Category Archives: Students

Tips & issues – Mindful mix …

Mindful mix

Click icon for soundtrack:  Mindful Soundscapes – An escape to the sea with 2 hours of lapping waves.


See also Coronavirus resources


Contact – for families with disabled children – was founded by parents.      They seem to know what is what.       Click icon to get to the point.

The podcast university

What to do if you are at a loose end?       This is basically a plug for a number of BBC podcasts that might pique your interest.       Click icon to view.

Thinking styles

  • Temple Grandin says that there are three autistic thinking styles:  visual thinkers, verbal specialists and pattern thinkers.       See post.       It links to a detailed article by another writer.
  • Autism Toolbox, a resource for Scottish schools, offers a more science based analysis.         See article.

Facbook small iconAutism Discussion

Autism Discussion Page is the title of this Facebook page.       It contains brief articles with comments.       Anyone registered with Facebook can add their own comments.

Making your child happier

This article offers Eleven ways you can make your autistic child’s life easier.

Temple Grandin’s FAQ’s

Temple Grandin is a lady with high-functioning Asperger’s who has made an academic career for herself.       Click icon to browse her Frequently Asked Questions page.       The Ask Temple link, in the top left corner, gives you a form for asking your own question.

Ellen Notbohm

This Facebook page offers a handy starting point for several topics from the author Ellen Notbohm.        The award-winning author is known for her popular books and columns on autism, published worldwide in more than twenty languages.        See the Notes option on the Facebook page for key topics.         She also has a website.       The Blog and Articles menu options might be worth a look.

Facbook small iconAutism on The Mighty

We have a number of links from The Mighty on our website and Facebook page.        This page picks out autism related material from their website.       Click icon to browse.

NetmumsDoc icon

  • The Netmums site has quite a few pages  under the Autism/Asperger’s heading.      Clicking the icon to browse.
  • A number of mothers post a description of their situation on this  site – see:  Preschool        School age         Older children / teenagers.
  • To simply browse Netmums use their search box at the top right corner of the page, but for information about the members’ only areas see their registration page,

Evidence-based optimism

The thinking person’s guide to autism is a forum intended to encourage visitors, To think, ask questions, question the media, and learn from each other.        The people behind it say, Autism misinformation clouds and is perpetuated by the Internet.     We want to make accurate information about autism causation and therapies visible, accessible, and centralized.


Ambitious About Autism is publishing a few tips for Christmas under the heading: Include autism this Christmas.       Click icon to view.

Coping skills

Six types of coping skills.        An array of graphics.

The best activities

Ideas about activities for special needs.        After-school and weekend activities for children with disabilities can build self-esteem, skills, friendships and a sense of belonging.

What autism mums do not want to hear

This will ring a few bells for parents of a child on the autistic spectrum.      Things not to say to an autism mum .

Re-charging the batteries

‘Society has programmed us to think, “What kind of mother is she, taking care of herself before her child?”  but that’s completely wrong.’       Here are 10 must dos for parents of children with special needs.


For all those new school starters or those like my son, who is obsessed with his shoes being on the wrong feet, try this.       Cut a sticker of their choice in half and secure it into there shoes to help them identify which shoe goes on which foot.
FB/Rainbow Stars.


Netbuddy has merged with Scope now.

  • It has  Autism blogs  with real life stories from people with experience of issues around autism.        Scroll down to get an idea what is there.
    You can post your own stories.
  • They offer  Support and Information  divided into quite a few categories.
  • They have  Community champions  make sure the community is a safe, supportive place to be.
  • It also has an  On-line community on which you can post questions and comments.

Surviving Asperger’s Syndrome

This on-line publication takes the form of brief bullet points divided up into chapters.        See:  Survival guide

Tips for married couples

This is for the partner of someone with Asperger’s:  Chat website

Fear busting

Here are some tips on  tackling fear .

Soap Operas

These can provide a handy way to improve emotional literacy and people skills.      Soaps focus on emotional issues and lay it on with a trowel.      For example, see  Roy Cropper  from Coronation Street.

Moving House

Children on the autistic spectrum can find the idea of moving house unsettling, but there are things could do that might help.

  • Tell him obvious things, repeatedly, e.g. that he is moving too.
  • Tell him what familiar things you are taking, e.g. items of furniture.
  • Try to re-create his old bedroom from day one.      This is not a good time for a revamp.
  • Use the same bedding & PJs for continuity.       If necessary leaving them unwashed would be even better.
  • Get PC running in new home from day one.       Buy that computer game he has always wanted and give him free access to the PC around the time of the move.


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



Coronavirus resources

Return to school


The National Autistic Society has set out guidance for parents of children on the autistic spectrum about the return to school in September.       Click icon to view.       See also directive to schools about support of SEND pupils.        new


The NAS has also set out answers to questions about the way the return to school in September affects children with an Education, Health and Care Plan.        Click icon to view. 

Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum seem to do quite a bit of what you might call heavy lifting.        Click icon to see their Coronavirus articles on the right hand side.        Notably, a ministerial SEND letter, of Jun 2020, about plans for the return to school.

Ambitious about autism

On the Ambitious about Autism website, find:  Home > About autism > Coronavirus
– The Coronavirus resources page has some easy reading downloads.
– They have a couple of pages about the return to school.       Look for it in Corona > Education.       new

They have also published a children’s story, The world has turned upside down.        Click icon and scroll down to find it.       There is also a link to their website at the top of the Twitter feed.


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

LPCF events

The Lincolnshire Parent Carer Forum  has three virtual events planned for Sept/Oct – so they will be Covid safe.

  • Signposting and information
  • Wellbeing workshops
  • Time2talk – coffee mornings

Click icon for their publicity.        See also their events web page.

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.

Resources and updates

National Autistic Society has collected together resources and news about Coronavirus.        Click icon to browse.        Also:

  • Here is an NHS fact sheet about Coronavirus for kids.
  • The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health has produced a podcast featuring two clinical psychologists about getting children with autism through this time of upheaval.
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation has its own Covid-19 information and resources page.       It includes information about legal rights.        They have some ideas to help to make hand washing fun.

Government FAQ

Click icon for the Cabinet Office updated do’s and don’ts.      You are now able to: exercise outdoors as often as you wish – following social distancing guidelines.        See also complete Guidance and support

SKDC has launched its Covid community information hub:

  • Phone: 01476 406177 / 406358 : 8am – 7pm
  • Email:

The friendly garden

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 so that members can make the most of the outdoors and the natural world and feel better.      They are geared up for older people rather than children.        See Mainstream activities to find out more.


With current Coronavirus restrictions it seems wise to be aware that criminals have been seeking to exploit increased dependence on the internet.      This BBC article highlights efforts in the UK to combat on-line scams.       Click icon to view.       Here are a few pointers for safeguarding yourself.

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 .


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

Lincolnshire heritage & culture

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

Lincoln Castle have also published a free audio guide download to the castle.       Click download to scan QR code with your Android or iPhone.

Virtual coffee mornings

Shine, the mental health support network in Lincolnshire, are putting on virtual coffee mornings for carers in Lincolnshire.      They are regularly on Mon, Wed & Fri on Zoom.       They offer support for learning disability as well as mental health.        Click icon for details about the latest events.        See also:  How they work        Shine basics

Key terms

Here is a table of school years and ages:


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

Harrowby United project

We have been developing an autistic support project at Harrowby United football ground.       It goes under the heading of Harrowby United FC Community/Charity Projects Team.        It is something of a joint venture between the club and GAIN.       This is where we are at present:

  • We have someone at football matches at which people can ask us questions.
  • GAIN publicity is on display at their social club
  • We are delighted to have Lucas Wilson Videography producing recordings of the football matches.      Here is a bit of background about Lucas.
  • Before March we put on autism spectrum family friendly events, like bingo and raffles at the social club before March 2020.       They raised funds for GAIN.       We plan to restart when we can.

Watch games

Watch the Harrowby United football matches in the comfort and safety of your own home.       Click play button for a list of the recordings on Youtube.


A few GAIN families already come the the ground to watch matches – including this season.      Click icon for Harrowby United’s 2020/21 fixtures calendar.       Click picture for an extensive gallery of photos.

Their home ground is at the Dickens Road Community Stadium, Grantham, NG31 9QY.      See map.       Games are continuing as of Oct 2020.       Free entry for under 16’s and carers with Carer’s Allowance letter.      Refreshments are available.

Library books

Jodi Picoult, House rules .           ‘A page turner’      J K, GAIN
Fictional story about a teenage boy with Asperger’s who is arrested for murder.       See:  Good Reads        Amazon        Library record

Mark Haddon, The curious incident of the dog in the night-time .
Christopher Boone is a 15-year-old who with Asperger’s syndrome.     When he finds a neighbour’s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey which will turn his whole world upside down.       See:  Good Reads        Amazon        Library record


In Lincolnshire libraries

The following books can be requested from Grantham Library or on-line.       They charge 25p per book to notify you by email or text that your book is ready to collect or 50p to notify you by post.           (At time of writing)

– Claire Sainsbury, Martian in the Playground.              ‘Enlightening and encouraging’   J K, GAIN
The author draws on her own experience and that of others to show what life is like for school children with Asperger’s Syndrome.     Find out more at   Good Reads  and   Amazon .      There are two copies of this book in Lincolnshire libraries:    Library record

Quotes from the book   

– Luke Jackson, Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome:  A User Guide to Adolescence.          ‘The best book on Autism I have read so far’,   J K
The author has Asperger’s Syndrome.    He draws on his own experiences and observations with a witty style of writing.        He wrote this book when he was 13.        Find out more at   Good Reads         Amazon          Library record

Quotes from the book   

– Oliver Sacks, An Anthropologist on Mars – seven paradoxical tales.  Case histories of neurological disorders of many kinds.    The final case history is of a lady with autism whose name is Temple Grandin.      Find out more at   Good Reads      Wikipedia      Library record
Quotes from the book   

– Mark Williams & Danny Penman,  Mindfulness.    A programme of cognitive therapy developed by Oxford University psychologist
Professor Mark Williams with colleagues around the world.     There should be an accompanying CD.     It aims to help you to reduce
anxiety and stress and to give you greater control over the way your mind works.       Find out more at:   Good Reads        Amazon         Library record         See also: Similar library books – several have accompanying CD’s.           Click for  More books  on Mindfulness.

– Tony Attwood, Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome         See Library record

– Simon Baron-Cohen, Autism & Asperger syndrome:  the facts        See:  The author       Library record

– Clara Claiborne Park, The Siege.     A mother’s story about bringing up her autistic daughter, Jessy, in 1960s America.         See Library record

– Lorna Wing, The Autistic Spectrum.      A handbook for parents and professionals.         See Library record

There are many books in Lincolnshire Libraries on the 17th century physicist and mathematician Isaac Newton, several of which can be found in the Grantham branch.        Some historians believe he had Asperger’s Syndrome.           See:  Library search  and also Famous People.

If a book is not currently in the public library you can request a book for purchase.       Click icon to see how.  

More books

There are many more books in Lincolnshire libraries on autism and Asperger’s.
To browse see:  autism         asperger         Lincolnshire Libraries .         Once you have logged in you can reserve books on-line to pick up at your local library.

A Good Read

The following are not about autism but might offer a good read.        As they say, all work and no play …

 – John Grisham.     If you like legal dramas you might enjoy many a happy hour with this author’s books.      His stories are set in the USA.         For a handy guide to his work see  Books .          Click Library list for the library catalogue list.           To find out about the author, see  Biography .

Among his books is a series about a 13 year old boy, called Theodore Boone, who fancies himself as a lawyer – like his parents.           It illustrates life skills,  describing the thinking processes of an adolescent in an adult world.           For a handy guide to this series, click on  Reviews .           See also Library list.

– Oliver Sacks, Awakenings    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:  Author’s site        Amazon        Library record

– P D James, Death comes to Pemberley     Have you seen the 3 part TV dramatisation of this book?       The book lays out the plot in more detail.        It makes it much clearer what really happened, and why.       If you watch the TV series after having read the book, you will see passing references to all the key elements of the background story that might have passed you by on a first viewing.        See  Library records.

– Joanna Trollope, The Choir     Another book that was dramatised on TV.        This one was set in the present day, though.           See:  Good Reads        Library record.

– Joanna Trollope, The Best of Friends.       This book is about two families that are linked by a longstanding friendship between two of the members.        It charts relationships within and between the families.

Interestingly, the thoughts of the characters are described, providing insight into the psychological and social dynamics involved.       For example, conversations between two of them are said to have had several unwritten rules,        “… neither of them ever said anything really savagely unpleasant about husband  or children and … it was a requirement to be as hilariously funny about the day’s disasters as possible”.
See:  Good Reads            Library records.

Look up online

Lincolnshire libraries on-line catalog is at  Better libraries .


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

TV/Radio blog

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.  


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? 

Dr Digby

In Holby CityTue 3rd Nov 2015, matters have come to a head for Dr Digby and he is experiencing a crisis of confidence.       His lack of people skills is getting in the way of his work as a doctor.       Dr Hanson has plans for him, though.       We will have to wait to find out what they are, and it could be several episodes before we do.        Still, it might be worth keeping an eye out to see what next Tuesday will bring.

Codes that changed the world

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

Interviews about Autism

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

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

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

The Village

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


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

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 for more detail.       Happily, hydrogen and electric power complement each other.

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.         new


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

  • 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.


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 .


Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is an award-winning science writer and has a lot to say about autism.       Click icon to browse his website.       In particular, look for the video in the right column: The forgotten history of autism.       See also Profile         (updated)

The man who wants us to embrace autism

See Guardian article       It explores his views and insights.       For example, Two further developments, thinks Silberman, make life much brighter for people with autism today.      One is social media: “In face-to-face, real-time interactions, people on the spectrum are often overloaded.       Conversation, eye contact, body language, all the little social signals – that can get too much.       Whereas, on the computer, at their own pace, it’s often much more natural to them.”   

He is the author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversitysee Amazon.       

Autism as a mode of being

Dan Edmunds is a psychotherapist in Pennsylvania.       He is involved with the autistic rights movement.        He seeks to understand the autistic person rather than trying to change him or her.       Click icon for his article about Autism.        How does this work out in practice?         (updated)


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

Difference or disorder?

There are two ways of thinking about disability.       It seems to depend on how you look at it.        Click icon for an outline.       This article goes into a bit more detail.

Amythest Schaber 

Amythest Schaber is an artist, writer, public speaker and advocate.         In her blog called Neuro Wonderful she offers insight into autistic life, put across in her unique style.        Click play icon to see her range of videos.        For example:  What is autistic burnout?
Something new!

Stories from the spectrum

What is it really like to be an autistic adult?        The National Autistic Society has collected together stories from a variety of people across the autistic spectrum.        Click icon to browse and see what they have to say.

Also, ITV has produced an autism awareness series.        For example, Professor Ian Walker shares his story.
He is a retired university lecturer who was only diagnosed with autism at the age of 71.       Click link below to see article and video clip.        Find more interviews from the series at the bottom of the ITV page.

What is it really like?

Asperger experts

Danny Raede has discovered for himself ways of understanding and coping with the difficulties he experiences as someone on the spectrum.         He has formed Asperger Experts to guide and support others in the same boat.        Click icon for their advice & how to page.       They also have an on-line community that you can join – see home.       See also: about

Autistic not weird

This is a website by a special needs tutor with Asperger Syndrome.       Click icon on the right to browse.       For example:  Being different

Why advertising falls flat

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

Autistic Allies

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


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

Non-speaking / low-functioning?

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

Facbook small iconAutonomous Press

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


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

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

OutlookBe awesome

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

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

Original and tribal minds

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

Key words

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


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


Services & support

Autism Support Network

Click icon for community help and support for children and adults with autism spectrum disorder and their families.        See also Contact us for GAIN’s new phone number.         new

Family services directory

The Lincolnshire County Council on-line Family Services Directory is the go-to place to find out about services.        Click icon on the left for the SEN and Disability section.        It covers services for children with disability as well as education – e.g.  Short breaks

The directory is likely to be the place with the most up-to-date information.         Service providers can update their own entries.        There are more menu options on their home page.        Click icon on the right to see.

Council website

The Lincolnshire County Council website has many pages of information for parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disability.        Click icon to browse.        It includes Short breaks and ESCO.       Their website also has a Things to do page.

Council information about assessment and specialist services for children with a learning disability in Lincolnshire  comes under the heading Children with disabilities social care.       Click icon on the right to browse.       Short breaks and either social care or direct payments may be available.        To find out how to arrange an assessment contact the Customer Service Centre on 01522 782 111.

Phone iconClick  phone icon for a guide to all the services offered by the Council Customer Services Centre.        See also definitive Council contact information.

The GAIN website also has:  Take a break       Activities & support       ESCO support


Look under FAQ for Associated conditions and Information sub-menus.


The National Health Service website offers a guide to established medical opinion in the UK.        Click icon for their autism page.         In What is autism? they say that autism is not an illness or disease.         It means your brain works in a different way from other people.       The NHS carries out diagnosis of autism and treatment of related conditions.

Children’s therapy

Click icon to find out about NHS children’s therapy services in Lincolnshire.       See also:  information (scroll down)        FAQ

Community Paediatrics

A service for children in Lincolnshire who are referred when there are concerns about development, behaviour or educational needs.       Click icon to view.       new


Phone iconDoc iconThe National Autistic Society have an on-line form as well as a phone number.       But before you call or email check to see how they can help.        They are much in demand, so it might be worth a look.        See also  Specialist advice & information services.         See icons to the left for the next step.          The Specialist Advice and information services page presents parents, carers and people with autism with a list of their specialist services to choose from.        If the helpline is busy you could try their Find answer on-line page.

Phone iconChild Autism UK is an autism charity.         See website.         It used to be called Peach.         Click the phone icon to see how they might be able to help.

Phone iconThe Challenging Behaviour Foundation offers telephone and email support to family carers and professionals caring for children and adults with severe learning disabilities and challenging behaviour.


Lincolnshire Family Information Services Looking for childcare?       Want to know if you can get help paying for childcare?        Want activities to do with your children?       Looking for children and family services?         We have lots of information for families, child carers and professionals …   

For specialist SEN helplines see SEN Support.       Also, do blogs and on-line communities sound interesting?       If so, see Tips and What is it like?.


Your Child’s GP might make a referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).        They are behind the Cinema on St Catherine’s Road in Grantham.

For official information see:      booklet         webpage         Grantham         referral guide
See also what the forums say:  referral         shambles        The replies are worth a look.       Those with good experiences may be less motivated to speak out on these forums, but if you look carefully you should find some.        Here is an insider’s view         (new)

One of our autism mums said,  I’ve had multiple dealings with CAMHS.   They can diagnose and prescribe medication so they offer a variety of help as well as behaviour management.    I find them excellent to deal with and they’ve been a fabulous support to us.

See also SEN support about the Lincolnshire Educational psychology service.

Lincolnshire Carers Service

The Lincolnshire Carers Service is a partnership between Lincolnshire County Council and Carers FIRST.        This service includes parents of children.          The first point of contact is the County Council’s Customer Service Centre:   01522 782 224  or         Click icon for the range of support for carers.

Carers FIRST is the new name for Carers connect.        They provide emotional and practical support, advice, information, guidance and offer statutory carer assessments, social groups, short break respite, activities trips and more.        Click icon for their website.         To find what web pages might help you, try my navigator

For more information see:  introduction         out of hours        history


Home-Start Lincolnshire are here to help – for free.       If you are a family with young children in need of a helping hand – we’ve got a trained volunteer who will offer friendship, emotional and practical support through weekly home visits for as long as is needed
Click icon to view their website.         See also: support      Grantham       other local contacts             01507 308 030   


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

Have you seen

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian who talks about her autism in her act.       Click play button for a video clip about a classroom experience.        See also: Wikipedia


See also TV/Radio blog.


Triumph of the nerds

This is the story of how Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and their mates changed the world of computers during the 1970’s and 80’s.       Also, how did the IBM PC come to be cloned?        Click play icons to watch the video of the TV series.        Click the page icon to read about what really happened when Steve Jobs visited Xerox PARC.

Part 1             Part 2  

Surprisingly complicated

This is a comedy series shot on Staten Island, USA.        It is based on a mum’s experience of bringing up twin boys who have autism.        Click icon for the back story and a video preview.       Watch:  Episode 1      Episode 2.      See also their Facebook page.

If you spend time on Facebook regularly you might be able to save quite a bit of broadband usage – see our Using Facebook page.       If you are not sure about the PAL DVD format see viewing options.

Autism Rocks

Meet the boys from UK’s premier autistic rock group The AutistiX.

See:  video        website

Chasing Shadows

How does someone with Asperger’s fare in the workplace?       This drama was shown on ITV in September 2014.       It might give you some idea.

It is a gritty drama about a maverick who starts work at a missing person’s unit.        You can view a trailer and a free rough and ready Youtube version of episode one.        See Youtube right margin for other episodes.       There is also a DVD version.

Holby City

Have you noticed the character Jason Haynes in the TV hospital drama series Holby City?        The National Autistic Society has been actively working with researchers, producers and writers.       Jason was introduced into the story line via his aunt Serena.  

The actor who plays Jason has a unique insight into what makes Jason Haynes such a special character, as he himself is a young man with Asperger’s.        See article.        In an interview he also highlights employment issues for people on the spectrum.


Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to “Atypical,” a dark comedy about a family with an autistic son, set to star Jennifer Jason LeighVariety has confirmed.       “Atypical” landed an eight-episode order for the first season of the coming-of-age story that follows an 18-year-old with autism and his search for love and independence.       See  Intoduction about Atypical.       See also  viewing options  about Netflix.

Me and my Asperger’sFacbook small icon

A personal blog from Lincolnshire.      Life in a strange world.    Me!    They call me odd, huh.    Anyway welcome to my page.     Feel free to post comments, share your thoughts and/or page.”       Click icon to browse:

Temple Grandin

Here is a film dramatising the life story of a lady with high-functioning Asperger’s syndrome who made an academic career for herself.        She has an unusual name, Temple Grandin.        Click icon for preview.

For the complete film, see Amazon Video and click the More Purchase Options link.      Then, unless you have a high-definition display chose the Buy Movie SD option.

An oral history

Here is a brief animated video of a talk about her own development as a person with Asperger’s Syndrome that Temple Grandin gave at Colorado State University in 2008.      Click play button to watch.

The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

See also Speech & language for The Girl Who Thought in Pictures, an illustrated story book about Temple Grandin.

Doc Martin

This has proved a popular TV drama, with repeats showing on ITV1 or ITV3.      The signs of Asperger’s in the character of Dr Martin Ellingham are hard to miss.       They are outlined and analysed on this blogspot and you can see them illustrated with a video clip from the TV series.

Opinions differ, though, as in discussion 1 and more so in discussion 2.        According to the series author, he was supposed to have the condition but to work on changing himself for the sake of his relationship with his wife and young son.         Also, the scripts are written for entertainment, so things will not be entirely realistic.

Roy Cropper

Have you seen Roy Cropper on Coronation Street?

He feels at home with trains, particularly steam engines from times past.   After Hayley’s passing, Stephen found him at a museum, where he showed an encyclopaedic knowledge of the early steam engines on display.

Since his return to his flat, his friends have found him shut away with his model railway.        It obviously means a great deal to him.

The Wikia page for the Coronation Street character describes him as, remarkably intelligent, but socially naive.    The page also suggests that Roy has Asperger’s syndrome.      This has not stopped him from making a go of his life, though.

The actor who plays Roy is married to an additional needs teacher and she suggested giving Roy Asperger’s.     Doing so transformed him into a character with long term potential.

His life with Hayley has been an enduring and popular feature of the street.      Click on  slide show  for a quick review of their story.      On the slide show page, click on the row of miniature pictures of the couple under the large picture.      Left and right arrows will appear to scroll to more pictures.

Roy’s people skills are actually quite good in some respects.      He and Hayley earned Fiz Brown’s appreciation having  fostered  her.     He acted as a  mentor  to Fiz’s brother Chesney.     Anna Windass, who works in his cafe, also gets on well with him.      Recently she confided in him that she was carrying a secret that she felt unable to share with anyone and he advised her that it would eat her up if she did not tell her boyfriend, Owen.

More information

Lincolnshire Autism Partnership

The LAPB is designed to try and improve support for autistic people.        Have your say.      Click icon for more information.       See also history        Email:        They launched a monthly newsletter Autism Lincs early 2017.       See Issue 1 and click Past Issues at top left of screen to find all issues.       updated


For key websites see Information.

GP register

NICE is recommending that GPs in England keep a register of patients with autism in order to improve the care they receive.       The guidance from NICE needs to be accepted by NHS England before it is put into practice in GP surgeries in England.        See also NICE.

For those worried about data security see Should people register?        The information is stored at the NHS data centre and can only be seen with permission.        People have to explain why they need your information and what they plan to do with it.       This means that agencies such as social services, schools etc should not have access to this information.

Carers UK

Carers UK is a charity which works to help carers by providing information, advice, support and by campaigning for change.        Click icon for their website.

  • They offer a wide range of Help & advice  including information on the range of financial support that is available to carers through the benefit system.
  • For information about Carer Support specifically for carers of children under 18 and young carers see Carer Assessments.
  • For more detaied information see resources.        Having the right information at the right time can make a huge difference for the carer and the person they care for.
  • Have a look at Talk to us about their Advice line including advice line hours:     0808 808 777.

For information specifically for carers of adults see adult Care & Support.

Family Court

If you need legal support for a case about your child, maybe to do with care or adoption, you may want to know about CAFCAS.        It stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.      Their website offers information for Children and Teenagers as well as Grown ups.

Here are some Top tips for dealing with CAFCAS from Net Mums.        Also, it might also be worth bearing in mind that the people at CAFCAS may not know how to deal with a child on the autistic spectrum.       This link to the National Autistic Society web page  About autism  could be useful if you wanted to print off some explanations that might help them to understand your child.

Things seem to have Improved according to Ofsted since 2008, when they found Progress inadequate, though their 2014 report also points to
areas where there is room for improvement.       The Guardian reported on apparent Success in 2012 of a management initiative to make the “health and wellbeing of social workers a priority in the workplace”, which, the Guardian said, includes CAFCAS .        So there seems to be some good news.


This UK based website offers a wealth of information.        It is a national charity that strives to improve the lives of children with neurological conditions, through research, information and direct, on-going support.        Click icon for their website.       They have a Help & Info page.         Topics include AnxietyMoneySchool Transport and Research among many others.

They also produce a toolkit that aims to support disabled people and carers, as well as their families and advisers, who are encountering difficulties with the statutory agencies in relation to the provision of healthsocial care and education support services.       It was developed at Cardiff Law School.       Click icon to view.

Learning Disability Partnership

The Lincolnshire Learning Disability Partnership Board aims to make sure that different people, organisations and agencies work together to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities.        Board members include: people with a learning disability, parents and carers.

Click icon for more about them.        Email:         01522 706 580       This group is quite separate from the Lincolnshire Autism Partnership.

Awareness cards

Stickman Communications produces a range of colourful awareness cards.       See range of cards         Prices are in £, as with the NAS below.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) also produces an autism alert card that could be useful in public spaces, like a supermarket:  single plastic wallet with card to keep inside and a key facts leaflet.       See also photos of what looks like the same thing

Display Cards

Here are a few free resources.       Printable sheets:  Display cards        Status cards        No touching
How to use the cards:  guide

Different not less

Steve Silberman puts some flesh on the bones of this slogan with hard-headed analysis and vision.       Click icon to view article.        It has a 14 minute video at the bottom of the page that explains his thinking.

Asperger’s Syndrome

The Asperger”s Syndrome Foundation offers quite a bit of insight:   What is Asperger’s Syndrome?         Information sheets

Dealing with stress & panic attacks

It would be nice to get to the root cause of difficulties, but it may often be a case of finding ways to cope with the effects.       Here are are a couple of fact sheets that might be worth a look:

Stress and autism spectrum disorders          Panic attacks and autism spectrum disorders

NHS Dentists

Click icon for a Healthwatch Lincolnshire statement about difficulties getting an NHS Dentist in Spalding after a meeting on 31st October 2017.


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