Showing posts from March, 2014

A bit of a Blue about Autism in April.

It is almost 2nd April, the day dedicated by the United Nations as World Autism Awareness Day or WAAD,

and as usual the community has erupted into its annual disagreement about what the second A* in WAAD should be about.

And whether or not we should "Light it up Blue" in April to make sure the normals pay attention to Autism.

Blue is actually a really good word for Autism. Because in Australia (where I was born and raised) blue can have several meanings:

For a start it means unhappy, but I think everyone knows that. And for the first 12-24 months after you find out your child has autism, you will probably feel a bit blue. That's okay.

You have to grieve your loss of expectations before you can accept the reality you have, and start building new ones. So be blue, talk to people who understand, eat chocolate biscuits and get used to it. It really does get better, I promise.

A "blue" in Australian vernacular also means argument. When my children were first diagnos…

Happy Mother's Day

From my Big Boo boy Liam: 

and from  Grace, who has a great future in ransom notes: 

Autism and Isolation Rooms in Irish Schools: How we must learn to use our ABCs

There is currently a controversy in the Republic of Ireland about the use of "Isolation Rooms" to manage pupils with Autism.

Please note, these are not "chill out zones" or sensory spaces. They are plain undecorated spaces where a pupil with ASD will be placed alone and prevented from leaving for a period. To learn more read this story on the
or listen to the RTE Radio 1 story here
Warning: both links could be extremely upsetting to any parent or person with ASD. I couldn't listen through to the end.

They are used in mainstream schools where Autistic pupils are 'included' and in special schools as punitive measure in response to perceived 'misbehaviour'

I use inverted commas because inclusion in these cases is recalcitrant at best and not supported by appropriate training or resources. And what is considered "misbehaviour" in these cases is very much a case of interpretation.

Let me explain: those of us who prescribe to the…