We are zooming in to yet another month and coming up to another of our meetings with the National Autistic Society Derby Branch so if you are in the area on Tuesday 2nd April at 7pm then please do come along to The Farmhouse Mackworth and join us.
Tea and coffee will be provided by the lovely staff at the venue or drinks are also available from the bar. We will have our annual AGM business to take care of at the beginning of the meeting but this won't take long. We will then be discussing our topic for this month which is 'ideas of friendly places to visit'. This is usually a great topic to share ideas on as the holidays are fast approaching and everyone tends to be on the look out for opportunities to get out and about.
So you would be very welcome to pop along if you are in the local area. The Farmhouse is situated at 60 Ashbourne Rd, Mackworth, Derby DE22 4LY. If you would also like to be kept up to date with any information regarding the Derby and District branch of the NAS there is a Facebook page here:
Thank you for reading today, please join me again tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now.....
It's that time of the year coming up when we can all take part in raising awareness about autism and maybe do a little fundraising too. Not that we shouldn't be doing that all year round but this week, between the 1st and 7th April the National Autistic Society have set up some events for everyone to enter into.
You can sign up for a free pack which will give you lots of information and which also includes a spectrum cake recipe from Jane Asher, a quiz from The Chase's Anne Hegerty and a fun wildlife sweepstake poster from NAS ambassador Chris Packham.
Sign up soon for the Spectrum Night Walks which are taking place on the 6th April in London, Cardiff, Belfast, Manchester and Glasgow. A fun way to raise money but the last chance to sign up is on Monday 25th March so dust off those walking shoes quickly.
You can push yourself to the Virtual Challenge - 7K for 700K where you could cycle, run, or swim 7K for the 700,000 autistic people in the UK. This can take place anywhere you want all you need to do is book on the NAS website to enable you to receive support, information and the all important medal at the end of your challenge. You could even have your own medal awarding ceremony to finish off.
If you work in school then sign up for a free schools pack The primary resources include the Trummies - six colourful characters celebrating difference and diversity and the secondary resources feature Niall Aslam from Love Island who is autistic. When you sign up you can be entered into a prize draw for a school visit from Anne Hegerty so get raising all your trivia and become quizzing experts in preparation, just in case.
Phew, what a lot to do....for all the information about Autism Awareness Week just go to the National Autistic Society Website here at:
Thank for reading today and hope you can get involved in some way. I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now......
We had a lovely NAS branch meeting in Derby this week where we had a discussion about sensory differences and how they can affect autistic people. It is a subject that pops up quite a bit and people are always after a few ways of how to deal with sensory differences especially when it comes to autism.
Of course we are all aware of our senses and if most people are asked how many senses we have we normally answer with commonly known five which are sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. Some will say there are a lot more than this but when we discuss it around autism we tend to stick to the five we know and then two more being vestibular (balance) and proprioception (body awareness).
It was just so nice to sit in a group and discuss how all these sensory differences can play a part in our lives and those of our children. We chatted about each individual experiences and how they certain sensory needs can affect education and then how to cope with the changes at home, sometimes very different. It is also making other people aware of these differences enabling people to support autistic people in every situation.
We chatted and chatted and before we knew it it was the end of the session so that just shows how we can become engrossed in this subject. I think people went away with some new information and how to cope with certain situations. Sensory differences and the way we process these differences can be tough and quite demanding especially when it affects behaviour in a big way. It was so reassuring to share our stories and give support to those who maybe were struggling a bit.
There is quite a bit of information regarding sensory differences on the main NAS website here www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/sensory-world.aspx so do take a look and if there is a branch near you then maybe they have a support group too where you can go along and have a chat just like we did this week.
Thank you for reading today. I will be back tomorrow for Pass the remote Sunday but for now......
Oh the DVLA sent people's hearts and minds into a bit of a flutter in the past month didn't they? Nothing like a bit of confusion to make people feel uneasy and worried.
In February the DVLA gave out information in regard to autism stating that people must disclose their autistic diagnosis if they were driving. To add to this they said that anyone who failed to disclose their condition would face a fine up to £1000. Now this kind of stands with medical conditions. In general, if you do fail to inform the DVLA of any medical condition and you are involved in an accident then you can face a fine of £1000.
With regard to autism they have now updated their information and you now only have to inform them if you think your diagnosis of autism affects your ability to drive safely. They do say that they will contact people who have sent disclosures in to see whether their condition does affect their driving, if not those disclosures will be destroyed.
I can see why this may have worried so many people as they would have thought that they would be driving illegally or just been annoyed that their policies should change suddenly regarding autistic people. If you have a diagnosis and have passed your driving test then you have been assessed already on your ability to drive and if you are preparing yourself to drive then the present driving test does give access to those people with autism and sensory needs so you can get support there.
If you need to know more about driving then here is a link to the National Autistic Society website which gives you all the up to date information regarding licences, learning to drive, tests, fitness rules and the blue badge scheme.
I hope that just clarifies a little about the situation after so many stories and rumours were flying around. Please do contact the NAS or the DVLA if you are still worried, there are contact details in that link to be able to get more information and support if you should need it.
Thank you for reading today. I will be back tomorrow for Pass the Remote Sunday but for now.......
I might have mentioned transport before but it is a subject that does crop up now and again regarding autism and other disabilities too. There have been a lot of cuts made by local authorities regarding home to school transport which can makes things difficult with an application.
I can see where the LA's are coming from as it is expensive to provide taxis for our kids going to and from school but it is a great means of support. Help regarding travel can come in other ways too, there is travel training available which helps support a young person gaining independence to travel, discounted travel cards and fuel allowances which probably works out a cheaper option for most councils.
It should be about every individual and how their needs can be met but that's not also the case. There seems to be a drop off in support as our children get older. I know there is sometimes less transport support for post sixteen's going to college and even more so post eighteen's too. Yes the chances of some people gaining their confidence and independence to travel alone is something that can eventually happen as our kids get older but not always.
If you need any information regarding home to school travel you can get in touch with SENTAS - Special Educational Needs Transport Advocacy Service. They are a non profit organisation set up to provide parents and young people with information, advice and advocacy around issues regarding home to school and college transport. They have a website here:
sentas.co.uk which has so much useful information on it and and option to contact them too if you should need to.
It can be a very frustrating time trying to figure out not only everything that goes with school and our young people moving to college. Their education is a lot to deal with when it comes to SEN even before thinking how our young ones are going to get there and back from their schools or colleges but there is help out there if you need it so do get in touch with SENTAS if you are struggling.
I hope that helps and if I have mentioned this before I do apologise for repeating it but it is quite important that needs are met and I do know some people have a lot of problems in this area so it is good to just review it again.
Thank you so much for reading today. I will be back tomorrow with Pass the remote Sunday but for now.....
Every Saturday will be about Autism, family and life.