Published 8th November, 2016
Another of our occasional roundups of interesting posts, articles and videos from around the web relating to autism and the parenting of autistic or special needs children.
Starting with this important research published in The Lancet (that we also posted on this site) demonstrating for the first time the enormous importance of the right type of early intervention in the treatment of autism. It is the first proof of the difference that such early intervention can make. It was all over the media, but was not surprising to us at Transforming Autism. We already know something about the real potential within autistic people, and about the possibility of realising this by giving them the right treatment at an early age. These findings were modest compared with what is surely going to follow in the years ahead, and which we are intending to be a critical part of.
This is an important article written by an autistic boy whose mother surprised him by picking him up early from school one day to take him to Disney World. As well as a beautiful and articulate account of his experience of the world (and I really love the “double-check” idea), it is a reminder of how important it is that we plan such things bearing in mind how they will be experienced by the child, rather than by what sort of reactions we consider to be “normal”.
Similarly – from The Mighty – a letter that an autistic man wishes he had been able to write to his teachers when he was a boy, and also this simple reminder that autistic people can be more alert and tuned in than may seem to be the case.
This article from the Guardian is another much needed challenge to the idea that autistic people do not have any empathy, and emphasises the degree of sensitivity and connection to their surroundings that they actually possess (which is also a key message of the Transforming Autism Project).
This is a heart-wrenching video about one aspect of how bullying can affect an autistic child. Please use this for autism and general bullying-awareness in any way you can:
And in a different vein, this is an excellent talk by Barry Prizant, author of Uniquely Human (who, I’m very happy to say, feels in alignment with the goal of the Transforming Autism Project), given at Google. He brings home a very similar message of positivity and hope for all children with autism, and for the possibilites that exist for them, if we can only learn how to help them realise these possibilities.
There is a new card scheme for families with children with special needs or foster children, whereby they get discounted or free admission to many UK attractions. It’s called MyMax Card and is available from many (but not all) local authorities in the UK.
Finally, some new coverage for Transforming Autism. As well as my TED talk – The Beautiful Reality of Autism – which took place on Saturday 5th November (though the video probably won’t be available until near the end of the year), we have also had coverage in The Mighty, who published Taking A Different Perspective on Autism (essentially a version they edited of our most popular post so far, What is Autism, Really?), and we have been featured in Darling Magazine (you will need to scan through to page 31 to read the article).