I saw an advertisement today that was promoting a talk by an autism expert, a man who has an autistic son. A few days ago I saw a link to the website of an autism expert who is a psychologist and researcher. Last week I saw a short video explaining autism made by an autism expert who teaches about autism at a University. The week before I saw series of infographics made by an autism expert who is an author and counsellor to autistic people.
Each time I saw these things, I wondered what it was about the people who are such experts on autism that actually made them experts. So today I’d like to discuss: who is an autism expert and why are they experts?
I’d like to start by thinking about what makes a person an expert on a subject- any subject- just generally speaking.
This is an example of why Erin Human is a firm favourite of mine. This post has wonderful title: “Diversity is Beautiful“. Below is a screenshot of the feature infographic. I urge all of you to visit the original and read the accompanying text.
NAS WEST NORFOLK OFFICIAL POST ABOUT THE TENTH ANNIVERSARY
Our vice-chair Rachel Meerwald with some input from the rest of the committee created a post for our website about this event, which you can see here. Below is a screenshot of the end of the piece (my reasons for choosing this section will be instantly apparent!).
I am planning a major blog post for tomorrow morning, but there are a couple of things I wish to share now.
HERITAGE OPEN DAY
Heritage Open Day 2017 is on Sunday September 10, and as usual many King’s Lynn buildings will be opening their doors for the occasion. This year I will be among the volunteers. I will be stewarding at 11-13 King Street between 12 and 2PM. Here are a few pictures of the place taken today:
A WARNING FROM AMERICA
There is an online magazine called Autism Parenting Magazine. Amy Sequenzia, a very well known autistic person and autism advocate has had a very bad experience with them recently, as has one of her friends. I found out about this from americanbadassactivists, who put up a post linking to Amy’s original, which appears on the Autism Women’s Network. As someone who is both autistic and heavily involved witha charity that helps autistic people I am shocked by the attitudes and behaviour of the people who run this online magazine. Below, in screenshot form, is some of the detail from Amy’s piece:
A POSITIVE ENDING AND PHOTOGRAPHS
I always like to end my posts with pictures, but before I do here is a link to something much more positive than the last piece I linked to. This piece, from Science Whysis titled “We Are Family” and it ends with a wonderful quote from Maya Angelou: “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
A personal account of NAS West Norfolk’s 10th anniversary celebration garden party.
Yesterday saw the celebration of NAS West Norfolk’s tenth anniversary. We had a garden party in a quite magnificent garden in Castle Acre which we had been very generously allowed to use for the occasion. Here as a reminder is the poster we used to advertise the event:
MY ROLE IN THE CELEBRATIONS
As branch secretary of NAS West Norfolk I was involved in running the event – I helped to set things up at the start and with the clear up at the end. As an autistic person I was also delighted to take part in the event in between times.
These gardens are truly amazing – this is where the original fortified village that adjoins the castle was located, and at one point there is a steeply sloped bank that leads down to a section of the old town moat. There are some amazing plants and grasses in these gardens, some excellent garden sculptures, a pond with ducks of various breeds and dragonflies around it, many fowl which run free and a swimming pool the excellence of which I can personally vouch for having spent an hour there. Near the pond is a summerhouse which was our designated Quiet Area (an absolute necessity at events for autistic people, or if you want autistic people being comfortable attending your event). There was also a house that was open to the public in which cakes (some baked by our wonderful hosts and some by members of our group), raffle prizes and such were set up.
The hosts had provided a few games for us, and one of our members brought along a swingball set as well.
Once the set up had been accomplished there was plenty of time to enjoy the day, and it went excellently. For me the magnificent setting was one half of a superb equation, the other being autistic people enjoying themselves without worrying what anyone else was thinking because everyone present had some sort of connection to autism, and therefore some degree of understanding. Everyone present was at least at the ‘Understanding’ stage of the Awareness-Understanding-Acceptance-Appreciation line. I was regularly taking photographs except for the hour I spent in the swimming pool and we had a photographer from Your Local Paper present as well. The raffle prizes were presented by the Mayor of King’s Lynn.
A post focussing on me giving a radio interview. Some mention of a roller-skating session and of the current test-match. And of course some photographs.
The title part of this post refers to one of the things I did yesterday. I also have some pictures to share.
AN AUTISM CENTRED MORNING
Of course, as branch secretary of the National Autistic Society’s West Norfolk branch and an #actuallyautistic person there is a way in which autism is always at the heart of what I do. After three days carrying out my concatenation of roles at a James and Sons auction (operator of the system that enables us to take online bids, database administrator, query fielder, in-house ‘Gordianus’, occasional customer service person – see here for a full account) I had a day on which my only preset commitment was to supervise a roller-skating session at Lynnsport between 11 and 12. In the absence of direct confirmation of a time that would be convenient to speak to Ashleigh at KLFM 96.7 (our local radio station) about our upcoming 10th anniversary I decided that I would set off early for Lynnsport and see if I could speak to her on the way or as a fall-back arrange to call in on my way back.
Ashleigh was able to fit me in straight away, and the interview went well (she will be sending me both a recording and an online article that will accompany the actual broadcast), and I left for Lynnsport with my spirits high – I had helped myself, advertised our upcoming 10th anniversary event and due its connection with the foregoing also made mention of our gardening grant and the allotment on Ferry Lane + plans for a sensory garden in part of the plot. It is because of this gardening stuff that we gained the use of the magnificent garden where our 10th anniversary celebration will be held.
The roller-skating passed without incident and I was able to listen to some of the action from the third test-match (even assuming I had both the ability and the willingness to pay the Biased Bull****ting Conservatives £150 per year I would choose to follow cricket by listening to radio commentaries rather than watching on TV). Yesterday was truncated by rain, but England have had a good day today – first reaching 353 largely thanks to a magnificent innings from Stokes and now bagging a South African wicket before tea – debutant Toby Roland-Jones breaking through.
Some details of the evnt planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of NAS West Norfolk.
Both the poster, and the facebook event that I have screenshotted and linked to are the work of NAS West Norfolk vice-chair Rachel Meerwald. Something about this may well be going out on our local radio station – I am at least half-expecting to visit them on Blackfriars Street this Thursday for that purpose (I am as my regular followers will be aware both branch secretary and #actuallyautistic).
POSTER AND FACEBOOK EVENT
I will start with the poster:
The facebook event is more detailed, and hence required two screenshots. A left-click or its equivalent will take you to the event in question, while a right-click or equivalent will enable you among other things to view the images individually and at full size: