A blog for students on the FDLT at the University of Northampton

at Leicester and UN

March 6, 2015
by Jean
0 comments

Two perspectives on Autism

Over the last few weeks on the One to One programme on BBC Radio 4 John Harris, a journalist on The Guardian, has been talking about autism. His son is autistic, in these two programmes he talks with an expert on autism (Professor Simon Baron-Cohen) and an adult who was diagnosed as autistic in her thirties (Penny Andrews).

one to one 1In the first programme John Harris talks with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen. In this conversation the development of understanding about what autism is is discussed. Its interesting that he talks about discovering people with autism who could talk about the experience, something that at the time was new as it was assumed that people with autism would not be able to function in day to day life.

In the conversation John Harris discusses how difficult it is for him to conceive of how his son understands the world. Simon Baron-Cohen suggests that we do inhabit the same world in some respects and that we do have things in common. He uses the example of structure, repetition and routine where he comments that many people with autism need but so so many other people, something John Harris agrees with.

Simon Baron-Cohen discusses the concept of neuro diversity – there are different types of brains in the population rather than a single ‘normal’ brain, similar to the concept of biodiversity, that we encounter in the classroom. He talks about how some of the traits or qualities of autism can be seen as areas of strength – remarkable attention to detail, fascination with patterns and an ability to persist and go deeply in one topic.

one to one 2In the second programme John Harris meets an adult who has been identified as autism in adulthood and who works as a university researcher – Penny Andrews.

This is an interesting conversation – John Harris picks up on some of the points made by Simon Baron-Cohen and that he has notices in his own experience with his son. He is keen to have her perspective as his son is to young to be able to articulate and explain his feelings and needs.

Towards the end of the conversation they talk about how Penny’s employer is able to adjust and support her so that she can work effectively.

It is also interesting how Penny explores the connections between herself and people who are not autistic and people who are considered to be severely autistic.

For many of you who work with children on the autistic spectrum both these programmes are of interest, giving you some background and perspective on autism historically, theoretically and personally. From a student point of view it is interesting for you to notice how John Harris compares the research of Simon Baron-Cohen with experience of Penny Andrews – we often ask you to make these connections between research and practice in your academic work.

Both programmes are available on iplayer here They were broadcast on 17th and 24th February 2015 and  can be found in the episodes list. They are also saved in Box of Broadcasts if you are a university student.

If you listen to these programmes and have any comments please add them below.

 

January 13, 2015
by Jean
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Next ECY Book Group January 26th

curiousThe next meeting of the Book Group will be on Monday 26th January at 17.30 in S036.

Light refreshments will be provided.

The book to be discussed will be ‘Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime’ by Mark Haddon.

Copies are available for you to borrow by emailing Academic Librarian, Hannah Rose – hannah.rose@northampton.ac.uk

Please also follow on Twitter – @BookGroupUoN  and look out for the live Twitter feed from 18.30.

You may be interested to know that the National Theatre production of this book is coming the Royal and Derngate in Northampton from the 24th to the 29th March. I have seen this and I do recommend it. You can find out more about it at this link.

April 1, 2014
by Jean
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World Autism Awareness Day (2nd April)

Tomorrow (Wednesday April 2nd) is the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day. You can read more about it here.

This evening there is a Horizon programme on BBC at 9pm. It is repeated on Wednesday 2nd April on BBC 2 at 11.30pm and will also be available via the BBC iplayer and Box of Broadcasts.

horizon

 

Professor Uta Frith was also interviewed on Radio 4’s ‘The Life Scientific’ a few years ago, a very interesting interview where she discusses her interest in Autism and her life as a psychologist. You can listen to it at this link and via Box of Broadcasts.

Today at 10 a.m. EDT, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the U.N., Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the U.N. and Autism Speaks  co-hosted a panel discussion, “Autism: Awareness to Action,” at the United Nations in New York.  The discussion was co-sponsored by the United States Mission to the U.N., Permanent Mission of India to the U.N, Permanent Mission of Chile to the U.N and Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the U.N. This included the following statement:

GLOBAL STATEMENT

“It is with great pleasure that I acknowledge the 7th annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd and the incredible work of Autism Speaks in calling greater international attention to autism and other developmental disorders that affect millions of people globally. In epitomizing the message of “turning awareness into action,” Bob and Suzanne Wright are beacons of blue light, radiating across our global community. Let us continue to work hand-in-hand, side by side. Now is the time to strive for a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of those on the spectrum and ensure opportunities to realize their potential. International attention is essential to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures.”

You can watch a video of the UN panel discussion here.

You can watch the UN Secretary General’s message here.

un

If you’re on Twitter, use #LIUB to share your experience helping light the world up blue this April and if you’re on Facebook there is a page with more details here

June 24, 2013
by Jean
0 comments

The Reason I Jump

This week the book of the week is ‘The Reason I Jump’ by Naoki Higashida. It is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 9.45 each morning and repeated at half past midnight. It is also available on i-player and I will add each programme to Box of Broadcasts too. You can access the programme information here: The Reason I Jump

You can read more about David Mitchell and his translation of the book here: BBC Radio 4 Book of the week Blog David Mitchell

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