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).
THREE MORE TALKS
I will handle these talks in exact chronological order, starting with…
THE AUTISTIC DAD
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.
SPORT FOR CONFIDENCE
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.
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.
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:
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…
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.
My next piece comes from The Guardian, and is Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley on why the Greens will not simply fold into Labour. It is an excellent piece, well worth reading. I would say that Labour and the Greens can work together, and that if Labour are able to form a government after the next General Election they should still seek to put Ms Lucas in charge of environmental policy even if they have an outright majority that would entitle them appoint ministers exclusively from their own ranks.
This feeds nicely into the final piece in this section, a petition calling for Environmental Studies to be part of the National Curriculum. As this petition is on the official site for petitiions to the UK parliament only UK citizens can sign it – if you are one and want to sign it please click on the screenshot below:
My next link is from the the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and is titled “The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs“. Please note that this piece does not at any point even suggest that parents of autistic children should not write about their children’s experiences – it merely points out recent examples where this has been done in a way that is not acceptable.
My next post, courtesy of Fire Bright Star Soul, is an example of a parent of an autistic child writing about one of said child’s experiences in exactly the right way. “Autistic and Suspended” could serve as a model for how to write such stories. Below is a quote from the middle of the piece (the first of the two paragraphs is italicised in the original as well):
I spoke with the assistant principal of her grade, and he was compassionate, thoughtful and had an easy way with B. After speaking with both him and me, she decided not to have me take her home from school but try to push through it and stay the rest of the day. I was extremely proud of her for making that effort, and it worked. It’s a step toward success for her, because she is making progress to self regulation and learning that even if she has a meltdown, it doesn’t mean the ruin of the rest of her day. She can calm down, pick herself up and keep going. This won’t always be the case of course, but it’s an achievement on her part that I am happy to celebrate for the victory that it absolutely is. A year ago she would have been down for the entire day.
A word: By now you are probably aware that I follow a strict self-restraining policy of not posting any detail of my daughter’s life as an autistic without her express consent, and this is no different. We discussed this last night, and I explained why I wanted to write about it. She was amenable to this, so here we are.
A SOLUTION AND A NEW PROBLEM
In “Midweek Medley II” I posed the following problem from brilliant:
Below is the answer and then one of the published solutions:
Here is Geoff Pilling’s very succinct explanation:
1+2 = 3
My new problem for you, also from brilliant, is a variation on a very old theme, which caught a surprising number of solvers on the hop:
As the world knows (since many of us Brits are absolute drama queens about such matters) we have recently had some rough weather, which means I do not have as many pictures at my disposal as usual, but here are some:
Sharing a wonderful post on the theme of autism accpetance from Luke Beardon. As this is a pure sharing post comments are closed – please comment on the original.
Yesterday I was inspired by a wonderful piece of work done by Jennifer Lisi to create a blog post titled “Autism Acceptance Months“. Well I was not alone in being inspired by it, and I now share with you a post created by Luke Beardon titled “Inspired by Jennifer Lisi“. Because this is a pure sharing post I am closing it for comments – to comment please visit Luke’s post, linked to above and in the next section.
INSPIRED BY JENNIFER LISI
Below is the opening of the post, and a screenshot showing a bit more of it:
Inspired by Jennifer Lisi on twitter, who created the graphic at the heart of it, this post sets out aspi.blog’s stall, taking autism acceptance is starting point and looking ahead to autism appreciation.
This is a post about something magnificent I have just seen on twitter and wish to share with all of you. The text of this post is #RedInstead because it is specifically about autism.
AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTHS
To start with, below is a screenshot of the tweet, by Jennifer Lisi, that prompted this post:
Now we move on to some extra thoughts of my own:
Although I will on occasions, when I believe people are doing it for the right reasons share stuff about “autism awareness” I will not use the phrase on my account because…
We have been banging on about awareness for ages, and I do not believe there is a problem any more with people not knowing of the existence of autism and autistic spectrum conditions, though there are a raft of problems when it comes to understanding of such conditions.
For me Autism Acceptance as shown in the graphic above is what we should be considering as our basic start point, with the hope that acceptance of us for who and what we are will lead to…
Appreciation of our strengths and good qualities.
Thus the journey we look to trace out runs not awareness-understanding-acceptance but awareness-understanding-acceptance-appreciation.
I end this post with some photographs, in this case with a cormorant in the starring role:
An account of the first Musical Keys session of the new year and some autism related links.
This post comprises two elements – one an account of the first Musical Keys session of 2018 and the other sharing some excellent recent stuff about autism. Because it is an autism themed post I am using #RedInstead text (scarlet for headings and links, maroon for body text).
Musical Keys is an activity run for autistic people who enjoy music. Generally speaking it is run fortnightly, with a session for youngsters between 3PM and 3:45PM and a session for older participants from 4PM to 5PM. I had initially been expecting to renew my acquaintance with Reaper (a computer program for composing music – see here for more details) but circumstances dictated otherwise, and I actually ended up on a…
This machine can function as a wide range of instruments/voices and in a wide range of styles, and I explored a lot of the instruments in the course of the time I spent on it.
John, one of the two people who run these sessions, showed me how to play chords as opposed to single notes, and I experimented with playing varying numbers of notes simultaneously, and using the whole range of the keyboard.
I created a few chords where the notes played could also form words, such as face/cafe, cabbage etc. I enjoyed making the acquaintance of this keyboard and learning something of its capacities.
AUTISM RELATED LINKS
This section starts with a post from Rhi that I regard as being the last word on “mild autism”, published under the title “Autscriptic: Mild Autism“.
I have linked to a number of reviews of Judith Newman’s book “To Siri With Love”, although since I have not read the book I can offer no direct comment about it, and here are a few more pieces about that book: