Autism Events I: Norwich

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

INTRODUCTION

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…

TIME LINE OF THE LAST FEW DAYS

  • 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 AUTISM ANGLIA EVENT

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.

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THAT FIRST TALK

Alan
Alan Bicknell speaking

Uniqueness of Autism

SESSION TWO: SIAN HUTCHINGS

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.
Promethean
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

 

The 4th Ashes Test

INTRODUCTION

Welcome this little look back the test match that finished yesterday morning. I also have links, photos and infographics to share.

ENGLAND REGAIN THE ASHES

The third and fourth matches of this series have just about totalled five days (one test match that goes the distance) between them, such has the speed with which England destroyed Australia in both games. Previously England had won the first match comfortably, but were utterly monstered at Lord’s in the second. All in all, this means that England now have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five match series. Given what happened on the Lord’s shirtfront the groundsman at the Oval would be well advised to prepare a pitch with some life in it for the fifth match.

In four successive innings Australia have had their batting wrecked by four different bowlers (never before has one country had four different bowlers pick up six or more wickets in four successive innings). The figures that Stuart Broad produced in the first Australian innings of the match that concluded yesterday still test credulity.

Both captains had good moments near the end of the match: Cook by giving the youngster Mark Wood a chance, duly accepted, to finish things, and Clarke by announcing that the Oval will be his last test match, thereby sparing Cricket Australia an unpleasant but necessary decision.

Stuart Broad deservedly got the man of the match award for his destruction of the Australian first innings which set England on the road to victory, while Ben Stokes’ sensational catch (check it out here) deservedly won the champagne moment.

A PHOTOGRAPGIC INTERLUDE

Here a few pictures from yesterday evening…

DSCN4022 DSCN4024

This picture and the next two come from the same original but with different degrees of cropping.
This picture and the next two come from the same original but with different degrees of cropping.
A closer crop
A closer crop
The closest crop - a little blurred because it is so close.
The closest crop – a little blurred because it is so close.

LINKS

Not so many links to share as sometimes, but enough to split them into subsections.

PETITIONS

Three petitions for your consideration this morning:

A SINGLE AUTISM RELATED LINK

This piece, from respectfullyconnected is a heart-wrenching account of a piece of thuggery perpetrated someone referred to due to their conduct as “Ableist, Sexist Jerk” or “ASJ” for short. I am sharing at here, as I already have done elsewhere (twitter, facebook, google+) not in any hope that “ASJ” will see it but because it so outraged me that someone thought it was OK to behave in the manner described. The title of the piece is “Don’t You Dare Call My Autistic Son a Sissy”

A TRIO OF FUN FINDS

Switching away from the serious for a moment…

  1. A National Geographic piece about scientists successes and fails at fieldwork.
  2. A link to what looks to me be an excellent free resource.
  3. A link to quirky new blog, featuring Walthamstow among other locations, which I wish every success, called dutchgirlinlondon.

A SEGUE LINK

This is to a new find from this morning, which I got onto courtesy of a post on twitter by Jon Swindon. It is a blog called pollysshortattentionspan and it will no surprise to anyone familiar with Jon Swindon that the segue is to…

INFOGRAPHICS

This was the one that caught my eye on twitter.
This was the one that caught my eye on twitter.
And this caught my attention when I visited the blog for a closer look.
And this caught my attention when I visited the blog for a closer look.