Autism Acceptance Month

Setting the scene for Autism Acceptance Month, explaining why the original title, Autism Awareness Month is no longer acceptable. Numerous links and photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post is by way of setting the stage for April, which starts tomorrow after all. As well as my own stuff this contains links from other autism related sources. The title of the post begs a question…

WHY NOT AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH?

There are two parts to the answer to this question:

  1. The original title is tainted by its associations. A very large organisation which I shall not name (think blue jigsaw pieces though) which presents itself as an autism charity but should be treated as a hate group uses this name. Although I am separated from this organisation by the width of the Atlantic Ocean I am a thoroughgoing internationalist and therefore stand in solidarity with autistic folk across the pond and refuse to use the tainted title.
  2. Even aside from being tainted the title is not fit for purpose. Awareness by itself means precisely nothing. I have created a simple graphic showing how things needs to progress from the basic starting point of awareness:
    AUA
    It is from that final goal of acceptance that the alternative title, coined across the Atlantic for reasons I have already stated, and gratefully adopted by me, comes. I have chosen white text against a purple background for my graphic because purple is the colour used by the National Autistic Society (NAS), and I am branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk.

SOME AUTISM RELATED LINKS

I start with this section with a link to a very detailed listing of blogs by people who are #actuallyautistic. To view this valuable resource in full please click on the screenshot below:

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Next up is a piece from Eclectic Autistic titled “Wrong Model, Wrong Research”. This piece attacks what the author calls our society pathologizing difference and I recommend that you read it, which you can do by clicking on the title above.

Now we come to one of the pieces that inspired this post. It was created my mamautistic, and has the title “Being Autistic is Everything – Autistic Acceptance” and you can access it by clicking the image below.

Next we come to a good news story from the Irish Times. Shannon Airport has become the first airport in the world to open a sensory room for the benefit of autistic passengers. For the full story click on the graphic below which is taken from it.

Ryan Cunningham (4) from Gaelscoil Donncha Rua, Shannon tries out Shannon Airport’s new sensory room.  Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/True Media

We now come to a special subsection of this sharing section of the post…

A SILENTWAVE SMORGASBORD

The silentwaveblog has played a major role in inspiring this post, with one post in particular, the last of the three I shall be sharing, virtually setting the creation of this post in motion. 

  1. This piece, titled “The Double Edged Sword of Labels in the Autistic World”, is quite simply the best analysis of the rights and wrongs of labelling that I have ever come across. It also ends with a splendid vision of a future that may just be within reach. To read in full please click on the image below.
  2. Next we have “The problem with the OWN channel’s ‘For Peete’s Sake’ reality show“, which is an excellent critique of a newly launched TV show. This show may (being charitable) have been created with the intention of being part of the solution but it is quite clear from silentwave’s analysis that poor/ absent research plus maybe a bit of laziness has turned it into part of the problem. Click on the image below to read in full.
  3. The post that I regard as having pushed the starter button for this one was put up the day before yesterday and is titled “Update, March 29: what I’ve been doing lately & Autism Awareness Month“. I posted a comment in response to it when I first saw it, and the enthusiastic response from silentwave to that comment prompted to me to expand on it here. To read it in full please click on the graphic below.

THE FINAL SHARE: A VIDEO

This video, called Amazing Things Happen, has already been viewed almost 2.5 million times. Having seen it on facebook I offer you this link. Below is Amazing Things Happen’s own description of the video:

Amazing Things Happen

An introduction to autism that aims to raise awareness among young non-autistic audiences, to stimulate understanding and tolerance in future generations.

It is intended to be viewed, discussed and shared widely by anyone but especially teachers and parents.

PHOTOGRAPHS: A MEETING OF TWO SPECIAL INTERESTS

Regular followers of this blog will be well aware that I always like to include some of my own photographs somewhere in my posts. Since this post is by way of being an introduction to Autism Acceptance Month I decided to theme this section created from one of my special interests, photography, around another, railwayana. You will note the use of the phrase “special interest” in preference to “obsession”, with the latter having negative connotations. Similarly it is preferable to refer to Autistic Spectrum Conditions rather than Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Here are those pictures…

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This was given to me by a work colleague (four images).

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These are the pictures I took of lot 369 and said in my previous post that I would be sharing them on here. I omitted to capture the text for cards 41-50, but otherwise this gallery is complete and has some close ups as a bonus.

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You will notice that having started with British cards this set also has some international ones.

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EgPalpics
The first of eight close up pictures, each of which features two cards. Only one of the four pairs of cards chosen for this treatment is British.

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Undergroundpics
The only British trains to merit a close-up in my gallery.

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I end this piece with another showing of the graphic that appeared in the introduction and then a final message:

AUA

ENJOY AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH!!

Autism, Work and Links

The launch of a new facebook page with NAS West Norfolk connections, a bit about yesterday at work and some very interesting links.

INTRODUCTION

For the benefit of new readers it is worth reminding people that I am both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic. Although the the National Autistic Society (NAS) has some paid staff at its London HQ branches are run by volunteers and branch money comes exclusively from fund-raising. This post therefore starts with some news from NAS West Norfolk that I consider worth sharing before continuing with a bit about yesterday at work which will include pictures and ending with some interesting links.

THE LAUNCH OF A NEW FACEBOOK PAGE

NAS West Norfolk’s Sports Co-ordinator, Grant Cotton, creator of the Autism Awareness Cup, has created a new facebook page to link all his activities. It can be viewed by clicking the image below:

YESTERDAY AT JAMES AND SONS

Yesterday was devoted to imaging as many of those lots for the March auction that were not yet images as possible (a catalogue for this auction, taking place on the 27th, 28th and 29th of March, can be viewed here). Most of the imaging I was doing yesterday was of coin lots. Here some pictures…

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This is lot 248 – a seven image gallery for you to look at

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This is lot 249 – a four image gallery.

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From here until lot 124 we are looking at hi-res scans. Although I produced my usual three-image galleries for these coins with on exception I am sharing only the main image.

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The exception – this New Zealand florin from 1934, where I choose to show the close-ups as well.

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Lot 124 – the last of the scans
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Lot 108 – the packaging indicated that three of these coins were special, so I did close ups as well as the main images

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The close ups

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Lot 107 – this time the packaging suggested that two of the coins deserved special attention, so they got it.

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The close ups.

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Lot 222
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Lot 223. This horrible plastic tub did not have a lid, so I rehoused the lot in a nice wooden box with a fully functioning lid (I did a ‘meringue’ style test on it, turning it upside down with the coins inside, making sure that it was not too high above a flat, clear surface when I did so).
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Lot 224.

LINKS

Most of these links are science related, so to clear the decks I shall start with the exception. This comes courtesy of Skwawkbox, and is a devastating indictment of Theresa May and her ‘sweetheart deal’ with Surrey County Council. I agree with the Skwawkbox assessment that this should be considered as resignation matter. As another blogger, Mike Sivier, put it when commenting on this same issue: “a turd by any other name would smell as faecal and this one sgtinks of big fat lie”. To read the Skwawbox piece click here.

SCIENCE 1: FROM LIVESCIENCE

Two very different pieces from the same source here. The first deals with small things (specifically spiders), the second with something very large (a nebula).

  1. Wolf spiders having threesomes (yes, you read that right). Female wolf spiders are noted for eating their mates after copulation, and it may be that if two males tackle the same female there is more chance of one of them not being cannibalised. For the full story please click on the image below:
  2. This piece is about the discovery of a huge new nebula and the attendant mystery of what its light source might be. For the full story click on the image below:

SCIENCE 2: WEIT (WITH AN ASSIST FROM YOU TUBE)

It is no great secret that I am a huge fan both of Jerry Coyne’s books (Why Evolution is True and Faith Versus Fact) and of the associated blog, whyevolutionistrueThus I am delighted to share with you the fact that a video series on  chapter one of Why Evolution Is True is now being created. Episodes 1-3 are available to watch (and highly recommended by this blogger!), and according to WEIT’s own piece about the series there are two more episodes to come (yay!). I have embedded the videos below (they run in sequence) – enjoy!

NAS West Norfolk Just Giving Page

Announcing NAS West Norfolk’s Just Giving page, and sharing a few other interesting and important bits.

INTRODUCTION

I have a few other links to share as well, but this will be one of my rare posts not to feature any photographs. 

THE NAS WEST NORFOLK
JUST GIVING PAGE

This was discussed and agreed on at our branch committee meeting yesterday, and is now ready for viewing. To see the page itself please click on the screenshot below:

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TWO PIECES WITH TRANSPORT LINKS

The first of these two pieces is a campaign run by We Own It titled We Want Buses for People not Profit. For more please click the screenshot below:

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My second piece with transport connections is an article by Patrick Barkham, a well known writer on nature, published in The Guardian, about a piece of road-building that is in the pipeline and if allowed to go ahead will be incredibly damaging to the environment. The development is planned because the road in question struggles to cope with the traffic that uses it. However, extending roads (as is planned in this case) or building new roads is proven not to alleviate this type of problem – it just generates even more road traffic, with attendant problems of noise, pollution and the destruction of sometimes priceless nature and habitats. Why is there so much traffic on Britain’s roads? Because our public transport system is a complete joke – and that is where attention should be devoted. To read Barkham’s article please click on the image below:

Shrill carder bee

FOR AN ELECTED UPPER HOUSE

There have been recent damning revelations about the conduct of certain members of the House of Lords. The single most damning incident caught be a fly-on-the-wall documentary was of a certain peer who arrived by taxi, told the driver to keep the engine running, went into the house to trouser his £300 daily attendance allowance and then got back in the taxi. This has prompted the Electoral Reform Society to launch a petition calling for an elected upper house to replace the Lords. To view and if so inclined sign and share the petition click on the screenshot below:

electeduh

ALWAYS #HELP TO GET HOME

This is a campaign launched by the NAS nationally. Full detail about the campaign is available here. There is a petition running as part of this campaign which you can access by clicking on the image below:

 

An Expert on Pathological Demand Avoidance is Coming to King’s Lynn

Announcing an important meeting that will be happening in King’s Lynn.

INTRODUCTION

NAS West Norfolk have arranged a half-day event featuring on expert on Pathological Demand Avioidance.

THE EVENT

I have a screenshot of the official flyer for the event and a link to the original PDF…

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Visit Dr Dyer’s Website

THE LOCATION

This is the Duke’s Head Hotel, where the event will be happening:

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Some Autism Related Events

Information about various autism related events coming up in the future, plus a few extra links.

INTRODUCTION

I have a few other things to share as well, but the focus of this post is on some information I have just received by way of NAS West Norfolk.

EHC MEETING – MARCH 1ST, WISBECH

This came to me formatted as a word document – and as well as the screenshot below I have included a link to the original:

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FAMILY VOICE – NORWICH MARCH 18th

This event is taking place at the John Innes Centre, which is located close to the University of East Anglia, a little outside town (though there are regular bus services from central Norwich to UAE). Below the flyer I have included a screenshot from google maps.

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THE AUTISM AWARENESS CUP 2017

This is taking place on June 4th, at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club. For more information, and/ or to support by the event by liking and sharing its facebook page click the image below:

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature

WITHIN DAYS OF A SUPREME COURT RULING A BUS DRIVER FLOUTS THE LAW

Not long ago a case involving one of Britain’s leading bus companies went to the supreme court, where it was established that bus companies, and by extension bus drivers are legally obliged to grant access to wheelchair bound passengers. Therefore, this story from disabledgo about an incident in Wakefield where the driver not only refused to allow on a wheelchair bound passenger but then allowed/ encouraged passengers to blame the wheelchair user for the subsequent delay looks even worse than normal. 

TRANSPORT IN THE FUTURE

This next piece comes from indy100.com. To read it please click the image below:

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THE LATEST ADDITION TO MY WEBSITE

This piece, titled “Big Wheels Old and New”, showcases seven of the lots going under the hammer at James and Sons’ next auction, which feature the Gigantic Wheel that stood at Earls Court between 1895 and 1906, while also mentioning the London Eye. Click on the picture of lot 1286 to view my piece and the picture of lot 1295 below it to view a full auction catalogue:

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SAM HARRIS ON TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN

Earlier today I featured a superb post by Heather Hastie on this subject. Sam Harris, distinguished author of many fine books such as “The End of Faith”, “Letter to a Christian Nation” and “The Moral Landscape” has produced his take on this issue, which you can read here.

 

Musical Keys

An illustrated account of yesterdays Musical Keys session at the Scout Hut, Beulah Street.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday was a Musical Keys day for me and others associated with the NAS West Norfolk branch. Attendances were somewhat affected by the fact that an autism friendly event was also taking place at Norwich Castle. This post briefly covers the session I attended, from 4PM to 5PM (as usual there had been an earlier session for the younger ones).

GETTING THERE

I left my flat a little earlier than usual, opting for the Bawsey Drain route. I was carrying a guitar with me to donate to the group always assuming that it could be restored to usable condition (it was a long time since it had last been used). I picked up a few pictures along the way…

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THE SESSION ITSELF

John who runs the sessions confirmed that he could make the guitar usable again (it would need new strings but was still capable of generating good sound). Once the session started I found myself using a computer program called Scratch to generate notes. Each note is assigned a numerical value by the program, and you the operator then assign each of these numerical values to a button on the keyboard…

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My screen once I had assigned one octave worth of notes to various keys – this works on the ‘click and drag’ principle – the orange tabs at the top describe events, and the purple tabs describe sounds.
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The full list of numerical note values.

The default instrument is a piano, but there is a range of some 25 instruments available – I eventually settled on clarinet as my instrument of choice. There are then a whole range of other options available, such as programming the cat to move while you are playing notes and even it draw lines as it moves. Here are a few more pictures.

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I very much enjoyed this session, and I think this makes an excellent addition to real instruments. Although it was dark by the time I walked back, just before leaving I spotted an eight-legged friend…

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I got three images of this spider…

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Gaywood & The Rookery

An account of a walk that took in Gaywood & The Rookery. Also some mentions of autism related matters to top and tail the post.

INTRODUCTION

Those of you who read my post on Wednesday about preparing for the Positive Autism Awareness Conference that NAS West Norfolk are having on April 15th will recall that I noted the entrance sign to Gaywood & The Rookery. Today I got back there for a proper look…

GETTING THERE

I followed the same route as I had on Wednesday, but this time with no time constraints. I caught a glimpse of a Muntjac (thank you Helen for the ID) but this one proved too elusive for me to photograph, although I did see a few things worth photographing…

GAYWOOD & THE ROOKERY

I ventured in, and was delighted by the place. I will let the photos tell the story of this amazing little piece of woodland that is within walking distance of the centre of Norfolk’s third largest town…

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HOMEWARD BOUND

I had left Gaywood & The Rookery by a different path from the one I entered it by, and now headed home by a different route, save for a very short stretch of path to the bridge over the railway, and thence through the Hardwick Estate, and ultimately on this occasion back to the town centre by way of the river (I could also have gone by way of the cemetery and the parklands).

AUTISM AWARENESS

A bit disconnected from the rest of this post I know, but I have an infographic to share to remind everyone that April 2nd – 8th 2016 is World Autism Awareness Week (courtesy of patienttalk.org)

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