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Associated conditions

Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is having difficulty learning to:     1. recognise and write letters and words       2.  link sounds, speech and writing.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  About Health.      See links for more detailed information.
  • Here is a collection of scientific presentations:  Science direct       They address Specific learning disabilities and creativity.       new

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Demand avoidance

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is a profile that describes those whose main characteristic is to avoid everyday demands and expectations to an extreme extent.      Click icon to find out more.      See also: PDA Society        slide show

Mental health

The National Autistic Society has a page about mental health and autism.       Click page icon to view.        Also, Autistica has produced a help sheet about autism and mental health.       Click PDF icon to view.

Here is a handy guide to Healthy coping skills for uncomfortable emotions written by a psychotherapist.         (new)

Patients may be referred to a psychiatrist for associated mental health issues.       See NHS introduction.        Ambitious about Autism has produced a guide to making the most of an appointment.

Executive Functioning

Executive functions are the brain’s self-management system.        Problems with executive function can be linked to autistic traits in later life.      Click icon for Options help sheet.       It starts with James at school.

For more examples and how to address them read about Josh in this article.

Handwriting 

Options has produced a help sheet about developing early handwriting skills for children with autism.        Click icon to view.      (new)         See also:

  • Letter dominoes is a game that is easy to make yourself.
  • Here is a video tutorial setting out several aids – including pencil grips.      It offers insight into what does and does not work.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates the sock method of teaching proper pencil grip.
  • This video tutorial demonstrates writing 3 letters of the alphabet.       There are more related videos in the margin, too.
  • Some mums provide a sloping board/surface to write on.

Alexithymia

A condition involving lack of empathy.        A difficulty in experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses.         Some with autism have this lack of empathy but many do not.      Click icon for an easy reading interview.       Professor Geoff Bird says that alexithymia and autism are independent of each other.

For detailed and definitive information see:  Alexithymia info 

Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly affects the way people read and spell words.       Click icon for an easy reading introduction.        Scroll down for comments.

  • For more detail, see  British Dyslexia Association  (BDA).      They also have resources for parents.       And much more …
  • See Dislexia outreach for support in Lincolnshire.      They support parents, teachers, and pupils.
  • See also under handwriting aids below.

Demand avoidance

Pathological demand avoidance (PDA) – part of the autism spectrum.         Click page icon on the left for PDA society website and PDF icon for a PDA Society PowerPoint presentation.

Demand avoidance sounds similar to Oppositional defiance, so what is the difference?        In the PDF file above, page 29, it says that PDA is an autism spectrum disorder rooted in anxiety, whereas ODD is not.

Echolalia

  • Here is an introduction to echolalia.       Mimicry is an efficient way to experiment with different sounds and practice emerging social language skills. 
  • This article offers a medical analysis.       People with echolalia repeat noises and phrases that they hear.      They may not be able to communicate effectively because they struggle to express their own thoughts.        If they struggle to do anything other than repeat what has been said, they may have echolalia.        Some children with autism are regularly tested for this during their speech lessons.
  • Here is a more detailed article about echolalia with autism Even echolalia is a normal way to learn language.      Most children use echolalia to learn language.       The majority of children babble in a rhythmic way, which is actually mimicking the cadence of our language. 
  • In adults Echolalia should normally disappear around two and half years of age.      It is often considered abnormal if it persists beyond age 3 years.

Dyscalculia

Dyscalculia is a specific difficulty with arithmetic, or maths.

  • The Dyscalculia website looks pretty definitive.         It offers a handy introduction
  • For more information see Dyscalculia Talks.       It has articles to read as well as video clips to watch.
  • The Dyscalculia Conference website is aimed at professionals, but might be interesting to anyone teaching their own child at home.

Dyspraxia

A Developmental co-ordination disorder.

  • For an easy reading introduction, see  NHS Choices.        Scroll down for comments.
  • The Dyspraxia Foundation has a great deal to offer, including introductionchildren,   FAQ.       See also:  Home for helpline and  Local groups – including Leicstershire and Peterborough
  • You may be surprised to learn that it can affect speech, see Speech and Language.

Doc iconSpecific Learning Difficulties

SpLD is an umbrella term used to cover a range of frequently co-occurring difficulties, more commonly:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia / DCD
  • Dyscalculia
  • D.D / A.D.H.D

Specific Learning Difficulties (or SpLDs), affect the way information is learned and processed. They are neurological (rather than psychological), usually run in families and occur independently of intelligence. They can have significant impact on education and learning and on the acquisition of literacy skills.

In general, a student may be diagnosed with a SpLD where there is a lack of achievement at age and ability level, or a large discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability.

See also an analytical view

Tourettes

Tourette’s syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.       See introduction

  • Tourettes Action website seems to be the go-to place for all things Tourettes.      Click icon on the left to browse.       They have a Find support menu.
  • The Lincolnshire support group meets in Lincoln and Grantham.
  • Discussions :  Netmums        Tourettes & Aspergers
  • Facebook videos might be worth a look.

Swallowing difficulties

Click icon to view help sheet for people with Autism about Dysphagia by a speech and language therapist.

Epilepsy

Autistica has produced a help sheet about autism and epilepsy.       Click icon to view.  See also Epilepsy Action:  Website           Information         Help & support

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Related Calendar

Green Synergy

Green Synergy are putting on events at Hillside Garden, in Lincoln, for people with mental health issues from April – June.      This is part of their Better together partnership project to offer pre-employability opportunities.      Click icon on the left to find out more.
See also their website

They are also running their popular Get Into gardening course as part of their Move employability project for people interested in becoming self-employed gardeners.      Get in touch with them before 15 April for this course.      Other options may also be available.      Click icon on the right to find out more.

They have also launched a project for 10-14 year olds who want to do more for the environment and their community.      Their Green Influencers learn new skills and gain experience and confidence.      The scheme aims to make environmental social action a regular, habitual part of young people’s lives.       Sign up with Brodi: brodi@greensynergy.org.uk       Tel: 07586 777623

Virtual workshops

Check out the online workshops from Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum, on the left.      They are free to members.       Contact workshops, on the right. are free to all.      Some workshops seek to address issues related to autism, others to foster wellbeing.

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The events on this page are chosen because they may be of interest to a child and/or adult on the autistic spectrum.         See also Local Groups for autism support groups in the South Lincolnshire and beyond.        They put on events in their area.

Worsening health

The NHS is putting on free virtual training during March to help family carers Identify early signs of worsening health in a person with a learning disability.       Click icon to find out more.

Virtual workshops

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum are arranging two free series of workshops on Zoom.       One is aimed at friends, relatives and carers of children or adults with additional needs.       Dates range from 5 Jan 10 Feb 2021.      It is called Waving not drowning!        Click icon on the left for Waving not drowning!

They are also putting on LPCF week of SEND.  –  from 25 Jan – 29 Jan.      These are aimed at parents and carers of children with additional needs and professionals who work with them.       Click icon on the right for poster.

More workshops

Contact has quite an extensive range of  virtual workshops for families with additional needs in Jan – Feb.       See workshops for more information.

Positive behaviour

There were a few places left as of Tue afternoon for a Promoting Postivie Behaviour and Autism Workshop.      The workshop will be on Fri 4 Dec at 9:45am and it will be online.       Click icon for details.

Lincoln conference

PAACT is taking bookings for the 22nd Lincoln annual autism conference, Mon 16 – Fri 20 Nov 2020.       Click icon for details.

Lincoln Castle

Only Lincoln Castle grounds are open to the public until 2 Dec.      Click page icon to see visitor update.       Exclusive autism-friendly Explorers sessions at the castle have not yet re-started, though, as of Sept 2020.       Next one may be in the evening.       Click castle icon for background information.

The Groove

The Guildhall Arts Centre has a few virtual events and on-line resources but The Groove has not re-started as of Sept 2020.      Click page icon to set what they have to offer.

Dysart Park Fun Day

Unfortunately Dysart Park Fun Day has been cancelled for 2020.       Click icon and scroll down to find the post cancelling all their events.

Family dog workshops

How  pet dogs can help families that have a child with autism.       Dogs for Good has workshops planned for 2020.
Click icon for locations and dates e.g.  10 Jul Lincoln21 Jul Leicester.      Check again nearer the time for Coronavirus updates.

Makaton course

The Makaton course for Friday 20 Mar at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham has been cancelled

Messy

Zoo Co presents a visual story with original music, puppets and tap dancing.        Performed by a deaf and hearing cast.       This relaxed performance, created in partnership with ADHD Foundation, will be at the Guildhall Arts Centre in Grantham on 17 Feb.       Click icon for web page or poster thumbnail.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Fri 31 Jan in Hubberts Bridge, near Boston.
It will be free to parents and carers.         Click icon and scroll down for details.        See map

Mental health engagement

Give Lincolnshire NHS your feedback on mental health community rehabilitation.         Click icon  for dates in January around the county.

Cinderella

Polka Dot Pantomimes are performing another season at the Guildhall Arts Centre theatre in Grantham.       Click icon for information about relaxed performances.        They are scheduled for 2nd Jan 2020 at 2pm & 6:30pm.         Phone the booking office using (01476) 406 158  for available seats at:  6:30pm       (2pm  seats sold out.)

Farm quiet hour

Rand Park Farm, near Lincoln, will be putting on a quiet hour for children with additional needs and their families.        Date: 14th Dec, 9 – 10am.        See map        farm layout

Making sense of the senses

Free conference with Dr John Biddolph on Wed 4 Dec at The Fleet, Peterborough.       Click icon for more information including booking details.

Autism Conference

PAACT is taking bookings to attend and for information stands for annual conference in Lincoln on Tuesday 19th Nov 2019.
The venue will be The Showroom, Tritton Road, Lincoln, LN6 7QY.        Click icon for poster.        See also map

Lincoln Castle Explorers

An exclusive opportunity outside of opening hours for children and adults on the autistic spectrum to visit with their families.        Lincoln Castle Explorers, 2nd Nov, 9am – 10am.        Click page icon for event details and to book or castle icon about autism-friendly opening.        See map.

Makaton course

An early years specialist will be running a Makaton course on Friday Oct 4th at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham.       It will run from 9.30 – 12.30pm and then 12.30pm until 3.30pm with a working lunch.       She will cover Level 1 in the morning and Level 2 in the afternoon.      The cost is £15 per level payable to the trainer on the day.        Morning session recommended for parents.       If you would like to attend contact: ella.mayfield@lincolnshire.gov.uk         See Speech & language about Makaton.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Wed 30 Sep in Market Rasen,        Click icon for details.        See map

Harrowby football match

Harrowby vs Cottesmore football match on Saturday 14 Sep at Harrowby United’s Dickens Road Community Stadium, Grantham, NG31 9QY.       Free entry for under 16’s and carers with Carer’s Allowance letter.        See also map.

Dysart Park Fun Day

GAIN will have a stall at The Dysart Park Fun Day again this year, on Sunday 7th July 2019, 11am to after 4pm.       See::  Facebook      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 contact GAIN at
(01476) 855 070 to arrange to drop off or collect.        Thanks to everyone who has already donated prizes, including:  Poundland, Home Bargains, The Works and Subway.

Makaton course

An early years specialist will be running a Makaton course on July 5th at Belton Lane Children’s Centre, Grantham.        It will run from 9.30 – 12.30pm and then 12.30pm until 3.30pm with a working lunch.        She will cover Level 1 in the morning and Level 2 in the afternoon.       The cost is £15 per level payable to the trainer on the day.

Healthy Conversation

The NHS will be holding public engagement drop in sessions around Lincolnshire during May and June.       They want to take soundings about the future of local  health services.

Family dog workshops

Workshops for families with children diagnosed with autism in Lincoln on 7 Jun.       Click icon for details.        See Growing up about Dogs for Good.

Signposting

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum (LPCF) will be putting on a general signposting event on Wed 22 May in Lincoln,

Overcoming trauma

Hesley are putting on a free event for parents about overcoming trauma and building resilience for people with autism.        It will be on 8 May in Nottingham.        Click icon for details and to book.

Easter Quest

An exclusive opportunity outside of opening hours for children and adults on the autistic spectrum to visit with their families.        Alice in Wonderland Easter Quest at Lincoln Castle.        Follow the white rabbit and seek out the clues to solve the Mad Hatter’s riddle and claim your chocolate reward.        Sat  20th Apr, 9am – 10am.        Click icon for more information.

East Midlands events

Workshop for parents of special needs children – Coping with Challenging Behaviour.       Wed, 3rd Apr, 10am – 12pm.        25 FREE places available for parents.        At Voluntary Action Rutland, Rutland Community Hub, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6RB.         To book your free place email westmids.office@contact.org.uk with your name, address and telephone number.        Please also state the age of your child with special needs, and the nature of his/ her disability.        Click poster preview to view.

TV/Radio blog

Stand up comedy

Ria Lina does some aspie stand-up on The Now Show.      Click icon to listen – 8 minutes in.

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Sensory overload

Paris Lees hears from two women learning to cope as they deal with the complexities of human touch.      Sarah is an autistic mother with touch sensitivities.      Click icon for the podcast.      See also article about Sarah.

The life scientific

Research psychologist Francesca Happé talks to Jim al-Khalili about the abilities of people with autism.       Click icon for the podcast.

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 mins to skip car theft and find the phone-in.

Autism & communication

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

Atypical

Click icon to find the trailer for ‘Atypical’, Netflix’s new comedy series about autism.       It premiered 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.      The link features an article followed by comments.

The first episode was dissapointing for one viewer.      In this article actor Mickey Rowe explains why he thinks Netflix’s series Atypical misrepresents its autistic audience — and why that begins with its failure to include the autistic community in its creative process.

Lucy Mangan on Responsibility

Click icon to listen to this intelligent and engaging interview.       Lucy Mangan 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 just got on with it until one day, when she was sixteen, it all caught up with her.      She says it is like shaking up a bottle of fizzy pop: ‘it’s got to come out some way’.

More or Less

The Radio 4 series that goes behind the numbers in the news.      For example,  in the Brexit referendum of 2016 the UK has voted to leave the European Union.      Click Brexit economics to listen to Tim Harford and the team explore what that might mean for the UK economy.      Click icon for more episodes.

Lack of empathy

How 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.

Men & Asperger’s

Asperger’s syndrome or not?  may still be available to hear on-line.     Why do so many women think their men have Asperger’s syndrome? 

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.

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.

Casualty

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.

Things to help

Social stories

Social stories for kids with Asperger’s can help to teach basic social skills in a simple and direct way that they can understand.       Click page icon to find out what they are, how they help and how to write your own.       Also:

  • Social stories were created by Carol Gray in 1991 in Michigan, USA.      Her website offers a wealth of sample stories.
  • Successful Social Stories, by Dr Siobhan Timmins, contains guidance, illustrations and examples.      See Amazon       Good Reads.       Find preview by clicking Look Inside on the Amazon page.      The author is based in Essex.
  • This is a book of containing many social stories – The New Social Stories book (2015).      See:  Amazon       Good Reads.       Have a look at four examples by clicking Look Inside on the Amazon page and then clicking First pages in the left margin.
  • Youtube has quite a few videos about writing your own social stories.      There are a few ready made stories too, like It’s OK to Back Away.        new
  • Pixabay might be a handy source of free images for social stories.

Amazing things happen

Click play button for a video for children explaining autism.

Using technology

The National Autistic Society has a guide to using technology for parents.       Click icon to view.

Computer games are said to be beneficial for children on the spectrum.       Here are three web links, the first offering help in choosing games and the second offering a self-contained experience with the games on the site.

  • Learning Works for Kids is a site based in the USA.       It identifies computer games that they say help with particular learning or life skills.       The Find Games or Apps menu option takes you to their search page.      This is free to use.       The approach is said to draw on original research and decades of experience in education and psychology – see their About page.
  • Autism Games is a website created by a university and an eTherapy centre in Australia.         It is free to use and it aims to assist children with moderate to severe autism to develop independent living skills.       Click on website and hover over the Games menu to see what is available.       Click the Whiz Kids Games link on their home page to play the games.       You need to have Adobe Flash on your computer to play the games.      Take care to use the Adobe website to install to keep your computer safe.      But if you are not sure about any of this please ask someone who understands computers for help.
  • Pokemon Go has been the subject of a lot of bad press.       This story, though, of a 6-year-old boy called Ralphie, is a notable exception.         See article.

Fidgeting

  • Fidgetbum is designed to keep bedding in place during the night.      The website is well presented.
  • Bouncy Bands look like an interesting idea for children with fidgety feet.          It gets the thumbs up from a teacher in the UK in principle.         Amazon UK stocks them.       Probably wise to check the reviews for the items that have them.
  • Do you fidget at your desk?        Here is an article about a fidget cube.        See Amazon.

Aukids magazine

A magazine offering information, encouragement and support for parents of children with autism spectrum conditions.       For four issues a year, AuKids costs £15 per year and includes access to a downloadable archive, too.      Click icon for their website.       Visitors can get a good idea what they contains from the sample issues in their Library section.      The website and publishers have a UK address.

Special clothing

Children with autism often have sensory issues.      They may be fussy about the clothes they wear, for example.      Hear is a list of some of the suppliers of specialist clothing .

Some children with autism may engage in fecal smearing.       Click on this  forum  to find out how mothers tackle the problem.      Hear is a list of some of the discussion  and supplier sites of specialist body suits.

Professionals

Life Support DVD’s

This UK based site offers sex education DVD’s.       Click icon for You, Your Body, Growing Up, Relationships and Sex.       It is their SEND menu option.       See previews:   Kylie’s private world       Jason’s private world 

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This is a page for professionals who may be quite new to autism.        See also:  Autism awareness        SEN/EHC Information         Sensory sensitivity for Sensory Processing Disorder under SPD.

Professional practice

The National Autistic Society has many pages about professional practice.       Click page icon to browse their professional practice pages or twitter icon for their Autism practice feed.        More specifically see:  teachers  and transition guides:  to primary school        leaving school        mental health

Flexi-schooling?

There is a shared classroom and home-schooling approach to education that may be worth considering for some autistic children.       Click icon for the National Autistic Society’s page on the subject.

Employ autism network

Ambitious About Autism are looking for people to sign up.       They are seeking employers, educators etc.       Click icon to find their Employ Autism Network page.

Finished at school

Ambitious About Autism published a guide at the end of their Finished at School (FaS) campaign.       The learning it captured is intended to support colleges in developing effective practice to support learners with autism to make a successful transition from school to college and into adult life.        Click icon for guide.

See also:  www.ambitiousaboutautism.org.uk         Twitter has a link to the website at the top of its display.       Once there navigate to:

Menu > Who we are > Campaigns > Finished at School 

Team Around the Child

As a guide, a TAC is required where two or more support services are involved.        Click icon for Lincolnshire Council guidance and assessment portal.

Here is a one stop resourcefor those in need of Teams Around a Child: Early Help Lincolnshire       Here is the TAC website establised by Peter Limbrick who developed TAC.       This link gives a feel for how things might work: TAC meetings

TEACCH

Treatmentand Educationof 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

Training courses

Supporting inclusion

Click icon for Lincolnshire Council pages about supporting inclusion.       It covers aspects of special educational needs & disabilityfor professionals.

Lincolnshire has four integrated locality teams.       SENCOs from all early years providers, registered childminders and out of school club managers can request Early Years inclusion support.        See Early years support         It has an inclusion support referral form at the bottom of the page and email addresses.

Working together team

The Working Together Team offers support to schools and academies for students with a wide range of social communication and / or learning needs.        See also:  detail          SEN Support – Scroll down to Social communication outreach.

Flash Cards

Sparklebox offer free teaching aids for children with special educational needs.          Here is the Speech page.        Their terms of use are brief.

Co-ordination

Early years can extend as far as the age of 18 with ESCO.       This is short for Early years Support Care & Co-ordination,

Teens 2021

Model railways

There are some fine examples of model railways in the UK.       We have links to three of them here.       The first is  a model railway layout based on the North Yorkshire market town of Knaresborough.      It was set around the time of 2005-15.       Click play button for a video tour.

Here is a layout set in 1949, in the age of steam.       It puts us in the fictional town of Langley,       The railway station is on a branch line of the Great Western Railway (GWR) which recently had recently been nationalised and become part of British Railways.

This is a fictional 1980s diesel depot on the West Highland line in Scotland.       It uses a digital command control system, which means smoother running at low speeds and the ability to control engines independently on the same stretch of track.     The sound effects you hear on the video are produced by this system too.

The examples shown above may seem out of reach for most of us.       Model Railway UK is a down to earth Youtube channel charting work in progress on a couple of layouts.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift was declared Artist of the decade by the American Music Awards in 2019.      Click page icon for a rundown of her most iconic songs.

On her Folklore album there are three teenage love triangle songs.      They are written from the viewpoint of each of the characters involved.        See article.

Fight song

Rachel Platten is an Americal singer from Boston,, Massachusetts.      She used to visit London with her family some years back and has performed there.      It took a while for her career to take off, but after years of trying her fans connected with her Fight song.

Click play button for the video.      It illustrates her real-life struggle: performing in New York bars, trying to write a song that would capture the public imagination.       See article from 2016.

Covid vaccine

Some people might think that the Covid-19 vaccine research and development started when the pandemic began in early 2020.      In fact, following the Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016, scientists at Oxford University started preparing for the next big outbreak – not knowing what it would be.

They took a common cold virus that infected chimpanzees and engineered it to become the building block of a vaccine against almost anything.      You could think of it as a smart, microscopic postman.      All the scientists have to do is change the package.

Fortunately, by 2020, they knew quite a bit about the Coronavirus family of viruses.      Also, they had already developed this kind of vaccine for Mers, another version of Coronavirus.       Once animal trials had shown the vaccine was safe, the researchers were able to begin human trials on 23rd April.

Click icon for the full story.

This page contains the April 2021 issue
of Teen Scene.

Asperger’s

Asperger girls

Reddit is an online forum with the title:  Life skills and healthy coping mechanisms for the ASD community.      Click icon for their Asperger girls page.      The questions they tackle are quite grown-up.       Their general Asperger’s page could be worth a look too.

Keran – age 33

Meet Keran Bunker, who has always struggled to keep jobs or a place to live and did not find out he had autism with ADHD until he was-33.        Click play button for his video.

Social skills

The National Autistic Society has set of pages about socialising and relationships with the autistic spectrum.       The page about making friends could be the most relevant.      Click icon to browse.        new        Also:

Relationships

You do not have to look far to see that relationship issues are of concern to all kinds of people.        However, below are a few links offering handy insights into relationships for people with Asperger’s.

  • ArticleRelationship Difficulties Due to Deficits in “Theory of Mind”  
  • ArticleRules of Effective Listening: Tips for Men on the Spectrum
  • Adult relationships – bullet points
  • Issues for partners
  • Radio programme – may well still be available to hear on-line:        Why do so many women think their men have Asperger’s syndrome?

Chat for Adults with Asperger’s

This is a website dedicated to people with Asperger’s.        Contributors tackle many topics.       Look for the Popular Posts as well as other links down the right hand side.       There is also a search box.       Below are some of the more substantial ones.

Special Interests

Hydrogen fuelled

What is the future for hydrogen fuelled transport?       It will fill the gaps where battery power cannot compete.      It looks like these will be for larger vehicles and long distances on tight schedules.       Click icon to read about hydrogen powered cars.

Happily, hydrogen and electric power complement each other.     Hydrogen is particularly good for high demand uses such as trains or aeroplanes.       new

London’s fleet of hydrogen powered busses has been under development for some years.      Their first permanent hydrogen bus service was introduced in 2010.      They have set out their vision for hydrogen fuel cell technology in the UK capital.

See also GAIN introduction to hydrogen fuel.      It looks like plans may be starting to gather pace.     2021

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Is there anything here that looks interesting.       One or two new interests could be worth having.

How do you like your guitar?

  • Here are some rock guitar tracks.        Imagine a huge outdoor rock concert.       Now listen to Arena Rock, by Steve Morse.
  • Then there is the more thoughtful  Turn the Page by Metallica.           Going back further, there is Eric Clapton’s classic rock song Layla.        This recording features the drummer, Phil Collins from the band Genesis.
  • A new generation of young ladies has started playing rock guitar.      Here is The Trouper by Iron Maiden.    It is fast and furious, and it is played for us by a couple of guitarists from the all female tribute band  The Iron Maidens.
  • This one might sound more technical, Morning Star by Vinnie Moore, played for us by a teenage boy.         He has even managed to make up a little bit himself.           Here is The original, in case you want to compare.
  • Have you heard of classical/rock crossover?        This track is called April Sky.       Guitarist, Vinnie Moore has brought a couple of classical pieces up to date.         Sky is also the name of a band.        They have crossed over a bit further with their version of Toccata.        (new)

The bigger picture

If you like to find fresh thinking then these might be worth a look.

  • Stumbling and mumbling – thoughts about current affairs.       Well considered opinion with links to intelligent analysis.
  • Science of the soul – about Daniel Dennett.        Perhaps he could be described as a curious rationalist with a love of life.         Also, click play button for his thoughts on the nature of consciousness.

Synthesizer tracks

The synthesizer was invented by Robert Moog.       Click icon for a video history of the Mini Moog.         (new)

John Michelle Jarre did a lot to popularise synthesizer music with his first album Oxygene.       This is the signature track, that many people will have heard, even if they do not have the album.        It has a catchy tune.

Genesis‘ progressive rock featured synthesized keyboard on a big scale.        You can hear the keyboards particularly well one of their instrumental tracks.

Giorgio Moroder is probably less well known, but he was producing synthesizer music at that time too.       Would you believe that From here to eternity came out in 1977?         It sounds very futuristic, even today.        He has recently released a new album, called 74 is the new 24.        Here is a video clip with fun graphics.

Rick Wakeman has been producing sythesiser music since 1969.          Here is Anne Boleyn.

Comet landing

A space probe robot, named Philae, landed on a comet in November 2014.        The space craft that carried the probe was the first to orbit a comet as well as the first to land something on a comet’s surface.        It has sent back many photos.       The aim is to find out more about what comets do in space.          The landing did not go to plan, though.        The probe bounced and ended up in a dark valley, so it could not get enough energy from the sun to carry on working after the battery ran out.       Here is a short video about the landing.       The video on this page provides an update from the following day.          A few days later scientists announced that carbon, vital for the creation of life, had been detected on the comet.

The lander re-established contact in June 2015 after the comet moved nearer to the sun and Philae’s  batteries recharged sufficiently.              In February 2016, however, scientists gave up hope of re-establishing contact.              See farewell to Philae.

Asteroids are like comets but you can see a tail trailing behind a comet.           Asteroids do not have a tail.

Chernobyl aftermath

Have you ever wondered what has become of the area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear
disaster?

  • The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was the result of a flawed reactor design that was operated with inadequately trained personnel
  • The damaged reactor is now enclosed in a large concrete shelter which was erected quickly (by October 1986) to allow continuing operation of the other reactors at the plant
  • In the early 1990s, some $400 million was spent on improvements to the remaining reactors at Chernobyl, considerably enhancing their safety.
  • New safe confinement is due to be completed in 2017.           It is being built next to the reactor and will be moved into place on rails.
  • In the last two decades there has been some resettlement of the areas evacuated in 1986 and subsequently.
  • Since 1989, over 1000 nuclear engineers from the former Soviet Union have visited Western nuclear power plants and there have been many reciprocal visits.
  • See official World Nuclear record for more information.                It is the source for the bullet points above.
  • Burying Chernobyl  –  Can the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in April 1986 be made safe without risking the health of those involved in the task?               Listen via BBC iPlayer.

See also  Recovery & development.

Catherine TateCatherine Tate

Catherine Tate is a very popular comedian.             Chances are you have seen her on TV.             In this video clip, Lauren, one of Catherine’s characters, takes her bad attitude into her  French Exam.             Another of her characters then appears in Albert Square for a Children in Need  Eastenders Special.

She is actually quite well adjusted in real life, which goes to show what a good actor she is.          See an interview in her dressing room, or maybe just a bit of it.          Here are a few  pictures  of her, too.           Some aspies may like doing performance art.

High Speed RailHS2 map01

A new railway line from London to Birmingham and beyond is planned.         It will be called, High Speed 2 (HS2).        Click map to enlarge.

High Speed 1 is the line from London to the Channel Tunnel (HS1).         See below under
Eurostar.           Since the HS1 line was built, commuters from Ashford, not far from the
tunnel, have been able to get to London in a fraction of the time they could before.

Local news for Leicestershire covered a story about HS2 in 2013.          See video clip and click on picture of train to watch.          They say that the effect of HS2 on Leicestershire might be similar, when the new line is in use, to that of HS1 on Kent.           The Birmingham station will not be very far from Leicester.

Not everyone is happy about spending a great deal of money on HS2 to get more people to their work in London, but HS1 has helped to make homes more affordable for commuters.          The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, says that the new line will also help to make the north of the country more prosperous, though others say it will not do much to help with this.          See the Chancellor’s article for links to articles that question the wisdom of the HS2 plan.

Kevin & Perry

Have you seen Harry Enfield’s teenage pair Kevin and Perry?        Teenage characteristics are exaggerated for comic effect.

In one sketch Kevin’s parents try giving him a taste of his own medicine, in  Reverse psychology, but it backfires badly.         Another sketch features Kevin’s school Parents’ evening.            Kevin’s attitude to his teachers could be both interesting and entertaining.

Shine on you crazy diamond

Pink Floyd’s song Shine on you crazy diamond was a tribute to former band member Syd Barrett.          It starts quietly and showcases the band’s keyboard and guitar work.         Click play button to hear it.

Barrett wandered into the studio while the band was recording Wish You Were Here, the album that features this piece.          He had drastically changed his appearance, and the band members did not recognise him for some time.          When they eventually did, Roger Waters was so distressed he was reduced to tears.           Perhaps you could say that with this escapade he lived up to the line in the song, You outstayed your welcome with random precision.         Click Information to find out more about this piece.

Here is an introduction to Syd Barrett’s contribution to the early years of Pink Floyd, including some of his best songs. 

Is Formula 1 going green?

This year things have changed more than usual.     Under the  2014 rules  there is a fuel limit.     Cars are using hybrid technology, which helps them to work within that fuel limit.      An electric motor helps to slow the car when braking, which  generates electricity  to be stored in a battery and re-used when accelerating.      This makes the cars  more responsive when accelerating and saves fuel.       Less fuel means less weight, which saves more fuel.

The Red Bull team has won the past 4 years’ Constructor’s Championship titles, but this year  Mercedes  is leading.    Here is a  video explaining the secret of their success.       Don’t worry if you do not understand everything very well.      It is not all that easy to follow.

Red Bull’s James Newey is critical of F1’s new green credentials.        Also Mercedes’ Sebastian Vettel says that the noise of the race is not as good as it used to be.        Many fans agree .

The wedding of the year!Wedding

After nearly ten years together, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt finally tied the knot on the 23rd August 2014 at their French country house.       It has been reported that Brad and Ange used the opportunity of their wedding to raise some serious cash for good causes.

Brad and Angelina knew there would be tremendous interest in their wedding pictures, and decided to
donate the money to their charitable foundation.      The couple have done this numerous times in the past.      The pair previously sold the first photographs of their 6-year-old twins for $14million back in 2008, and donated every penny of that too.

They really are just the perfect couple, aren’t they?        Her gown was made by Atelier Versace and bore more than a passing resemblance to a classic Disney princess gown.      The satin gown featured a ruched top and corseted bodice over a full skirt but it was her veil that stole the show.        It’s little surprise that the Jolie-Pitt kids played a huge part in their parents’ big day but mum Ange went one step further by letting them design her veil.

Eurostar

Do you know much about Eurostar?        It is a high speed train that takes passengers from London to Paris and from London to Brussels, in Belgium.    It goes along a new line called High Speed 1 from central London to the Chanel Tunnel.   When the Chanel Tunnel opened Eurostar had to use the old line to Waterloo station.   It was much slower and more congested than the dedicated high speed line linking Paris to the tunnel.

A Eurostar train set a new British speed record of 208.0 mph on the first section of High Speed 1 shortly before it opened on 30 July 2003.

The second and final phase was opened in 2007.     It allows trains to travel at speeds of 186 mph.  The combined effect of both phases was to cut Eurostar journey times by 40 minutes.   It is now possible to travel from London to Paris by train in 2 hours 15 minutes.

It now carries more passengers to Paris and Brussels than all airlines put together.     It does this with about 90% less carbon dioxide emissions than the airlines.

For more detail see  Eurostar  and  Eco-Express .       For more pictures see  Pictures .

Coronavirus resources

Easy read

Mencap has several easy read guides for the life under current Coronavirus restrictions.      Click icon to browse.      Maybe the vaccine page might be of particular interest.

See also UK Government:  Road map out of lockdown       Census 2021

Support for carers

The government and the NHS has produced a Covid-19 carer support letter to identify yourself as a carer in shops etc.      Click icon for more information and to download the letter.

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For online workshops see: Related calendar         More resources:

Health

The NHS continues to update its Coronavirus page.       It is straight forward to browse.      Click icon to view.

Government guidance

SKDC has launched its Covid community information hub.       Click icon to get the latest for the Grantham area.

  • Phone: 01476 406177 / 406358 : 8am – 7pm
  • Email:  SKCommunityHub@southkesteven.gov.uk

See also  for the UK government’s complete Guidance and support

Resources and updates

Here is a collection of resources and updates for the current situation from the National Autistic Society and others       Click icon to browse.

Scams

Covid has changed many things over the past year and scammers are seeking to take advantage.      Click icon to read about it.

Social story

Here is a social story about seeing people with face masks.        Click icon to take a look.      If it is not just what you want, does it give you any ideas?      See also: how to write your own         free images

Face coverings

Professor Ellen Townsend makes a plea for compassion for those who cannot wear face coverings.       She outlines the many reasons why some people may not be using a face covering.       Professor Townsend leads research at the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham.
Click icon for article.       See also:  Mask anxiety

Lincolnshire heritage & culture

Lincolnshire County Council have a number of short stories from long ago, produced by Lincoln Castle, on Youtube.       Click icon to see the list.

Wellbeing 2021

See Related calendar to find pre-employability opportunities for people with mental health issues at Hillside Garden, Lincoln between April & June.

Hopelinks

Hopelinks is launching SIRs, a social Isolation responder phone service.       It aims to give carers and people in general the opportunity to chat, often unburdening themselves, in a friendly setting.      Click icon for the brochure.

Ask an autistic

A ladies’ community group plans to launch a blog on 31_March.       Send in your questions to darkside.risingcic@gmail.com or log in to their Facebook page.      Click graphic for an introduction.

Emotional wellbeing

There seem to be some new  resources and services developed to support for emotional wellbeing and mental health in Lincolnshire.       Click icon for GAIN guide.      See also:  Lincolnshire recovery college

Parent to parent

The National Autistic Society has set up a Parent to parent emotional support helpline.       Phone them or fill in an online form to request a phone call.       Click icon to find out more.

Shine

Shine put out a newsletter in 2020 that addresses some issues of current interest.       Click icon to browse.

Shine Lincolnshire, the mental health support network, are putting on virtual coffee mornings for carers in Lincolnshire.      They are regularly on Mon, Wed & Fri on Zoom.      See how they work.      Their website has details about all the latest events.

Shine aims to put people with mental health issues in touch with sources of support.      See Shine basics

Gardens

The Friendly Garden is the location for a range of garden related events organised by the Sage Gardener.      They have made changes to the way they do things to make events COVID safe, when restrictions allow.       Click icon to find out more.