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disability

Why No-one Represents the Autism Spectrum

What if I told you that one of my three sons was diagnosed as the most profoundly autistic child several specialists had ever seen; that he had no spoken language ’til he was almost five and regularly mutilated himself, smeared poo round the house and physically attacked me every day for many years: bruising, scratching

Spotlight on Autistic Street Dancer Ollie V

The latest in my ‘spotlight’ series focuses on fourteen year old Ollie Venning, better known as street dancer Ollie V. The struggles he’s faced will be all too familiar to autistic people, their friends and families, but with love, patience and no small amount of bravery on his part, he’s transformed himself into a genuine

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, Aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, autism parents, hip hop, street dance, Ollie V, Toby G, Street Factory

‘Atypical’ Season One: Meet the Gardners

***SPOILER FREE*** When Netflix announced their new series, Atypical, about an everyday family living with an eighteen year old son on the autism spectrum, I was intrigued to see how they’d handle the subject. Having watched the trailer though, I wasn’t sure whether they were laughing at autism or about it, and after reading some

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, autism parents, laughter, humour, Atypical, Netflix

Spotlight on Autistic Artist Chris Baker

I was recently introduced to the incredible work of a young autistic man called Chris Baker – a self-taught artist from Cardiff, South Wales. I found his art so inspiring that I decided to find out more, and discovered the story of an ordinary family whose love, acceptance and determination to turn challenges into opportunities

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, spotlight, autism parents, Chris Baker, autistic artist

Book Review: ‘The Loving Push’

When you have a child, there’s something nobody tells you: suddenly your first priority becomes another person’s needs instead of your own, and this can take a lot of getting used to. Then comes the twist: as soon as you’ve adjusted to them being totally dependent on you, you have to start the impossibly difficult

aspergers, autism, autism acceptance, Autism All Stars, autism awareness, autism parents, disability, diversity, Temple Grandin, Debra Moore, book review, parenting, The Loving Push, Ringmasters Tale, special needs,

Of Course Autistic People Feel Empathy!

One of the most common myths about autistic people is that they don’t feel empathy towards others, and today’s post is designed to help people understand where this mistaken belief comes from. So, what is empathy? Put simply, empathy is the ability to understand what another person is thinking or feeling; but in reality, empathy

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, empathy, compassion,

Dakota Fanning's Portrayal of an Autistic Woman

I recently watched Please Stand By, which is the story of one autistic woman’s journey towards independence and follows her on an adventure with the sort of highs and lows we can all relate to. Here are my thoughts on the film… Played by the brilliant Dakota Fanning, our heroine Wendy is a bright, determined

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, autism parents, please stand by, dakota fanning, film review, star trek,

Special Interests: Autism’s Secret Weapon

Today I’m sharing another extract from my book – The Ringmaster’s Tale – discussing just how useful special interests can be when you’re parenting an autistic child (or adult). It’s perfectly understandable that at times you’ll feel like your child is unreachable, and the struggle to teach them new life skills can be disheartening to

Autism All Stars, Ringmasters Tale, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, autism parents, special interests, career choices

10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Autistic Children

Lots of people worry about saying the wrong thing to parents when they have autistic children and often end up putting their foot in it when they’re trying really hard to be supportive. With that in mind, here’s my guide to some of the things not to say, and why these supposedly helpful statements and

Autism All Stars, aspergers, autism, disability, diversity, parenting, special needs, autism awareness, autism acceptance, autism parents, laughter, humour, what not to say

What Autism Acceptance & Feminism Have in Common

I know it might seem an unlikely comparison, but when it comes to being restricted by the label society has given you, there’s more common ground here than you might think. Here’s an extract from my book The Ringmaster’s Tale discussing things in more detail: Does a label really limit what someone can do? The