A magnificent post from the Neurodivergent Rebel...
An account of the 2018 Launch of the National Garden Scheme prefaced by the Autistic Bill of Rights and a petition to save Morley House Respite Unit.
This post in entirely autism focussed, so the text is in #RedInstead. I will build up to the account of the 2018 Launch o the National Garden Scheme, which will occupy most of the post. First, to set the scene for all the follows, stimtheline’s Autistic Bill of Rights:
SAVE MORLEY HOUSE RESPITE UNIT
Morley House Respite Unit plays a vital role in the lives of many autistic people and their families in the West Norfolk area. It is now facing closure. Jessica Kibble, a volunteer with NAS West Norfolk, has created a petition on 38 Degrees against this planned closure. At the moment, less than two full days after launch there are just short of 600 signatures, which is a respectable start, but we need more. Below is a screenshot of the petition homepage, and by clicking it you can sign and share the petition:
THE 2018 LAUNCH OF THE
NATIONAL GARDEN SCHEME
NAS West Norfolk have an allotment/ sensory garden in West Lynn for which we received a grant from the NGS. As beneficiaries we were invited to be present at their 2018 Launch Eventm which took place today at Houghton Hall.
For various reasons the only person able to be present on behalf of NAS West Norfolk was me. Being represented by one person is not ideal, but with that one person being me it did ensure that there was some genuine autistic presence at the event.
The arrangement was that I would catch a bus from King’s Lynn to the point at which the road from Harpley joins the A148, where I would be collected by car and driven up to the hall (many thanks Julia for making the arrangement and Gus for collecting me). I had initially being thinking in terms of the 8:45, arriving at the Harpley turn at approx 9:10 if it runs to time, but last night following a suggestion that this was too early I changed plans to aiming for the 9:45 bus, about which I had certain misgivings (through long experience I have developed Diogenes-esque levels of cynicism as regards British public transport running to time).
I was at the bus station with everything I needed in good time, and, mirabile dictu, the bus arrived when it was supposed to. That unfortunately ended the good news. At Gaywood, rounding the curve near the clock tower, an impatiently driven lorry got too close to the bus and damaged one of the external mirrors. The driver had to inspect the damage to see how serious it was, and that was over ten minutes gone with no prospect of any it being made up in the rest of the journey. Fortunately, my delayed arrival at the Harpley turn was not sufficient to actually make me late for the start of the event (10:30), but it was a closer thing than it should have been.
There was a table for me to set up the NAS West Norfolk display board, leaflets and some of my own personal cards, and refreshments were laid on for free (I consumed some of the sausage rolls, which were excellent, and some ginger cake, and also, having been invited to do so, took some more cake away with me).
Marie Curie Cancer Care were present as major beneficiaries of the NGS, and there was a display showcasing a sensory garden in the Dereham area. Julia, gracious host of our 10th birthday Garden Party, introduced the speeches. There were four speeches by people from Marie Curie Cancer Care, and at the end Lord Cholmondeley (pronounced as ‘chumly’), owner of Houghton Hall, said a few words.
In her role introducing the speeches Julia had very kindly mentioned the NAS West Norfolk presence, and many people came to the stall to find out more. Of course this was delightful, but it was also challenging (though I am fairly confident that the only person present who knew just how challenging I was finding it was me). Our branch chair Karan had hoped to be present for the last stages of the event, which would enable her to give me a lift back and to collect the display board for Friday, when a visitng speaker will be giving talks on autism and puberty at a venue near the Hardwick Industrial Estate (unless something else intervenes I will be present for the evening talk). She arrived at about quarter to twelve, which gave me an opportunity to look at the gardens.
The journey home had a delayed start, because the field in which visitors cars were parked proved to be too muddy for most of said vehicles to handle. Karan’s car was one of those that needed a tractor-assisted start (I will endeavour to remember this next time I find myself travelling behind a slow-moving farm vehicle!). One underway however, our return journey passed without incident.
A brief account of Musical Keys and some bird pictures.
Saturday was a music day, and I have plenty of pictures to share from recent days.
MUSICAL KEYS – THE KORG
These sessions are organised for the benefit of autistic people, so before I get into the meat of this section here is stimtheline’s magnificent Autistic Bill of Rights:
The Korg is a very sophisticated machine (for classical music enthusiasts it looks a 21st century version of a clavichord, but it does so much more). I will let the photographs tell the story (I got most of these by playing with my left hand while using the camera with my right FYI):
BIRDS OF ALL SIZES
We start with the largest bird to be a regular feature of life in Britain – the mute swan:
Next we come to a much smaller species, which I have not previously captured on camera, a little wader called a turnstone (I seem to recall that a few years back The Lynn News had a columnist who used Turnstone as a nom de plume):
Further along the Great Ouse and on the side of the river were a few specimens of a larger bird that is not a regular sight in these parts – the greylag goose:
We end with a couple of cormorant shots:
Some of the best recent autism related finds, a solution, a new problem, some photographs, and an omission rectified.
I have various things that I want to share, and some new photographs, but I start with…
RECTIFYING AN OMISSION
In my earlier post “England Win ODI Series 4-1” I made a brief mention of India’s triumph in Johannesburg. In doing so, and crediting their bowlers for closing it out so effectively, I failed to mention one of the key performers, Jasprit Bumrah. My apologies to those who expected to see him mentioned in that context (as he certainly should have been) and of course to the man himself.
SOME AUTISM RELATED SHARES
Regular readers will be aware that when writing about autism I put the text in #RedInstead. Also, I have made a decision that every time I am going to be sharing new stuff to do with autism I will open the section by reminding people of stimtheline’s Autistic Bill of Rights:
Some of you may recall a post I put up titled “Autism Acceptance Months“, inspired by Jennifer Lisi. Well I have recently received a couple of outstanding comments on that post that I wish to share with you:
- From Anna, who just for the record is allistic (portmanteau word for people who are not autistic – not all allistics are neurotypical, though all neurotypicals are allistic), and I ask people reading the comment, which I quote in full, to bear in mind that she is Swedish, writing a comment in English:
“I wait for the lapwings turning up here, but they usually doesn’t show up until Spring. I think you are right about the acceptance and I will add respect too. I haven’t met one autistic or aspie that are no less human than any one else. All humans are equally different 🙂“
- And from Rebby, who is autistic, and a newcomer to aspi.blog (very warmly welcomed):
“…Also I agree. I like to ask for acceptance rather than awareness. Awareness is something Autism $peaks kicked up to make the public “aware” of how “monstrous” we are. In truth we are people like everyone else and we deserve to be treated with respect.“
Following on from those comments, and on a similar theme here is a post from Autism Mom, originally from April 2016 which she recently shared on twitter, titled “AUTISM RESPECT – THE BEAUTIFUL OTHERNESS OF THE AUTISTIC MIND“
As many of you already know I was diagnosed as autistic at the relatively advanced age of 31. Thus I recognize a lot of myauthenticmind’s post “(Old post) Growing Up With Undiagnosed Autism.” It is a beautifully written edit of an old post from her other blog and merits close attention.
My last links are to an important petition which I signed a while back and have previously shared, and an accompanying article, both of which were brought back on to my radar by Eve Reiland of International Badass Activists:
- The petition, on change.org, is a call to make “autistic cures” illegal in the UK. This is because….
- …As the accompanying article makes clear such “cures” include the enforced drinking of bleach.
Also of course, autism does not need to be cured, autistics need to be treated with consideration and respect. I have stated here before, and reiterate it now, that even if 100% guaranteed cure fior autism became available I would not take it – there is no such being as ‘allistic me’.
To end this section with a little snippet of more local news: The National Garden Scheme’s Norfolk Launch for 2018 is taking place at Houghton Hall a week on Wednesday, and since we have an allotment/ sensory garden NAS West Norfolk have been invited to be present. I will be their representative (sadly no one else can make it, but as I have said on other occasions if we are to have only one representative it is least bad that that representative should be me so that there is a genuine autistic presence).
PUZZLES AND SOLUTIONS
Here is the answer to last week’s problem:
Now, again from brilliant, here is another problem:
Sharing some of the best recent finds from the internet, and also some of my own photographs.
I have some bird pictures to show you from earlier today, and also a lot of fabulous pieces I want to share with you. I will start with the sharing and finish with the pictures.
I start with a gem from whyevolutionistrue, titled “An open letter to Charlotte Allen, an ignorant, evolution-dissing writer“, which takes the person it is addressed to to task for a poorly written, ill-informed (indeed virtually uninformed) article.
All the rest of the pieces I am sharing with you have to do with…
I start with a piece from a blog which is new to me, anotherspectrum, and a piece title “I am atheism“. The piece tackles a particularly vile commercial put out by anti-autistic hate group masquerading as autism charity Autism Speaks, the title of which was “I am Autism”.
My third autism related share comes with a challenge attached. It is Autism Mom’s piece “THE CONFUSION OVER THE LITTLE WHEELCHAIR” which tackles a problem that the recognised symbol for disability reinforces – the assumption that disability always means physcial disability. The challenge is this: can you come up with a replacement symbol for disability that acknowledges the full range of disabilities? If you create a post about your idea, linking back to this post, and I am impressed by it, I will reblog you.
I end this section with a reference to The Autistic Bill of Rights. The success of the original post on this theme from stimtheline has resulted in a shareable image from the same source (I printed one out at the library today), reproduced below:
Please follow my example in sharing this as widely as you can!
INFOGRAPHICS AND PHOTOGRAPHS
For the first time in its 154 year history Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack has a woman on it’s front cover. Anya Shrubsole who bowled England to victory in the 2017 World Cup is the woman thus honoured:
Identifor produced this gem earlier today
Finally we come to my photographs…
The Autistic Bill of Rights post that I made earlier has gone over so well, that I thought making an image of it would be a good idea.
These ten “amendments” cover what I see as the most important issues facing our community right now, although these all come from my experiences, which I recognize are not universal. I’d love to get more voices involved, and to put together a community approved Bill of Rights, so if that’s something you’re interested in. or would like to share with a wider audience, please contact me!
Links to some of the best pieces from today, includign several about autism, a solution, a problem and some photographs.
This post is divided into three main sections – a sharing section, because there has been some truly outstanding stuff come to my attention today, a problems and solutions section and some photographs.
For the rest of this section we will be using shades of #RedInstead because all these pieces relate to…
I have already reblogged stimtheline’s magnificent Autistic Bill of Rights, but I take the opportunity to point you all in that direction once again, complete with a jpg of the suggested Bill of Rights…
My remaining shares in this section are all from a new find…
Not many people have produced three full-length posts in the space of a day that I am eager to share, but this blogger has managed it with the following:
- Think Different, on of the best pieces I have ever seen on the theme of embracing one’s diversity, in this case neurodiversity.
- The Nuances of Discrimination, which deals with protecting autistic people from discrimination, and is an absolute must-read.
- Is Autism a Disability? A wonderful post which tackles head on some of the ways in which the conversation about autism is currently cooked against us from the start. I quote the closing lines of the post as an appetiser:
It’s a label that holds me down and pushes me into a box I can’t escape from.
Give me some new words to define me.
Or better yet, let me define myself.
A SOLUTION AND A PROBLEM
First, a solution to the problem I posed on Saturday in “Failing to Convert“:
Here is Hamz George’s explanation of why this is so:
Yes, Charlotte, you were right.
A NEW PROBLEM FOR YOU TO TACKLE
Another one from brilliant…
Although not as dramatic as a few weeks back, The Walks, King’s Lynn’s best known park, is still somewhat lacustrine, which has led to it receiving a most unusual visitor – an Oystercatcher, a wading bird which would normally visit a park and for which King’s Lynn would be the extreme South of its possible living area…
As you will see there were a few other fine birds on show today…