Category Archives: All

Behaviour

Top tips

Click icon and select Top tips for dealing with challenging behaviour.        See also Understanding your child’s beheviiour.

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fb35“If it feels like challenging behaviour it is challenging behaviour”.              “You do what you have to do to get through the day.        It’s not giving in, it’s coping.”      Geoff Evans.

Doc iconAmbitious about Autism has several well presented pages about behaviours you might encounter and how to handle them.                Click icon to view.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation offers information and guidance to families & carers who have a relative with severe learning disabilities who display challenging behaviour.           They provide information sheets about understanding and finding the causes of challenging behaviour and a third about what they call Positive behaviour support plans.             Doc iconClick page icon for menu of information sheets and DVDs.            Click phone icon to find out about their phone and email service.              To find more of their resources click on:   Home        FAQs         Families        Information packs         All their resources.

Doc iconClick on the icon for information from the National Autistic Society (NAS) for a range of pages covering issues linked to behaviour.            They talk about causes and practical information.
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Doc iconMy Aspergers Child has a page with the title, Aspergers Panic Attacks Disguised As Meltdowns”.       It says,
“The physical symptoms they experience with an attack are just extreme versions of normal bodily responses to danger”.
It then points to possible treatments.        Click icon to view.

Doc iconNet Mums is a web forum and has many pages on the subject.     Search on  “challenging behaviour”  to browse the list.      The search box is at the top right of the page.      Net Mums includes sections on:   Toddlers     Pre-school    Primary school    Teenagers  an  On-line course  and a page on  Specific behaviours .           Click icon to view.

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Tony Osgood

Tony Osgood has had experience in development disability roles and now lectures for the University of Kent.            See: about            university              He says, I consider challenging behaviour to be, above all else, two things: complaining and communication.       It follows we must not work to eliminate but understand its meaning before deciding how to respond.            His Writings takes offers the reader a treasure trove of articles.

Why Rewards & Punishment Don’t Work

This is about defence mode.              I try hard to not be offended at their description and apparent assumption that I am not familiar with B.F. Skinner and behavioural psychology when I not only have a master’s degree and 25 years of experience working with kids with special needs, but have also reared a neuro typical child that is thriving.  

Be with that

Danny Raede has discovered for himself ways of understanding and coping with the difficulties he experiences as someone on the spectrum.           Be with that  is a handy idea and technique to help to cope when feeling overwhelmed.             See also website.

Sensory overload

This article is written by a parent and occuational therapist.                We, as parents and caregivers (and on-lookers!), need to remember that responding from a behavioral point of view is ineffective in these cases.         As adults, we need to remove the excessive or adverse stimuli, and we may need to take the child to a calm, quiet place.                   Click icon to view article.

What Lies Beneath Behavior?

At Echo, we encourage adults to look beneath the behaviour of children and to understand ‘behaviour as communication.’        It may be that the child is choosing a way of communicating that is hard for you to deal with but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the behaviour is driven by some deep need or physiological response.        These behaviours are often punished and then we wonder why the child is “always getting into trouble” or “never learns!” when we haven’t dealt with the root cause of the behaviour.           Click icon for full article.

What a meltdown feels like

Fifteen people on the Autism Spectrum describe what a meltdown feels like.               For example,  It literally feels like my head is imploding.       Building up to it gets overwhelming, but an actual meltdown is just like … like your brain is ceasing to exist.

ASD & Criminal Justice

These on-line guides for professionals when encountering someone with ASD may be of interest to parents as well.

Uniquely Human

In his book, Dr Barry Prizant has drawn on over forty years’ in working with autistic children and adults, and their families, to outline how the uniqueness of individuals with autism can be built on as, a different way to be human.                    He says, Rather than curb these behaviours, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will naturally lead to more desirable behaviour and a better quality of life.                   See:  Amazon.

Thanks ‘cool guy’

Here is a story by a father about a plane journey one which a fellow passenger realized his son has autism.

Tips for calming things down

Doc iconHere is a well presented guide to handling meltdowns.
It offers 7 tips that seem to provide useful insights and may be worth a look.
Click icon to view.

Survival tips for meltdowns

Here are some self-preservation tips from an on-line life coach.              Her website also has an Aspie info page.            GAIN has no way of
knowing how effective her services via Skype are, though.

The voice of experience

Two autism mums have written in detail about how they experience their children’s meltdowns and what they think may be worth considering in order to help.                See:  The truth about my child’s meltdowns                What a meltdown feels like.                 See also:  humour.

Positive Behaviour support

This help sheet from Options Group introduces an approach that aims to work with the grain of the individual’s nature.                   Instead of focusing on reactive consequences and sanctions to try and force change, perhaps a bit like the Wind, we try and ‘proactively’ create the conditions that allow individuals to change in a way that is meaningful for them, a bit like the Sun.

A mother’s story

In her book George and Sam, Charlotte Moore writes about her experience of bringing up her sons and the challenges she faces.             George and Sam might be described as quite low functioning and they have contrasting personalities.             Her third son Jake is not autistic at all.            The book contains a lot of experience and insight.            The 2012 edition has been updated to cover George and Sam’s teenage years.                See:  Good Reads       Amazon.

After Winterbourne

After the scandalous revelations of abuse at Winterbourne View hospital a ministerial report set out the Department of Health response.                Five years  on, a BBC documentary has investigated whether progress has been made to get people with learning disabilities out of hospitals and into homes in the community.                While quite a few patients have been discharged a similar number have been admitted.               

Keeping people in the familiar surroundings of home while offering support seems to be considered the way forward.          The Challenging Behaviour Foundation outlines how this is supposed to work.        They have collected many links on best practice including their Time for Action report and an easy reading version.

Isolation rooms

Here is an article about alternatives to an isolation room.                 It could be handy to pass on to teachers or care professionals.

Crisis support training

Studio III offers training for care professionals to “support individuals with a range of behaviours of concern”.                 If their website is anything to go by, it is a reputable organisation.                 They talk about a low arousal approach for autism.                See:  training                 dates
Courses are advertised as being held in Alcester, which is south of Birmingham, UK.               The Studio 3 contact address is also in Alcester.

fb-meltdownAsperger’s & the law

Young people with Asperger’s may sometimes get into scrapes with the law.              Here is a detailed but readable article aiming to help the reader to understand better the relationship between Asperger’s syndrome & criminal behaviour.               They touch on a few recommendations to
improve things towards the end of the article:

  • Identify the needs of the young person
  • Identify triggers for behaviour that might get them into trouble
  • Social stories may help young people to understand the issues
  • Actions and reactions can be misunderstood by police etc.                 An ID card could help to reduce misunderstanding.                Canadda, based in Lincoln, can provide an ID card to GAIN members.                  See Neuro-diversity ID cards.                   See also Information under the Awareness cards heading.

The above article links to Preventing Autism Meltdowns.             At time of writing there is a video clip towards the bottom of the webpage, which provides a taster of what the site offers – but please note that it  is USA based and everything is priced in Dollars ($).

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

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SEN/EHC Information

Look it up

Contact offers a range of pages to do with education & learning with SEN.        Click icon to browse.

Official booklets 

On the left is an introduction to the Local Offer.        It says, The Local Offer tells you what support the local authority expects to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN).
On the right is a more complete overall guide.          It touches on the Graduated Approach under the heading Working Together Team – page 27.         For more about this approach see:  Graduated Approach

The go-to place

The go-to place for SEN & Disability information is the Lincolnshire Family Services Directory.
Click one of the icons to browse or search.

  • The Local Offer is part of the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEN&D) reforms, of 2014.          Its purpose is:
    1. to improve information about services and provision
    2. to improve provision by working directly with families, children and young people.
  • This is their index of topics about support with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Education, Health and Care (EHC) needs.
    1. It includes information about Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC).       The assessment process goes like this.
    2. There are 4 SEND teams in Lincolnshire that coordinate the EHC needs assessment process for children and young people – e.g. Kesteven
    3. If a child or young person has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, or has been assessed as needing one, then a personal SEND budget can be requested.            See:  outline          money.
    4. The Transistions Pathway for ages 14 – 25 is designed to move away from an educational focus with a person centred approach to enable children and young people to have better life outcomes.              See guide.

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SEN/EHC Support has quite a bit of information that could help with troubleshooting.

SPELL

SPELL is a framework for understanding and responding to the needs of children and adults with autism.              It stands for Structure, Positive approaches and expectations, Empathy, Low arousal, Links.           Click icon to find out more.

TEACCH

Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) is another broad brush approach to working with children or adults with autism.             It has more to do with values and priorities than specific techniques.           Click icon for more detail.            The NAS Early bird programme draws on the TEACCH approach.            See also:  Autism UK       Wikipedia

SEND code of practice

The SEND code of practice lays out the statutory guidance for organisations such as schools who work with children who have Special Educational Needs.           Liase talks about it as the parent’s bible for SEND meetings.            Alternatively, see publication.

  • Chapter 6 – This chapter applies mostly to mainstream schools. (Page 91)          Liase says to print this chapter and use highlighters and a pencil to note each paragraph for use at your SEN meeting at school.
  • Chapter 9 – This chapter covers all the key stages in statutory assessment and planning and preparing the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Parents’ View

The Special needs Jungle is a parent-led resource offering information and informed opinion about children and young people with SEN.

  • See  SEND flowcharts      EHC plans  for example.
  • Their SEND Info menu, at top of screen, offers more detail about Special Educational Needs.            Hover over it to see what is there.
  • Education may be linked to health these days.            See their Health menu.
  • Also, how are the SEN & Disability reforms of 2014 going?             See Education News.

Individual Education Plan

This is something for children with special educational needs.         Click on the icons below for more information. 

               Parent Partnership poster                      Great schools guide

Additional material

Here are some links for parents of children who may have special educational needs (SEN) in Lincolnshire.          Educational needs may now be considered together with health and care needs in an Education Healthcare Plan (EHCP).

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

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Web safety

See  Technical Guide  for information about the safety of this site.

Safety on-line

Click PDF  icon for a pretty complete guide to staying safe on-line, from Ambitious about Autism .        Click page icon on the right for an encyclopaedia of on-line safety.

Company websites need to be checked out before spending money or giving personal details.      This can be tricky, especially if they are not well known companies.        Here is an introduction to checking out a company, with links at the bottom.

Safe social networking

UK Safer Internet Centre have produced a handy guide to on-line safety when using the social networking service ask fm.                Click icon to view.

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Firewall

You only want one.          If you have more than one active at a time they may clash.          Some security packages have them bundled in but all versions of Windows have one available.

For more information see: Technical Tips:

  • To see why one firewall is enough see the not overdoing things bullet point.
  • To find Windows Firewall settings see under security screens.

Anti-virus

For a sound introduction to the issues and context see Do you really need antivirus software?

For a guide to free options click Best free antivirus software .

Again, you only want one Anti-virus package.      You can have too much security.

Things to avoid

You may see adverts or find software on Google claiming to fix problems on your PC or speed up performance.    Treat these with a great deal of suspicion.

Preparing for change

Education beyond 16

Click icon for a brief introduction to the support and options for education beyond 16 .

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See also  Education & Learning  under Schooling problems at the bottom of the page.        For a few life skills college courses see College and University.

NAS small iconPrepare for big changes

The National Autistic Society website has many pages to help prepare for the big changes in a pupil’s life.          Click icon to browse.

Support beyond 16

There were changes in 2014.         Click icon for an easy reading leaflet about the changes.        See also April 2015 update about rights for 16 – 25 year olds, which have been extended.

Aged 16 – 25?

Ambitious logo

Ambitious about Autism website has a section aimed at young adults preparing to make their way in the world.            They say, “We are a group of 16-25 year-olds with autism and we want to share what we’ve learned about dealing with the every-day challenges our autism can bring.”           Click icon to browse.

Preparing for adulthood

Here is the Moving on and preparing for adulthood booklet co-produced by Lincolnshire County Council and the Pelican Trust.
It is part of the Promoting Independence Project in response to requests for information from young people with SEND and Parent / Carers.           Click icon on the left to browse.

The Preparing for Adulthood programme (PfA) provides expertise and support to local authorities and their partners to embed preparing for adulthood from the earliest years.          It is part of the delivery support for the SEN and disability reforms.           See:  website         What we do          Resources            See their Youtube page for videos.

Circles of support

Circles of support offers support during a transitional time in the focus person’s life such as a change of school or moving on; by using the support of friends, family, support networks, paid professionals and staff.               A Lincolnshire service.

Independence

For an more about developing independence click icon.

 

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

Education News – £50m investment …

Lincolnshire SEND plans

A £50m investment has been approved by Lincolnshire County Council for SEND provision.         Click page icon for summary or PDF icon for full details.        PDF report shows planned school changes in the table right at the bottom.

Robot coding

Click icon for a video about a computer coding project that is believed to stimulate children on the spectrum to take an interest in and develop social & communication skills.

Lincolnshire SEND strategy

Lincolnshire County Council is developing a new strategy for special education.           The give it the title:  Building Communities of Specialist Provision for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Lincolnshire.                The Lincolnshire  Parent Carer Forum has dedicated a section of their website specifically to these developments.           Click page icon to find out about it or PDF icon for brief presentation – new.

Parliament inquiry

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Autism has produced a report.          The Click icon to see the Special Needs Jungle’s (SNJ) take.            The SNJ is a parent led group.            See SEN Information for more about them.

Teenage geek

Autistic teenager creates artificial intelligence but ‘can’t get school place’.              It took Kari Lawler only a week to build her own virtual assistant, which operates on the same lines as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.            It’s incredible when you consider what the large technology companies have spent on producing something not very different to what Kari has managed to achieve in such a short space of time.               Her parents have not yet been able to get a school place for her since she was diagnosed and finished at primary school.

SEND Reforms

  • How are the SEN & Disability reforms of 2014 going?              The picture does not seem to be all bad but there is room for improvement.
  • Updates continue to be added.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties you are not alone and it might be worth looking for helpful details.               For example, one survey revealed that only just over half of pupils with SEND (54%) believed that teachers and other school staff were preparing them well for adult life once they leave school/college or training       Could this perhaps reflect a generalised insecurity felt by pupils as they look ahead to the future? 

See: What Parents told the government               See also:  Botched job?         FromStatementtoEHCP

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  • Mum’s delight over campaign to end restraint of disabled kids in schools.                 See article.
  • A group of charities launched a new guide on 6th July 2015 to help ensure parents do not miss out on free early years education.            See also Early support for related content.
  • Here is a review of an animation game that it is said could help children with autism develop social skills, released in July 2015.              See also School age for related content.
  • Ambitious about Autism are campaigning in the area of rights for 16 – 25 year olds, which are due to be extended.   See April 2015 update.
  • The December 2014 issue of GANF Gazette has an item that might be worth a look on page 3.            Isaac Newton School, Grantham, now has new links with Ambergate & Sandon schools.         This will provide new opportunities for Isaac Newton School to further develop the standard of education they offer.

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Related Calendar – The Groove …

The Groove

We have a Christmas disco at the Guildhall which is suitable for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          It is on Saturday 22nd Dec 2018, Guildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.

Lincoln Castle Explorers

On the 29th December, 9 – 10am, we have an exclusive opportunity outside of our opening hours, for children and adults on the Autism spectrum, to visit with their families.       The team at Lincoln Castle have undergone Autism Awareness training and worked alongside Lincoln’s Parent Support Group PAACT.         Click icon for more information and to book.

Dick Whittington

Polka Dot Pantomimes are performing another season at the Guildhall Arts Centre theatre in Grantham.       The relexed performance is scheduled for 2nd January 2019 at 2pm.       Phone the booking office on (01476) 406 158 to confirm that you are booking the relaxed performance.       See also available seats

East Midlands events

Click icon for the latest Contact news bulletin.         To find out about Contact see about.

  • It contains relaxed pantomime dates around the East Midlands.
  • There are separate workshops for EHC plans and Sleep in Nottingham in the new year. 
  • What’s on at the end gives a round up of events by county.

SEND

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum have been involved with the council’s Special Educational Needs consultation exercise.          Click icon to see when and where they will be holding their coffee mornings.

Signposting & workshops

  • Free signposting and information event in Lincoln on Tue 22nd Jan 2019
  • Workshop: “Talking to children with Disabilities/SEN about Puberty, Relationships & Sexual Health” in Horncastle on 22nd Jan 2019

Click icon for more information.          (Future events tab until Jan)

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These events, on our Related Calendar, are NOT put on by GAIN but may be of interest.              See also Local Groups for autism support groups in the South Lincolnshire and beyond.             They put on events in their area.

Making sense of autism

Free training session for parents and professionals on 29th Nov at Huntingtower Primary School, Grantham, NG31 7AU.         Click icon for more information / booking.

Autism Conference

PAACT is taking bookings to attend and for information stands for annual conference in Lincoln on Tuesday 13th November 2018.
The venue will be The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7QY.         Click icon for agenda.

See:  Book to attend          Book display stand          Booking return address         map

Gateway club

Becky, the leader of The Gateway Club, would like to invite you to an open evening on Thursday 8th Nov.        The Gateway Club is an evening social club for those 18+ with learning disabilities.            They are a service run by Grantham and District Mencap.       The club is on Monday & Thursday 6.30 – 9pm, at The Cree Centre on Aire Road / Medway avenue, NG31 7QP.       We offer activities that are both centre based and out in the community.

They are trying to encourage new members and have a open evening planned for people to come along for a chat, piece of cake and see what they do …           Click PDF icon for poster.

Louth speaker event

Thursday 6th September, London Road Pavillion, Louth, LN11 9QP, 10am – 3pm.          Registration, tea & coffee from 9.15am.           Email LAAFS:  contact@laafs.org for more information and to book.

Performing Arts Workshops

Two Linkage Adult Skills days for people aged 16+ with learning disabilities, are coming to the Newark area:

  1. On 21st August with a Greatest Showman themed performance arts workshop.         Click on link to book your place.
  2. Then on 28th August, another workshop.        You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life.         See  Mamma Mia!

Caravan breaks

Magic moments for autistic kids has a caravan in Chapel St Leonards, up the coast from Skegness, available for bookings between May and September 2018.         Click icon for details.          See also Take a break.

Summer Fun

Contact East Midlands has put together a bulletin of summer activities.         Click icon to browse.          Venues include Nottingham and Leicester.          The sailing session is the other side of Nottingham.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN will have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 1st July 2018, 11am to after 4pm.         Click poster thumbnail for official information.          See also map.

We would be grateful for any donated tombola prizes – old toys, books, food/drink, plants, trinkets, toiletries, teddies, etc (we won’t turn anything down).            Please leave them at the Belton Lane Children’s Centre, with the receptionist OR contact GAIN at
(01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.

Playtowers

Playtowers special needs evening every Thursday from 28th June.      Venue is at Rochford Tower lane, Boston., PE21 9RH.        £6.95 per person, including meal and drink.          Click thumbnail for poster.

Little Steps support

An opportunity to chat/laugh/cry/celebrate the ‘little steps’ etc. 13th June at the Jubilee Church Life Centre, Grantham.

Challenging decisions

Free workshops about Education, Health and Care, EHC, plans:

  • Tribunals, 18 May, Northampton.          See poster
  • Challenging decisions, 18 June, Northampton.          See poster
  • Challenging decisions, 20 June, Nottingham.          See poster

SEND Workshops

  1.  Workshop about SEND legislation on 18th May in Navenby, near Lincoln.         For parents without an EHC plan.
  2.  Workshop about the EHC process on 15th June in Spalding.          For parents entering or in the EHC process.

Click icon on the right for details.          See also:  booking form  – download        SEN/EHC information        SEN/EHC support

Carers’ event

Carers FIRST are hosting a carer’s event promoting carer’s week on Monday 11th June at Carers First office, 28 Market Place, Grantham. NG31 6LR.        Phone:  0300 303 1555

The event is to highlight services that are available to carer’s who may help them in their caring role.

Fun on the farm

Free event on Saturday 16th June at Tattershall Farm Park, Lincolnshire, LN4 4JR.           Click icon for details and to book.         See also map.

Curly Hair Project

The Curly Hair Project is putting on talks on aspects of autism around  the country.          Tickets from about £20.           Click icon for their full list of  events.

  • Wed May 23: ASD and Females – Workshop, Peterborough

Sounds of the 60s

Linkage are putting on a disco on Friday 11th May from 8pm ‘til late at The County Assembly Rooms, 76 Bailgate, Lincoln, LN1 3AR.        This is a fundraising event for a learning centre at Boultham Park.         Click thumbnail to book.

Peterborough Meet-up

Autism Peterborough are organising a meet-up for Thursday 19th April at the Nene Valley Community Centre, Candy Street, Peterborough, PE2 9RE.        Friendly chat over cup tea and coffee.    With a Tombola stand and special guest stands …          Click icon to for more information.         See also local groups.

Autism Conference

Lincolnshire Autism Conference, Thursday 22nd March 2018 at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QG.          Click icon to book your place.           Please return this form to janet.corcoran@talk21.com or her postal address on the form.

SEND consultation

Lincolnshire County Council is developing a new strategy for special education.                   The Lincolnshire  Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) is keen for parents to have their say.        Click icon for survey form.           Open until 14th March 2018.          See also:  LPCF information

The Groove

An exciting, fun-filled night for adults with disabilities aged 16+, their families and support workers.          Saturday 10th March, Guildhall Arts Centre Ballroom, St Peter’s Hill, GranthamNG31 6PZ.        Click icon for more information.         See also map.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer  Forum will be putting on a free signposting and information event on Wednesday 24th January at The Stanhope Hall, Boston Road, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6NF – see Map.            Click icon for poster.          See also LPCF Events.

Bourne talks

The Curly Hair Project is putting on talks on aspects of autism around  the country.          Several are planned for Bourne at Rippingdale Village Hall, Station Street, PE10 0TA.            See map.            Tickets from £19.70.

See also full list of Curly Hair Project events.

Conference

Autism Peterborough are putting on a conference on Sunday 17th December at Omiston Bushfield Academy, Peterborough, .         The guest speaker will be Geoff Evans and the title will be The sensory world and challenging behaviour.          £1 donation on the day.          See also:  map         local groups – about Autism Peterborough.

Aladdin Panto

Relaxed performance on Mon 18 Dec 2017, 1:30pm at Embassy Theatre, Grand Parade, Skegness, .           See details          map.

PAACT calendar

Parents and Autistic Children Together hold monthly morning and evening meetings in Lincoln.            They also put on a monthly afternoon games club.           See also about PAACT.

Swimming

PAACT swimming starts back this SATURDAY 28th January 2017, 5:30 – 6:30 pm.         You can start getting access to the changing rooms by 5:10 pm if you need the time to change.              The swimming is at, North Kesteven sports centre, North Hykeham, Lincoln, .           Below are the dates for the years session we have booked. the cost is £3 per child and £2 per adult.

January 28th         February-25th         March-25th          April-22nd          May-20th           June-24th           July-22nd           August-12th          September-23rd          October-21st            November-25th            December-09th.

Autism Conference

PAACT invites you to their annual conference in Lincoln.               It will be on Tuesday 21st November 2017 at the Lincolnshire Showground, the same as last year.               Click icon for poster.

Here is a summary of the Talks at the conference and biographies of speakers.           Please return the booking form to simply attend the event – click icon above for prices.          GAIN will be represented there.

To book space for a display stand use this form as well as the attendance form..          The £50 covers the stand and one person.           Additional people are £30 each.

For more information contact:  paactsupport@hotmail.co.uk               See also directions for venue with Map .

Quiet clinics

Specsavers in Lincoln High Street, LN5 7DW, hold quiet clinics on the first Sunday of every month, 10am until 4pm.            These clinics have been planned in consultation with local support groups such as Canadda and PAACT.            Click icon for more information.

Have your say

The closing date to have your say about delays in getting GP appointments is 10 Nov 2017.            See survey.             It only takes about 5 minutes.

Magic Moments

  • They have availability from Wednesday 6th to Thursday 28th September and Wednesday 4th to Saturday 21st October, all at the rate of £170 for up to 4 nights and £300 for a week.
  • Contact on 07742 565382 most times and days to discuss further details.              See Take a break for more about Magic Moments and other specialist providers.

Autistics Together

CANadda event:  Tuesday 31st October 2017, Autistics Together which will be held from 9am – 3.30pm at The Engine Shed, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, LN6 7TS.          This event is for adults only (no under 16’s).          Cick icon on the left for poster.           See also booking.

Dunkirk

Subtitled screening, Wednesday 23rd August, Dunkirk at 7.30pm.            See:  Dunkirk      South Holland Centre.

Coffee morning

Lincolnshire Autistic Society coffee morning at Castle Cafe and Bar, Albion Street, Spalding, PE11 2AJ on Sunday 20th August 2017, 10am onwards.          Their first Sunday event.           Click thumbnail for poster.

Book with Patrick Downing:  01775 248 470.

Holiday club

Supported by BBC Children in Need, Linkage are able to offer free places at a Holiday Club at Weelsby Campus, Grimsby, DN32 9RU, between the 24th and 28th July 2017 from 10am – 3pm each day.         This is an exciting opportunity for 13-18 year olds with disabilities or additional needs to make new friends and have fun whilst trying new activities.            Updated details taken from an email from louise.cotton@linkage.org.uk.

Suicide intervention

We have just run a very successful ASIST course in Lincoln and have another one planned for July 25/ 26th. We hope these dates will be particularly suitable for those working in education, or anyone that wants to enjoy a few summer days in beautiful Lincoln.
See also booking terms.

Relaxed Prom

Prom 19 is to be a concert suitable for children and adults with autism .         12 mid-day, Saturday 29 Jul 2017 Royal Albert Hall, London.           Programme to include music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and Johann Strauss II, as well as Pharrell Williams’s ‘Happy’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ theme.          See details.          The Proms on TV page does not seem to feature this concert, though.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN is to have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 2nd July 2017, 11am to after 4pm.            Click poster thumbnail for official information.             See also map.

We would be grateful for any donated tombola prizes – old toys, books, food/drink, plants, trinkets, toiletries, teddies, etc (we won’t turn anything down).            Please leave them at the Belton Lane Children’s Centre, with the receptionist OR contact GAIN at (01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.

Autistic Pride Day

On June 18 every year, organisations around the world celebrate Autistic Pride Day, with events around the world.              See awareness days

CAMHS surveys

If you have experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) in Lincolnshire, you can give them your feedback.           These are for parents and young people.              See:  parents          young people              Both versions close on 31st May 2017.

Robyn Steward

Please book your place on this amazing evening where our warm up act will be Andrew Whitehouse who is responsible for putting PAACT and Robyn together.              The evening starts at 7:00pm through to 9:30pm on June 6th at Lincoln College.          The cost is £20.00.            There is a limit of 60 places for this evening talk.            To book your place on this talk please email  paactsupport@hotmail.co.uk.

Family Funfest

Sleaford additional needs group, Rainbow stars, and Grantham disabled children’s society are joining forces for a family day at Sleaford rugby club on the 27th of May 2017.            Click icon on the right to log your interest.             See their organisation page for more detail.

For Autism Parents

This is a free expert-led event about the challenges of and provision for autism and complex needs.            It will be in Leicester on 16th May.          See details to book your place.

Rand Farm Park visit

Family Activity: exclusive event for families with children on the Autistic spectrum, ADHD or Learning difficulties.           Tuesday 11th April 2017, 5 – 8pm.           £6.50 per adult and per child.            PAACT needs at least 30 to take part in this activity.
See also:  website            map

Spilsby day out

A holiday club with a free day out for 13-18 year olds with disabilities or additional needs.           3rd-7th April 2017, 10am – 3pm.             Toynton Campus, Toynton All Saints, Spilsby, PE23 5AE.            Book before 17th March.                 See also map.

Next Steps

This transitions event is on 28th March at Social Care Exchange, Low Manor Road, Lincoln.               Click thumbnail to see poster.             See also:  event             website             map.

Autism Conference

Lincolnshire Autism Conference, Thursday 23rd March 2017 at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, LN10 6QG.             Click icon to book your place simply to attend.             Please return this form to janet.corcoran@talk21.com or her postal address – on the form.              GAIN will be represented there.

Here is the Invitation to set up a display/stall at the conference, complete with application form.             For more information contact Gordon Forsyth at enquiries@lincolnshireautisticsociety.co.uk  or  07847 5073.                See also Map with directions.               Please be aware that Gordon is currently using the Lincolnshire Autistic Society email address for returning display booking forms and enquiries.

Self-harm workshops

Following on from requests from parents and professionals Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be holding self-harm talks and workshops on Wednesday 15th March 2017 in South Holland Centre, Market Place, Spalding, PE11 1SS.                 Click icon for more information.             See also LPCF Newsletter.

CAMHS survey

If you have experience of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) in Lincolnshire, there may just be time to voice any concerns you have to your GP, or who ever made the referral, so that they can take them into account when filling in the survey for professionals.              The idea, as you might imagine, is to help to improve their services.                  See Home for more information.               The post is currently at the top.            The survey closes on 28th Feb.

Lincoln research

My name is Sahibur Rahman, I study at the University of Lincoln.         I am currently undergoing research for my dissertation which focuses on the way media affects autistic individuals, and as a marketing student, how in particular adverts can be/are catered to autistic people.       As its a topic regarding autistic people I was wondering if I was able to get in contact with individuals who are parents to autistic children or are autistic themselves.      

I would conclude a one to one meeting with them and it would be completely confidential.       I understand this is quite forward and giving such information out is a problem, however this would help my study massively.                 Email:  SahiburRahman@hotmail.com     (Sent:  20 Jan 2017)               She could travel as far as Grantham if need be.

Transition planning

A free two day program of information and workshops highlighting the many issues around the transition from childhood to adulthood.           23rd & 24th February 2017, at Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln, LN1 3DY.            Book either or both using form.

Managing money

A free course in Boston on Monday 6th February .              See:   poster                 website.

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Xmas Family/Darts party

Come and join us for the GAIN / Men & Ladies Darts family Christmas party at the White Lion, Grantham on Saturday 15th December, 7pm until late.           Facbook small iconChildren and adults on the spectrum are welcome – accompanied by parent or carer.          Click icon for more information.

The Science – The Geek Syndrome …

The Geek SyndromeAbilityPlusDisability

  • Is there a connection between geekiness and autism?
  • Could Silicon Valley hold the key?         Steve Silberman considers the question in The Geek Sydrome.         (new)
  • Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen thinks scientists and engineers could be more likely to have a child with autism, though other scientists say that this has not yet been proved.       The article argues the science in an accessible way.
  • A Guardian journalist states that IT companies actively recruit an autistic workforce expecting to find people who are technically very competent with good concentration skills.         He also shows how computers can be a mixed blessing.

Autistica

Autistica is a UK based reasearch charity.            Click icon for their website and scroll down to see their current research projects.             Their research priorities are about improving life for people on the spectrum.                    (updated)

See also Diversity press about priorites, e.g. Steve Silberman.

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Introduction to brain research

The Cambridge Neuroscience website projects an image of a hive of activity.        Their Autism Research Centre aims to understand the biomedical causes of autism.        They have published a Short History of neuroscience at Cambridge.

Brain Bank for Autism is based at Oxford University.          Click icon for for their brochure.          The Medical Research Council offers information about donating brain tissue in the UK – see Map & FAQ.        The National Autistic Society has a position statement which sets out issues for potential donors to consider.

Is ADHD a Spectrum Disorder?

New research suggests that ADHD has a number of subgroups.          All of them are associated with a weak connection in the brain’s neural networks.            This article describes how, according to Joel Nigg, Ph.D, they affect children with ADHD and how the brain matures.

Empathy

Oxford associate professor has a new interpretation of autism distinguishing it from alexithymia.            He says that autistic people can have empathy and non-autistic people can lack it.            He also says that the two conditions are completely independent of each other.            Click icon for article.

Autism communication trial

A specific research programme at the University of Manchester, UK.            Six years after parents were trained to understand and interact with their preschool children better, researchers observed improvements.

An autistic child may not interact with his or her parents at all.           In this trial, when a child eventually did offer a toy or made a noise that could be interpreted as a request, the incident was played back on video and the parent encouraged to respond.            Parents parcticed what they had lerned at home every day.            Click icon for article.

Overlap between ADHD and Autism

Click icon for an introduction.           For a more thorough treatment see this article.

Until as late as 2013 a joint diagnosis of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was not permitted by the most influential psychiatric handbook.           But both conditions are increasingly found to occur together.          In addition mechanisms in the brain that are involved in the overlap of these conditions have been identified.

Evolutionary brain benefit

Genetic variants linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may have been positively selected during human evolution because they also contribute to enhanced cognition, a new Yale study suggests.          See:  Independent article              Yale article

Autism Camouflaging

There’s such a thing as “autism camouflaging” and it might explain why some people are diagnosed so late.              Across the whole sample, higher camouflaging scores were associated with higher levels of depression, but not anxiety.            Click icon for article.

Early detection

Brain scans can detect autism long before any symptoms start to emerge, say scientists.            Click icon for article.

Cause of Dyslexia

Scientists have discovered what appears to be a fundamental reason why people are dyslexic based on MRI scans.           What is particularly interesting is that better reading skills in adults and children with dyslexia were associated with greater repetition-induced neural adaptation,             Click icon to view article.

Logical Decisions

People with autism make more logical decisions, study suggests.       ‘Listening to your heart and being in touch with your emotions – usually seen as positive things – may lead to decisions that are not so rational’.          See  article.

Causes of Autism

How close are we to solving the puzzle?       Here is a TV documentary featuring comment from experts in the field.        It was uploaded in 2011 and lasts 15 minutes.

Is there an autism epidemic?

The short answer is no.          What is more, the autism epidemic myth has had damaging consequences.         Here is one paediatrician’s explanation.

Mothers on the spectrum

This is a study released in Baltimore, USA, comparing the experiences of autistic mothers with typical mothers.                It specifies additional difficulties that autistic mothers face .              See study for more information.

New brain study

A new study adds an intriguing, unexpected, and sure-to-be controversial finding to the mix:       It suggests the brains of children with autism contain small patches where the normally ordered arrangement of neurons in the cerebral cortex is disrupted.        “We’ve found locations where there appears to be a failure of normal development,”  said Eric Courchesne, a neuroscientist at the University of California.           See article.

Most costly medical condition

Research published in a leading international medical journal shows that autism costs the UK more than heart disease, cancer and stroke combined.     “There is an unacceptable imbalance between the high cost of autism and the amount we spend each year on researching how to fundamentally change the outlook for people …”.          See article.         See also related article with  a 14 minute video at the bottom of the page.

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 their role in a child’s development.

Do fish oils help?

Some people say that fish oils help to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).             Unfortunately, independent scientists seem to say that it does not benefit all children with ADHD.         They say it may benefit a particular group of children who ‘are highly oppositional, especially if their normal blood levels of EPA are low’.                  See Fish Oil and ADHD: What is The Evidence? under the heading:  Summary and implications.          Even then, they say that more research is needed to be sure.

Drama & Performance activities

“Children with autism who take part in drama and performance activities may be able to improve their communication and interpersonal skills, a study has found.”              See newspaper article.

Oliver Sacks

According to his website he was, A physician, best-selling author, and professor of neurology        He contributed quite a bit to the scientific understanding of the nature of autism.

For the book worms amongst us Awakenings might make for an interesting and uplifting read.         This is an account of a group of patients who were woken from sleeping sickness in 1969 by Dr Sacks using a drug that was new at the time.           See also   Library record.

Do complications during birth cause autism?

The science is not as clear or as simple as that and research is still at an early stage.

  • The NHS has a page about the causes of Autism.
  • The National Autistic Society covers the ground quite well and contains some insightful comments.           It is also very easy to read.           See causes.

Research Autism

Research Autism is dedicated to researching interventions in autism.           They claim to be, The only UK charity exclusively dedicated to research into interventions in autism.             This is their Range of research findings.

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

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Employment

Adult life

Eric from Singapore has written some handy guides to adult life as someone with Asperger’s.        He addresses aspies everywhere in a readable style with insightful tips.         Click icon and browse under the Real life menu:   Basic work rules          Staying employed         Freelance jobs         Financial literacy        Working with money         Insurance discrimination

For anyone interested in the freelance jobs page, be sure to check points 1 – 3 at the bottom of the page.       Earning a bit of pocket money while living with one’s parents may be straight forward enough but it would be wise to consider the potential risks of going freelance carefully before relying on it in a big way.        Here are is a more mainstream view of avoiding  the risks.

Avoiding job scams

The internet can be very useful but it can pose dangers too.                Here are a couple of helpful guides to avoiding on-line job scams:

warning signs                           Which guide   (new)

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Can do

What work can people with autism do?             Here is a personal view.                The author describes his brother’s ability as follows:  “You can give him any task and, as long as he is guided through it a couple of times, he will get into the habit of doing it.”               His message to employers is, ” Tap into this pool of potential with targeted descriptions, clear demands and a touch of humanity”. 

Be part of the change

Ambitious about Autism are asking people to register to join their Employ Autism campaign by submitting your name and a valid email address.              They say, “Recent figures show that only 15% of people with autism are in full time, paid employment”.               If you are very keen you could even ask for information about their Youth Patrons.

Employment for Disabled People
Social Obligation or Individual Responsibility? 

Some people are at the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum have achieved remarkable things, e.g. Richard Branson and probably Isaac Newton to name but two.     A significant proportion of university lecturers are said to be in a similar category.     But whatever your level of potential the law offers some protection against discrimination in the work place.

The research paper referred to below might be said to offer useful insights to those with disabilities, indicating where they stand in relation to the world of work.      The full article is pretty heavy going though, so the link below takes you into a brief outline.

Tips

If you are preparing for the world of work you could probably do with some one-to-one advice and guidance, but here are a few pointers that might help:

  • If you are high-functioning this may be reflected, to some extent at least, in your qualifications, like GCSEs.      Technical work might be right up your street.
  • Whatever your level, it looks good if you can get some work experience – however small and straight forward.     This shows to yourself and possible employers that you are getting somewhere in the world of work.       Voluntary work can be a useful start.    Anyway, it might be wise to start small to begin with and see how you go.
  • There may be some things to avoid:  maybe too much stress or work that requires particularly good people skills.   For example, teaching might not be a good idea for you.
  • If your health affects your fitness for work your GP may be able to issue you with a Fit note, stating the limitations of what you can do.      For example you may need to limit the hours that you do.

For help and advice contact the National Careers Service.       They have:

  • useful things like a CV builder etc.
  • a free phone helpline,  0800 100 900.        They seem to have a calm and relaxed manner, with no pressure.
  • online chat.

Steps to work

This is a programme aimed at parents thinking about returning to work.                 It is run in Grantham on specific dates at either Swingbridge or Belton Lane Children’s and Community Centre.              For more information click on the icon.

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

Cinema – Stamford – 27 Dec

GAIN are proud to announce the screening of Fantastic Beasts 2, on Thursday 27th December, 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.