Our Family And Autism – Paddy and Christine McGuinness – Helpful? Or Harmful?

“Paddy McGuinness and his wife Christine have three children, eight year-old twins Leo and Penelope, and five year-old Felicity. All three have been diagnosed with autism, a condition that means your brain works in a different way from other people, and can impact how you interact with the world.” This is the introduction to the … Continue reading Our Family And Autism – Paddy and Christine McGuinness – Helpful? Or Harmful?

Busting Ten Autism Myths

There are an awful lots of Autism myths out there; most are ridiculous, some would actually be quite funny if they weren’t so harmful, but they do seem to somehow persist in the national consciousness. So, here’s my guide to the top ten Autism myths and how we can bust them: “We’re all ‘on the … Continue reading Busting Ten Autism Myths

Self Care In The Darkness

It’s that time of year when the nights start drawing in, the weather starts getting colder, nature starts to shut down in preparation for the winter ahead. It can be a time that can affect many of us mentally, as we struggle with the relative lack of sunlight and being cooped up at home more … Continue reading Self Care In The Darkness

Want To Be Inclusive? Just ASK!

One in five of the 13 million children and young people in the UK have additional needs of some kind, that’s approximately 2.5 million children and young people, yet many people, including lots of professionals, people running children's and youth work, and more, struggle to understand the best ways to be inclusive when engaging with … Continue reading Want To Be Inclusive? Just ASK!

George Webster And CBeebies: Why Disability Representation Matters

This week, the BBC announced a new presenter for their premier younger children’s media channel, CBeebies. What made this announcement newsworthy, and why in particular it matters to this blog, is that 20-year-old George Webster has Down’s Syndrome. CBeebies-BBC George isn’t the first BBC presenter to have a disability or difference; former CBeebies presenter Cerrie … Continue reading George Webster And CBeebies: Why Disability Representation Matters

The Walk That Made Me – A Review And Study Plan

Film Title: The Walk That Made Me Year of Release: 2021 Written by: Chris Packham for BBC Certificate: N/A Running time: 59 minutes Link to the film on iPlayer (until June 2022): https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000xqgp/chris-packham-the-walk-that-made-me (Available with audio description or British Sign Language interpretation) BBC iPlayer summary:  “Chris Packham explores his past as he walks a familiar path in the Hampshire countryside. … Continue reading The Walk That Made Me – A Review And Study Plan

Back To School: Resources For Families With Children With Additional Needs

A few months ago, as schools were fully opening after lockdown, I pulled together a list of resource websites that provided support and information for families of children with disabilities and additional needs whose children were returning to the classroom. As we start thinking about the next ‘back to school’ moment, later in August in … Continue reading Back To School: Resources For Families With Children With Additional Needs

Helping Our Autistic Children Recover From Meltdowns

Our Autistic son, James, had a meltdown recently, an experience that will be familiar to many families of Autistic children. Like any Autistic child or young person, when James has a meltdown there can be a wide range of triggers that could be causing it. He may be being overwhelmed by a range of sensory … Continue reading Helping Our Autistic Children Recover From Meltdowns

Coming Out Of Lockdown: The Child Mental Health Cost And What We Can Do About It

We’ve been warned about it, we’ve seen it coming, maybe we’ve experienced it in our own family situation, but now the evidence is all too clear and stark. We might be coming towards the end of lockdown restrictions, ‘Freedom Day’ as some seem to like to call it, but we are only just fully understanding … Continue reading Coming Out Of Lockdown: The Child Mental Health Cost And What We Can Do About It

Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic

As part of its ongoing research partnership with Pears Foundation, the Disabled Children's Partnership (DCP) of which I'm a member, surveyed roughly 300 parents in June 2021 in our final survey as part of the series. I had the privilege of being one of those parents. The findings, released today, reveal that whilst the rest … Continue reading Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic