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One radio show and two workshops later...

Dearest readers,

I hope this summer heat is treating you O.K. It's been over 30 degrees Celsius here where I am based and has been the hottest June day since 1976 today apparently. I've been sat in our uni air conditioned library for the last few hours which was lovely however now being back home without air con is not so nice. It's been a while since I updated and I've done one radio show and 2 workshops, one for a youth group and one for a mental health group about 40 minutes away, so thought I'd do an update on the work I've been up to before the heatwave.

Both workshops I did this month were church based but with two different age groups and requirements. Filling a small 'God slot' on autism is something I had never considered doing until a my friend Krys (confusing, eh? Thank you Krys!) suggested that it might be a good idea for a bitesize session for our youth group. By making the session 'hands on' it brought the young people into potenti…

Accepting Difference: One Year On

Dearest readers,
Happy June everyone! I had a reminder that one year ago today the first article I wrote about autism and the church went live. The post is here. Such a lot has happened over the last year - things many thought would have not happened or be possible. Yesterday I also got my exam results for the first year of my masters and clearly surpassed myself, somehow. Learning about things I never thought I'd ever get my head around has been really interesting, although I now have a huge pile of library books to return that I had held onto 'just in case I needed to use them again'. 
To mark the one year of my blogging journey, even though my actual blog's birthday isn't until September , I thought I would reflect on the same title but from a different perspective: university. Certainly since I started my bachelor degree in 2010 there has been a massive shift in autism discourse and a huge increase in discussion and student led advocacy. The autism 'scape …

Only the best?

Dearest readers, 
Liebe Grüße aus Hamburg! Currently on a short trip to visit a friend - while she is busy with her 'Masterarbeit' I thought I'd brush together a quick post. I do enjoy writing a good post and also it gives me space to write about something (well, two things which sort of intertwine for me) which I wanted to write about that came out of the conference I went to on Friday: Atwood on Autism, hence why I was in Winchester. Tony Attwood is such an amazing presenter; so lively and animated yet did not pathologise. His fresh approach to autism was also welcomed as we learn so much through journals and books (as the autism modules on my course are distance learning) that seeing someone face to face in a seminar effectively was not only a good change of scenery, but also fitted my learning style well. 
One thing that was mentioned in the conference but I have also read in books and journals I have been required to read is the idea of a mono tracked mind: almost li…

'Aren't you just shy?'

Dearest readers,
Greetings from Winchester - I am currently at a hotel in a different part of the country to usual for a conference. My mum and I booked tickets for 'Atwood on Autism' roughly 9 months ago after I saw it advertised, to be honest I can't remember where exactly but I thought it may be relevant to my MA (which it hopefully will be, I'll be slightly concerned if not) and also keep my brain going while I am taking things a bit slower so I don't burn myself out. It may also be another good chance to network if there is the opportunity, but certainly I will be going armed with my laptop and pen and paper ready to make notes! 
As part of reading 'for fun' I have been reading 'Neurotribes' by Steve Silberman. It's a great book which is really insightful in regards to history of autism and how autistic individuals have been perceived in the past. In the first chapter, I was very intrigued about the perception of Henry Cavendish - a Britis…

Autism: created in God's image

Dearest readers, 
Having now finished my exams (endlich!) I'm finally back to the world of blogging and feeling more human again. I have to admit I have no idea how well I have done at this stage but rather just glad they are over and ready to continue with my research project and case studies and other projects I am involved with.  It has come to my attention through groups I am in, discussions I have seen and people I have listened to that there is an interesting concourse in regards to autism, healing and it's origin in the church. I would like to put my tuppence in as this is a very sensitive dialogue that needs a autistic voices as well as non autistic voices. 
I believe that we are all made in God's image, and this includes autistic individuals. I firmly believe that I do not need healing, for I was created the way I am for a reason. The reasoning for this? There is not one group of people of individuals that are made more in God's image than another group. Not …

Reflections from the Roundtable: Why autistic individuals need to be leading the way

Dearest readers, 
The 'Attentiveness to Autism' project (or in English, Pru, my minister and I!) got invited up to the SEND Methodist Roundtable as part of the planning team for SEND and autism and increasing accessibility in the Methodist Church. I have to admit, this was a surprise being invited up as we only received our invitation early April just after our service. I had no idea what we would be discussing, and the outcome of the session is still under wraps until passed by connexion (central head office) so this post will not be reflecting on the outcome. Rather, this post will be picking out some of the key points that are crucial to a successful implementation of pushing boundaries and opening up the church. There are many who I have spoken to who keep their cards to their chest and just say 'it is difficult'. This is not inspiring or innovating and keeps them as the stakeholders of the change. This winds me up no end. We should be inspiring in the face of adv…

The fourth workshop: college CPD

Dearest readers, 
I hope this April is treating you well. This is probably one of the busiest Aprils I have ever had with multiple projects on the run as well as my upcoming exams, which have priority (I am also acutely aware I do not want to turn opportunities for my portfolio and CV down as having found it hard to gain work after my first degree, it would seem a waste not to take advantage of these opportunities but plan them in effectively). Universities seem to like you spending all of your time either on work for them, or telling you that you should be involved in every extra curricular and project going (or get this jist! What an annoying mixed message). I'm hoping I am striking the balance right for me this time, as I do not want to shunt any opportunities prematurely. 
On Thursday I completed my first workshop for a education trust in my local area, making this the fourth workshop I have run in total. I went to visit two dear friends of mine (casual shoutout) up in Grimsb…