Here one blogger gives his golden rules for social care professionals. More

Nose for autism The way children sniff different aromas could form the basis of a test for autism, suggest researchers in Israel. More

Hans, history and an epidemic that wasn’t Decades ago, few paediatricians had heard of autism. In 1975, 1 in 5,000 kids was estimated to have it. Today, 1 in 68 is on the autism spectrum. What caused this steep rise? Watch this Ted Talk by Steve Silberman. More

Be an environmentalist Take a look at this checklist for autism friendly environments. More

Words that work with autism
There is no single term that everyone prefers to describe autism. However some recent research shows a shift towards more positive and assertive language, particularly among autistic communities where autism is seen as integral to the person. More

Face science How the brain recognises faces is (like a lot of perceptual science) still a sketchy area. We know it can be a problem in autism. Read this article about how the latest imaging experiments are helping us to see how people see faces. More

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