Showing posts from October, 2016

Brave: coughing it up

Dearest readers, 

After having a busy week with the monthly classes I have for my masters (the department I'm run their classes in a more compact manner so that students who work can organise planned leave etc) I thought I would share some good news. In November I am attending, along with three other students and a member of staff from the department, International Study Week at Uni Siegen in Germany. (Siegen is sort of near Cologne for those who are a bit lost with German geography, the other side of Germany to Berlin). I've never been to Siegen but have been to many other places in Nordrhein-Westfalen and am excited to return to Germany after 18 months away. Anyway I digress, the International Study Week is regarding inclusion and barriers regarding disability, active support and challenging behaviour. I am really looking forward to hearing about this on an international level and maybe even contribute (if I'm brave enough) as female adult with a diagnosis of Asperger'…

The time of your life - the ERASMUS experience

I feel like I need to write a huge disclaimer before I get started. I am a huge supporter of the ERASMUS scheme; it allows for many great opportunities and personal development, you can travel, study and try things you have never tried before. You get to see education in a different culture and live a different lifestyle. However some people do not have the time of their lives, sometimes out of their control and others are glad they did it but would never repeat the experience. I also feel it is important to say that all parties involved with my exchange, including myself, were new to sending a student with a hidden disability which impacts on all areas of life, namely autism. I was I believe one of the first students that had ever taken part at my university on the ERASMUS programme (the first actually), mainly because it was mandatory on my programme. Because no one had done this before, no one had any inkling of the potential issues that could occur or that would occur. I have to b…

Clarity is in the eye of the beholder

This topic is quite current given the new academic year bringing multiple changes, new beginnings and new challenges. I have just commenced on a Masters degree not only in a completely different discipline (a move from humanities to social sciences) but also with multiple modules that are classed as ‘distance learning’. The concept of distance learning is causing me a small headache (understatement) as what is expected from the online learning environment is a complete unknown to me. I guess this brings me nicely onto the core of the topic: clarity. Clarity is important in our day to day lives; it helps us know the certainty of what is being communicated through words or pictures and understanding this. Other definitions include the word sharpness (referring to vision and audio), intelligible and coherent. All of these demonstrate an understanding of the information presented, whether that be in an auditory or visual manner.

I think a lot of us take our clear understanding of things t…

The Invisibility Cloak

Chers lecteurs,

I have been posed two interesting questions which are actually really important. They have been asked by my cousin, a social worker. How can a diagnosis help or hinder? How could this help a foster carer provide the best care for a child in their home? I believe this goes hand in hand with the concept of ‘hidden disability’. A hidden disability is a disability or condition that is not visually obvious upon first glance. This would also mean it’s not immediately obvious the challenges that the individual may encounter. The idea of a hidden disability is not only unique to autism, however it is very profound.

The main issue is the issue of prejudgement; that is assuming that someone is something that they are not and the expectations that going along with this. This is dangerous within the scope of any disability or condition, much more so with one you cannot see and are unable to see the impact of challenges or struggles as well as unlikely talents. Ignoring the individ…