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 here. Before moving on to the main body of the post I include a petition from today. It was posted on change.org, and the screenshot below contains details and functions as a link:
THE STORY SO FAR
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:
SESSION 3: ACTIVATE
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.
SESSION 4: AMANDA HIND
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…
FINAL ACT – FEEDBACK
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.
A mixed bag of a post, featuring local politics, libraries, autism, science, nature and photography.
Welcome to this post in three parts. I am going to start by mentioning a local election that took place in my area today and in which I voted, then I will be mentioning an event that will be taking place at Gaywood Library (one of four such establishments in Norfolk that I visit at least semi-regularly) and I will finish up with some links to do with nature which will lead naturally to some of my photographs.
A FORCED BY-ELECTION
The election in which I voted today happened due to the laziness and arrogance of the incumbent councillor, who in spite of living just across the road from the Town Hall never attended meetings.
Four candidates were in the contest, in alphabetical order:
Rob Archer of the Green Party Francis Bone of the Labour Party Helen Russell-Johnson of the Liberal Democrats Mike Taylor of the Conservative Party
In the ordinary course of events my inclination, especially given that the displaced councillor had been from the Labour Party would have been to vote for Mr Archer. However, the Liberal Democrat candidate happens to be my aunt. Therefore I voted for her.
I have started this post by covering this election for two reasons:
I want to make it clear to the Liberal Democrats that I voted for my aunt IN SPITE of the fact that she was representing them not because of it.
Also, just in case Mr Archer happens to be reading this, I hope he will take it as both explanation and apology for not having voted for him on this occasion.
I conclude this section of the post with a picture of my Political Compass certificate (it is free and does not very long to answer the questions which are used to assign your score):
THE GAYWOOD LIBRARY EVENT
The event at Gaywood Library is a Business Eveningat which I hope it will be possible to raise the subject of the Autism Hour, one of the National Autistic Society’s recent initiatives. I have already confirmed that I will be in attendance. Here are a couple of pictures to end this section:
SOME NATURE PIECES
My nature links naturally divide into three segments, with a few photographs of my own forming a fourth. We will start with…
A NEW DINOSAUR FIND
This story courtesy of scienmag.com is about a dinosaur that has been named Albertavenator Curriei (“Currie’s Alberta Hunter”, named in honour of Canadian paleontologist Dr Philip J Currie). Below is a representation of this creature by Oliver Demuth:
A change.org petitionaimed at the sponsors of Arsenal Football Club asking them to withdraw support and so help force Kroenke out, screenshot below:
For ordinary Arsenal fans my suggestions are simple – boycott all home matches until Kroenke goes, and if you are a season ticket holder return your ticket and demand a full refund, making it clear that you will return if and only if Kroenke is no longer involved with the club.
MORE ON THE FIGHT TO PROTECT TROSA NATURE
This morning I reblogged Part 4 of Anna’s series of “Paradise on Earth” posts highlighting the wildlife that can be seen around Trosa and the Tureholm Peninsula. Since then she has added yet another post to that series, and I include links below:
Part 4, concentrating on birds including the Osprey shown below.
Part 5, also dedicated to birds. I have chosen as my sample image a Linnet.
Finally, to end this section, and the post as a whole we have some of…
A post about autism featuring some of my thoughts, a petition that I urge you all to sign and share, some highlights from other blogs by autistic people and some of my own photographs.
The origins of this post lie in a quote from a post on includedbygrace which I include here as a combined screenshot and link to the original.
Since seeing that I have seen several posts on autistic blogs that I wish to share with you, come across a petition that is so important that I feel I must share it and ask my followers to sign and share it as well. Also, the imminent approach of April has prompted me to think once again about…
AUTISM AWARENESS, UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
I am more than a little ambivalent about ‘autism awareness month’, and my misgivings are twofold:
To be worth anything awareness must be the most basic of starting points, and needs to lead on towards understanding and ultimately acceptance (see the quote from includedbygrace in the introduction).
If you consider autism during ‘autism awareness month’ and not for the rest of the year that is simply not good enough. Autistic Spectrum Conditions affect those who have them every day of every month.
This leads on the role of…
AUTISM CHARITIES/ ORGANISATIONS
As someone who is both #actuallyautistic and involved in the running of a local branch of an autism charity I am obviously supportive of some of these organisations. However I am very firm in saying that such charities or organisations must be dedicated to improving the lives of autistic people, and that they should make conscious efforts to include #actuallyautistic people in the running of the organisation.
There is one very large organisation based across the Atlantic from me which I shall not name (both because I am not a fan of naming and shaming, and also because I do not wish to give them any more publicity) who promote themselves as an autism charity but are in actuality nothing of the kind. They did fairly recently amend their homepage to remove from it references to seeking a cure for autism, but it did not require much scrutiny for it to be obvious that this was not a leopard changing its spots but a leopard trying to con people into believing that it had changed its spots.
I conclude this section by re-emphasing that awareness is not a final goal, it is merely the starting point on the following path:
AWARENESS – UNDERSTANDING – ACCEPTANCE
SOME AUTISM RELATED SHARES
I am now moving to sharing some other stuff I have found, starting with…
A VERY IMPORTANT PETITION – HARRY’S LAW
This petition, calling for an urgently needed change in the guidelines used at hospitals when dealing with autistic children, to be known as Harry’s Law, contains a video as well as a lot of explanatory text. I shall embed the video below the screenshot that I am using as a link. I urge all of you to read the text, watch the video and sign and share the petition.
Here I am linking to a post on elephantsneverforgetsite, and I am using a screenshot of the end of the post as the link.
THE SILENT WAVE
It is hardly news by now that I am a big fan of thesilentwaveblog, and there have been several excellent posts from that quarter of late. We start with a post titled “Conformity does *not* make life “less difficult” for Asperger’s / autistic people”, which I link to by way of the splendid picture that heads it.
My next share from this splendid blog is a collection of autism related online quizzes. I sampled one of these quizzes, and may check out others in due course. The language used to convey the implications of your result is not always well chosen. I was told at the end of the one I did that I almost certainly “suffer from an Autistic Spectrum Disorder”. No – I have an Autistic Spectrum Condition – what I suffer from is the attitudes of people like whoever deemed that an appropriate form of words. Once again, I use an excellent graphic from the original as the link.
My third link from this source is to an excellent post about being diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition in adulthood. The title of the post is “Relief and grief ~ the reality of adult Asperger’s / autism discovery”. It must be stated that of the two emotions referred to in the title of this post relief comes first in more ways than one – it is the more significant, the more constructive, and certainly in my own case was very much the dominant one. Once again I am able to link by way of a headline picture:
I complete both the silentwave tribute and the sharing section of this post my once again pointing readers of this blog to the marvellous “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality: a handbook on the rest of the world for Asperger’s / autistic people” which you can visit by clicking the link below:
I end this post with a few of my own photographs, which in terms of what is relevant to this post the following in common:
All were taken by an autistic person (me), and
All feature one of that autistic person’s special interests.
All of these pictures are in fact close-ups of parts of lots that will be going under the hammer in April, and the special interests to which they relate are public transport, science and nature. All of the lots that these images relate to are numbered between 968 and 985.
Setting the stall out for today and some stuff about autism. Read, enjoy and please share.
This is my first of what will be a number of posts today. I have come across a variety of interesting and important stuff over the last couple of days, and have decided that I have too much to share in one post, so I am attempting to group my links into categories. Thus a title the three main words of which begin with A, B and C – this is the first of a series of posts I shall be producing through the day, and as it is the first I shall start near the beginning of the alphabet, with some autism related stuff.
THE AUTISM AWARENESS CUP 2017
I am starting with a reminder that following its successful launch last year the second Autism Awareness Cup football tournament will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. There are three links relating to this, accessible by clicking the images below: the first image will take to you to the Autism Awareness Cup homepage, the second to the Autism Awareness Cup facebook page, and the third to NAS West Norfolk Sports Co-ordinator Grant Cotton’s own facebook page:
STOP THE BAD BEHAVIOUR
This relates to a petition created by an autistic parent and aimed at Brighton & Hove Council. As well as the petition itself, which I urge you to sign and share by clicking on the screenshot that ends this section, there are two other links that go with it:
Although this petition is not about autism specifically I am including it in this post because autistic people are disproportionately likely to be among those confined to institutions. As with the other petition I urge you to sign and share it.
A COFFEE MORNING
This Wednesday just gone there was an NAS West Norfolk coffee morning at the Willow Tree cafe in central King’s Lynn. I was able to get there, and enjoyed it. Here are some pictures from that morning:
AN UPCOMING EVENT
On Tuesday I will be in Dereham for an event organised by Autism Anglia and ASD Helping Hands under the catchline “Help to shape Norfolk for autism”. I booked the day off work for this some time ago, because I considered that as someone is both NAS West Norfolk branch secretary and #actuallyautistic it was an absolute necessity that I be in attendance.
Some local photographs from earlier today and some interesting links.
I had expected to be blogging about the first ever NAS West Norfolk curry night at The Globe today, but the event had to be postponed due to the severe weather that affected King’s Lynn yesterday. In addition to the decision to postpone the curry night made because those who would have had to travel (as opposed to me strolling down the road) to get there did not feel safe doing so I have a couple of other little pieces of evidence to back my claim that the wind yesterday was the strongest I have experienced while living in King’s Lynn, which is a fairly windy town anyway. Firstly I had to retrieve one of the legs of my outside table from the roof of Artertons (this roof adjoins my balcony but is one storey lower, so to access it I have to descend to street level, ascend a fixed steel ladder to the Artertons roof, retrieve the item, descend the ladder and ascend the stairs to my own flat). For this to happen, the table top, which when the table is not in use I position covering the legs, had to be blown clear of the legs and then one of those legs had to be blown across the width of my outside space and down on to Artertons roof, and it has never happened before. Secondly, the 813th King’s Lynn Mart made what was in truth the only sensible decision they could have done, not to open yesterday evening on safety grounds, again a first in my time living in this part of the world. Therefore with a couple of links at the end as a bonus I am falling back on a staple of this blog, some local pictures taken today.
Weatherwise today has been the calm after yesterday’s storm, so after lunch I went out for a walk with only my trusty Nikon Coolpix P530 for company. Below are the highlights of this walk in picture form…
My first link is to a new petition on change.org calling on the UK government to treat hate crimes against autistic people as seriously as race hate crimes. Here is the body text of a suggested message provided by change.org:
I just signed the petition, “UK Parliament: Make autistic hate crime as punishable as racism.” I think this is important. Will you sign it too?
On a completely different note, courtesy of www.independent.co.uk here is a fascinating account of a new solar system in which no fewer than seven earth-like planets wouyld appear to be in the habitable zone around their star. Click on the picture below to read in full.
Finally to end this post, a highly amusing video. Clearly based on the classic sketch “What did the Romans ever do for us?”, this is a sketch called “What did the European Court of Human Rights ever do for us?”
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).
A post about the outcome of the US Presidential Election.
Welcome to what I promise will be my only post about the result of the US Presidential Election.
Right up until the result was confirmed many reckoned that Hillary was guaranteed to win – indeed late last night Jerry over at WEIT was still confident enough to follow his schedule of posts and put up one bearing the title “Hillary Wins!”. Many of those who were so confident of a Hillary win were not especially enamoured of her as a candidate, but reckoned that alternative was so gruesome as to be ‘unelectable’. At approximately 8AM GMT this morning that notion of ‘unelectability’ was consigned to oblivion when it was confirmed that he had been elected.
LINKS AND INFOGRAPHICS
I will start this section with a link to this very detailed break down of voting patterns (I draw particular attention to the breakdown of voting patterns by income – this makes it clear that the poorest people voted for Hillary – the only brackets in which she was ahead were those with incomes of under $30,000 per annum and those in $30-50,000 bracket).
Next come some links to longer pieces from various people:
Vox Political have produced two offerings, here and here.
I end this section with this sage advice tendered by Catherine Mayer on twitter, which segues into the next and final section of the post:
DOING SOME RIGHT THINGS
I will start this section by referring you to the 50:50 Parliament petition on change.org, which I made a point of sharing again today, given some of the things that the new POTUS has had to say about women.
To finish, some good news from the Let Bristol Breathe campaign:
Following the Let Bristol Breathe campaign and the petition you and over 4000 people signed, Bristol City Council has voted unanimously to support a motion calling for urgent steps towards establishing a Clean Air Zone in Bristol.
Two of Bristol’s MPs and the Mayor have also asked to discuss a Clean Air Zone for Bristol with government ministers.
These are just the first steps, but they are in the right direction.
We’ll stay watching to make sure they stick to their promises. If we need your help again with this campaign, we’ll be in touch.
Meanwhile, give yourself a pat on the back or raise a glass to clean and healthy air!
A link to a petition concerning bullying/ disability hate crime at Brentwood County High School.
I have featured this petition here before. The latest is that there are 4,500 signatures, but Harry remains off school as he will not go back until the bullies have been expelled. The headteacher is currently refusing to meet Harry’s family, and they have reported the attacks Harry has suffered as disability hate crime. If you have not already done so please sign and share the petition by clicking on the screenshot below:
A link to a very important petition accompanied by a short video – please sign and share. Also some stuff relating to the appalling decision to approve a third runway at Heathrow, some photos and a few other links.
The main purpose of this post is to share a very important petition posted on change.org by autism advocate and anti-bullying campaigner Kevin Healey. I also have some other links that have come to my attention this morning and a few photographs.
BRENTWOOD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
PULL YOUR FINGERS OUT!!
Kevin’s petition relates to the case of Harry Gosling, which is covered in detail on the site. Please visit, sign and share the petition here. There is also a short video embedded below:
THE HEATHROW HORROR
The title of this section refers to the appalling decision by the ‘Mayhem’ government to approve a third runway at Heathrow Airport. I have three links to share in this section, starting with this one to a an article in the Guardian outlining just how expensive this crazy project will be even in purely monetary terms.
My other two links relate to the upcoming by-election in Richmond triggered by Zac Gioldsmith’s decision to resign and stand as an independent in protest at this awful decision (a gesture that in no way redeems him for the disgusting London Mayoral campaign he chose to run). They express differing opinions as to whether or not Labour should stand:
My own opinion: I do not think that Labour should stand a candidate in this election – I would recommend that they, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats get together and stand a single anti-Goldsmith candidate who can help to deliver a final damning verdict on Goldsmith by making his current status as an ex-MP permanent (the Conservatives have already said that they will not field a candidate against him, because, although this bit is unstated by them, they know perfectly well that any such candidate would lose).
Just a few photographs this time…
SOME FINAL LINKS
I have three more links to share to end this post. My first, from New Zealand blogger Heather Hastie, is about the current state of healthcare in the US. You can visit this post, which is chock full of solid sense, by clicking the infographic below:
An account of the finish of the Nottinghamshire vs Surrey game in the county championship, some quality photos and some important links.
As well as an account of a classic finish in the county championship match between Surrey and Notts I have some photos and a few links to share.
SURREY’S UNAVAILING FIGHT BACK
Thanks to Kumar Sangakkara and Arun Harinath in their second innings Surrey came into the final day with half a chance of completing a Lazarus like come back. Surrey’s second innings ended on the stroke of lunch with them having built a lead of 168 – just enough that things might get interesting…
Opener Greg Smith played a solid innings for Notts, but when he was out the score was 152-7 and an upset was definitely possible. However, nos 8 and 9, with a pair of genuine tail-enders to follow saw through the danger to get Notts home by three wickets. There was no play anywhere else in the country.
Owing to the nature of the day (cricket in the middle thereof), I took two walks, one in the morning and one in the evening and I have pictures from both to share…
My remaining links also belong together, constituting
THREE MORE REASONS FOR LONDONERS TO
VOTE FOR SIAN BERRY IN THE MAYORAL ELECTIONS
Sian Berry has been running the best campaign of all the contenders for London Mayor by the proverbial country mile, and today she has responded as a potential decision maker to not one or even two but three change.org petitions that I have signed. I have links below to the pages that show her very detailed and very positive responses to all three.