Autism Facts and Statistics Infographic has now been corrected

As you can see UKMobility’s autism infographic has now been corrected

Autism InfoGraphic
Autism InfoGraphic

You can see the original here

This blog is on vacation

Sunny Beach - Bulgaria
Sunny Beach – Bulgaria

Normal service will resume after Easter

Purple Day for Epilepsy 2015 – Drop round to our blog and find out about first aid for epilepsy seizures

Purple Day for Epilepsy 2014
Purple Day for Epilepsy 2014
March 26th is Purple Day for Epilepsy. You can read up a bit more about the story at last years blog post here.

As with last year we would ask you to share this image that goes with this blog to help us raise awareness of epilepsy!

But we thought we would take the opportunity today to remind you of the blog post which we published for National Epilepsy Week last year. Here we introduced you to ACTION which are some basic tips for dealing with tonic-clonic seizures. It would be great if you clicked here to find out a bit more.

Thanks very much for your support!

Parental Relationships and Autism. What is your current status?

Raising Money for the National Autistic Society
Raising Money for the National Autistic Society
A few minutes ago I post a question on our Facebook Page AutismTalk. In the question the gentleman mention that he was a single parent of a child with ASD.

Now this caught my eye because I remember being told that most parents of children with ASD split up after diagnosis. The figure given was 80%. But given the anecdotal evidence around me I am not sure if this is true at all.

While being the father of a child with autism has its moments so, I can assure you, is being the parent of a neurotypical child as well. Especially when they step into the teenage years. (Note to daughter – if I actually was running a hotel I would expect to be paid).

So I thought this would be a good opportunity to explore the whole area of how autism impacts upon relationships. For full disclosure my wife and I are together and participate jointly in bringing up our children.

In the first instance it would be great if you could share your marital status in the poll below. Now I know that this is pretty complex and amorphous so please choose the one you feel closest to. I’m not for example going to differentiate between gay and straight for example. You can choose more ath one answer by the way.

After that please feel free to use the comments box below to share a bit more about your story. If you have any tips for other readers that would be great!

Coffee might help prevent liver cancer according to new research

Photo by Marin at
Photo by Marin at
This just dropped into my inbox and as a enthusiastic coffee swiller I thought I would share it with you!

A new report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Liver Cancer, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund’s International Continuous Update Project (CUP). The report finds that drinking coffee may lower risk for liver cancer, a disease that is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide2. In Europe, approximately 63,500 new cases are diagnosed annually.

Coffee contains a variety of naturally occurring compounds that are currently being studied for their

Coffee Beans
Coffee Beans
anti-cancer potential. “It may act on liver enzymes that eliminate carcinogens, for example,” said Stephen Hursting, Ph.D., M.P.H., researcher at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and one of the CUP expert panellists. “Because coffee is consumed in such a variety of ways, however, it is not yet possible to determine the amount or style of preparation that provides optimal protection.”
Collectively analysing 34 studies involving over 8.2 million people and over 24,500 cases of liver cancer, the new report is the most in-depth review to date of global research linking diet, physical activity, and weight to the risk of developing liver cancer. It follows a 2013 CUP report that found coffee to be protective against endometrial cancer.

The findings of the report provide further support to the body of research that suggests moderate coffee consumption (3-5 cups per day) may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer. For more information on the potential protective effects of coffee consumption on liver function, please visit our topic overview and watch our informative animation.

So time to put the kettle on I think.

Special Needs Children and Common Core. Is Common Core effective for children with special needs such as autism? Please take part in our discussion blog.

Special Needs Children and Common Core. Is Common Core effective for children with special needs such as autism?

Autism and emotional connections
Autism and emotional connections
As some of my more regular readers with know I have been running an occasional blog post series called autism and education. You can here the previous posts here.

As the father of an eight year old boy on the autism spectrum I take the whole issue of special needs education very seriously. So I was very interested in the whole area of Common Core State Standards Initiative and how (if at all) it benefits those students, such as my son John, with special needs.

To those not based in the USA (where the Common Core curriculum is used in the vast majority of states) the initiative is defined as “an educational assembly in the United States that details what K-12 students should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. The initiative is sponsored by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and seeks to establish consistent educational standards across the states as well as ensure that students graduating from high school are prepared to enter credit-bearing courses at two- or four-year college programs or to enter the workforce.”

So, in fact, it does have some similarities with the UK’s national curriculum.

Okay so how does this impact upon those students who have special needs?

Last week I asked our online discussion group AutismTalk if they felt that Common Core was suitable for student with special needs ( and children on the sutism spectrum in particular). I have to say that I found the results quite remarkable.

First of all the sheers numbers who replied suggest the subject is of great interest. Secondly the almost negative view of Common Core from our members.

Angela is pretty typical when she says “My 10 yo aspergers son is highly intelligent, has 136 IQ and he has meltdowns because he doesn’t feel it’s necessary to show three ways to get the answer for one problem. I doesn’t not set well with children with ASD…they want to answer a problem and move on. It boggles my mind why they do this in schools. Our children don’t need common core system…get rid of it!!!”

“I think Common Core for all children is useless. No child can be a “cookie-cutter kid”, especially not a special needs child. Thankfully my son is in a specialized classroom so he isn’t subjected to it. But, my two mainstream daughters are, and there are mainstream kids struggling with this new system because all kids learn differently.” is Nicole’s view.

But, on the other side, Marilee felt “common core hasn’t been here in NY that long and I am all for it. Because I’ve seen how much easier this pain in the $$$ way makes the transition to high school and college math. So while more steps are taken now, the math most kids get to and fail are easily learned because of the extra steps. Of course parents need to utilize common core classes so their able to help with homework and their own comprehension.”

Because of this I do think it is of value to open up the discussion a bit further.

So what do you think of Common Core?

It would be great if you could use this blog to share your thoughts and comment on the views of others. To do so please use the comments section below.

As always we would ask you to be charitable in your dealings with others on this important matter.

Many thanks in advance!

World Autism Day 2015 – please use this Facebook cover to promote #WAD15

World Autism Day 2015
World Autism Day 2015

World Autism Day 2015 – please use this Facebook cover to promote #WAD15 and Autism Awareness


World Water Day 2015 – What are the benefits of hydration.

The benefits of drinking water
The benefits of drinking water
March 22nd sees the marking of World Water Day.

We thought that this is a great opportunity to remind our readers of the benefits of hydration and the dangers of dehydration.

So why drink plenty of water? Three liters of water has been recommended:-

a) Keeps your skin looking great!
b) Prevents muscle fatigue thus giving you more get up and go! Useful if you have a medical condition like fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis where fatigue is an issue.
c) Can help with weight loss.
d) Great to assist with bowel and kidney functioning. Which means that is helps getting rid on unwanted body waste.
e) And finally it is a great way to overcome the effects of a night out.

Raising Money for the National Autistic Society. Part of World Autism Day.

Today was spent at my son’s school supporting their work raising money for National Autistic Society.

Raising Money for the National Autistic Society
Raising Money for the National Autistic Society

As my regular readers will know my son (age eight and on the autism spectrum) attends what is referred to as a ResourceBase – a specialist autism unit within the mainstream school. You can find out more about this halfway house solution to autism education at a previous blog post by clicking here.

Support autism related causes is pretty standard for a school which supports children on the spectrum. But I have to say I was very impressed with what I saw today.

Tracey and Lidia who run the unit organised a cake decorating stall at today’s

Raising Money for the National Autistic Society
Raising Money for the National Autistic Society

Eater fair. As well they were selling cupcakes in the colours of the National Autistic Society.

Given it was a Saturday and given how hard they work during the week I’d like to play tribute to both of them and their team of support workers for doing such a great job. And for helping promote World Autism Awareness Day.

As you can see I have share day few photos of the day.

Raising Money for the National Autistic Society
Raising Money for the National Autistic Society

John explained to us on the train home that he had enjoyed the event but liked the ice cream and the animal petting area the best.

If you have a few coppers to spare why not make a donation to the National Autistic Society. You can find a link to their site by clicking here.

Alternatively if you have another autism related charity you think is worth supporting please feel free to share a link the comments section below.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis blogging. What ever happened to the fibro blogging community?

Yes I know an odd question for a blog which covers fibromyalgia and arthritis in some depth.

But let me explain (and ask for your help).

Fibromyalgia blogging
Fibromyalgia blogging
When the wonderful (and wacky) world of weblogging came into my life about 10 years ago it seemed that we could not move for citizen journalists writing on any and every subject that took their fancy. I was told about one blog which covered the history of the headgear of Roman Catholic priests before the Second Vatican Council.

But those days seem to be over especially in the whole area of healthcare and fibro in particular. To some extent this is due to the rise of social media like Twitter. Though I’m not certain how much insight you can get from 140 characters. But it does seem that there are far fewer blogs active than there were five years ago.

The reason I started thinking about this was by accident really.

A couple of days ago a lady called Catherine Manning dropped a link to her excellent blog about fibromyalgia and arthritis called “Old before my Time. You can check it out by clicking the link here.

Now I used to read Ms Manning’s blog on a very regular basis but realised that I’d not done so in a couple of years. Indeed we even published a cross post from her a few years ago. Indeed that applied to a lot of the blogs that I used to follow.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. What should I be reading online and where can I find it?

Please feel free to share the blogs you read (or even better the blogs you write) in the comments box below.

It will give both my readers and myself a great opportunity to find out what is going on out there.

And maybe it will help to prime the pump of the arthritis and fibromyalgia blogging communities.

Thanks very much in advance!