What should the Autism Awareness symbol be? Have your say at our discussion blog!

As you may know we run a Facebook page called AutismTalk.

Last week we published a few graphics with the objective of promoting autism awareness. One of them was the neurodiversity symbol. An example of which I have used to illustrate this blog post.

When we posted the image one of our readers commented “This is the first time I’ve seen you post something with the actual neurodiversity symbol on. Instead of the awful puzzle piece which me and many autistics keep saying we hate”.

I’ll admit I was intrigued by the comment so reposted to see what other thought. The responses were fascinating.

Kendra commented ” I personally don’t mind what symbol is used. My Autistic child loves the puzzle piece. But really the symbol doesn’t matter its the awareness its all meant to raise. Use what you like and keep raising awareness.”

While another reader said ” don’t understand the dislike for the puzzle piece. I’m very open to hearing the debate they don’t understand it. For my family is very symbolic because I knew nothing about autism. With nonverbal children and no I didn’t experience, everything was a mystery. I still don’t feel like all of the pieces have come together yet.”

But Philip respondent “The actual meaning of the puzzle-piece symbol is that once medical experts have solved the puzzle of autism by finding a “cure” for it, this dreaded “disease” will be wiped out like a plague. This is basically neurological Nazism – the idea that people like me have no right to exist, since we are inherently inferior to “normal” people.”

Lisa’s view was different again ” I hate the puzzle piece when I first saw it when my son was diagnosed I didnt think of a puzzle that needs to be figured out in order to appreciate, I thought of “missing” puzzle piece and I hated that thought aimed at my son like hes missing a piece. Perhaps thats just me ??? I also dont like it when its just the piece without the word autism (or similar word) because its not exactly autism awareness unless you already know what the autism puzzle logo is! I saw it a few times and just thought the person liked jigsaws lol ”

So you can see views really do vary. So what do you think? Should we use the puzzle image of the new neurodiversity symbol and part of our struggle to promote autism acceptance?

Tell us what you think?

Please use the comments box below to share your thoughts.

Thanks very much in advance.

Living with Dignity and Disability – Let’s get rid of the stigma and beliefs people with disabilities have to battle every day of their life! Share this amazing infographic!

Access to the right mobility products at the right time can do wonders to the dignity and confidence of a disabled person and help them maintain a regular job and lead a better social life. UKS Mobility recently came out with this infographic, which tries to do away with some of the stigma and beliefs people with disabilities have to battle every day of their life. At the same time, the infographic also highlights the importance of mobility products in the life of a disabled person. Nearly 74 percent of people who took part in a UK-wide survey said that they would not consider making the same types of journeys if they could not use their mobility scooter.

Living with Dignity and Disability
Living with Dignity and Disability

Happy Independence Day to all our readers!

Have a great July 4th
Have a great July 4th

We hope all our readers have a great 4th of July weekend.

By the way can you name the man in the picture? Let us know in the comments box below.

An Investigation of Early Indicators of Behavioural Difficulties in Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Please help Trinity College Dublin with some research

No research study has examined the relationship between the presence/absence Trinity College Dublin - Autism Researchof early indicators of behavioural difficulties and the presence/absence of core preschool life skills ).  Behavioural difficulties such as aggression towards self and others, temper tantrums, and noncompliance are often prevalent in older children with autism, yet little is known about how these manifest at a younger age. Preschool life skills include functional communication, instruction following, tolerance of delay/denials in accessing rewards, and pro-social skills. This study will examine factors related to (a) early indicators of behavioural difficulties (b) the presence/absence of the core preschool life skills in children below the age of 5 years. Absence of the preschool life skills as a risk marker/predictors of early indicators of behavioural difficulties will also be investigated.

Parents/teachers/staff members who are interested in participating will complete an online questionnaire. The questions will be used to identify early indicators of behavioural difficulties (and the type of difficulties present), to evaluate communication skills and social functioning, and to identify the presence/absence of the 13 preschool life skills.

Link to access questionnaire:


If you would like additional information please contact:

Carolyn Ritchey

Email: ritcheyc@tcd.ie

Phone: +353 89 452 5331

What is the difference between a retail and specialist pharmacy? Find out in this brilliant infographic.

Healthcare is changing.

Changing fast.

What was once the province of physicians are now tasks being carried out by nurses and pharmacists. With telemedicine coming up then we can see the game is really changing.

This is why we are delighted to share this fascinating infographic from Axium Healthcare. Introducing you to the differences between retail and specialist pharmacies.

The Difference Between Retail and Specialty Pharmacy
The Difference Between a Retail and a Specialty Pharmacy

Creating a Special Gift with a Family Tree – a guest post from Suzie Kolber

This is a bit of an odd choice of guest post to be selected for inclusion in a healthcare blog but

Suzie Kolber
Suzie Kolber
please bear with me.

Over the last few years it has become increasingly obvious that many conditions , such as autism or multiple sclerosis, have a genetic or inherited element to them. So if one is going to take part in genetic counseling , and many of us will it is good to have at least some idea of our family tree. So Suzie Kolber very kindly offered to provide us with an outline of how to set up a family tree.

Kolber writes “Researching your family history can teach you a lot about your ancestry. It also makes a wonderful gift once you have completed your research. Give it as an anniversary present, birthday gift or for other special occasions. If this is your plan, you need to begin early, especially if you plan to go in-depth with your research.

Set a Goal

You have numerous options for how you want to create your family tree. You may want to select a template that covers three or four generations related to the recipient of the gift. This option will have special meaning since the person already knows the people listed.

You may prefer to be more historic in your approach and select a ten- or eleven-generation family tree template. This option makes for a wonderful gift that will appeal to many people. Just be prepared that the research could take you several months so play far ahead if this is the approach you choose.

Another option is to take smaller templates and create multiple family trees. For instance, you may decide to cover the ancestry of all of the person’s grandparents. You would create four separate templates that could be placed together in a large frame. You would probably select three- or four-generation templates to ensure that everything fits in the space and isn’t too overwhelming.

Choose a Template

Once you know what kind of research you will need to do and how much information you want to present, you need to decide on the format. Numerous options are available to suit many tastes. A landscape family tree template is a classic choice with ovals where you can put either information or photos.
Bowties and wide or tall trees are other options that are ideal for three- or four-generations. They often allow you to include photos or more information other than just the names to personalize your design.

For more in-depth research, you can also use the bowtie design. You may also want to try a circular pattern to fit more names into the space. A chart format is another option when you have a lot of names to include. It is easy to read and keeps everything organized. To be more decorative, choose a template that includes a border. You can even find ones that allow you to input the family crest.
Give the family tree as a wedding or anniversary present and include both families of the couple on your template. A bowtie design is the ideal choice for this gift and is easy to read.

When giving a gift of a family tree to someone, you want it to be visually pleasant to look at and easy to follow. You may want to include photos or more data to create a gift that is interesting and will have meaning to the recipient. This is both a unique and heartfelt gift that you put a lot of time and effort into. Choose the right design for your gift that fits the information you collected and puts it into a lovely display. ”

People with Multiple Sclerosis – an invitation to free educational webinar – How to get the most out of your physician or geneticist visits – July 21st, 2015 1PM EST – read our guest post from GeneFo

GeneFo is a new innovative social-medical network that brings together patients affected with genetic-related conditions, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

GeneFo is its early stages and is seeking members to embrace this technology and help create a great Multiple Sclerosis patient community. Early adopters may find that activity and data are limited at first, but they will have the full attention of genetic in-house counselors and community managers, the opportunity to lead data input, and a voice in shaping the platform with content and features that are important to them!

Multiple Sclerosis Community
Multiple Sclerosis Community

GeneFo was founded by Dr. Yael Wilnai – a Stanford graduate and practicing medical geneticist.
Dr. Wilnai has extensive experience in helping patients navigate the different aspects of their condition. On July 21, 2015, she is kicking off series of free educational webinars to share her knowledge, and will also address the growing interest in genetic research with relation to Multiple Sclerosis. The first webinar will offer tips on how to get the most out of your physician/geneticist visits. The webinar will include a Q&A session and best practices.


GeneFo – Three core beliefs:

– Get real-time feedback and information both from top-notch genetic experts and patients/caregivers like you

In medicine, you need to specialize in order to offer the most relevant, reliable and professional input. That is why GeneFo makes sure that in addition to core patient-centered knowledge, they provide medical feedback by top-notch genetic experts with the most up-to-date medical information and resources, all presented in a clear and comprehensive manner.

– Consolidate all aspects of condition management in one place

While the internet is filled with many great resources, they are not usually accessible in one convenient place. Dr.Wilnai witnessed the frustration of patients and caregivers trying to access accumulated medical information from different sources – navigating several different websites were a real pain point. That is why GeneFo is designed to consolidate all aspects of condition management: real-time patient-driven knowledge, expert medical feedback and up-to-date medical content.

– The knowledge shared on GeneFo is used for the common good

Healthcare professionals, looking for opportunities to share their experience and better access to patients, partake in the community in order to advance research for the benefit of patients around the globe.

Don’t Judge by Appearances – like and share this Facebook cover to promote awareness of invisible illness.

Don’t Judge by Appearances - invisible illness facebook cover
Don’t Judge by Appearances

Please feel free to like, share and use the facebook cover we have produced to raise awareness of invisible illness and disabilities entitled Don’t Judge by Appearances.

Finding an expert doctor online. Check out this brilliant idea which could help you find the healthcare advice you need!

Getting a second opinion!
Getting a second opinion!

As pretty much all of my readers know by now I am more than just a bit gung-ho about how the digital revolution has affected the healthcare universe.

For the better in my view . Pretty much without exception.

So I was delighted to receive this update from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust (Leicester’s Hospitals). While the update focused on the achievements of the Leicester Diabetes Centre the website they told me a bout has a whole range of uses for patients and healthcare users pretty much across the globe and for many different medical condition!

The idea is brought to us by a web site called Expertscape.  The data are compiled by Expertscape using a matrix based on nearly 100,000 articles published since 2005.  This helps us find the people who really know their stuff about any medical condition and you can use it to find the healthcare professionals you need to help you.  This might be very important if you need a second opinion?

So who might this work in practice?  Well this is the Leicester Diabetes Centre great example!

Professor Kamlesh Khunti and Professor Melanie Davies have been named in the top 10 diabetes experts globally on a list published at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Boston.

Professor Khunti said: “This was a real surprise to us but we  are absolutely honored to be recognised in this list of some of the top researchers in the world. This is recognition of the work being conducted by our Leicester Diabetes Team from the University of Leicester over the past 15 years.”

Professor Davies said: “This is great news for Leicester and recognises the impact that our research on diabetes is having internationally.”

So what do you think?  Would you use this kind of web site to find a second opinion.

Why not share your thoughts and views in the comments section below!

July is #JuvenileArthritis Awareness Month! Please help us to tweet out awareness!

Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month
As you may know July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month!

Indeed in the USA alone 300,000 children have been diagnosed with arthritis. So we thought it would be a great idea to support the Arthritis Research Foundation’s Twitter awareness campaign.

So how do you do it?


Click through the embedded tweet below and the re-tweet it.

Easy. Just two click and you will have made a distance.

Please do join us and show the world how social media is revolutionising healthcare.

Thanks ever so much in advance.