British public ignorant to the reality of disabled people’s lives

I agree there is a great deal of public ignorance to the reality of disabled peoples lives, especially in respect of people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

This ignorance is causing a “hostile environment” towards disabled people, especially with all the rhetoric and policies that are emanating from this current Government.

Govt Newspeak

British public ignorant to the reality of disabled people’s lives, survey shows, A “hostile environment” towards disabled people is fueling a negative public perception of people living with a disability.
New research published by the disability charity Scope reveals that non-disabled people are increasingly becoming out of touch with the reality of disabled people’s lives, with outdated and ignorant attitudes towards people with disabilities remaining a significant problem in modern Britain.

The research reveals how the proportion of the British public who think there is a lot of prejudice towards disabled people has dropped significantly since the turn of the millennium. However, this is at odds with the opinion of disabled people themselves, who believe that public perception of disability has barely changed in 17 years.

In 2000, a third (37%) of disabled and a third (34%) of non-disabled people felt that there was a lot of prejudice towards disabled people. Seventeen years…

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ADHD and sexuality: Effects, dysfunction, sex drive, and more : Medical News Today

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) causes a range of symptoms, including hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and behavioral problems. ADHD may also affect romantic relationships, feelings of self-worth, or even the ability to perform sexually.

These markers are not used to make a diagnosis, and they may be due to the disorder itself or develop as a side effect of medicines used for treatment.


Source: ADHD and sexuality: Effects, dysfunction, sex drive, and more : Medical News Today

Pupillary reflex may predict autism : Medical News Today

A new study suggests that the pupillary light reflex — or how the eye’s pupil responds to light — in infants might be an early sign of autism.

Autism now affects about 1 in 59 children in the United States, which represents a significant increase from 6 years ago.

Since autism can be quite difficult to diagnose in the first years of a child’s life, researchers have been looking for new ways to spot it.

A recently developed blood test, for instance, may be able to detect the condition with up to 92 percent accuracy, while other researchers have turned to the sensory symptoms of the condition to aid diagnosis.


Source: Pupillary reflex may predict autism : Medical News Today

Empathetic people are made, not born, new research suggests : The Telegraph

Empathetic people are made, not born, new research suggests.

The largest ever study into the genetic basis of empathy, suggests that just 10 per cent of the variation between people’s compassion and understanding is down to genes.

It means, the vast majority of a person’s ability to recognise and respond appropriately to the needs and feelings of others, seems to be based on social factors, such as upbringing and environment.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge also confirmed previous studies suggesting that women are more empathetic than men, but found no genetic basis for the difference. And they discovered that genetic variants associated with lower empathy are also associated with higher risk for autism.


Source: Empathetic people are made, not born, new research suggests : The Telegraph

World Autism Awareness Week: Video highlights difficulties autistic people face on public transport | DisabledGo News and Blog

Travelling on public transport can be pretty stressful at the best of times.

However, for someone who is autistic, venturing on their everyday commute and facing the unknown can be an incredibly overwhelming experience.

The National Autistic Society has released a video called Diverted that shows a young autistic woman trying to remain calm while on a train surrounded by other people.

The video illustrates how things such as loud noises, flashing lights and accidental knocks with fellow passengers can trigger emotive responses from an autistic individual.

It’s been released as part of the National Autistic Society’s “Too Much Information” campaign to mark World Autism Awareness Week, which is taking place this year from March 26 until April 2.

The person cast in the lead role of the video is Saskia Lupin, a 21-year-old aspiring actor from Brighton.

Lupin is autistic and personally finds travelling on public transport extremely tough.

“I struggle a lot with the unexpected changes that can take place: they make me feel anxious, they make me panic, they make me angry but overall I feel confused, like I can’t do anything and all sense of rationality is lost,” she wrote for the Huffington Post.


Source: World Autism Awareness Week: Video highlights difficulties autistic people face on public transport | DisabledGo News and Blog

You Are A Liar! (My Thoughts About The “High Functioning” Label)

Dwarren57's Blog

My double minority life as a gay man with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Asperger’s Syndrome) has more than it’s fair share of excruciating challenges. I do not demand people to feel sorry for me when I share even the most painful experiences. Not everyone is going to understand how it feels to live with my condition. Nor do I expect praise from people who are willing to read about my life. It can be easy for me to come off as such a person. However, I know I am far from the type of person who demands metals and trophies just for writing about my life. Demanding praise and adoration is only going to result in the exact opposite. 

I know there is a lot of diversity in the Autism community. People like Dr. Temple Grandin refer to Autism as a continuum, that ranges from nonverbal to traits that are more…

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Autism: Anti-cancer drug may improve social behavior : Medical News Today

New research led by the State University of New York at Buffalo suggests that an anti-cancer drug may be able to reverse social impairments associated with autism.

In a paper now published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the investigators report how low doses of romidepsin — a drug approved in the United States for the treatment of lymphoma — “restored gene expression and reversed social deficits” in a mouse model of autism.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a developmental condition, affects behavior, social interaction, and communication.

Statistics that were compiled in the U.S. suggest that 1 in 68 children have ASD and that it is around four to five times more common in boys than in girls.

Source: Autism: Anti-cancer drug may improve social behavior : Medical News Today

Flurry of studies hint at folic acid’s protective role in autism : Spectrum

Folic acid, a B vitamin, may lower autism risk and ease features of the condition, according to findings from five unrelated studies published over the past few months.

Three of the studies suggest that prenatal supplements of folic acid offset autism risk associated with in utero exposure to epilepsy drugs or toxic chemicals1,2,3. The supplements are also known to prevent birth defects.

Another study found that people with autism and their immediate family members are more likely than controls to carry immune molecules that could block folate’s passage into the brain4.

“These studies are particularly of interest because they suggest that people could potentially modify their risk of having a child with autism, even in the face of certain adverse exposures or conditions,” says Kristen Lyall, assistant professor in the Modifiable Risk Factors Program at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute in Philadelphia, who was not involved in any of the studies.

A fifth study reported results from a small clinical trial suggesting that folinic acid — a form of folic acid — can ease language and communication difficulties in people with autism5.

“It isn’t enough to say that kids with [autism] should be taking folinic acid, necessarily, but it is enough to motivate a larger study,” says Jeremy Veenstr


Source: Flurry of studies hint at folic acid’s protective role in autism : Spectrum

Disabled people and care being provided by Personal Assistants

Received through the ROFA (Reclaiming Our Future Alliance) network:

A worker at Inclusion London has mentioned that some Disabled people are being asked to replace funding for Personal Assistants with volunteers to undertake their personal care by some Local Authorities.   Inclusion London would be grateful for your thoughts and  any examples of expectations from social workers to use volunteers to make up for cuts in your support package. Email
I am aghast that this could be on the agenda of any authority.
This is extremely worrying and hopefully is not being contemplated within many Local Authorities. That being said, could you advise your thoughts to
Hopefully this worrying situation can be stopped.
My own view on this is what messages are these local authorities, who are in the process of asking for volunteers to replace paid carers, sending to the paid care workers. For the huge responsibility that these care workers undertake within their role for the low remuneration they receive, this is deplorable. No paid care worker should be only on the Minimum Living Wage, but should be, at least on the Living Wage and even above.
To be a care worker requires them to be committed to the person they are caring for, be responsive to the needs and requests from the cared for person and conduct themselves respecting the cared for persons dignity, privacy and the confidentiality with regards to the information they will be aware of about the cared for person and also their family.
They are required to attend at the times required according to the respective care packages and inform the cared for person when they are unable to do so with sufficient time for a replacement care worker to cover the caring shift to be found. Where the cared for person is deemed to be vulnerable and therefore be at risk of abuse, safeguarding is therefore an area of concern and a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.
You cannot say that one person requiring care is the same as the next person requiring care, as we are all individuals and therefore have our own views. This is especially so for persons with learning disabilities and those with Autism. In these instances it takes considerable time to understand each individual and their routines, for to not take this into account could cause the cared for persons to have an adverse reaction, which if a full understanding is not known could and most likely will create situations where harm could occur to the carer and the individual concerned. The carer needs to understand that they are technically a guest in the cared for persons home and as such they should act accordingly.
While a volunteer could and should be capable of all of the above, will all volunteers respect the commitment that is required to undertake care. After all they will be undertaking this on a voluntary basis so will they really commit to engaging with regards to timings. Then what will occur if they cannot attend , say to illness, will the cared for person have a bank of volunteers they can call upon.
These Local Authorities are only looking at their own interests. If they are so committed to using volunteers, why do they not have a volunteer Chief Executive and then there will be a multitude of funds saved.
That you could say is flippant, but where is the difference with regards with paid carers.
Any local authority who undertakes using volunteers could be open to a challenge on ‘Duty of Care’.

Why there need to be more autistic characters in children’s books : The Conversation

The children’s writer Michael Morpurgo has written a new novel inspired by his autistic grandson, which is set to be published later this year. Flamingo Boy is set in the Camargue in the south of France during World War II and features a boy who “sees the world differently”.

Morpurgo explained how it didn’t occur to him to write a book about autism until his grandson was born, which isn’t totally surprising – as autistic characters in books are few and far between.

Fiction plays a significant role in shaping how people understand and respond to autism. And in this way, books are often used by both schools and parents to help children and young people understand more about autism.

But the limited and skewed portrayal of autism means it is often misrepresented rather than represented in fiction. For an autistic child or young person this can be extremely isolating and they are often unable to find a version of “themselves” in a book.


Source: Why there need to be more autistic characters in children’s books : The Conversation