A must read article for anyone interested in autism…
PLOS NTDs co-Editor-in-Chief Peter Hotez lists the key scientific papers refuting the myth that vaccines cause autism I have a unique perspective on the recent headlines surrounding vaccines and their alleged links to autism. I serve as President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to vaccines and immunization. In that role I am director of its product development partnership (PDP) based at Baylor College of Medicine – the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, which makes vaccines for neglected tropical diseases – a group of poverty-promoting parasitic and related infections – including new vaccines for schistosomiasis, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, among others. But I’m also a father of four children, including my adult daughter Rachel who has autism and other mental disabilities. These two parts of my life place me at an interesting nexus in a national discussion of autism and vaccines. My position is
Peter Hotez is co-editor-in-chief of the journal PLOS NTD (Neglected Tropical Diseases), is an expert in vaccination. Here are his qualifications:
Prof. Peter Hotez MD PhD is professor of pediatrics and molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine, where is also Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair in Tropical Pediatrics, and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine. He is also the President of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.
An illustrated account of yesterdays Musical Keys session at the Scout Hut, Beulah Street.
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).
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…
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…
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.
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…
A brief post about last nights autism friendly performance of Cinderella at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn.
Welcome to this post about last night’s autism friendly production of Cinderella at the Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn last night. I was there because NAS West Norfolk, of which I am branch secretary, had lavished some of its money on tickets for the evening – in total some 120 people who are either autistic themselves or were accompanying autistic family members took advantage of the opportunity. No photographs today, because the Corn Exchange forbids photography in the auditorium.
Yesterday was a working day for me, and heavy traffic on the way into King’s Lynn in the evening left me with less turnaround time than I would have liked. Nevertheless, I got to the venue, which is very close to my flat, in time to take my seat, although entering the building at 6:25 for a show starting at 6:30 is not the sort of timing I generally aim for!
WHAT IS AN AUTISM FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE?
An autism friendly performance means that the lights in the auditorium go down rather than right off for the show, that there are no sudden loud bangs or other noises etc. For more about autism friendly performances and how they can lead people to enjoy regular performances please visit this post.
THE SHOW ITSELF
The autism friendly aspect of the show was not the only adaptation the cast had made – they infused this fairy tale with some local colour which was extremely well received. The ugly sisters had us all laughing with their moaning about the inadequacy of King’s Lynn shops. Another good locally themed joke was in a journey scene when mention was made of “making up time once we hit the A47” – anyone who has travelled along said road, which was most of the audience, realised that this was the single most fictional line of the night!
Some of the special effects were superb, the acting was excellent, and it was an excellent evening.
A link to petition that needs more signatures, plus links to the supporting information. Some pictures, a few thoughts about the recently concluded test match and a couple of extra links.
I will be covering other stuff as well, but I am giving top billing to an autism related petition.
EDWARD TIMPSON MP MAKE BRIGHTON & HOVE DISTRICT COUNCIL CEASE ILLEGAL SECTION 47 SS INVESTIGATIONS
Here is the petition – main link is in the infographic:
Here is the opening paragraph of the petition:
Too many LAs are conducting illegal S47 child protection investigations and traumatising families. Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting at least one such an investigation right now against an innocent autism family (my own – autistic parent with autistic children), which indicates a pattern of behaviour is likely, as it wouldn’t be a one-off incident. Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting this investigation on the basis of entire autism ignorance (towards parent and children) and illegal disability discrimination. How can an autism parent perform their usual superhero job whilst being put through this trauma? LAs behaving illegally must be stamped out.
Here are links to all the updates that have been posted on this petition:
You now have access to all the information I have seen about this case and should know what to do. If in signing this petition you mention me and this blog I will receive an email notification telling me that you have signed.
After a large chunk of text it is time for some pictures. There are some from yesterday and some from today:
A TEST MATCH SETTLED BY A COIN TOSS AND A DISASTROUS 49 MINUTES
Test matches are scheduled to last for five days, and this one made it deep into the fifth of those of five days. India beat England by 246 runs and are to be congratulated, although as the title of this section suggests they were helped by good fortune. Winning the toss meant that they got to bat when the pitch was at its easiest. England’s disastrous 49 minutes occurred on the second evening, when they surrendered four wickets to end that day on 103-5 in reply to 455. Of the five wickets England lost that day only Cook got a really difficult delivery – the others assisted in their own downfall.
Facing 405 to win or 150 overs to survive on an increasingly difficult pitch England were never in the hunt, and the dismissal of Joe Root for 25 was the death knell, leaving the lower order to fight it out for as long as they could. Haseeb Hameed showed great concentration and determination at the top of the order before one shot along the ground to pin him LBW (a genuinely unplayable ball).
Virat Kohli demonstrated his skill with the bat, amending a decidedly dodgy previous record against England with scores in this match of 167 and 85. The latter was an innings that made it look like the match was taking place on two different pitches – at one end everyone else was struggling in the face of an excellent bowling performance from England, and at the other Kohli met every ball with the middle of his bat.
England showed enough to suggest that this series is not a lost cause, especially with three matches still to play.
A COUPLE OF LINKS TO FINISH
First, a petition on 38 Degrees calling for the scrapping of the ‘Sovereign Grant’ (I would prefer to scrap the Royal Family outright, but at least making them pay their own way would be a move in the right direction).