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Steve McGuinness.

I have placed the following topics here for anyone who may find them of interest.

Me and the spectrum.

About me.

My special interests (or as some would have you believe 'obsessions')

My perspective regarding Social Model of Disabilty

My policy making course at Loughborough University 2008

Oxford University Autism research project DIPeX

Dispelling the myths of Asperger Syndrome (AS)

Phoebe Caldwell - Intensive Intergation Therapy

Genevieve Edmonds

National Autistic Society Communication magazine feature - spring 2009 edition

My perspective on sensory overload.

It has to be logical - and more.

Monsterous Outrage

Lamb inquiry questionnaire - request for help, your views needed


Steve McGuinness.jpg

My name is Steve McGuinness, I have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as such this means I am a neuro diverse person, setting me apart somewhat from my neurotypical counterparts in that I have a pervasive developmental disorder. For those of you unaware of the term Neuotypical, it is a reference to the so called 'normal' ( assuming there is such a thingl) The only thing I know of which you can make reference to 'normal' is the temperature of a room at which red wine would be served at. Many references in lanuage can, to the persn with an ASD be extremely confusing, especially when coming from the neurotypical people with which we neuro diverse folk share this strange planet we call earth.

I feel once you know, and become aware that you have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, it brings a massive relife, or at least in fact it did for me, I am sure it would be the same for others on the spectrum, it's also helped with my depression, a problomatic area it would seem for many aspies trying to making sense of this strange planet. At least though I now know why I do what I do, which, for me makes a difference.

I also know that my sensory system like others on the spectrum is very sensitive, I feel this is a particular area of autism that brings many if not all autistic people together, as I feel sensory intergration difficulties is one area in which we on the spectrum irregardless of where we may sit on it, have a common theme.

One person I feel in particular who has a true understanding of sensory peception difficulties faced by many of us on the specrum is Dr Olga Bogashinia, her work in this area is now well recieved, a far cry from a few years ago when some of her peers just didn't get it at all. The ace card I feel in her favour is the very fact she herself has a son on the autism spectrum she is a mother first and professional second a good combination for understanding and observations. In September of this year (2008) Olga will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2008 National Autistic Society Conference I am looking forward to hearing her speak, I will be speaking myself in one of the workshops along with fellow NAS councillors.

With reagrds to being on the spectrum from my perspective, I would liken having Aperger Syndrome to that of being like an apple mac computer as opposed to a Windows PC - In a much as it runs a different operating system, but it can still do the job so because its not broken and its just a different operating system you will have to learn to work with it, so if you think about this logically as its not actually broken you cannot really take it back to where you bought it saying it isnt working because it does - just in a different way!.

One thing I have always found strange is non verbal communication this is I feel an area in which many of us struggle, because to us it has not/ever come naturally for instance "facial expression" and "body language" to give meaning to what they say.

One of my autistic peers Temple Grandin - the inspiring and accomplished autistic woman who was profiled in Oliver Sacks ' An Anthropologist on Mars - Mentions another area in which we on the spectrum tend to have in common which is to 'think in picture's ' Temple herself stated ' My mind is like a CD- in a computer - like a quick access video tape. But once I get there, I have to play, in memory, the entire scene.


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More about me.

I have a son who also has Asperger Syndrome, a high functioner like myself, and a very bright young man who like the many high functioning aspies that have gone before him will find his niche in life, 'quite possibly in and aroud his area of special interest 'computing' I am sure he will do well, however social aspect of matters is a different story - on this matter we shall have to wait and see, (logic predicts however ther will be no Friday afternoon code - after all we are aspies).

I help run the Asperger/Autistic support group CAPAAS, which is based in Sleaford in Lincolnshire which is a very proactive support group, which is good, because as most people know Aspies have a burning desire to strive forward. I have recently finished studying autism at Birmingham University, a course I really enjoyed hopefully I plan to do more related study in this area either at Birmingham or infact Sheffield University, depending on the course content. I am currently part of the autism reasearch panel at Oxford University which is a great opportunity, this forms part of the DIPeX Research project, with Dr Sara Ryan and team.

In 2006 I answered an expression of interest in the TreeHouse Parent Support Project (PSP) Which was put out by TreeHouse the Charity for Autism Education. Involvement within the project has been one of the best decisions made with regards to the CAPAAS support group. To read more about our involvement with TreeHouse and the other nine groups involved in the PSP click here.

In 2007 I was voted by the membership of the National Autistic Society onto the council of the Coucil of the NAS as a National Councillor which now means from my perspective, along with my fellow autistic peer councillors I have helped to even out the neurodiversity of the NAS council itself, as a national councillor this means that I have a national mandate. I am rather pleased that my thoughts feelings and ideas are considered by the council therefore not just tokenistic, so in the words of one of my autistic peers and fellow NAS councillor Larry Arnold 'nothing about us without us' an excellent point and a fine statement I feel.

Steve McGuinness and Mark Lever NASHere is a picture of myself and Mark Lever CEO of the National Autistic Society this was taken in my second year as a National Autistic Society (NAS) National Councillor and the very first weekend in which Mark became the new Chief Executive Officer. See current list of NAS Trustee's and Council members

The NAS appointed Mark as the new chief executive after current CEO Vernon Beauchamp announced he would be leaving the charity in March.

Mark Lever, previously Chief Executive of charity WRVS, which provides services to lonely and isolated people, will join NAS next month. “Autism is a fascinating and much misunderstood condition and the pressures are immense,” he said. “There are also great opportunities right now for the NAS to move things forward.”

Mark spent 12 years at WRVS, rising from director of training to chief executive in 2002. He will be responsible for 2,500 staff employed by NAS, along with 1,000 volunteers. The charity has 61 branches across the UK.


I for one am delighted that the Government has listened to The National Autistic Society (NAS) and our campaigners and has announced a major commitment to improving the lives of adults with autism.

Ivan Lewis, Minister for Care Services within the Department of Health, has announced a set of measures that will expand Government capacity and expertise on autism, and will provide greater leadership to those delivering local services.

Following sustained pressure from us and our supporters, Mr Lewis has made a commitment to the following measures, which will build towards a national strategy for adults with autism:

  • a full-time, senior autism advisor post within the Department of Health

  • funding a study into the numbers of adults with autism

  • funding research into the needs of young people with autism as they approach adulthood

  • improving understanding of autism among professionals.

Mark Lever, NAS Chief Executive says:

"This is great news for the thousands of adults with autism who told us they feel isolated and ignored. We are delighted that the Government has listened and is taking decisive action. Today's announcement should mark a sea change in the way that the needs of people with autism are recognised and met. However, we will keep campaigning to ensure real change happens at ground level. Autism is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition and without the right support it can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families."

response.jpg From the 30th July 2008

Media response: Government allocates £10m per year to special educational needs leaders.

The National Autistic Society (NAS) welcomes the package of measures set out by Schools Minister Andrew Adonis to improve support for children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.

Use the link below to read what Mark Lever, NAS Chief Executive said:

Click here to read the whole of the response on the National Autistic Society website.


January 2009.


News....'This is a huge step forward' 'Autism bill published'


The autism bill published today promises a brighter future for thousands of people, says Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society. The first law to help people with autism came a step closer to reality today with the announcement that Cheryl Gillan MP (drawn first in the private members' bill ballot) will take forward the autism bill with the backing of 14 autism charities, including ours, the National Autistic Society (NAS). This is fantastic news for the over half a million people in the UK and their families who are affected by this serious, lifelong and disabling condition. For more on this story click here



September 2008 I start a National Policy Making Course at Loughborough University, which I hope will help with all the work we are undertaking at present and in the near future. This is something I am looking forward to very much, apart from all the people <grins>.

A coping stategy here is - as an audience member/student I would work out the easiest and most effective escape route first, nearest the door or within a linear walk on the outside edge of an audience is usually best. However as a speaker I would always get to the door before the audience - trust me! After all logic predicts it they would think it part of the progamme.

'Inclusive Education Talk ' A Stuggle for some , A Challenge To Us ALL'

Venue - Imago at Bureigh court international conference centre November 2008.

Joe Whittaker and Steve McGuinness, Inclusive Education - A Struggle for some, A Challenge For Us ALL.jpg

Joe Whittaker and myself 'Inclusive Education Talk 'A Struggle for Some, A Challenge To Us ALL'.

I first came across Joe while I was studying Autistic Spectrum Disorders at University of Birmingham, I was researching Education and Inclusion, two areas of special interest to me. Joe(above) is Senior Lecturer at Simons Building in the Department of Education, University of Bolton working on PGCE (FE), BA and MA programmes. his work is focused on the promotion of Inclusive Education and the injustices inherent within the education system against disabled people and those who are presented as significantly different.

He works actively with those individuals who are excluded and their families to challenge existing barriers and look to generate creative solutions with those involved. Involved in a project, based on Chadwick Campus providing advice and guidance to those individuals who do not use speech and who are seeking to participate in mainstream educational settings.

It is his strongly held view that by excluding disabled people and those who experience difficulty in learning from the ordinary educational setting we undermine

Research Interests

Widening Participation,Lifelong Learning,Inclusive Education,Learning Disabilities,Community Education,Teacher Education,Further Education,Support for Excluded Pupils,Prison Education,Disability Issues and Facilitated Communication.



The Special Needs Coordinator in further Education, Vocational Aspects. (1988)
Challenge to the Appendage Status of Special Needs in Further Education, Rhetoric or Reality Times Educational Supplement (1994)
Inclusive Education: for a more creative and effective Further Education Sector, Vocational Aspects (1988)
Three Ways of Impeding the Integration of Students with Special Needs into FE , Vocational Aspects, vol. 3, Issue 3 (1991)
Making Things Happen, Educare Magazine No 30 (1991)
Inclusive Education in Canada – The Philosophy and Practice, Learning Together Magazine Issue 1 (1992)
Why Make Such a Meal of Inclusion? A culinary metaphor for the promotion of Inclusive Education, Learning Together Magazine Issue 1 (1992)
Can anyone help me understand the Logic of Snoezelen? Learning Together Magazine Issue 2 (1992)
A Nasty Smell of Apartheid, Times Educational Supplement (1992)
The College with Learning Difficulties, Community Living Journal (1993)
In the Name of Professionalism? Learning Together Magazine (1993)
Does your College of FE have Learning Difficulties? Redefining the Future: Seminar Series, Institute of Education University of London (1994)
nclusive Education: the Alternative to Educational Apartheid of Disabled Children, Busy Times: The Magazine of BA Professional Studies, Stockport College (1995)
Established a Web Page for Inclusive Education:| (1998).
Agenda, Guardian (1995) The struggle for Inclusion.
Inclusive Education in Bosnia Herzegovina :| (1988)
Children's Voices – What children say about school? (1998)| (1998)
Anything to Declare – Disability and Society (1999)
Inclusive Education – chapter in a new textbook – Learning Disabilities Studies, Routledge – for Easter 2002.

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Genevieve Edmonds


On the 18th February 2008 (exactly 7 days after my birthday, there is something about the number 7 apart from the colour yellow), I was quite saddened by the loss of Genevieve Edmonds who committed suicide. I personally felt she was at the forefront in advocating for increased awareness/visibility and support for people with autism. For such a young person she had contributed so much in respect of the books (listed below) and the other contributions which she made to the autistic community as a whole, including the ASPECT report she contributed to with Luke Beardon senior lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, this means she has left us a wonderful legacy.
I have come back to this piece (days later) to state that I was pleased emmensly pleased that the YouTube video tribute to Genevieve was taken off, emmensly pleased as I feel it was only the view of a person who did not really know her,as a direct consequence therefore it was factually incorrect. I personally met her briefly once some time ago, as such because I did not know her I would not comment about her as a person, as do certain people on this strange planet we collectively call earth, because I did not know her, one thing I have concluded however as a logical aspie is that she must have been a very private person, because as logic predicts if she wasn’t the private person she was there would be much more written about her on the internet than there is. I personally would like to leave this message for all/ anyone reading this, I hope you will not speculate on the life of an autistic, but rather celebrate the legacy she has left behind her and of the thoughts and feelings of her family she has left behind, and those of her partner Dean Worton.

I would also like to clarify that the ASPECT group were not, contrary to many internet suggestions, based at Sheffield Hallam University, this would be therefore factually incorrect (possibly someone elaboating on the connection of Luke Beardon), I am from Manchester originally and seem to recall that the group formed part of a steering group which in turn ran a conference in my home city in the April of 2006 the conference was for adults with Asperger Syndrome, as a direct result of the conference it then led to the paper which is often referred to as the ASPECT report being written. From a personal perspective I would like to see more happen with regards to the ASPECT project as such continuing the good work of Genevieve.

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The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults with Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships (Edmonds & Worton - Lucky Duck - 2006) ISBN-13 9781412919104

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The Asperger Social Guide: How to Relate to Anyone in any Social Situation as an Adult with Asperger's Syndrome (Edmonds & Worton - Lucky Duck - 2006) ISBN 9781412920247

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The Asperger Personal Guide: Raising Self-Esteem and Making the Most of Yourself as a Adult with Asperger's Syndrome (Edmonds & Worton - Lucky Duck - 2006) ISBN-10: 1412922577

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A Self-Determined Future with Asperger Syndrome - Solution Focused Approaches (Edmonds & Bliss - JKP - 2007) ISBN-10: 1843105136


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Asperger Syndrome and Employment - Adults Speak Out about Asperger Syndrome (Edmonds & Beardon - JKP - 2008) ISBN-10: 1843106485

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Asperger Syndrome and Social Relationships - Adults Speak Out about Asperger Syndrome (Edmonds & Beardon - JKP - 2008) ISBN-10: 1843106477


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The ASPECT Consultancy Report - A National Report on the Needs of Adults with Asperger Syndrome (Edmonds & Beardon - click here for the report.


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Phoebe Caldwell and Intensive Interaction Therapy.

I first came across Phoebe Caldwell back in 2005 when I was sent a newsletter article, the article was most interesting it focused on a family from Cambridgeshire, Nigel and Margaret Lambton and their daughter Harriet and Harriet’s care worker. The work that Pheobe did with this family was most interesting to me; Phoebe used Harriet’s body language to communicate with her. Read the orignal newsletter that introduced me to Phoebe's work, Click here Phoebe has worked for over 30 years as a practitioner with people whose severe learning disabilities are linked with behavioural distress. She was a Rowntree Research Fellow for four years, trains practitioners, parents and carers in her successful approach to Intensive Interaction and is employed by the NHS Social Services and Community and Education Services to work with difficult-to-provide-for individuals.


Steve and Phoebe December 2008

The technique of Intensive Interaction Therapy is based on the infant-mother exchange of imitation pioneered by the late Geraint Ephraim then working at Leavesden Hospital, propounded the original formulation of techniques known then as ‘Augmented Mothering’. The detailed development work carried out at Harperbury Hospital School resulted in the first research projects and publications by Melanie Nind and Dave Hewett.
The techniques of teaching borrow from understandings as to how infants in the first two years carry out the learning of these highly complicated, critical concepts and abilities. For the developers of Intensive Interaction, it seemed a logical step to borrow from these processes in order to ignite the communication learning of many people who can frequently be considered ‘communicatively difficult to reach’, often living with some, or extensive, social isolation. Thus, Intensive Interaction activities are literally highly interactive, with the teacher enjoyably working from the behaviour of the learner. The activities can operate at many levels of intensity; they can be active and physical, but also quietly intense, for good progress to occur the activities should happen frequently, daily, day after day, with the repetition of successful activities within sessions providing the basis for the activities gradually expanding in duration, content, sophistication and complexity. Intensive Interaction is now slowly becoming common practice in special schools and adult services all over the United Kingdom.

I have placed links to some of Phoebe’s books which I would recommend for reading,these I feel are important additions to any autism specific library.

JKP publications by Phoebe Caldwell

Finding You Finding Me
Using Intensive Interaction to get in touch with people whose severe learning disabilities are combined with autistic spectrum disorder
Phoebe Caldwell
Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-84310-399-8, 234mm x 156mm / 9.25in x 6in, 176pp, 2005, £13.99, $19.95
Categories: Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities, Mental Health
From Isolation to Intimacy
Making Friends without Words
Phoebe Caldwell
With Jane Horwood
Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-84310-500-8, 192pp, 2007, £12.99, $19.95
Categories: Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Intellectual Disabilities
Using Intensive Interaction and Sensory Integration
A Handbook for Those who Support People with Severe Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Phoebe Caldwell
With Jane Horwood
Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-84310-626-5, 234mm x 156mm / 9.25in x 6in, 112pp, 2008, £12.99, $19.95
Autism and Asperger Syndrome,Intellectual Disabilities.



My friend Phoebe wins award : Phoebe Caldwell wins Times/Sternberg Award for pioneering autism treatment

A woman aged 76 who has transformed the lives of thousands of families affected by autism has won this year's Times/Sternberg Award.

Phoebe Caldwell, a mother of five and grandmother of nine, won the £5,000 prize for her work with schools, psychologists and individual families to improve the outlook for people with severe autism. The award, in its second year, celebrates the achievements of people aged 70 or over who have done most for society and good causes in their older age.

Mrs Caldwell, from Lancaster, will receive the award in a ceremony at 10 Downing Street. Five runners-up will receive £1,000 each. She was nominated by Suzanne Zeedyk, of Dundee University's school of psychology, whose students analysed every frame of one of her films to produce empirical evidence on her technique, known as intensive interaction.

Mrs Caldwell, who often helps families for no charge and last week received calls from the Netherlands and New Zealand, describes autism as a problem of processing in the brain. She said: "What you have is a kaleidoscope where nothing settles. I use a technique. Anyone can learn to do it." The technique had enabled almost every child she had helped to show significant improvement, she added.

Full article -



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My obsessive interests, or as I prefer to call them 'special interests'

Over the years I have had may and varied special interests as have most people on the autistic spectrum, like most of these people my interests have basically remained the same, the only thing that has changed is perhaps the intensity at which I would pursue a particular interest, this is never problematic to me personally, however others around me may feel sometimes forced to endure my idiosyncrasies, which are just that 'a structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to me' so why should they get hung up!

Apparently people with Asperger Syndome, have one particular interest, I can't remember ever actually choosing any of mine, however I feel I need to state this, all of my special interests have chosen me. Very often it would seem we have prodigious memory allowing us to store copious amounts of information in and around our subject matter.

Computers form part of my special interests, however I do need to have things right in order to enjoy them, for instance computer screens with a refresh rate of 60Hz can really stress me out, simply as a direct result of  the screen flickering in the way it does, however when you  change it to at least 75Hz  I am more than happy.

As part of my ASD special interest I have also produced the Colour-se7en website to share with you and of which I hope will inspire, encourage and empower, thank you for visiting! Colour-se7en also hosts pages which incorporate the parent support group CAPAAS. I feel that whatever the primary special interest or even secondary interest may be they are always taken very seriously by the person with Asperger Syndrome in fact I would go as far as to state we may even have quite a wealth of knowlwdge in a subject area matter that we may not be particularly interested in .


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My take on Aspergers and dispelling the Myths.

Here I would also like to dispell some myths surrounding Asperger Syndrome.


1, Asperger Syndrome cannot be contracted like a cold or flu, it is not a virus

2, We with asperger syndrome are not from another planet, we can however be highly intelligent as such, a neuro typical person may see this more so when the subject forms part of our special interest (obsession).

3, We cannot however offer information to carp fishermen enabling them to anticipate the carp's next move once it has taken the bait. This part of the carp's antics will always be a mystery I am afraid.

4, There is no truth in the rumour you may have heard, in which we with Asperger Syndrome study thermo nuclear warfare in our lunch hour - as our families and friends would tell you, it takes us slightly longer than an hour <grins>.

One thing I would like to leave with you is this - people with Asperger Syndrome are actually just that - people - who just happen to have a developmental disorder.

Change is something with which many of us on the spectrum struggle with, we do develop quite rigid rules, or at least rule based ways of doing things. I for one personally struggle with change, and I feel because those of us with AS seem to aquire a somewhat computer script based way of relating to the world in order to survive, we really do struggle when we are expected to vary our routines at a moments notice.

Some people would say that folk on the spectrum do not have a sense of humour, some of the best humour I know is autistic humour, for instance I have placed a link to one of my favourite sites click here and of which the content of this particular site is a parody, as such It is not to be taken literally. To help you even further I have also placed a link to help you understand the humour if you are indeed unfamiliar click here


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My perspective on sensory overload

Sensory overload as I see it brings about a complete colapse of coping abilities. Some Autistic people tend to shut down when they reach this stage. For me, if too much information is happening audio, visually I get to a stage where I cannot take in any more information because of this I may start to miss certain bits of information and as such, get extremely stressed out as a direct result. I can only describe it as my brain appears not to register all that my senses are seeing and feeling etc.. so this may mean too much information all at once, the result of which is actually incomplete due to the senses missing snippets of information - therefore I feel things don't make sense and so its this feeling, for me that seems to set off the maxing out session/ sensory overload. This is where I cannot seem to think, almost as if my mind has gone completely blank. As this stage is reached I need to retreat to a quieter zone and to included the Mathmos type coloured lighting (pebble variety) helps to create a calming atmosphere and basically wait for the feeling to subside, this is how sensory overload seems to affect me. There are some Autistics that, as they reach this stage may kick and scream, or even self harm as a direct result of reaching sensory overload. It would seem, some professionals do feel that some of the so called typical autistic behaviours may even be a direct result of sensory intergration difficulties.

I have recently been asked to elaborate a little more regarding the senses, Having been born with different perceptions to the majority of people it would be logical therefore to assume the individual would have no reason to believe that their individual perception would not be the same as the other 99% or so of the general population. It will only become apparent once these differences are brought to the individuals attention, for the higher functioning autistic person this would often be through self analytical appraisal taking into account their own responses to sensory stimuli. I believe every autistic person on the spectrum may be affected in different ways with regards to sensory issues. It can cover any of the senses hearing, smell, sight, touch, independently and sometimes with any combination creating a sensory overload.
Sensory overload, in my opinion, takes the form of a severe kind of tantrum,  (autonomic storm) which brings with it a complete collapse of coping abilities. Some of us - autistics tend to shut down when they get to this stage, a possible solution to this is it may be a good idea to retreat to a quite zone in order to let it all subside. There are some autistics that, as they reach this stage may hit, kick, and scream, or even self harm as a direct result of reaching a sensory overload. Basic everyday noises may be extremely painful and may even start the process of the overload as there may be no escape from it and the stress levels build up.

Sometimes my hearing kicks in and as a direct result becomes hyper acute. Situations therefore when lots of people are talking at the same time can be really uncomfortable. I tend to hear everyone at the same pitch, volume and tone no matter where they are in the room, I become unable to filter out one in particular, as a direct consequence too much input paves the way forward for a sensory overload. I can to a certain extent understand that neurotypical people find sensory integration problems difficult to understand because these difficulties are unseen;  But as a person on the spectrum with sensory difficulties myself I really believe these to be the most critical, I truly  feel  the responses  shown by those of us on the spectrum are often misconceived /misunderstood by many to be what they assume to be autistic behaviour, understanding sensory issues will I feel help people understand autism all the more.
I am a visually orientated aspie, so for me this is one of my first senses along with hearing to go into overload. The information coming at you all at once can be quite immense especially in a new and stressful situation, people, ceiling fans, tiles on ceilings table’s chairs, the flickering of fluorescent lighting and uncertainty. Now bring into the mix hearing. Chairs being scrapped across floors ceiling fan and fluorescent light motors, people talking at once, paper being crumpled  these are to list but a few, however coming at you all at once it might become more apparent to the informed that ‘meltdowns’ sensory overloads are often inevitable.
I have been asked on occasions 'what is the link' regarding the relationship with people on the spectrum and maths, or numbers, from my perspective people on the spectrum just like neurotypical people are all individual, as such not all are good with numbers just as all may not be good with words. I feel society as a whole should celebrate in the fact we are all individual, celebrating diversity of all. The interest people on the spectrum have with numbers is quite simplistic, you know exactly whereyou are with numbers they are consistent and safe. For instance 1756 x 63 will always be 11062800 no matter what, just as 100 divided by 2 would always be 50. Numbers are safe and people inadvertently are not, people say things they don’t mean, mean things they don’t say,they even converse with each other without even speaking, and guess what? everyone except the person with autism knows what is supposed to happen next. Because of situations just like this our desire for routine is then intensified, perhaps its our way of claiming some kind of order from something which otherwise seems like chaos from our persective.
Telling /informing people on the spectrum in plenty of time before a particular change would help elevate potentially stressful situations. Sleep is often problematic, with both my son and I walking around in the dead of the night four hours sleep can be sufficient, yet we may be tired it will not always register.  A lack of understanding how you feel can sometimes bring problems, feeling hungry may not happen just as when having eaten you may not realise that you have indeed eaten more than enough.



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Me on people


Like a great many people on the autistic spectrum, I would like to be accepted for who I am, after all we are not weird, we are just a little different than most we should actually celebrate these diferences. From my perspective, we on the spectrum like many Neuro-typical people do share the need to know other people and indeed to be known. In fact I would go as far as to mention that like NT people we also share this desire not to be alone, however it is not shared or experienced by us neurodiverse folk as perhaps it's experienced by neuro-typicals. This therefore should highlight the very fact that we will ALL cope differently and we will ALLexpress differently

I lack the ability to read emotion/facial expressions, as a direct result I will often try to compensate in attempting to listen to the inflections found in a persons voice, then, using aspie logic I will attempt to work out the emotional context, trying to respond to anything with lots going on is quite difficult if not impossible.

By our very nature we handle things differently than would an NT individual. Social gatherings I do struggle, if its on the subject of my special interest then for a while its not that bad. However I do worry constantly about being misunderstood and about interacting with people, especially the unpredictability of any situation. It can be mentally exhausting constantly trying to work out life/social dynamics etc. All to often I am only made aware of the differences in the areas in which I struggle, directly from my partner by way of helping me, but more often than not from the reactions of other people, which in turn causes so much stress and anxiety, and even depression.


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Einstein's Puzzle

This puzzle can reputedly only be solved by 2% of the world's population. It is known as 'Einstein's Puzzle' ...however for me the best part is...... he never wrote it...

I answered this about four years ago I enjoyed this at the time I found it quite easy, however it enabled me to provde two answers which theorectically could be correct which ever you may agree to be correct one thing I feel is sure which is more than 2% would be able to answer it anyway!

This mentioned here goes.........................................


1: There are 5 houses in 5 different colours.
2: In each house lives a person with a different nationality.
3: These 5 owners drink a certain beverage, smoke a certain brand of cigar and keep a certain pet.
4: No owners have the same pet, smoke the same brand of cigar or drink the same drink.

Hints: from the following facts, can you determine WHO KEEPS FISH?

1: The Brit lives in a red house.

2: The Swede keeps dogs as pets.

3: The Dane drinks tea.

4: The green house is on the left of the white house.

5: The green house owner drinks coffee.

6: The person who smokes Pall Mall rears birds.

7: The owner of the yellow house smokes Dunhill.

8: The man living in the house right in the centre drinks milk.

9: The Norwegian lives in the first house.

10: The man who smokes Blend lives next to the one who keeps cats.

11: The man who keeps horses lives next to the man who smokes Dunhill.

12: The owner who smokes Blue Master drinks beer.

13: The German smokes Prince.

14: The Norwegian lives next to the blue house.

15: The man who smokes Blend has a neighbour who drinks water.

For my answer please click here if you answer is different from mine I shall be most intrigued as to your calculations, as such I would appriciate an email with the relevant information.


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I am currently part of the autism reasearch panel at Oxford University which is a great opportunity, this forms part of the DIPeX Research project, with Dr Sara Ryan and team. This information is based on qualitative research into patient experiences led by experts at the University of Oxford. 

Visit the following links below,

Hi, I'm the researcher who did the interviews for this project. It was a brilliant experience meeting all the participants and hopefully people will find the site useful. I would like to hear your thoughts about the site as we are currently evaluating it. There is a brief questionnaire in the resources section of the Life on the Autism Spectrum site which you could fill in and email me. If you can't face filling in a form, just let me know on this forum. We do want the site to be as comprehensive as possible so all feedback will be very welcome. Thanks! Sara

Parents of children on the Autism Spectrum 

As part of the project 45 parents of children of children with autism were interviewed,. The interviews include experiences across the life course as some parents had pre-school age children who had recently been diagnosed, while other parents talked about their adult children. The way in which autism is understood has changed over time and this is reflected in the changing use of language.  For some people, autism is a form of difference rather than a disability and they use the term neurodiverse to describe people on the autism spectrum and the neurotypical to describe those who are not.
We would like to thank all those who took part in the research and shared their experiences so openly and enthusiastically.

Dr Sara Ryan

Sara Ryan
Sara Ryan is a senior researcher at DIPEx. Sara obtained her PhD from the University of Warwick in 2006. She has a sociological background and her main research interests are disability, difference and social interactions.
Advisory Panel is as follows:

Dorothy McDowell
Parent representative

Dr Clare Robertson
Consultant, Children’s Hospital, John Radcliffe

Dr Kate Field
Senior Researcher, DIPEx Research Unit

Dr Melissa Rodd
Lecturer in Mathematics Education


Dr Nick Hodge
The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University

Katrina Dare
Parent representative
Liz Osman
Parent Support Project Manager, The Treehouse

Professor Anthony Bailey
Head of the Autism Research Group
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Oxford

Rachel Pike
Regional Area Co-ordinator, National Autistic Society

Sara Candy
Wellcome Trust

Steven McGuinness
Parent representative

See also...
Life on the Autism spectrum
In life on the spectrum we interviewed 21 people who are on the autism spectrum and, in three cases, their partners.  The interviews include experiences across the life course as people were diagnosed during childhood and others had only recently been diagnosed relatively late in life. The way in which autism is understood has changed over time and this is reflected in the changing use of language.  For some participants, autism is a form of difference rather than a disability and they use the term neurodiverse to describe people on the autism spectrum and the neurotypical to describe those who are not.


Msitua - Autism Consultancy


I set up Msitua - autism consultancy at the latter end of 2010 as a direct result of being swapped with requests of help and advice fronm parents carers and professional in serviceland who all want to make a difference and help all affected by autism and asperger syndrome achieve their true and full potential. One thing I really try to make people aware of is the importance of early intervention.

I work with various Local Authorities, Social servces, Partners in Policymaking, In-control, National Autistic Society. I speak on the subjects of Autism, Apserger Syndrome, Sensory Intergration, and Challenging Behaviour. give presentations and training in educational, and adult social care settings.


Lamb inquiry questionnaire - request for help, your views needed


Hello Everyone,

I would like to share something with you that has been on my mind for sometime, for those of my new found friends unfamiliar with the Special Educational Needs System (SEN) I will write a brief explanation.
There are a great many children with SEN/Dissability being educated in our state schools. Whilst I believe in inclusion for all, there are areas within the SEN system that parents have lost confidence in.
Many parents and carers feel that the SEN system does not work for their children at present, and myself hear on a regular basis of cases where parents of SEN children come home from school unabe to cope
with the school day, parents report their children having complete meltdowns as a direct result of insufficient provision and support which they so desperately need. I myself as a parent have experienced this with my own son
and I believe this situation cannot carry on.

Could I encourage anyone with an interest in the SEN system to take a short while to answer an online questionnaire, see link below? This is a key part of the Lamb Inquiry (government inquiry chaired by Brian Lamb). Its
recommendations about how to improve parental confidence in the SEN system will be submitted to the Secretary of State this coming September. Your views are very important.
The Secretary of State (Ed Balls) has written to Brain Lamb requesting advice on how to improve the SEN system, one of the areas in particular being Statements for children with SEN. We feel that this is our chance now to
realy get our ideas and issues heard, it is imperative that we fill in these questionnaire's. Please pass the link onto everyone who you think may be interested as we need it to reach as many people as possible.

The closing date is 30 June and there are sections for parents, school staff, professionals, students - answer whichever you feel best describes you!

Come on my friends let us use the power of the net and create a mexican wave online to help change the situation for our children.

Many thanks


Download PDF version of my request click here

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