Category Archives: All

This web site

Our aims

This website aims to point people to sources of information and support that might help with the following:

  • Parents and carers may want to find out about the nature of the autistic spectrum.
  • They may be looking for ways to support their children or young people in coping with the challenges of life and in reaching their potential.
  • Experiences of other parents and carers may help in getting a better idea of how things work.

The menus

Hover over menu options at the top of the page to see the list of sub-menus.        Below is a guide to the menu content with a few key page short cuts.

  • The Adults section is aimed primarily at adults on the autistic spectrum, their parents and carers.        The Resources section would also be worth a look for this group.        Some pages may also be of wider interest.
  • The Events section provides information about events we at GAIN put on plus some other events activities and services that may be of interest.        They are generally in the Grantham area and all are in the UK.

  • The FAQ section is intended to offer introductory and quite easy reading material.
  • The Resources section offers a guide to the information available to parents and carers, primarily of children with autism.         It also points to sources of guidance and help and support.         Quite a bit of it is specific to Lincolnshire, notably in Resources and SEN.
  • The Wider Area section covers support groups activities and services in Lincolnshire and touching on Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire.

  • The Teen Scene section is an on-line magazine aimed at adolescents and teenagers.        It aims to help readers to wind down and broaden their range of interests.

Keeping up to date

The RSS menu below offers lists of recently updated pages or recently created posts  (Events option).        The idea is to make it easier to keep up to date with this site.        If there is a problem click help icon on the right for our updates guide.

The list of recently updated pages below combines the Adults, Parents and Students categories.


Speech and language


Makaton uses signs (gestures) and symbols (pictures) to help people communicate.         Click icon for Signing Hands, the UK Makaton website and have a look under About.        There are also many Makaton videos on Youtube.         Click play button for a list.        Here are a couple of examples:  Ten in the bed         Chriustmas 123          This video of Tom’s story illustrates how it might work.

What to try?

  • The National Autistic Society (NAS) has a guide to visual supports.
  • This retail site has an introduction to using PECS and British Sign Language (BSL)          See also PECS boards below.
  • Here are some parent’s opinions about which to use and this discussion goes into a bit more detail.


Where to start?

Talking Point offers a comprehensive guide to children’s communication issues.         Click icon for guidance and choose from the menu list down the left hand side.         It may be a good place to start.         You might want to look for the following:

  • Ages and stages of development – what is normal?
  • Some children struggle – what to look out for.
  • What can I do?      Finding the right school.

Total communication

Options group have produced a helpsheet about the development of communication skills in people on the autism spectrum.         The author is a specialist speech and language therapist.          Click icon to view.

PECS boards

PECS boards provide students with a way to visually associate ideas about their everyday life, and to communicate with their instructors and family.         Click icon for illustrations of their use and How to for a guide to making your own.         The website is USA based.

The girl who thought in pictures

Dr Temple Grandin did not speak until the age of 4.         Doctors did not think she would ever speak but her parents refused to accept it.         Yet, with determination, her unusual mind enabled her to improve animal welfare on farms around the world.          Click icon for an article about the book.           See also Amazon.          The book contains an illustrated rhyming tale for children followed by reading matter for parents.


Even if a child does not develop speech all is not lost.        Click icon to read article.        Its themes are developed in Diversitypress.        There are also one or two similar articles in Whatisitlike?.

E G Training

E G Training provide speech and language therapy in the East Midlands.         See   website         speech & language          locations – their therapists travel to clients in Lincolnshire.

Flash Cards

Sparklebox offer free teaching aids for children with special educational needs.          Here is the Speech page.        They also have general resources for parents.           Their terms of use are brief.


Children’s centre staff encourage parents to think beyond the disability:    e.g. Come and play aims to promote independence, confidence and social skills.         It may be good for toddlers with delayed speech.         Little explorers could be another one to consider.          See about
children’s centres in Grantham or Wider area.

Dillan’s Voice

Apple has released a video clip called Dillan’s Voice about a Sixteen year old with autism.        This webpage also has an accompanying video clip called Dylan’s Path.

We have an app for that

TippyTalk’ App for Nonverbal People Turns Pictures Into Text Messages.       See this article about TippyTalk, an alternative to a picture exchange communication system (PECS) board.       As of March 2016 it still seems to be at an early stage of development, though, so will not be available to the public for a while yet.        See also TippyTalk blog.

Social scripts

Your child may be repeating words or phrases constantly – why might that be?        Here is a 10 minute video about the difference between echolalial scripting and social scripting and how they can help.


The website Ambitious about Autism has a lot of on-line discussions about speech development.       Look for the magnifying glass icon on the site to search.       Click Twitter icon here to find a link to their website – it is in the left margin.        See also:  More tips.


GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.





Universal credit

Contact has produced a page about Universal Credit.        Click icon on the left to view.       They have also launched a campaign about Universal Credit called Counting the cost.        The aim is to stop the cut in benefits for disabled children it represents.        Click icon on the right for details.

They also have a helpline.         There are four ways to get in touch with Contact:                              See Facebook, Twitter & email queries


See adult Care & Support about Carer’s Allowence for carers of adults.

Benefits news

  • Inquiry into disability benefits, led by Frank Field, ‘deluged’ by tales of despair.           Several themes emerge from the testimony heard by the work and pensions committee.           See article.
  • Exemption from re-assessment for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is not as expected.            People with life-long or severe disability will only be exempt if they are deemed to be unfit for ‘work-related activity’.              See article.
  • Get the lastest on the benefits system.             See Disability news            e.g. Call for action

Money Matters

This guide has been prepared for parents of disabled children who want to know what financial help may be available for them and what arrangements they may need to put in place to manage their children’s finances from birth and as they get older.

Benefits adviser

Carers First is the new name for Carers connect.         They have a dedicated benefits adviser.        He offers free advice to carers, including parents in a caring role, under the age of 50 and living in Lincolnshire.         He is very approachable and has professional experience of the benefits system.        In this role, though, he is completely independent of the government and does not work for a government agency.

  • See benefits  or look for Information -> Carers Rights on home page.
  • Contact Lincolnshire County Council’s Customer Service Centre, Monday to Friday, 8am – 6pm, by calling 01522 782224 or emailing
  • For more about Carers FIRST see Resources.

Carers UK

For information on a range of benefits see Financial support.

Official information

Lincolnshire County Council publish information on benefits and finance in their Family Services Directory.            See:  Family-benefits             DLA-for-children          DLA-&-PIP-for-youth           PIP-for-ages-16—64  – see also below           Money-Advice

Also, for information about Carers Allowance see:  NHS        Government.

Personal Budget

If a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, or who has been assessed as needing an EHC plan, then a personal SEND budget can be requested.           See outline for Lincolnshire.            It contains links to a number of relevant articles.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

This is the replacement for DLA for people aged 16-65 with a disability or long term health problem.       It has been in the process of being phased in since 2013.

  • Citizens Advice offer a large number of pages about PIP, all neatly arranged to make it easy to find your way around.
  • The National Autistic Society (NAS) has published an series of pages on the new benefit.      They also have a list of related pages.
  • If you want to see what the government has to say about it, you can choose from OverviewDetail and News.

Benefits & community care

NAS small iconThe National Autistic Society provides a sound introduction to benefits
in relation to community care.


Family Fund

They provide grants to low-income families with disabled children.           Fill in their application form and post it to their office in York.           For more information click on the icon below.Family fund logoA representative attended a Lincolnshire Parent Carer Council coffee morning in 2012 to promote the scheme.


TV/Radio blog – Children on-line …

Children on-line

BBC Radio 4 had a phone-in about protecting children on-line in Jan 2019.        Click icon for the podcast.        Drag along timeline to 12:43 to find the phone-in.


Autism & communication

Michael Rosen finds out about communication with people on the autistic spectrum.             Click icon to listen on iPlayer.  


Click icon to find the trailer for ‘Atypical’, Netflix’s new comedy series about autism.            It premiers in August 2017.          The eight-episode comedic series follows Sam Gardner, a high school senior on the autism spectrum, and his family as he navigates dating, school and being a teenager.

First episode dissapointing for one viewer.            In this op-ed, actor Mickey Rowe explains why Netflix’s new show Atypical misrepresents its autistic audience — and why that begins with its failure to include the autistic community in its creative process.

Another was happier.         For me the series is based on a extremely high functioning autistic individual. He goes to mainstream school and is achieving top grades.       He is very articulate and has a job outside of school plus a girlfriend. This for me is the dream outcome.      Many autistic and sensory traits were spot on.      Also the family dynamics were true and realistic.      I chuckled when the parents went to the support group and the dad kept being corrected on his use of language … 

Lucy Mangan on Responsibility

Click icon to listen to this intelligent and engaging interview.         Lucy Mangan feels she avoids responsibility whenever possible.  But she’s always been fascinated by those who run towards responsibility rather than away from it.  She talks to Bea Harvie, a post-graduate student, whose father got ill when she was thirteen.  Bea chose to take on a lot of caring duties towards her younger siblings while her Mother was busy caring for her Father.  She describes the experience as something she just got on with, and reveals that it also was a useful distraction from dealing with her own feelings about her Dad’s illness.  Until one day when she was sixteen and it all caught up with her.  She says it’s like shaking up a bottle of fizzy pop: ‘it’s got to come out some way’.

More or Less

Play button - listenThe Radio 4 programme that goes behind the numbers in the news.          For example,  Following a referendum, the UK has voted to leave the European Union.       Tim Harford and the team explore what that might mean for the UK’s economy.          
For example see Brexit economics             Click icon for more episodes.

The A-WordA-Word USA

The acclaimed international six part drama series will premiere in the USA on Wednesday July 13th on Sundance TV, 10pm Eastern time, 9pm Central.

Lack of empathy

Play button - listenHow far can empathy, or the lack of it, can explain cruelty.           Simon Baron-Cohen proposes turning the focus away from evil or specific personality disorders, and to understand human behaviour by studying the ’empathy circuit’ in the brain.          Also speaking:   forensic psychotherapist Gwen Adshead, crime writer Val McDermid and  philosopher Julian Baggini.          Click icon to listen again to this discussion.  

The A-WordA-Word - BBC 1

Autism family drama on BBC1 TV.          Concluding episode on 26th April Episode 6.        Tuesdays 9pm.          See also:  Video clips           GAIN post.

Men & Asperger’s

A radio programme may still be available to hear on-line:      Why do so many women think their men have Asperger’s syndrome?           (As of Jul 2016)

Dr Digby

In Holby City, Tue 3rd Nov, matters have come to a head for Dr Digby and he is experiencing a crisis of confidence.            His lack of people skills is getting in the way of his work as a doctor.               Dr Hanson has plans for him, though.              We will have to wait to find out what they are, and it could be several episodes before we do.               Still, it might be worth keeping an eye out to see what next Tuesday will bring.

Codes that changed the world

If you are a computer buff you might be interested in a Radio series about the history of computer programming.              One episode, about BASIC for example, was aired on Wed 8th Apr 2015.             You might be able to download the Podcasts of these programmes – still available Apr 2016.

Interviews about Autism

Radio 4 has been broadcasting a series of interviews about Autism.

  • A conversation with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen was aired on Tue 17th Feb 2015.            He is a highly respected authority on autism.
  • On Tue 24th Feb, an interview with a university research assistant with high-functioning autism was aired.       She explained her experience of life with very clearly.

You might be able to listen to Podcasts of these 15 minute programmes.          They should be available for at least 30 days after broadcast.               This one has stayed there for months.


29 November 2014.    Move over Dr Chao, Dr Keogh is back.        Dr Lily Chao made her entry to the hospital drama series giving everyone around her short shrift.        Now Dr Dylan Keogh has made a comeback.         Someone asked him, “Do you always treat people like that?”.         “Yes” was the curt, perfunctory reply.

The Village

August 2014.     The plan is to cover the 20th century from the First World War to beyond the Second World War, over several series.          The mood is perking up now.


The episode on 9th August 2014 featured a very convincing and  well crafted depiction of a teenage boy with autism.       He took a liking to someone playing Eric Clapton on the street.       It could be interesting to know that autistic people are represented on mainstream TV.


Tennis – 19th Feb

Next autism friendly tennis session at Grantham Tennis Club, Arnold Field, Gonerby Road, GranthamNG32 3ATTuesday 19th February, 6pm – 7pm.
Facbook small icon
Fun rather than serious training.        Places for 20 children age 3+.      The session will be indoors.        Tuition & suitable equipment provided.       Sturdy shoes required.         £3 per child.        For more about the session & to book your place click icon.

Cinema – Stamford – 21 Feb

GAIN are proud to announce the screening of Mary Poppins Returns, on Thursday 21st February, at the Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary’s Street, PE9 2DL.Doors open at 1:30pm.         Facbook small iconThe film is from 2pm to about 5pm.         All tickets £5.       All screenings are autism-friendly.          All are welcome.          Click icon for more information & to log your interest.         To receive emails for GAIN events see Become a member.

Neurodiversity ID Card

Does Canadda group picyour son or daughter have difficulty explaining themselves to others?

A Neuro-diversity ID Card or Wristband might help.       Although they are based in Linocoln, Canadda have extended their free Neurodiversity ID service to parents of young people on the autistic spectrum in the Grantham area.       For information click PDF icon.

Doc iconClick page icon to find an application form.         Please be aware that an autism/aspergers diagnosis is needed in order to apply.

Canadda contact details are below.

  • 01522 716899

Diversity press

Amythest Schaber 

Amythest Schaber is an artist, writer, public speaker and advocate.         In her blog called Neuro Wonderful she offers insight into autistic life, put across in her unique style.        Click page icon to see her range of videos.         Look out for the one called What is autistic burnout?        (new)


This page is dedicated to publications from the viewpoint of people who do not fit in with today’s prevailing norms, notably Asperger’s Syndrome – and those close to them.

Adults’ experiences

What is it really like to be an autistic adult?          Professor Ian Walker shares his story.          He is a retired university lecturer who was only diagnosed with autism at the age of 71.          Click icon to see article and video clip.          Find more interviews from the series at the bottom of the ITV page.

Why advertising falls flat

This article considers the possibility that people with autism might be savvier consumers.          Click icon to see article.

Autistic Allies

This is a discussion group for members.        They stress that it  is NOT a support group.      Their goal is to eradicate stereotypical images of autism, and to promote an autism-positive stance.         Click icon for Facebook group.          You have to join the group to see content.          See also Austism-positive.


Monique Craine is a blogger, activist and campaigner for NeuroDivergent (ND) rights, AKA Human Rights.            She says, This video was inspired by a Powerpoint presentation which I delivered in the past – which people claimed ‘opened their eyes’ to autism.            It has been receiving praise from the autistic community, autism professionals and parents.            Click play button to watch.

Non-speaking / low-functioning?

I am autistic, non-speaking. I am also labeled “low-functioning”.         This label is a pre-judgment based on what I cannot do.          It makes people look at me with pity instead of trying to get to know me, listen to my ideas.

Difference or dissorder?

This article considers issues linked to the social and medical models of autism.

Dr Dan Edmunds

I know that autism is not a disease and not something to be altered, it is a culture and a mode of being, and through my 17 years of journeying with fellow persons in the spectrum I am increasingly convinced that being autistic is a necessary adaptation to a complex world and that there are unique strengths that are a part of autistic culture.       I see many programs to alter autistic persons as discriminatory, for it seeks to exterminate a culture.       If we treated other cultures the way autistic persons are often treated, there would be outrage.        Facbook small iconBut there are powerful forces convincing people that autistic persons are defective.        Maybe one day this will change, I strive for it.        Dan L. Edmunds                   Click Facebook icon to browse his blog.

Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer and has a lot to say about autism.              For example, Two further developments, thinks Silberman, make life much brighter for people with autism today.         One is social media: “In face-to-face, real-time interactions, people on the spectrum are often overloaded.        Conversation, eye contact, body language, all the little social signals – that can get too much.        Whereas, on the computer, at their own pace, it’s often much more natural to them.”              See article, The man who wants us to embrace autism,                It explores his views and insights.

See writings and media for more of his work.               He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversitysee Amazon.               See also Profile

Facbook small iconAutonomous Press

Owned by disabled workers, Autonomous Press seeks to revolutionize academic access.                  This can refer to a lot of things, e.g.  access to higher education, inclusive class environments …                     See About for more information.


This website could be a treasure trove for the gifted academic or teacher.

  • Here is one of the author’s more accessible articles: Advice to Young Autistics I did learn to navigate the neurotypical social world. But I didn’t approach that task with the intention of trying to change myself in order to “fit in.” I approached it as an adventure in learning my way around an exotic foreign culture.
  • This could be a good starting point for further reading: Neuro-what?

OutlookBe awesome

These links are all from the Ollibean website.                 If you are always questioning things, maybe a bit of a non-conformist, this site could be a useful starting point.

  • Attitudes  –  We need to start to change how non-disabled people see disabled people, and then we can begin demanding a change in attitude.           We have enough true allies to join and support us, and we can demand what we decide we need to live a fulfilling human life.
  • Be awesome   –  Ableism – discrimination against disabled people, often unconscious/implicit.         Ableism brought forth by pity is frustrating.           It gets in the way of possibilities.
  • Universal design  –  When more people participate, everyone wins because human beings learn from each other –   e.g.  Captioned videos, films and TV help with literacy, including literacy of non-disabled people.
  • False choices  –  e.g.  Is autism a disability or a difference?

Asperger United

This is a magazine aimed at adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.             It is published by the National Autistic Society.                Click link below for more information.

AspUtd logo

Autistic Not Weird

Autistic not weirdThis is a website by a former teacher with Asperger Syndrome.              Click icon to browse.

Original and tribal minds

What started out as an explanation for autistic behaviour has with twelve years of obsessive thought become the basis for a profound shift in thinking about psychology.              See introduction.

Key words

Ableism:  quick          detail
Autism-positive:       article
Aspie:                description




Family/Darts evening – 23 Feb

Come and join us for a family-friendly evening on Saturday 23rd February at the White Lion, Bridge End Road, Grantham, NG31 6JJ.

Ask for Paul.         He is an autism dad and our host for the evening.         He has combined his voluntary work for GAIN with his links to the darts league.         You do not need to have any interest in darts, though, to enjoy the company or just chat with Paul.        Show up whenever you like between 5 – 10pm.          Click icon for more information and to log your interest.

Not getting out


Just a quick tip:  perhaps you could try using one of the following statements:

  • “I can be anxious and still deal with the situation.”
  • “I’ll just let my body do its thing. This will pass.”
  • “This anxiety won’t hurt me, even if it doesn’t feel good”.
  • “This feeling isn’t comfortable or pleasant, but I can accept it.”


More detailPanic attacks etc

  • What is the range of symptoms?
  • Can people with high functioning Asperger’s be severely effected by
    anxiety?      It seems so:
    – High functioning autism is associated with anxiety disorder.
    – A discussion of the link between high IQ and anxiety
  • Can virtual reality help with not getting out?      Video           Text           Research


GAIN logo - thumbnailPlease be aware that we, at GAIN, are not qualified to give advice.              See disclaimer.