April 2014

Training is vital
Supporting people with autism is something we have to learn about. It’s often less intuitive than other areas of education, health or social support. Training can be a financial headache for organisations so why not develop some home-grown talent and do you own training? Find out how. More

Early start
Scientists say they have new evidence that autism begins in the womb. Patchy changes in the developing brain long before birth may lie behind autisms characteristics. More

What do we look like? Take a look at the video of our Big Autism Play Day to see us in action. More

Life as we know it Two parents discuss what life is like when you have a child on the spectrum. More

Let’s network Here’s an interesting new social network site for autism. More

What could we do together? Co-production or parents and planners working together to develop services, is a powerful way to get provision that really meets needs. More

Women on the spectrum Autism is less common in girls than in boys because their brains are more "resilient", research suggests. DNA errors need to be more severe in girls to cause neurodevelopmental conditions, according to a large study. More

Tate Date Late last year Tate Britain opened its newly renovated galleries and learning spaces to the public. We forgot the lot! invites children and young people with and without Tourettes to reinvent, transform and claim the new displays of 500 years of British art at Tate Britain. More

More capacity for understanding Staff working in health and social care need to be aware of the Mental Capacity Act and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, and an Ombudsman’s report a couple of weeks ago highlights this. More

Autism and siblings Some 17 percent of younger siblings develop autism and another 28 percent show other types of delays in development or behavior, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. More

Good books Every so often we get some really great people to review some great books. You’ll find them all here on our site. Go on, treat yourself to some holiday reading this Easter. More

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March 2014

That’s NICE quality NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in the area of autism services. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. More

Why don’t you do the training? We love delivering training that’s active, visual and fun but we also love supporting other trainers both new and old to make their training the best it can be. Come on our Training for Autism Trainers course. More

Environment matters Adults with autism often live in environments that do not take account of their different and unusual responses to sensory input. If it were easier for them to express their sensory preferences, then families and service providers may be able to create housing that meets individual needs and aspirations. More

Sad loss The developmental psychologist Elizabeth Newson, who has died aged 84, challenged the orthodoxy of her profession by emphasising the importance of observing children at play and of involving parents in assessments of their behaviour. More

When family life is different Read this article and find out what life is like for families affected by autism. More

Mirror clearer Mirror neurons are said to help us interpret other people's behaviour, but this has yet to be shown convincingly in experiments. Now a study that briefly disabled these cells might give a better idea of what they do. More

Express it! Singh Tattal - also known as the "Pen-Tacular-Artist" now finally understands his obsessive tendency to draw pictures for hours on end. It is a common characteristic associated with the autism spectrum. More

I will share! If you help that is. Well that’s the message in a fabulous new book for kids who find sharing hard - and for kids who find it hard when other kids won’t share. More

Join the anti-bullying campaign Cyber-bullying has to be stopped. Watch this video about why it is such a problem for people with autism. More

Noisy research Why do some people on the autism problem have big problems with noise? Take a look at some new research. More

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February 2014

Big Autism Play Day Learning to look at things from the child's point of view is going help us to get play and communication going in kids on the spectrum. Play and learning are the same thing. When kids are playing they are using, combining and developing skills such as movement, thinking, attention, seeing, listening and, of course, communicating. Kids with a skill gap in any of these areas are going to have a harder time playing and learning. Join us at the Big Autism Play Day to find out More

Sounds out of sync Why do some children and adults with autism find certain sounds so uncomfortable? Recent research at Vanderbilt University may have shed some light on the problem. Watch a video about the project.

Anti-Bullying Why not change the law to really protect vulnerable disabled people from all forms of bullying? Watch a campaign video. More

Take it outdoors How outdoor education might be key to good outcomes for some kids inn the spectrum More

Breaking news Autism Speaks has launched a toolkit to help communication with families about diagnosis. The guide is accompanied by videos on the importance of feedback, preparing for the feedback session, providing the diagnosis, as well as recommendations and next steps. More

Really, really happy? Are you happy with the SEN reforms? The UK Government says you are... More
And what do young people with SEN think about the draft code?

Teaching teens with video Can video-based teaching help teens with autism learn important social skills. More

Early Memory and Autism Why do many people with autism have prolific and vivid early memories? More

Help in mind Researchers believe they have developed a psychological technique that improves the mental wellbeing of children with autism - through an activity that invents tiny characters the kids can then imagine are in their heads helping them out with their thoughts. More

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January 2014

Early Memory and Autism I have to admit that like a lot of NT folk I don’t remember much about childhood - the odd school yard trauma, seaside holidays, tree houses etc but that’s it. Most of it’s blank. However many people on the spectrum have vividly detailed memories of early childhood More

Face to forget What causes some people with autism to find recognising people by their face difficult? I have a friend who says she tends to remember people by their type of footwear. It’s easier for her than faces. More

Connected! and how There has been a theory (and we must remember that most models for understanding ASC are exactly that just theories) that revolves around differences in connectivity. Folk with autism seem to have the same brain regions as neurotypicals and pretty much the regions behave the same way. But, so the theory goes the brain regions may connect differently. Here’s a link to a slightly new finding about brain over-connectivity More

Give some credit One thing our students on the spectrum can do is work hard. But do they always get the same plaudits on completion of school or college efforts? More

Girls have it Do women on the autism spectrum have a slightly different mix of the core characteristics that define ASC? Download a recent paper on autism, gender and social skills More

Care crime Almost half a million older and disabled people in the UK have lost access to care services in the last five years More

Make me a friend A child inviting another to play can improve reciprocal social interaction among children with autism, according to a Vanderbilt University study released in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. More

Just talk film The award-winning 'Talk' portrays a society in which non-disabled people are a pitied minority and disabled people lead full and active lives. Jonathan Kerrigan, of BBC's 'Casualty' fame, plays a business executive whose negative preconceptions of disability are dramatically shattered. More

More on mental health As part of an ongoing theme of posts on meeting mental health needs within autism services, and needs relating to autism within mental health provision, download this article about a screening tool More

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December 2013

Beating bullying We all know what a bully is. We all know what it is like to be bullied. Yeah and sometimes, when we are really honest, we can think of times in our lives when the bully was ourselves. Thing is, bullying and at least teasing are experienced at some point by just about everyone. It is always inexcusable but most folk have the resiience to deal with it. However if you have autism, statistics show you are more likely to be bullied and the ‘hurts’ run deeper and last longer. More

Louder than words Take a look at these documentary photos taken by Timothy Archibold who is an artist and has a son on the spectrum. More

Apple a day helps with language We have been contributing to the great “iPad and SEN/Autism” courses run by Hirstwood Training for a couple of years now. Good news is research seems to show real benefits attached to the tablet technology. More

Letter to my Husband… who has autism Read this really moving article that appeared last month in the Guardian newspaper. More

How special? Real concerns have been raised at a specialist school for autism. More

Torrent of talent Specialist skills and abilities are not the sole preserve of a few people at the very able end of the spectrum. They are there in every individual. Our job is to find ‘em and help harness them. For tech innovator Bram Cohen some things are hard and some are easy - just like it is for everyone with autism. More

Us or them We are all trying to figure out how to help youngsters and adults with autism learn things. Things to aid choices, independence, expression and more. But in doing so how often is it the case that we learn from people with autism. it’s a two way street you know. More

Go on - its Christmas! Why not give someone you know a really useful gift this year? That’s right. The Positive About Autism Newsletter. More

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