Author name: Ahmad

Autism UK

Counselling, engagement and support for children with autism. According to the NHS Information Centre,  around 1% of the UK population has been diagnosed with autism. That’s 700,000 people who live with the diagnosis. Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder with no cure but the challenges people experience due to autism can be significantly managed through early intervention. Strategies that teach greater independence and coping skills which are learned as children have a profound effect and relevance throughout the lifetime of an ASD individual and can make a huge impact on their ability when they become adults with autism, leaving them with a sense of empowerment. Autism Independent UK helps to spread awareness of autism to the attention of the entire population, together with well established and newly developed strategies in the diagnosis, assessment, education and treatment. Our biggest target is to enhance the quality of life for persons with Autism, giving them a chance to take the space and opportunities due to them in their communities where they can live, work and play. Autistic Spectrum Disorder is a developmental disorder where there are three, interrelated deficiencies; social communication, social interaction and social imagination. Autism lies on a spectrum as, although all individuals may have difficulties in three main areas, their condition will present itself in a myriad of combinations.  Therefore, no two people with ASD will have the same profile.  Asperger’s Syndrome is on the Autistic Spectrum.

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25 Adopted Boys Find A Home In One House

So, you think you've "got it tough" with your one or two ASD kids? By Janet Kornblum, USA Today Huntington Beach, Calif. - Ann Belles was only 5 in 1968 when her mother took her to see Oliver, the movie musical about orphan boys based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. But in that darkened theater, her fate was sealed. "I walked out of that movie saying, 'I'm going to adopt orphan children.' I dreamt about it. I thought about it. I got books on orphans. I was consumed by it." Many of us forget our childhood dreams. Today, Belles, 40, lives hers. She and her husband, Jim Silcock, 41, have adopted 25 boys - boys who have been abandoned, abused, rejected and usually labeled unadoptable; boys from across town and across the world; boys with disabilities from autism to mental retardation to attachment disorders; boys now ranging in age from 3 to 25 who represent a panoply of ethnicities. This is the Silcock family: a mom with a dream; a dad who is quadriplegic and has a love big enough to make his wife's dream his own; and their children: 25 boys who had nowhere else to go. "I tell people that it's like any other family - except extremely large," says Hunter, 16. When Hunter, who uses a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy, joined the Silcock family five years ago, he was considered borderline retarded. Today, he tests as gifted and has appeared on TV in three episodes of Boston Public. The Silcock family is not like any other family. "There are obviously people all over the country who adopt individual children and groups of children with special needs," says Adam Pertman, executive director of the not-for profit Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute in New York. But "it is unusual for anybody to adopt this many children." The news last month about a New Jersey family accused of starving their adopted foster children has focused attention on the nation's foster care and adoption system. Sometimes the system is abused, Pertman says, but more often, "financial incentives from state and federal governments are helping to increase special-needs adoptions." The Silcock family "is the good side of that bad story," he says. Adoption of children in foster care, where many of the Silcock boys come from, is on the rise. About 130,000 of the 540,000 children in foster care nationwide are waiting to be adopted. About 50,000 a year actually get adopted, says Carol Emig of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care. In the past five years, thanks largely to increased federal financial incentives and state initiatives to adopt, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have doubled their adoptions from foster care, Emig says. But experts note that many children - especially those who are older and disabled - remain unadopted. "There is no line at the door for kids with special needs of any age," Pertman says. "People want healthy infants first and then move on from there." Not Belles. She tells agencies to give her the child who has been rejected by everyone else. "We're not willing to compete for a child," she says. "There are plenty of children who don't have any opportunities to be matched with more typical families." Some of the children came from families that couldn't cope with their needs. Many came from parents who caused their disabilities. One of the Silcock boys was nearly drowned by his parents and left brain-damaged. Another boy was taken from his family after doctors discovered 13 bones that had been broken but never set. One boy had never touched grass because he spent his first years in the hospital. Five boys come from overseas - Belles and Silcock flew to Eastern Europe to adopt one. Even though these boys may not have significant physical disabilities, they came with emotional and learning difficulties - and no familiarity with U.S. customs. After Halloween, some of the boys assumed a knock on a stranger's door would yield candy every time. Many of these boys went "from the Stone Age to The Jetsons" in the USA, Belles says. Kids can take their time Though entering a large family is not for everybody, Belles says, it can actually make things easier. "Some kids, especially kids with attachment disorder or kids who are older, can come to our family and just kind of slip in. They don't need to bond with us right away. They can bond to the dog. They can bond to another sibling. They can feel safe." Though some people question whether one family can - or should - take on this many kids, experts say there is no magic number. What is important is assessing each family and each placement very carefully, says Sue Badeau, deputy director of the Pew Commission and the mother of 20 adopted and two biological children in Philadelphia. "Have some families gotten bigger than they should have gotten and have some children been inappropriately placed in large families? Absolutely. Does that mean no family should ever have a large number of children or that no children thrive in large families? No. I don't think it's an either/or kind of extreme." Those who know the Silcock family say it works. Says Joan Thompson, a nurse to one of the boys: "They grow and blossom when they come here. You just see the difference." Neighbor Margaret Lysaght says the five vans and constant remodeling of the now-4,000-square-foot home are sometimes small nuisances, but she doesn't mind. "Those kids need a break, and she's doing it for them. When I see those kids out there getting ready to get on those buses, they all look happy. ... And I've never heard any crying or screaming or any sign of abuse or neglect." But it's not like Belles and Silcock work miracles with their boys, Belles is quick to say. "Their disabilities will not go away. But we have seen kids talk who couldn't talk before and

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Hi everyone, Folks, this is a 'review' on about Nobody Nowhere. I hope you'll visit this link and read it. It is a case of very sour grapes was drawn to my attention by a friend of mine on the spectrum. this is not 'a review' this person has posted. I never proclaimed my autism was that of all people. Anyone who read Nobody Nowhere knows this. It is a scream for help, a book about MY life. In fact I never wrote at all in Nobody Nowhere than my autism was purely sensory. Not in the slightest. This 'review' is an invitation to a gang up bully mentality. the person is overtly using my notoriety to attempt to promote a book they've just written and hoping to draw the interest of those reading the reviews about Nobody Nowhere. If you believe that I am a human being with a right to be who and what I am and have the right of all human beings to not be exploited by others then feel free to visit their 'review' and consider if you'd like to report it to Amazon as 'innappropriate'. There is a button next to their 'review' with which to do so. To those of you who take the time to do this, I thank you. We should not allow bullies and users within our own ranks to succeed. I personally run a writer's group for people on the spectrum, edit and write support letters and forwards for other people's work and try all I can to help other authors on the spectrum to become published as well as refer conference organisers to other public speakers on the spectrum and helped set up as an avenue for self employment for people on the spectrum, including authors. Hence I find this person's stand highly insulting to all I stand for and have done for the autism field, especially for those on the spectrum who I have always supported as my equals. Sincerely, Donna Williams *)

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Kind of not dead….

According to the psych gurus there are 16 personality types. (see link) I have identified my 6- four of them more 'autie' ones I asked chris to do the maths on how many different combinations there would be of this 16 based on equal probability and a plus or minus score for each of the 16. he found that there were 65,536 possible combinations of which mine is one. I wanted to know how many people like me or my grandmother or grandfather or father there were in the whole world (because if their personality combination existed in someone else, they'd be kind of not dead. We worked out there would be roughly 98818 people with my combination (or theirs) in the whole world right now... almost 100,000. So there'd be about 50,000 of our own gender and around 10,000 of our own gender in roughly a 15 year age range of any one person. Auties then being about 1 in 200, there'd be 50 of these who would also be on the autie spectrum. wow! When I met Chris I felt instantly familiar and safe, later I realised he had the same personality as my grandfather and when he met my younger brother (who I adore), they each noticed they were very alike... in fact down to one personality trait different... and the one most like my grandfather turned out to be Chris. So, in a sense, reincarnation does exist... that the 'feel' of a person can be born in a different person is true. Its wonderful to know that we are unique yet not, that people die, yet someone who will evoke the same familiarity and compatibility (or nemesis for that matter!) will be out there somewhere in the world. It gave me great peace. :-) Donna Williams *)

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if I could use Spock's transporter I'd go to the South Pole whilst it still exists and cry some futile tears of apology to the dying polar bears who are drowning because of human gluttony. then if I had a time machine I'd go back and see my father and grandparents and Sister Jellie in a safe space and tell them thank you for how I turned out. then if I had a magic wand I would have humans realise they are animals, equal to all animals on this planet and part of nature so we could understand what beingness is about and have compassion more than sympathy, belonging with more than ownership of, our animal comrades on this planet. :-) Donna Williams from:

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committing constructive suicide… lessons in living… because even suicidal people can be positively inspiring.

We can commit constructive suicide every day We can kill off the call to the adrenaline rush of threatening our own life We can kill off the lust to provoke regret from our enemies We can kill off the enjoyment of endulging in projections of our own self pity of how 'they'll all wish I'd lived'. We can kill off the competition with others who inspire us with how much more desperate and determined their attempts, their hopelessness was than our own. We can kill off the indulgence in self hatred, self disgust and accept that we may not be what we admired in others but we can begin to love what is uniquely our own combination of traits even if others don't. We can kill off the belief that life holds no hope, no joy, no excitement, no importance and damned well make a daily plan to take tiny steps each day to create these things instead of thinking it is someone else's job. We can kill off the pride which stops us from caring about ourselves just because nobody else showed us we were worth it. We can kill off the belief that we are not worth it and consider all those who have nobody and how we could be a somebody in those lives in some way. We can kill off unreasonable expectations that only an improbably minority could ever achieve anyway and start being 'fair'. We can kill off playing with the dark whilst we weaken our experience in exploring the light. We can kill off the belief that life with medication or anti-anxiety or mood altering supplements are such an extreme imposition we would rather be dead. We can kill off the belief that suicide is an answer because suicide is nothing and nothing will not solve anything. Welcome to the adventure of life if you dare. from Donna Williams *) -- Donna Williams

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Your Next Patient Has Autism

"Your Next Patient Has Autism" is a trifold brochure developed for the many health professionals - nurses, physicians, technicians and others - who provide services for children on the autistic spectrum. It is especially designed for those who only occasionally treat this population. Physical assessment, diagnostic imaging, and a variety of other interventions - both invasive and "non-invasive" - may induce extreme fear and anxiety in autistic children. Their behavioral responses to such experiences often interfere with needed care, and increase the risk of physical and/or psychic trauma. "Your Next Patient Has Autism" provides caregivers with a brief synopsis of autism together with specific recommendations for managing the special needs of these patients in the context of in-patient or out-patient healthcare. The brochure is put together by the North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System.

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Your Child’s Disorder May Be Yours, Too

BY age 2 it was clear that the boy had a sensibility all his own, affectionate and distant at the same time, often more focused on patterns and objects than the people around him. He was neither naturally social like his mother, nor an early and gifted reader like his father. Quirky, curious, exuberant, he would leap up and dance across the floor after solving a problem or winning a game, duck walking like an N.F.L. receiver posing for a highlight film. Yet after Phil and Susan Schwarz received a diagnosis for their son, Jeremy, of high functioning autism, they began to think carefully about their own behaviors and histories. Mr. Schwarz, a software developer in Framingham, Mass., found in his son's diagnosis a new language to understand his own life. His sensitivities when growing up to loud noises and bright light, his own diffidence through school, his parents' and grandparents' special intellectual skills - all echoed through his and Jeremy's behavior, like some ancient rhythm. His son's diagnosis, Mr. Schwarz said, "provided a frame in which a whole bunch of seemingly unrelated aspects of my own life growing up fit together for the first time." Researchers have long known that many psychiatric disorders and developmental problems run in families. Children born to parents with bipolar disorder, in which moods cycle between euphoria and depression, run about eight times the normal risk for developing a mood problem. Those born to parents with depression run three times the usual risk. Attention and developmental disorders like autism also have a genetic component. AS more youngsters than ever receive diagnoses of disorders - the number has tripled since the early 1990s, to more than six million - many parents have come to recognize that their own behavior is symptomatic of those disorders, sometimes in a major, but more commonly, in a minor way. In effect, the diagnosis may spread from the child to other family members, forcing each to confront family frustrations and idiosyncrasies that they might prefer to have left unacknowledged. "It happens very frequently, with all sorts of disorders, from attention-deficit difficulties to mood problems like bipolar disorder," said Dr. Gregory Fritz, a child psychiatrist and academic director of Bradley Hospital in Providence, R.I., the largest child-psychiatry hospital in the country. "Sometimes it's a real surprise, because the child is the first one in the family ever to get a thorough evaluation and history. The parents are there, and they begin to see the pattern." But diagnosing an adult through his or her child has its risks, psychiatrists say. In an act of solidarity, parents may exaggerate similarities between their thinking and behavior and their son's or daughter's. Families desperate to find a diagnosis for a troubled child are also prone to adopt a vague label - bipolar disorder, say, which is not well understood in young children - and attribute all variety of difficulties to it, when the real source may be elsewhere. But psychological experts say traces of a disorder in the family tree are very often real, and the stickier issue is what to do once they surface. Depending on the family, for instance, one parent may not want to shoulder the responsibility for having "passed on" the behavior problem, they say. "The adult may have spent a lifetime compensating for the problem, as well, and is still struggling with it and would rather not be identified that way," said Dania Jekel, executive director of the Asperger's Association of New England. Openness can nonetheless have its benefits, say parents who have chosen to accept their contribution to a child's diagnosis. Self-examination, for instance, may lead to an appropriate diagnosis for the adult. Norine Eaton, 51, of Williamsville, N.Y., reared two boys who were diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. "The younger one was literally climbing out second-floor windows, climbing bookcases, onto counters," she said. "Nothing was safe in the house. It was insanity." After the boy and his brother each received a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder, Ms. Eaton sought treatment at the Center for Children and Families at the State University at Buffalo, where she now works. She soon began thinking about her own behavior, past and present. She had long had difficulty focusing on even simple jobs, like paying bills on time and remembering and keeping appointments. She decided to have one of her sons' psychologists evaluate her for attention problems. The symptoms of attention deficit disorder, which some scientists now see as a temporary delay in the maturing of the brain, can last through adulthood, but it almost always shows up first in childhood. To make a proper diagnosis, doctors like to see some evidence of a problem in childhood - evidence that can be hard to come by. "In my case, I went to school here in Buffalo, and I dug through some boxes and found reports going back to elementary school," Ms. Eaton said. "Sure enough, they said things like, 'Disorganized,' and 'Has trouble paying attention.'" She now takes a stimulant medication, she said, that helps her focus enough to compensate for the problem, by making calendars, notes to herself, and responding to invitations and messages on time. Once it's out in the open, knowledge of a parent's diagnosis or behavioral tendencies can ease strained relations in a family, especially if the previously unappreciated disability contributed to the rupture. John Halpern, 76, a retired physicist living in Massachusetts, began to review his own life not long after hearing a radio interview with an expert on Asperger's syndrome. He immediately recognized himself as a textbook case, he said, and decided to call his daughter, whom he hadn't spoken to in 10 years. He wanted to apologize, he said, "for my inadequacy as both a father and a husband to her mother." But as soon as he started explaining, he said, his daughter cut him off. "That's Asperger's," she told him. "She knew," he said. "She had been looking into it herself, wondering if in

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You don’t look very autistic – the case for autistic empathy

With no look of apology or shame, I make my way to what others perceive as the front of the queue and wonder at the intolerance of those who grumble at me. Without the slightest embarrassment I talk over customers speaking with the cashier and ask for directions to what I’m looking for and when I’m told off, I’m shocked at the rudeness of people. I will seize on a part of what someone has said and seemingly ignore what really matters. I will say what is logical with complete disregard for the feelings of others and will merrily chatter on topics which clearly relate to their pain with no thought for how insensitive I’m being. With no thought for the care of merchandise or people’s belongings, I have helped myself to furniture and hoisted myself onto shelves to reach something I have been told I can use and am confused as to why anyone would then be annoyed at me that I didn’t wait or ask for help. I will say hello to a neighbor coming out of her house then ignore her as she passes me in a car or down the street. I will push someone out of my way when busy doing something. Clearly I’m a bad and selfish person completely lacking in empathy? Think again. I have autism. Some of you will feel that proves your point, that I’m selfish, rude, lack empathy or consideration for others. I’m also someone who cares deeply about the world, about inequality, injustice and am often the first person to help anyone who is lost, hurt, crying or in trouble. When I do, I’m not heart on my sleeve but purely practical, often if I don’t start joking about whilst doing so (because people’s feelings make me nervous) I’m rather po-faced and its very difficult to know what I feel. But what I feel is empathy, a deep caring, a feeling of wanting to make their lot easier, that life is hard enough. So what of these other things? If I’m so empathic why do I do these seemingly rude, intolerant, unempathic things. I’m intermittently meaning deaf and meaning blind, also context blind, face blind and lack a capacity to process a simultaneous sense of ’self’ and ‘other’. What does this mean for everyday life, for communication and interaction. Well, aside from being told ‘you don’t look very autistic’, being meaning deaf means that I will only understand parts of what I hear. Even then I will be utterly literal and effectively ‘meaning deaf’ to any deeper level of significance not only in what other people say, but in my own speech. I am speaking on an extremely literal level. Given I didn’t get even the literal meaning of sentences till late childhood this isn’t my failing. It’s my achievement. And its an achievement that gets so many nasty looks, nasty comments, nasty judgment from others in the community, that I tend to avoid most involvement, certainly with anyone new. Being meaning blind means that I don’t recognise what I see until a second or so after I see it. Sometimes not until I touch it or move it. Once I move an object I know what it is. This is especially so if things aren’t in places that assist their recognition. So its like being blind, meaning blind. And context blindness is related. It means that I can’t process the part in the wider context of the whole. I can’t tell which end is the right part of the queue to join. Sometimes I’ll join any group of three people thinking its a queue and its not. I see things but don’t know what they are or how they might impact on each other. So I may go after the thing I recognise or which has been pointed out to me without realising that the things I’m climbing on are people’s furniture or that I’m moving around their valued objects. All I’m seeing are shapes and colors. And that brings us to face blindness. I can recognise a neighbor who is leaving their house, but outside of their context, they are strangers, almost everyone is. If I know where I’m to find someone, I can recognise them, otherwise I appear to snub people because I’m afraid of these seeming strangers who grin at me and wave, some even use my name and I’ve never seen them before in my life. And then there’s inability to process a simultaneous sense of self and other. This one means that whilst in the midst of an action (self) I can’t process the meaning of things, people, interactions around me. People may be speaking but I hear noise and see mouths moving but don’t know they are speaking. I see a big moving thing in my way which won’t move but don’t realise its a human with feelings. I get annoyed at all kinds of obstacles and find ways around them and without an ability to process self and other when in the midst of an action, there is not capacity to even imagine or consider asking for help because perceptually, at that time, no other human exists. I also notice others. I notice them acutely, passionately. I study them. I love people. They fascinate me. But when they speak to me or offer me something they sometimes get no response. That’s when I can find them, but I can’t process my own existance at that time. How much less selfish can a human being get. Non-autistic humans generally imagine they have empathy. They are subjective and have enough fluent capacity to simultaneously process self and other that they would perhaps rarely see other people in their pure form, without bias, as perhaps only God might see them. Some of these supposedly empathic non-autistic people tutt at me, they attack me, they study me, they quiz me, they wait for me to ‘trust’ them enough to ask for help before doing

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You Are Not Alone

Article By: Maria Spencer Article Date: 08/30/2010You are not alone-- These words may have several meanings depending on where you happen to be in the process of accepting your child's diagnosis. If you have recently learned the facts regarding your child's condition, I'm sure you feel like the only parent in the world that has a child with a disability. You're doing everything and anything to just get you and your family through these days; you're in what I call 'survival mode.' Your days are spent with multiple doctor appointments that you don't completely understand, you're trying your best to focus on all of terminology that professionals are using to describe your child, and at the same time, you are doing your best to stay strong for your entire family. When you are in public, doing the things that you did 'before the disability', everything and everyone around you seem a little surreal, and you're wondering how the world can possibly be going on when your world has stopped. You think to yourself, 'don't all these people see this great big sign on my forehead that says 'parent of a child with a disability''? You are not alone. Or maybe you have been at this for a little while and you have started to accept the fact that the child you dreamt of before he or she came into your world is not the child you are caring for, and that's OK--you're doing everything in your power to get the services your child needs, at any cost--you are willing and ready to pay. You're sacrificing everything you knew before this precious human being came along, and you don't mind one bit. You are not alone. And maybe you are a special parent that has had a few years experience, and you know that you know that the person your child is today is the person he or she was meant to be. Your child, because of his uniqueness, has touched the lives of so very many people that he has had contact with over the years, but the life he has changed more than anyone, is yours. This beautiful person that you have been caring for has reshaped the make-up of your heart. You are continually growing as a person because of all the challenging life experiences you have had the privilege to learn. You were chosen to be a special parent and you are so very proud of the parent that you have become thanks to your very special child. You are not alone. Wherever you are currently in raising your child, I feel it is so very important for you to know that there have been so many special parents that came before you that you can learn from, but more importantly, that there are many new special parents that you can encourage and reassure and support like no one else in their life can. I feel we have a responsibility to seek each other out through support groups and organizations-local and on-line, and through our neighborhoods and schools. Regardless of the name of the delay or disability, the feelings are all the same, and it is vital that we all help one another, so whenever we need to hear the words you are not alone, someone will be there to say them.

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