Category Archives: Students

Web safety

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

Safety on-line

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

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

Safe social networking

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

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Firewall

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

For more information see: Technical Tips:

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

Anti-virus

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

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

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

Things to avoid

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

Preparing for change

Education beyond 16

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

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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

NAS small iconPrepare for big changes

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

Support beyond 16

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

Aged 16 – 25?

Ambitious logo

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

Preparing for adulthood

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

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

Circles of support

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

Independence

For an more about developing independence click icon.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

The Science – The Geek Syndrome …

The Geek SyndromeAbilityPlusDisability

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

Autistica

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

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

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Introduction to brain research

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

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

Is ADHD a Spectrum Disorder?

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

Empathy

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

Autism communication trial

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

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

Overlap between ADHD and Autism

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

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

Evolutionary brain benefit

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

Autism Camouflaging

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

Early detection

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

Cause of Dyslexia

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

Logical Decisions

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

Causes of Autism

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

Is there an autism epidemic?

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

Mothers on the spectrum

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

New brain study

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

Most costly medical condition

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

Social scripts

Your child may be repeating words or phrases constantly – why might that be?                Here is a 10 minute video about the difference between echolalial scripting and social scripting and their role in a child’s development.

Do fish oils help?

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

Drama & Performance activities

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

Oliver Sacks

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

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

Do complications during birth cause autism?

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

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

Research Autism

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

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Specialist Services – NE Lincs support ….

Family Action Support

North East Lincs Family Action Support Team (FAST) is a specialist service for families with children with attention and behavioural difficulties, including Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other complex needs, aged 3-17 years. 

Linkage

Linkage supports children, parents and carers where the children are aged between the age of 5-18 and have special educational needs, learning disabilities /difficulties across the whole of Lincolnshire.         The service is free.        They can:

  • Provide guidance and reassurance in completing referral, benefit forms and support in following appeal processes and attending tribunals.
  • Provide support on strategies that can be used in the home or in school.
  • Support young people and their parents getting the right support in school, preparing to leave school or college, training courses, colleges, supported internships and supported employment  and day activity opportunities.
  • Planning for the future – work, supported accommodation, available leisure activities.
  • Meet children and families at home, liaise with the school.

Click icon for more information,

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Options Group

Options Group accepts referrals for specialist autistic services in North Lincolnshire.          Click icon to see their map.         They offer an outreach service, community-based living services and longer term adult residential care:  Options Watermill       Thorpe House.

Autism East Midlands

Autism East Midlands aims to to ensure people with autism can live their lives with dignity, choice and independence.              The nearest services to Grantham are in the Nottingham area.             They offer outreach servicesday services and residential services.               Here are their   Admission criteria   and   Application form.              Click icon below for their Home page.            Once you are in the Adult Services section, navigate via the left hand column.Autism E Mid

Guide to viewing updates

This web site’s View updates menu offers lists of recently updated pages or recently created posts.
The idea is to make it easier to keep up to date with this site.          If you have not tried it already, select one of the options to below.

  • With Mozilla Firefox they give you a page with a list of the most recently updated pages on this site for your chosen category.         See extract on the right.         It has a link to each post or page.         Underneath each link is a condensed display of the first couple of lines or so of content to give you some idea which ones might be worth selecting.         The latest update is at the top of each page on this website.
  • With Google Chrome you need to add an extension to the browser in order to get the preview display described above.         Without the extension you just get a list of page links.           Click icon to find out about this extension.

Actually the correct name for this list of updates is RSS feed, but it is not obvious what that means.          There are a number of ways to access feeds, several of which come at a price.

Bookmarks

Formatted page vs bookmark display

  1. The recent updates page option above gives you a preview of each page or post, which gives you a much more specific idea what it is about than the Bookmark option outlined below.
  2. The bookmark option is quicker to use.         On the other hand, it does not show the content preview that you see on the page link above.          Click icon to get an idea how to set one up in Firefox and see how worth while it looks.

Using Facebook

How private can it be?

If you do not want to make friends on Facebook it is possible to be pretty private.

  • Users  do not have to give their real name.         It is OK to make one up.
  • They  do not have to give their real date of birth and it can be changed.
  • It is possible to use Facebook without answering most of their questions.         You may see a box on the screen urging you to “complete your profile”.         It is OK to ignore it.
  • Users can also join Facebook without displaying any photos.
  • This should be enough to enable browsing public Facebook pages freely, e.g. GAIN Facebook page.       Many Facebook users post pictures about their family what they have been doing but some hardly post anything at all – which does a lot to protect their privacy.
  • If a user wants to join a group it would be good post something to help fit in.       For example with the GAIN events group something from the GAIN Facebook page would be an idea.

Privacy Settings

Some people are particularly keen to protect their privacy and stop people bothering them.         So they may feel need to pay quite a bit of attention to Facebook privacy settings.           Here are some guides that might be worth a look:

Getting started             Tips            Detailed guide

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Auto-playfacebook-settings-options

It might be worth having a look at the video settings on Facebook.         Switching auto-play off might make your browsing experience more tranquil and reduce broadband usage.

On the Settings page, it is the last option in the left margin.                Click thumbnail for quick how to guide.         See also  detail for more information.

Facebook opportunities

People on the Autistic Spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome, tend to have restricted social lives.         It goes with the territory.         Facebook may offer opportunities for the  high functioning  to develop their social lives and skills, though.

  • You need a couple of real life friends to whom you can send Facebook friend requests, in order to get you started.       Your Facebook friends need to be sound people that you can trust.        If you do not know why then ask someone you trust about it.
  • On the plus side, with Facebook you can look around to see what people are saying.          This may help you to build up a picture of the social landscape around you.
  • On the other hand some may need supervision – if it is suitable at all.        For one thing, the official minimum age for Facebook is 13.        So it not considered to be suitable for everyone – click play button.       Also, with some  Parents own comments,  opinion is divided.
  • In case it helps, Facebook offers tools for parents.

Click icon above for a detailed guide to Facebook for Aspies,  containing discussion and tips.

Mark Zuckerberg

As a matter of interest, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook,  is said to have a touch of Asperger’s.         See article

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Facebook gallery

Facbook small iconThese are a few selected posts copied from the GAIN Facebook website, mostly.

Click red play button to watch a GAIN Facebook slide show.

                     

                               

fb67                fb62                fb70

fb67                       fb45

FB27              FB28              FB36

FB19                    FB21                     FB14

FB20                       FB25                       FB23

FB24                                FB22

FB05                    FB06                     Autistic people

What is it like 02                  Video dev                    FB11

Distinctive01                    FB07                   FB10

Facebook03                     What is it like02                  GAIN Facebook post 01

Teaching quote         Bacon & Autism - Jane Peck - FB                 FB03

QuoteYau01            Facebook02

ME/Chronic Fatigue

Symptoms & diagnosis – The core symptom of ME/CFS is profound and disabling fatigue, which almost always affects both physical and mental functioning.     The fatigue and other symptoms are not caused by ongoing excessive exertion and are not relieved by rest.     One of the most striking features of this fatigue is what is termed ‘post-exertional malaise’ or ‘post-exertional symptom exacerbation’.

What is ME/CFS?  … the scale of impairment across a range of physical and mental activities can be just as great or greater than is seen in many other chronic medical conditions.

  • Is CFS related to autism?       I suspect all three have related underlying processes and, given a specific genetic makeup, the very same processes that trigger CFS and fibromyalgia in adults can trigger autism in children.         See article
  • Managing CFS/ME – friendly guidelines for people with the condition.
  • The NHS website says, Extreme tiredness and other physical symptoms can make it hard to carry out everyday activities.
  • ME Support is a UK national support group.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Colleges

North Lincolnshire

Options Group accepts referrals for specialist autistic services in North Lincolnshire.         Click icon to see their map.         They have a residential service to prepare 16+ year olds for adulthood.           See also Specialist services.

Linkage College

Linkage has college sites in Toynton, Grimsby and from September 2017, Lincoln.          See:  college       about us – Linkage students  have varying degrees of learning disability, from moderate to severe.          See also:  open days          home –  Linkage provides care, specialist further education and employment services.            (This entry updated)

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
See also:  College & University

Hesley Colleges

Hesley Group have two residential colleges near Doncaster.             Our two specialist residential colleges offer flexible education, care and enablement for young adults aged 18 to 25, all of whom have complex needs including behaviour that may challenge and a learning disability, often in association with autism.                 See:  maps         website

Mainstream colleges

Specialist colleges

Click icon to browse an index of colleges in Lincolnshire.

  • The index above includes this Communication college in Doncaster.           This is their prospectus.
  • Also, here is an index of several specialist units.
  • Skegness Vocational College – is a small private training provider with centres in Skegness, Boston and Horncastle.          They cater for students with learning disabilities.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Save

Save

Save

Information

Autism help sheets

Options clinical team has produced a range of autism help sheets.         Click icon to browse.         Look for the heading above each help sheet image.          For more about Options Group see  Specialist services

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

NAS information

Children on the autistic spectrum are often attracted to toys or games that use computer
technology.             Here is the  National Autistic Society’s guide to Using technology.

The National Autistic Society’s  Online shop  has a large collection of books and DVD’s about
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and management of the condition.            There are approximately 300 titles available.           The books cover all aspects of autism, behaviour, bullying, employment etc.

A few of the booklets are free to download from the NAS website including:

There is also a wealth of information pages to browse.           Look at the menus at the top of each web page and the topics at the
bottom of each page.               To view click the icon on the right.

NAS Magazine

The National Autistic Society publishes a quarterly magazine for members.              There appears to be an annual fee for membership.

Ambitious about Autism

Doc iconClick the icon to browse this website.               It offers a lot of information about autism and it is very well presented.              If you are over 16 you can  Talk to others  who have joined their on-line community.              They say it is friendly, supportive and welcoming to new members.              You can discuss anything related to autism.               The community has  moderators  and  guidelines.

NHS Dentists

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

AS Support Group

AS Support Group Online is UK based and offers information, guidance and opinion from people with Asperger’s Syndrome.                The content is thoughtful and well laid out.                Contributors are not afraid to go out on a limb and say it the way they see it.
See:    Home           About            History

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.

Cereba

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 Anxiety, Money, School Transport and Research among many others.

Different not less

Steve Silberman puts some flesh on the bones of this slogan with hard-headed analysis and vision in this article.                It has a 14 minute video at the bottom of the page that explains his thinking.                “By focusing exclusively on long-range research into alleged ‘risk factors’ for autism, while ignoring the need to dramatically improve the quality of life for autistic people and their families today, we fool ourselves into thinking that autism is a
‘puzzle’ that will be solved by the next medical breakthrough.”                “Instead of forcing potential autistic employees to prove their worth by charming a
recruiter in a face-to-face interview, SAP takes potential employees through a five-week process in which the candidates can demonstrate their abilities by showing the quality of their work in ways that draw on their natural strengths and interests.”

Awareness cards

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

The National Autistic Society (NAS) also produces a couple of products that can be useful in public spaces, like a supermarket:

  • A batch of 50 autism awareness cards:   “This person has autism …”.
  • A single plastic wallet with card to keep inside and a key facts leaflet.               See also photos of what looks like the same thing – it would be nice to have more information.

Display Cards

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

Grandparents

One in five children under 16 is looked after by their grandparents in the day time …                 See  Grandparents.              This links to several more specific pages for grandparents, e.g.  Supporting.

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

Getting things sorted

This toolkit 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 health, social care and education support services.                 It was developed at Cardiff Law School.                Click icon to view.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Save

Save

Save

Save