Autism Events V: Saturday in London Part 3

My final blog post about the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo.


Welcome to the fifth and final installment in my Autism Events series, concluding my account of the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo a week ago yesterday (still to come are some related posts on my London transport themed website and a page on this site bringing everything together).


I will handle these talks in exact chronological order, starting with…


This one was slightly problematic for me, although I welcome another autistic person being given the opportunity to speak. The biggest problem I had lay in his comments about vaccines, which I found particularly hard to stomach given that since he is autistic there is an obvious genetic component to his son’s autism. This talk did not inspire as much as I had hoped, and a week on I do not feel any happier about it.

The Autistic DadIntroductionScreen 2Career HighlightsFamily BackgroundFamily IIFamily IIIFamily IVFamily V


This was a wonderful talk by Lyndsey Barrett, a former netball international (she had a very serious illness which nearly killed her, but is now back playing netball to a good level although she has not yet been recalled by England) and founder of the eponymous Sport for Confidence.

Sport for confidence

Lyndsey Barrett
Lyndsey Barrett.

In the BeginningThe ProgrammeProgrammeModelContributions and BenefitsPartner contributionsProgramme BenefitsCS1InterventionOutcomesCS2GoalsIntervention and outcomesOOSummary


The final talk was from one of the people from Green Board Games (see my first post about this event for more) and although I was very tired by this stage of the day I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Toy talkPicturesdon't dis my abilityThe Strength of ObservationAspieswired differentlySpeakerQuirksSuccess looks different


Leaving the event I headed back to Uxbridge station, and got a Metropolitan line train into London, arriving at King’s Cross in good time to catch the 18:44, arriving into King’s Lynn at 20:22. Here are a few pics from the return journey, although the battery in my camera was running on fumes by that stage of the day.

Hillingdon footbridge
This footbridge is at Hillingdon, one stop out from Uxbridge.
Rayner's Lane buidings III
The station building at Rayners Lane, which functions as a bridge between the platforms as well is one Charles Holden’s most famous.
Chiltern Railways, with which the Metropolitan is closely integrated. Chiltern Railways‘ historical predecessor, the Great Central railway was a creation of Sir Edward Watkin, who also ;played a massive role in the Metropolitan’s history. This train is at Harow-on-the-Hill.
Distant Wembley
A distant view of Wembley Stadium.


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.


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.


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

Autism Heroes

autistic artwork
Autistic artwork.

fidget bed

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

Aspie and me

OT Practice


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
The ones in the middle
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.

Autism Events III: Saturday in London Part 1

The first of several posts about the Anna Kennedy Autism Expo.


Greetings from a cold, snowy King’s Lynn. Welcome to the third in this mini-series of Autism Events posts, following on from:

  1. Autism Events I: Norwich
  2. Autism Events II: Norwich part 2

Most of this post covers events from a week ago yesterday, but before I get into the main body of it there is on little thing I need to attend to first:


For those of you who saw the original version of Autism Events II, you will notice should you revisit it that I have removed many of Amanda Hind’s slides from it. This was at her specific request, on the course of a very friendly twitter exchange. I have never previously been asked to remove photographs of slides from a post, but I fully acknowledge Amanda’s right to make the request, and I acted on it very promptly. This is by way of both explaining why I edited that post after it had been up for a while and apologizing in this blog for publishing more of Amanda’s slides than she was happy to see published.


The event was taking place at Brunel University’s Eastern Gateway building in Uxbridge. This meant getting a train and changing at King’s Cross. The Metropolitan line route from King’s Cross to Uxbridge is more direct than that of the Piccadilly line, and the Metropolitan line platforms take less long to get to from the railway line, so I opted for that route. I also decided that even though it would almost certainly mean not being there for the very start of the event that I would get the 6:54 rather than the 5:54 from King’s Lynn. I will be covering the Metropolitan line element of the journey in detail on my London transport themed website, but here are some photos from the journey…

Display board
On the platofrm – note that mine is the second train due in.
Chesham train I
The chesham train – doors open.
Concertina section of articulated stock
The new stock operating on the Circle, District, Hammersmth & Cty and Metropolitan lines is articulated in the manner of Swedish Tunnelbana stock rather than using old-fashioned bogie couplings.
Route Map KCSP II
The route map at King’s Cross St Pancras
Metropolitan line
The Metropolitan line route map on the train.
Jubilee line train
A Jubilee line train (from just before Finchley Road to just after Wembley Park the Jubilee and Metropolitan lines run side by side)
Crossing Kilburn High Road
Crossing Kilburn High Road.
Piccadilly line train
A Piccadilly line train (from Rayners Lane to Uxbridge the Metropolitan and Piccadilly lines run in tandem).
Uxbridge II
A roundel at Uxbridge station.
Uxbridge Clock
The clock at Uxbridge station.
Stained glass, Uxbridge
Stained glass windows at Uxbridge station.
Station frontage, Uxbridge
The outside frontage of the station


Uxbridge Station
The full surface building.

The walk from Uxbridge Station to the venue was supposed to take about 25 minutes, but I went the wrong way at first, so it took me a bit longer than that. I arrived at the venue a bit late, but soon got stuck into visiting all the stalls, to see what people were doing and to tell people about myself and NAS West Norfolk. I will now share a few thoughts and photos from a couple of those stalls.


I spoke to two of the people from this company, which creates games aimed specifically at helping SEND children, including autistic children. I got to sample a couple of the games as well – they look very good to me. Please note that the title of this section is formatted as a link to their homepage. 

Toy corner I
Some of the products.
This is a viciously hard game – you have 30 seconds to look at the shape and memorise it and you then have to use the blocks to construct it.
This is tough in the early stages, but as more spaces are filled it gets easier to place your pieces.
This one can be played in two ways. Either require the players to memorise the shape they will be building or leave it on display. You have to place as many blocks as you can without rotating them, then when no more can be used towards making the shape pick the unused blocks up and roll them like dice to reveal new faces, and so on until you have completed the shape (the completed shape here, using light blue blocks was the work of yours truly.


Joely Colmer is an autistic woman whose website I linked to via the title of ths section. As well as her website she is the author of a book about her experiences, “Aspergerworld: My Fairy Jam Jar”. 


I will end this post with some of the photographs I took of general stuff at the venue:

AKOGlobe1628 Petition of Right

light four 1
These last two poctures are of a boat that hangs from the ceiling of that building.
light four two
It is of the type referred to in rowing circles as a ‘light four’ (there are two types of four person rowing boats, the light as seen here, and the ‘tub four’).




Autism Events II: Norwich part 2

The second in my series of posts about Autism events I have attended recently.


Welcome to this second in my series of posts about recent Autism events that I have attended. The opening piece can be seen hereBefore moving on to the main body of the post I include a petition from today. It was posted on, and the screenshot below contains details and functions as a link:



During the first post in this series I set out what the series was going to be about, put up a mini-time line of the days covered and started my coverage of the Autism Anglia Information Sharing Event, reaching the end of Sian Hutchings’ talk. This post takes us up to the end of that event. Here are a few pictures from that event:

This cupola caught my attention.
Research stand
One of the stalls I visited – we had a very positive little discussion
Elephant 1
This elephant is a legacy from what was once a Norwich display of the creatures.

Elephant 2

Scope and NAS West Norfolk are working together on various projects, and this wristband is a product of one of them (there is also a matching key fob and small button badge). The message, conveyed simply and powerfully is “NOT ALL DISABILITIES ARE VISIBLE”


Just in case anyone was wondering this has nothing to do with the vile Tory offshoot of the same name (an organisation of such vileness that it is known in certain circles as “Active Hate”). This Activate is a very different organisation, devoted to helping vulnerable people. Here are a couple of pictures:


This was a very interesting session and I went to lunch in good spirits. The lunch was excellent – decent sandwiches, crisps and a drink. Then I had one more session to attend.


Amanda Hind’s session, on Puberty, Sex and Relationships Education and Autistic Girls, was packed full of interesting and important stuff. Before letting my photographs take over, I will say that she is an autistic mother of two autistic children (it was actually her son’s diagnosis that prompted her to investigate on her own behalf) and that she is a fantastic speaker. At her request I am only displaying a handful of  the slides…

Stage 2
The Stage 2 Auditorium, Norwich Theatre Royal
Hexagonal array of bulbs
Using the zoom lens to capture the hexagonal array of bulbs in the overhead lights
Amanda Hind
The title slide.
About Me
The first three slides of the title slide cover the ‘back story’

diagnosisdaughter's diagnosis

Amanda speaking
Amanda Hind speaking

Autistic girlsPeer PressureSoc skills


One of the things contained in the packs we were each given on arrival at the venue was a feedback form. I filled mine in after this last talk, and suffice to say it was all positive. As I was staying in Norwich for an evening meeting I then decamped to the Millennium Library, very close to the theatre, to unwind for a bit, and prepare myself for the evening. All in all this was a very positive experience, and I left the event in a very good (if tired) frame of mind.

Autism Events I: Norwich

The first in a series of posts about a couple of autism events that I ahve attemded recently.


I have had the good fortune to attend two autism events in the last few days. NAS West Norfolk, of which I am branch secertary funded my attendance at both events, and so I travelled with a bundle of NAS West Norfolk leaflets as well as my own personal cards. This is the first of  a series of blog posts I will be writing about these events, and therefore includes a…


  • Thursday daytime: Autism Anglia information sharing event at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.
  • Thursday evening: public meeting on trans liberation at the Vauxhall Community Centre, Norwich
  • Friday daytime: work day.
  • Friday evening: supper at my aunt’s house.
  • Saturday all day: Anna Kennedy Autism Expo at the Eastern Gateway Building, Brunel University, nr Uxbridge

I hope that the above makes it clear why I am only just starting this series of posts and why I still have a large number of photos from the last few days to edit.


The bus ran a bit late, which meant that I arrived at the venue later than I would have liked. However, I was in time to get into the first talk I had booked for, Alan Bicknell of Autism Anglia talking about “The Uniqueness of Autism”. I impressed the speaker with three useful interventions – first up responsing to his request for a ‘guess’ as to how many people in the UK were likely to be on the autistic spectrum. I reasoned in Holmesian fashion that given the UK’s overall population and the popularly reckoned instance of autism being 1 in 68 the figure was likely to be somewhere in the region of 1,000,000. I was in the right ball park, with the speaker’s own reckoning being somewhere in the region of 800,000. My second intervention was to identify the author of the the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine‘ stories (Reverend W Awdry – his son Christopher continuing the family tradition). My third and final intervention was in response to his question “Can we all be a little bit autistic?” To which I said a very firm no, and backed this up when asked to expand on that answer by stating that ‘we are all a little bit autistic’ cheapens and demeans the very real difficulties faced by those of who are #actuallyautistic. He thanked me for making those points, and subsequently when I spoke to him after the talk he again thanked me for my contributions.


Alan Bicknell speaking

Uniqueness of Autism


Ms Hutchings is autistic herself, and her talk was based around her own life and experiences, before focussing on educating autistic people. This was in the same venue as the first talk I had booked to attend. Sian’s talk was absolutely amazing, and although the photographs with which I end this post give you some basic idea of it, you really had to be there to hear it.

Autism Education & Me
These big screens look a lot like giant Ipads, and as I saw when one speaker poked the screen in making a point they also work a bit like giant Ipads – he was a bit discombobulated when the next slide appeared early.
Their size is not the only thing about this screens the connects them to giants!
Sian Hutchings
Sian Hutchings

Sian and hatsHelping Autistic StudentsSian's social media


Midweek Medley II

A mixed bag of bits and pieces from around the net and some of my own stuff, including photographs.


Yes folks it is time for sharing post, including some of my own photographs. I have a lot of interesting stuff to share, starting with…


The bodytext of this section is in #RedInstead because it relates to Autism. To be exact, today marks 20 years since Andrew Wakefield published his “research” indicating a link between autism and vaccines. One impact his decision to go straight to the press without having his “research” peer reviewed first (it was badly flawed, and that is being kind) had was to cause measles to become a significant factor in parts of the UK as parents declined to have their children vaccinated. There can be no comparison between autism (a neurological DIFFERENCE – and don’t forget that different is not a synonym for lesser) and measles (a dangerous illness). However, in the minds of some parents, fear of autism has been sufficient to prevent them from vaccinating. Mr Wakefield has since decamped to the US (Texas to be exact), and he has just weighed in on an election in his new home, supporting the challenger against the current incumbent, republican Sarah Davis, who has supported vaccines. I am not USian, nor based in the area where this election is taking place, but if there is anything that could induce to me to vote for a republican it would the likes of Wakefield urging a vote for their opponent.

I end this section with some links:


I start with a link to a piece by John Jonasson of The Photo Bloggers, titled “En dag med uttrarna – A day with the otters” – as an aperitif here is a picture showing two of the creatures:

Having just celebrated nature with the above link, here from closer to home, is a link to a petition by the Green Party calling for a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century. Please sign and share.

I finish this mini section back here in Norfolk, bringing up a topic close to my heart. Stagecoach are closing their King’s Lynn depot on April 30th (a king sized betrayal of Norfolk Green, the company they bought to get that depot) and will not be running any Norfolk routes thereafter. This leaves Konect, Lynx Buses, First, Sanders Coach Services and West Norfolk Community Transport to pick up the pieces. Our bus routes are very important to us, not least since thanks to Dr Beeching our county has no train routes to speak of. Thus I bring you a 38 Degrees petition calling on the council to work with these companies to ensure that the Coasthopper service (under threat of being entirely shut down) keeps running. Please sign and share the petition, via the screenshot below:



Autistic Bill of

There have been two posts created by people responding to my Sunshine Blogger Award nominations. Anna’s response which handles the entire brief is also titled “Sunshine Blogger Award” and is an excellent effort. I have already reblogged stimtheline’s Sunshine Blogger Questions“, which does a magnificent job of answering my questions, and I share it once again now. 

The Autism Women’s Network have recently produced a piece titled “Is Autism Speaks a Hate Group?” (spoiler: the answer is yes).

I end with a link to the petition to save the Morley House Respite Unit, which now has just over 3,200 signatures – please sign and share!


This meeting will be taking place in Norwich on the evening of March 8th (I will be in Norwich that day on behalf of NAS West Norfolk and will stay on for the meeting):

Norwich Trans liberation 2018 A6 cmyk


This is not too difficult IMO, from my regular source,

the cube


These are all from Monday:

BriggsSun on waterCormorantsCormorantCormorants and gullsNeck StretchflappingGreat OuseCormoranr vignettedMoorhenfemale blackbirdMoon 1Moon 2CMsCM x 5CM brownCM x 3CM whiteCM black


Sunshine Blogger Award

My response to Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award)


Sunshine Blogger Award

I am honoured to have been nominated for this award by the wonderful Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) – click here to see her post in full.


I have borrowed this section heading from Jerry Coyne of whyevolutionistrue. Title explained, here are the rules:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is for bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring as they spread sunshine to the blogging community. 

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you with a blog post and a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.


  1. Do you sing in the shower? No
  2. Is there someone for whom you’d die? I cannot answer this one.
  3. Set a time for 10 minutes.  You have until it expires to pick a band name.  Go. I am mainly a fan of classical music, and am no good at coming uo with band names.
  4. One thing you would surely grab before exiting if there were a fire? My camera
  5.  You’re chosen as part of an exploration team to visit a new planet and return in two years.  Do you go? Absolutely – no way am I missing out on something like that.
  6. A time traveler offers a choice between a cure for AIDS and cancer or a clean, plentiful source of energy in exchange for keeping her story secret. Which would you choose? I go for the clean, plentiful source of energy – we are already making good progress on AIDS and cancer, but not on ensuring that our planet remains capable of sustaining life, so I deem the latter the greater necessity.
  7. How long since you last ate peanut butter? A very long time.
  8. What do you collect? I collect things with a railway connection.
  9. If you could step outside of time for however long you wanted, then return and no time has passed, what would you do with the time? I genuinely don’t know.
  10. Who is the first comedian that made you laugh so hard you cried? I can’t remember
  11. Who will play you in the hypothetical movie about your life story? Daniel Radcliffe


Whether I have nominated you or not please feel free to respond to the challenge if you so desire. My official nominations are:

The Thoughts of Life and Me (Masgautsen) – sample post #tbt Kaffekanna (The coffee pot) opening paragraph below:

One of the posts I found in my drafts was this post about a nice cafe and wine bar. It is quite fitting that I started this post and never published it, because this is one of those places that I really wanted to go visit when they first opened, but it took me quite some time before I actually went.

The Adventures of Captain Cornwall (Laura Easlick) – sample post A Sunday Afternoon in Zennor – opening lines reproduced below:

If I won the lottery, I would buy a house in Zennor.

I love the idea of having plenty of space between houses, with unspoiled views and dramatic coastal scenery.

West Cornwall can feel like a different place to the rest of the county. Driving from Hayle in West Cornwall to Zennor in the area known as West Penwith, the views change quickly and it suddenly feels like you’re on the way to the end of the Earth!


…However, it seems that Mr Neil agrees with us that recent smears by Tory front-benchers against Jeremy Corbyn have been beyond the pale – as they prompted him to ‘do a Paxman’ on Wednesday on a hapless Tory minister during the BBC’s Daily Politics programme:

Robert Loves Pi – sample post Three Rings of Eleven (as I pointed out on the original, I saw five rings of eleven shapes) – given the significance of the number 11 to this challenge this is a particularly neat fit (IMO):

Three Rings of Eleven

Undestined Pieces (Anusha Sridharan) – sample post Bright days bring bright beginnings.

…A day gets a good start when you have made up your mind to think all positive, and nothing but positive. What acts like an icing to it is having a nobel purpose attached to it.

Travelling the World (Ester) – sample post Greenwich-London:

Our Autism Blog (Emzamy) – sample post A Cure for Autism? (note the question mark with which this title ends – and that this piece follows the usual rule that applies to titles including a question, or I would not be linking to it) – quote from the end of the post:

The most important “cure” for Autism is to teach the child that being different is not a bad thing.
We need to make it possible for a child to live and thrive by helping people to understand the nature of the condition.
For the child to grow up and be happy, their Autistic needs have to be met.
The way forward for us all is to accept difference in a world full of discrimination.

Getting rid of Autism isn’t the key to the perfect child…..I love mine just the way she is.

The Neurodivergent Rebel – sample post Web Resources

My last three nominations are blogs I also nominated in my response post when I was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award.

Stimtheline (Mish) – what else could be sample post but The Autistic Bill of Rights Shareable Image:

Autistic Bill of

The Silent Wave (Laina Eartharcher, also has a sharing site, Lainas Collection), sample post The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality:

In Short:

The NT Take On Life is often (too frequently) to dumb it down, complicate it with bullshit and distractions, condense it into bite-size pieces, and send it viral.  Strip it of substance, complexity, and real-ness, lace it with double-speak, polish it up into something shiny and digestible, package it for appearances, and act like That’s The Way Things Are, assuming broad acceptance and mass adoption.

I started this list of nominations in Nordic lands, with a Norwegian blog, and I finish back in that part of the world with a Swedish blog, fargaregardsanna (Anna Bohlin), sample post Så här bygger vi i Trosa kommun – not climate smart building in Trosa Sweden:

To finish this section: If you want to make a comment that relates specifically to one of the posts I have highlighted in this piece please go the original to do so. If your comment is about the post as a whole or about something that is specifically my work then by all means post it here.


  1.  If you could restore one place that exists only as an archaeological site to perfect condition waht would it be?
  2. If you remove from existence one current organization which would it be?
  3. What is the most amazing sporting performance you have ever witnessed?
  4. Who is your favourite author of fiction?
  5. Pick one word beginning with each letter of the alphabet that is particularly associated with your life.
  6. An alien visitor offers to give you the solution to one of humanity’s great unsolved problems: which one do you ask for?
  7. If traveling were free, where would you like to go? 
  8. If you could have a dinosaur renamed in your honour which one would it be? (note to Autism Mom, if you take these questions on you are permitted to subcontract this one to The Navigator!) 

    the last three questions are based on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs – :

  9. You are able to save one music CD from the waves as you scramble ashore – what would you like to be on it? (If you want to go above and beyond and make the full eight music choices around which the actual programme is built be my guest!)
  10. Choose three books that would help you pass the time on the island (the real thing restricts castaways to one choice, giving them The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare whether they want them or not).
  11. Choose one luxury item (it should not be too useful, but I am not going to be harsh on that, and I will allow a little latitude in the matter of what the main item has with it – e.g if you select a camera, as I would, it comes with a spare battery, as well as the fully charged one that is currently in there).


Having completed the business part of this piece I conclude it by putting up some recent photographs of my own:

Squirrel CLXIISquirrel CLXISquirrel CLXBlackbird CLXIICormorant CLXIICormorants and gullsCormorant CLXIBrace of cormorants IIBrace of cormorantsCormorant CLXWater birdsFlying Cormorant XXMoorhen CLXI