Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years : The Conversation

Researchers say it’s time to finally discard a decades-old theory about the origins of human language – and revise the date when human ancestors likely were able to make certain speech noises.

Source: Examining how primates make vowel sounds pushes timeline for speech evolution back by 27 million years : The Conversation

To survive in the world post-Brexit, we need to stop relying on other people speaking English – The i – 

In addition to securing the UK’s departure from the EU, the June 2016 Brexit referendum exposed deep-seated prejudice against speakers of languages other than English.

Politicians and pundits, including former Ukip leader Nigel Farage, fuelled xenophobic rhetoric by claiming that “in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more”. Meanwhile the media has reported that people are being harassed or attacked on public transport, in shops or on the streets of British towns for “not speaking English”.

Though the EU itself has no plans to use English any less in meetings and documents, Britain cannot rely on this fact to justify its own monolingualism. Speaking other languages and working with other cultures is a global fact and, post-Brexit, Britain will need to work with countries all over the world more than ever.


Source: To survive in the world post-Brexit, we need to stop relying on other people speaking English – The i 

The social ties between autism and schizophrenia | Spectrum | Autism Research News

When the shy, dark-haired boy met with clinicians for a full psychiatric evaluation two years ago, almost everything about him pointed to autism. W. had not spoken his first words until age 2. He was at least 4 before he could form sentences. As he got older, he was unable to make friends. He struggled to accept changes to his routine and maintain eye contact. And despite having an average intelligence quotient, he was unusually attached to objects; at age 11, he still lugged a bag of stuffed animals with him everywhere he went.

But something else was clearly at work, too. “He had these things that he would call day dreams,” recalls Jennifer Foss-Feig, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. When she evaluated W., she noticed that he would often gaze into an empty corner of the room — particularly when he seemed to suspect that she wasn’t paying attention to him. (For privacy reasons, Foss-Feig declined to reveal anything but the child’s first initial.) Occasionally, he would speak to that space, as though someone else were there.

His parents, she recalls, were worried. They explained to Foss-Feig that their son had what he called an “imaginary family.” But W.’s invisible playmates weren’t of the usual harmless variety that many children have; they seemed to be a dangerous distraction both at home and at school. On one occasion, he wandered through a busy parking lot, seemingly oblivious to the oncoming traffic.

As these frightening episodes grew more frequent, they raised a red flag. Doctors had previously attributed the boy’s difficulties to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disorders. But now it was unclear if those labels really fit. Perhaps, instead of tuning out from the world, W. was unable to distinguish reality from fantasy and had some form of psychosis.

There was no question W. had autism, according to Foss-Feig. She and several of her colleagues were also confident that he was experiencing hallucinations and delusions. Ultimately, they diagnosed him with autism and psychosis,

Source: The social ties between autism and schizophrenia | Spectrum | Autism Research News

Public property? Probably not…

Poppy's Place

Why is it that, when non-disabled people are talking about or to disabled people, they feel that it is perfectly fine to say or ask whatever they like? Regardless. Absolutely anything. Things they would not dream of asking or saying about a non-disabled person but, because we are disabled, they feel they have a right to know.

Surely, people don’t do that, I hear you say. Well they do. Granted, it’s not everyone, most people are great, but it certainly does happen and it is definitely not fine. Just because we are disabled it doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings. Rule of thumb here guys, if you wouldn’t like people to say what you are about to say about yourself, then, in all likelihood, your disabled compatriot is unlikely to like it either.

And, most of the time, it’s not necessary either. Again, before you open your mouth ask yourself…

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So what is a dropped kerb then? [Karen’s Blog] | DisabledGo News and Blog

See this photo? See those knobbly bits on the pavement and the way the pavement lowers to road level (as much as it can) – well, this is a dropped kerb. This

Source: So what is a dropped kerb then? [Karen’s Blog] | DisabledGo News and Blog

Why Does Your Child Bite?

A dad emailed me this week asking not how to stop biting but why children bite. That was a thoughtful question and I thought you all might enjoy our response.While it’s shocking and probably embarrassing when your child bites, it’s not unusual behavior for young kids. When children are overcome with feelings such as anger, fear,

Source: Why Does Your Child Bite?

New research into how people describe autism published

Original post from The National Autistic Society


Two autistic adults sit next to each other on a sofa facing the camera, in conversation with one another

An unprecedented piece of research into the language used by autism communities to describe autism was released today.

The research by The National Autistic Society (NAS), the Royal College of GPs and the UCL Institute of Education looked at the preferences of people on the autism spectrum, their families, friends and professionals.

The findings confirmed that there is no single term that everyone prefers. However, they suggest a shift towards more positive and assertive language, particularly among autistic communities where autism is seen as integral to the person.

Survey responses from 3,470 people were analysed, including 502 autistic adults, 2,207 parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum, 1,109 professionals, and 380 extended family members and friends.

The research found that all groups like the terms ‘on the autism spectrum’ and ‘Asperger syndrome’. Autistic adults like the identity-first terms ‘autistic’ and ‘Aspie’, whereas families didn’t like ‘Aspie’. Professionals also like the term ‘autism spectrum disorder (ASD)’.

Some terms were strongly disliked or no longer used, particularly ‘low functioning’, ‘Kanner’s autism’ and ‘classic autism’.

The language we use is important because it embodies and can therefore help change attitudes towards autism. To reflect the findings of this research, the NAS will gradually increase the use of the term ‘autistic’ – particularly when talking about and to adults in that group. We will also use ‘on the autism spectrum’ as the default way of describing people on the autism spectrum.

The research shows that language preferences are evolving, and we will continue to research and test how different groups prefer to speak about autism.

  • Read the abstract or full research paper ‘Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community’ in Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice.
  • Listen to a podcast of NAS Director of the Centre for Autism Carol Povey and Researcher Lorcan Kenny explaining the research.
  • Want to share your thoughts? Find us on Facebook orTwitter using the hashtag #describeautism.
  • Join our mailing lists to stay informed about our work, future research, events and other activity.  ……..