Autism Events IV: Saturday in London Part 2

Takes my story of the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo up to the end of the first of the talks that I attended.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the fourth post in my Autism Events series. This is Part 2 of my coverage of the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo which took place at the Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University. For those joining the series at this point the previous post are:

  1. Autism Events I: Norwich
  2. Autism Events II: Norwich part 2
  3. Autism Events III: Saturday in London Part 1

This post will cover the remainder of the stalls at the event and the first of the talks that I attended.

AROUND THE HALL

This is a story that will be told largely via photographs…

Autism Heroes

autistic artwork
Autistic artwork.

fidget bed

Oojamabobs
Yes folks – a whole stall devoted to selling fidget/stim toys.

Aspie and me

OT Practice

PAUL ISAACS TALK

Paul is autistic himself, and his talk was both informative and inspiring. Notice that as with the Autism Anglia event in Norwich this event gave autistic voices lots of opportunity to be heard. Here are some pictures from this talk. 

Meeting room I
Because of the shape of the meeting room it was equipped with two big screens, one for each half of it.
Paul Isaacs talk
Paul’s talk on the screen.
Ready to go
Paul ready to start his talk, while event organiser Anna Kennedy watches from the corner. She kept all the speakers informed as to how they were doing timewise.
Paul Isaacs
Paul Isaacs speaking

Fruit salad approach

Early years

Autism Fruit Salad

Asperger and Autist brains
Autistic and Aspergian traits.

Brain close-up

Aspie traits
Close up of the Aspergian traits list
Autie traits
Autistic traits close up
Aspinauts
The ones in the middle
Personhood
Although I choose when using such descriptions to refer to myself as an autistic person, with ‘person’ coming after ‘autistic’ I am with Paul in asserting my personhood.
Pauls Books
Paul’s considerable output.

Positive Autism Awareness Conference

An account of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference staged by NAS West Norfolk yesterday at the Duke’s Head Hotel, King’s Lynn. Read, enjoy and please share.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday NAS West Norfolk held a Positive Autism Awareness Conference at the Duke’s Head Hotel in King’s Lynn, and this post,which will be a major one is all about that event.

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The Dukes Head, where the Positive Autism Awareness Conference took place on April 15th. This photo was constrained by the presence of the Mart. After a fortnight in Lynn, the Mart splits in to two to go to various other places around the country – but it is only in Lynn that you get to see everything.

THE PRELIMINARIES

Some us went to the venue on Thursday evening to do a some preliminary setup work to reduce the amount that needed to be done on the day itself. Here are a few photos from that…

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Adjoining my photographic stand the other stand I would be covering on the day – the NAS stand

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My photographic stand – with a blank space for the laptop

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THE DAY ITSELF

Those of use involved in organizing the event were required to be there by 8AM so that we were ready when the guests started arriving. I arrived bright and early (given that the venue is a five minute walk from my flat so I jolly well should have done!), and got my stall up and running. Here are some photos from before the event started…

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A close ups from the NAS stalll

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An excellent acrostic

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The Speads stall – the young woman running the stall goes by the name of Carly

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Musical Keys

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The seating area, already looking satisfactorily full.

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Almost ready to start.
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Lynda Niles preparing to give the first talk of the day.
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My NAS West Norfolk lanyard.

THE FIRST SESSION

Indefatigable branch chair Karan McKerrow opened the event and explained that the day was about being positive about autism and autistic people, mentioning both myself and Callum and what we were going to be doing during the day. Then it was time for Lynda Niles’ talk. At that stage we were operating without amplification, and I was stood at the back, but I still heard every word that Lynda said. Lynda’s talk was accompanied by slides, which show you what she covered…

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THE BEANBAG INCIDENT

One of the things we had at this event was a ‘dark den’ with a beanbag inside as the floor was quite hard. The den itself survived unscathed, but the beanbag was a different story…

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That is now an ex-beanbag!

CALLUM’S POEM

Callum Brazzo, the other of two autistic adults to be on the committee of NAS West Norfolk, recited a poem he had created about autism as the next feature of the conference. I am unable to remember the exact words, but it was a splendid performance, and I sure that if you email Callum he can supply the words (perhaps you could post them in the comments section as well, Callum). Meanwhile, here he is in action…

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MEL BRUCE’S AUTISM FRIENDLY RULES

Clinical psychologist Dr Mel Bruce and a commissioner named Sharon shared the next session, but before I move on to that, Mel has learned some excellent rules for making sessions autism friendly, and here they are…

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Mel Bruce Autism Friendly Guidelines
This shows all off the ‘rules diagrams’ in one picture – a composite of the other two pictures.

MEL AND SHARON 

We had a working microphone by this point, which Mel and Sharon shared, taking it in turns to speak. They introduced the ‘bucket model’ for anxiety of which much more later, talked about their respective jobs and about quite a few other things.

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Sharon speaking, with Mel standing next to her.

LUNCH

Karan had organised food for us, which turned out to be excellent, and thus fortified we were ready for the afternoon session, which opened with the undoubted star speaker of the event…

ANNA KENNEDY OBE

Anna had arrived during lunch and expressed her admiration for my photos. Anna talked about her experiences bringing up two autistic children, going on People’s Strictly (partnered with Robin Windsor) and launching Autism’s Got Talent (and successfully facing down Mr Cowell over that suffix!). Her talk was thoroughly inspiring.

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Anna’s talk was followed by a short break, during which I took this picture…

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My photographic stall, The NAS stall and Karan’s younger son Ciaran (I took this picture at Karan’s specific request)

THE FINAL SESSION:
STAR FISH PLUS AND THE BUCKET MODEL

The last session of the day was another joint effort, by Holly and Michelle,two of Mel’s colleagues at Starfish Plus. Their presentation went into more detail about the ‘bucket model’, and was an excellent way to bring down the curtain on the event…

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MY PHOTOGRAPHIC DISPLAY AND
SOME FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE DAY

My photographic stall was very successful. The event itself was a massive success. Not counting us committee members 145 people packed out the venue, every session was interesting and informative  and the stalls were all fantastic.

POSITIVE AUTISM AWARENESS CONFERENCE

An entire post dedicated to publicising NAS West Norfolk’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference, which will take place on April 15th, starting at 9AM.

INTRODUCTION

This brief post is the first of what will doubtless be many about this event, being put on by NAS West Norfolk.

AN IMPORTANT DATE FOR YOUR DIARIES

West Norfolk NAS’s Positive Autism Awareness Conference will take place at The Duke’s Head, King’s Lynn. I have three images to share to complete this post, a screenshot of Claire King’s facebook post about the event and jpgs of a map and a google earth image showing the location…

Positive Autism Awareness Conference

Positive Autism Awareness Conference MapPAAC Google Earth

Not mentioned specifically, but already lined up as part of the event is a photographic presentation by yours truly.