It's been World Autism Awareness this week and I seem to have been hooked on grabbing more information about the Autism world with regard to Women. It all started with wanting to find a good book to read about Women and Autism so I went for 'Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder' by Sarah Hendrickx. I am still reading this so I will review it properly in a future post but it is brilliant. It is a big eye opener as I don't think we have realised just how differently women present themselves with Autism. This has a massive effect on life, diagnosis and general experiences. I am amazed.
I then watched the Channel 4 Documentary 'Are You Autistic' which mainly featured women and girls but did involve two people, one male, one female who go through the diagnosis process. I loved this programme, I felt quite connected with it. It made me realise how some of the women's behaviour felt quite familiar. Certain situations such as going out to be sociable and not really seeing the point of small talk made me smile and the speed dating scenario was a revelation when it demonstrated how easy women masked their Autistic traits. I don't want to give too much away if you've not seen it so if you want more information about the programme go to the NAS website here at:
You can catch up with the programme if you missed it on All 4.
I felt quite emotional really as someone who has a feeling that something hasn't made sense along the path of life in many ways. So for even more information I decided to sign up to the new training module provided by the National Autistic Society about Women and Girls.
Wow, I want to stay in this course forever as I feel quite at home with all the information in it and the comments from people such as Dr Judith Gould, Sarah Hendrickx, Lana Grant and Tony Attwood It's as if someone has just written my life story, well a fair bit. It's amazing and I have to thank one of the contributors to this module who is our very own Lorraine MacAlister, she is Trainer and Consultant with the NAS and all round lovely lady. It is fascinating and well worth doing if you have an interest here. It is aimed to support clinicians and professionals initially but it has so much useful information for anyone really.
I don't absorb information very well most of the time although I do have a go and some studying but this I can really take in. It's probably because I'm really interested. I'm terrible when reading books as I tend to zone out and think about other things, I end up having to back track to contuse with the book. Talk about life getting the way!!
This module is free for a year thanks to the Pears Foundation who have kindly funded this project. So go and take advantage of it. You will need 120 minutes of your time but once you set up an account, you can complete it in stages to make it easier.
It certainly shakes things up regarding Autism. I didn't realise how much us women can mask or camouflage our behaviour and it's no surprising that women get mis diagnosed or Autism goes unrecognised. It's time for change.
I feel a massive amount of gratitude to those who have brought this to life and worked on these projects whether it's books, tv and training. It's certainly gave me a lot of food for thought.
So if you would like information on how you can sign up for the Women and Girls Module go to the NAS website here at:
It has all the information you need such as what is involved and who is also involved, I can really recommend it.
Thanks for reading today, I hope you've had a great World Autism Awareness Week doing lots of lovely things to raise awareness. I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday so until then take care.
Last week I mentioned that I was going to be attending an event run by a charity called Sunshine Support regarding legal help with EHCP - the Education Health Care Plan. The EHCP is a legal document which takes over from the Statement of Special Needs and is put in place within an education setting to help a child or young person receive support and enable their needs to be met.
Nathan Davies from HCB Solicitors was on hand last week at The Roundhouse in Derby to give advice to parents who are having a really difficult time with certain issues regarding this process. There were alot parents, too many in fact that are just not getting the EHCP in the allotted time given, it may lack detail in it's presentation and some people even come up against a brick wall when applying for one.
Apparently although Derby City Council feel they are on target to get all the EHCP's transferred over by the deadline in April there are a lot of people who would disagree. We had to wait a long time for ours to be completed but then it was rushed through for when my son transitioned to college post 16. It then took a while to bring the plan up to date as a lot of information was years out of date regarding his situation. It did get done eventually but there are families who are going through a terrible ordeal. This has not only led to stress within the family unit but can create massive mental health issues for the young person themselves as they may not be supported in the correct way within their education setting.
It was an eye opener really and the advice Nathan gave was very good. I too got some advice and another contact to get in touch with regarding my situation with post 18 legal help. I am going to seek this advice and hopefully put something in place for adulthood. If you get a chance to go to any talks given by HCB Solicitors or forthcoming events provided by Sunshine Support then do go as they are all very friendly and will help you.
You can find Sunshine Support on their Facebook Page at:
and if you need to contact HCB Solicitors you can get more information on their website at:
Don't forget that Autism Awareness Week starts next week from 26th March to the 2nd April - if you would like more information about this and how you can get involved go to The National Autistic Society website here at :
Have a great week of raising awareness!!
Take care and I will catch you tomorrow for Pass the Remote.
I came across this new charity organisation as they contacted us at the Derby Branch of the National Autistic Society to pass on their details. They have an event coming up next week so I thought I would share their details in case it was of interest to you.
Sunshine Support are seeking to provide parental support and advice regarding Additional Education Needs for children and young people. They can access help from a group of professionals allowing you to get the help you need for your child or young person.
This has come at a great time for me as I am wanting to seek advice regarding certain legal topics for when my son turns eighteen this year. It is quite funny how the world works sometimes. I can be doing my overthinking thing around 3am in the morning and this was one subject I was tending to worry about. Someone will then pop up with a recommendation or a bit of advice and make everything a little easier. I can now see a bit of light at the end of a tunnel and hopefully now be able to go back to sleep at 3am again. There can be so many tunnels though eh?
There is an event taking place on Wednesday 21st March in Derby regarding law and education. Nathan Davies who is an education solicitor from HCB Solicitors will be speaking about EHCP's and how you can get help for your child within the education system. I am going along to one of these sessions to gather some information for our support groups and also to hopefully pick Nathan's brains regarding the legalities of disability and adult hood. There are two sessions on this day and I will pop the links to these and the Facebook page for Sunshine Support in case you would like to get in touch.
I love to share this information because we all come across times where we need a little more support sometimes or need answers as a lot of issues regarding disabilities and many topics regarding Autism can become a bit confusing to say the least. I always think, well if I want to know something then there must be more people around that may need to know too.
So if you would like more information about Sunshine Support and their events you will find all the information on their Facebook page at:
The afternoon event details are here at:
and the evening details for this event are here:
The venue is near to Derby Railway Station so it is easy to travel there but I will review this event next Saturday on Autism Support Saturday so watch this space. I do know they plan to do more sessions and events through this year so if you can't make this one there will be other opportunities.
I hope this helps. I appreciate your time reading this post today. please pop back every day if you feel like it as I chat about a different subject every day. Tomorrow is Pass the Remote, my TV feature so join me for that.....for now though......
I listened to a lovely interview on Radio 2 today on the Graham Norton show as he spoke to the author Michael Morpurgo. What a really nice man, he spoke so passionately about his grandson who is on the autism spectrum and how he is the inspiration for his new book Flamingo Boy.
This book features a boy who 'sees the world differently' and follows his story healing animals, being able to talk to them especially the flamingoes. The boy meets Kezia, a Roma girl who helps her parents run a carousel, she shows him how to ride the wooden horse accompanied by the music but when the German soldiers arrive as part of World War 2 their whole world changes.
It's a story of friendship across different cultures and also with the added ingredient of autism thrown in there too. Michael spoke in the interview about how he admired his grandson and his parents, how they had coped with a major change of lifestyle and also how they could see how life was also going to change as their son got older. He had never thought to write a story about someone with autism before as he didn't think he had the confidence to do so. He mentioned that before having his grandson he knew nothing about autism and still doesn't, he still feels he's learning like us all eh?
If you get a chance to have a listen to this interview please do as I related to what Michael was saying so much about family and I loved how he talked about his work as a teacher. His words about the teaching profession and how important it is to our children was so inspiring. My boys have certainly been fortunate to be taught by some great teachers and they make a huge difference.
If you are interested to hear more about this interview the link is here at:
and if you would like to order The Flamingo Boy it is available from Amazon, here is the link (affiliated)......
Let me know if you read it, I would be interested to know what you thought of it and if you enjoyed the interview too.
Thank you for reading today, join me tomorrow for Pass The Remote, for now though take care.
If you read my posts you will know that I help run support groups as part of the Derby Branch of The National Autistic Society and I love meeting many different people from parents, professionals and to those on the spectrum themselves.
It is difficult though to access these meetings sometimes and we run as many groups as possible at present with only being a small committee. Life gets busy and also for those with Autism sitting in a room you may not be familiar with and with people you don't know may be a difficult way to access this support. So what do we do when we can't go to support groups?
Well there are some online forums which give advice and support and loads of information, it is just like discussing topics in a group but from the comfort of your own home. We encourage anyone to ask for advice on our facebook page at the NAS Derby & District Branch, this usually starts a good thread with different people from different backgrounds in a similar situation who can give direct advice. I've always found personally a great comfort from talking to other parents as it has always made me feel like I'm never alone and that someone somewhere knows exactly how I may be feeling. I also get the same feelings from talking to professionals and there is nothing like chatting to someone on the spectrum as they are living and breathing Autism so where best to grab some advice.
I was looking online and found some great information within Network Autism, this is an online resource brought to you by The National Autistic Society and aimed mainly at professionals to share information but while looking there I did find a list of online forums for parent/carers to use. Here is the link and if to go down to the bottom of the guidelines you will find the list of sites to go to.
There is so much information on a lot of these sites and most of them have a place to chat to each other too. If you search 'Autism' on Facebook there are many groups for discussion too so there are a lot of options for this type of support if it is what you prefer. Let me know if there are any you have used or use on a regular basis and I will pass them on through my blog here.
Thank you for reading today, it means a lot......if you like your tv and fancy joining me tomorrow for a bit of telly talk then I will be here for Pass the Remote. but for now you all take care now.
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.