April 2016

Sailing on the spectrum “It's not plain sailing by any means and being a parent of an autistic child while wanting to help your child and going through the process of diagnosis into this unknown world can be, and is, very scary.” Read a great blog by Jo as part of the National Autistic Society - Too Much Information campaign. More

Eye gaze finds New findings about where children with autism look during conversations could lead to changes in programmes designed to help them, researchers say. More

Easy as AAC Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is one of the most important strategies we adopt to help kids and adults with autism, especially with difficult behaviour. Or put it the other way… Good communication strategies really help limit frustration and this has a positive effect on behaviour and happiness! If you missed our webinar then you can watch it on YouTube. More

Great (Sensory) Story Sensory stories are a brilliantly simple resource: they are stories that use concise text, which is great for individuals who struggle to process language. Not having to cope with lots and lots of words means you have more time to focus on and understand their meaning. The stories are usually under ten sentences long. Each sentence is paired with a sensory experience that represents the meaning of the sentence. More

Garden and grow Gardening has the potential to empower those with autism, building their confidence to cope with the outside world. More

Parenting from inside autism For Dena Gassner, a mother of two, being diagnosed with autism at 38 years old was a game-changer. “It doesn’t define me, but it explains me... I’ve been able to see how my autism affects me, and I’ve been able to adapt for it,” she says. More

The E word We may have been wrong about autism and empathy. Or at least explained it poorly. People with autism make moral decisions in a similar manner to those without the condition, according to a new study. Difficulties with certain “mind reading” abilities doesn’t mean folk on the spectrum are without feelings for others! More

No party for students How to help autistic students succeed at university? Campus life can be particularly challenging for those with autism, but there are simple steps academics can take to reduce anxiety and confusion. More

Work waste Globally, the United Nations reckons that 80% of those with autism are not in the workforce.These numbers represent a tragic human toll, as millions of people live isolated from the world of work. More

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March 2016

Viewpoint: 'Children see a person not a disability’ Read this really thought provoking blog about how children and adults ‘see’ disability differently. More

Smells like success! Everybody loves a good coffee and one barista with autism is making the news as well as great java “Sam really stood out to me when I actually met him. He told me one of his dreams – he wanted to be a barista and I tried to make that happen”. More

Difficult age Many older people have lived a life with undiagnosed autism, leading to isolated and neglected lives in the community. Can they depend on social care to understand? More

Tough call Take a look at this survey of people on the spectrum who have had phone interviews with the Department of Work and Pensions about benefits. More

Don’t judge “As I watched this conversation unfold I was struck, once again, by the disconnect between what most of the world believes about autism and Autistic people and the reality”. Emma Zurcher-Long is a thirteen-year old Autistic girl living in NYC. She is a public speaker, writer and likes to sing on stage. Emma applauds those who have found, or are in the process of finding, their individual voice, as she has through typing. More

Respite fight Short breaks are among the most fundamental services for supporting families with disabled children. They provide a lifeline for many families, helping to hold them together and preventing them from reaching breaking point. More

Lives uncovered When Rashmi Becker had to step up and care for her autistic brother she had no idea it would lead her to a PhD at Cambridge University, but after a two-year project capturing the real lives of people with learning disabilities she is committed to help improve the treatment they receive. More

Play has it Preschool teachers may be able to play a significant role in helping kids with autism improve their language and social skills by using a play-based intervention called Joint Attention Symbolic Play Engagement and Regulation, or JASPER. More

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March 2016

It’s childs play! Well actually responding to the unique play style in autism is far from easy. Learn more and explore resources on the Big Autism Play Day. More

Thinking sensory, learning sensory
That’s what kids on the spectrum do so that’s what we’ll be doing on these great sensory awareness days. There’s one near you so come along. More

Great sister - great app
A 12-year-old girl was inspired to develop an app with her friends thanks to her sister, who is on the autism spectrum. Eashana Subramanian said she noticed how having a routine was important to her 9-year-old sister, Meghana. More

Same for girls?
Well it’s still an area that needs some hard research - do girls get a different style or blend of autism? Take a look at some recent research. More

Swift response Taylor swift has helped one young fellow on the spectrum try a therapy dog. More

Brain explained We might think we know the brain but we probably know more about the solar system! Here’s a piece of science that moves our understanding of the brain and autism a tad further forward. More

Training downer Specialist autism training for social workers declined in the year before Care Act reforms. The proportion of local authorities with 75% of assessors trained up in autism fell last year, finds Public Health England report. More

Help police Police officers should be helped to show greater sensitivity and awareness when dealing with autistic adults, according to a groundbreaking study that found most had never had any training on the condition. More

One life Folk on the spectrum are living their autism one day at a time. Follow Imogen’s story. “Having high functioning Autism and Tourette’s just makes life just a little bit difficult and interesting”. More

Good nights behaviour Many children with autism have difficulty sleeping and new research suggests that such nighttime troubles may be directly tied to behavioural issues. More

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January 2016

Making waves
Autism and sporting excellence. Here’s a bunch of great young people with autism going against the tide of low expectation. More

What’s in a name? Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. More

Take care
Children who are sentenced to a period in secure care are automatically categorised as looked-after children (if they were not before), not prisoners. Therefore, they should expect the same level of care and protection as all children in our care system. More

Sound sense "The sounds of our lives change our brain, in our lab, we investigate how our life in sound changes the brain, and how different forms of enrichment or decline influence how our brain processes sound." Nina Kraus. More

Lots more ideas and resources at the Big Autism Play Day - coming soon!

Early diagnosis Donald Grey Triplett was the first person to be diagnosed with autism. The fulfilling life he has led offers an important lesson for today, John Donvan and Caren Zucker write. More

Gender gap Autism is much more common in males than females. Leading researchers talk about their recent work into understanding the sex/gender differences in autism on this podcast. More

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December 2015

Get active This book looks like a really good read for anyone who wants to give a person with intellectual disabilities that elusive thing - ‘A Better Life’. More

Beans means... Jobs. Well maybe. A Long Island mom is changing perceptions about people with autism, one bag of coffee at a time. More

Family findings There just isn’t enough research into the effect of autism on families. So a new study in Wisconsin is welcome. Parenting a child with a developmental disability involves challenges and rewards that are unique to each family and prior research has shown that parents of a child with a developmental disability tend to experience greater marital stress compared to peers raising typically developing children. More

Horse whispers Temple Grandin has plenty to say about a new equine therapy centre - ‘It will become a place…that shapes the way professionals, students, practitioners, and the healthcare industry look at the value of horses in therapy.’ More

Trying too hard? “I feel as though many of our autistic kids can never escape from this idea that they must always be being corrected; must always be being taught; must always be building on skills; must always be attending therapies and classes; must always be being “consistently disciplined”; must always remember every second of every day that they are autistic and that they have so much to learn, so far to go, so much more that they need to be” - Parent. More

In love with autism A documentary focusing on how people with autism experience love and manage romantic relationships is set to appear on PBS. “Autism in Love” will air on the network’s “Independent Lens” series in January. The film, which debuted earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows four people on the spectrum as they seek out and maintain relationships. More

Hair help A great idea! Open a salon for people with additional needs to get their hair cut in a low-stress environment. More

Christmas play
Well after Christmas actually. It’s back - The Big Autism Play Day! Check out dates in early 2016. More

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