Ringmasters Tale

Is My Daughter Really Just a Drama Queen?

Why does my daughter throw a massive tantrum when I brush her hair or put her socks on? Why is she incapable of hearing bad news without working herself up into a frenzy? Why does she have a hissy fit whenever there’s a change of plan? And why, oh why, can she behave perfectly at

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10 Tips for an Autism-Friendly Christmas

‘Tis the season for sparkly decorations and festive music in shops; for school nativity plays, visits to relatives and the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning. While for most children these things bring a sense of anticipation, magic and wonder, for children on the spectrum they can just as easily trigger confusion, sensory overload

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Back to School Advice for Parents of Autistic Children

Regardless of their age or ability, it’s my belief that ‘Home’ should be every child’s soft place to fall in the world: somewhere they can lower their barriers, remove their masks and know for certain they’ll be accepted exactly as they are. If your child is on the autism spectrum, this is doubly important. It

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Spotlight on Inspiration Drum Line

Today I’m shining a light on a truly inspirational club, aptly named ‘Inspiration Drum Line’. It’s a drumming group for children with additional needs, founded in 2016 by the unstoppable Nev Latimer, his wife Iris and their son Luke. They’re based at Cedars Academy in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear – a specialist school for pupils

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How to Buy The Ringmaster's Tale

I’m so glad you’ve decided to buy a copy of my book ‘Autism, Asperger’s, Anarchy: The Ringmaster’s Tale’.I’m sure you’ll find it incredibly helpful whether you already have experience of autism or you’re totally new to the whole thing. In a nutshell it’s the book I wish someone had given me when my eldest son

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Why do Autistic People Take Things Literally?

One of the main criteria for receiving an autism diagnosis is having ‘problems with verbal and non-verbal communication’. These problems (or complications as I prefer to call them) can take various forms, but without question one of the most widely recognised is the way autistic people seem to take everything literally. So, why does this

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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

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‘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

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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

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