Documentary on the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time

Many of you enjoyed the recent visit to our Sheffield theatres of the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time. You may therefore be interested in the BBC documentary on how the show was staged. There are currently 14 days left to view it at

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Tomorrow: A letter to my autistic self

If you can make it tomorrow, Tuesday November 10th,  10.00am -1pm is the ESRC Social Sciences Festival Event of A Letter To My Autistic Self.

This is a free event in Sheffield and details can be found at

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Therapy experiences of people with Asperger syndrome/autism

Hello and thank you for reading this message. If you haven’t participated in this survey yet, please will you consider?

I am Anja Rutten, a Senior Lecturer in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University. I am also a counsellor and psychotherapist working with people on the autism spectrum. I am currently researching for my Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at the University of the West of England.

My interest is in how people with Asperger syndrome/Autism experience counselling, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and other forms of ‘talking therapy’, in particular where these experiences are stressful or distressing. The voice of people on the autism spectrum is missing from the literature, and what is reported is often the views of professionals. I would really like to hear from you if you have experienced therapy and if you’re willing to share your perspective.

The link below will take you to the survey, and some information about it. You can participate if you are over 18, have experienced therapy and have either a formal diagnosis or self-identify as autistic/Asperger/being on the autism spectrum.

You can start the survey and save it to come back to it later, so it’s not necessary to complete it all in one go.

You may also copy this post or the link and forward it to other people who could be interested in participating.

Thank you very much for considering taking part. It is really appreciated.



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Collecting and celebrating work by autistic people of colour.

Please note that this is not an Autism Centre project and we cannot respond to related enquiries

Hello everyone! 

This is the second and final call for submissions for All the Weight of Our Dreams, an ambitious forthcoming anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color that will be the first of its kind. Following in the footsteps of groundbreaking anthologies like Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, we aim to provide a specific space to collect and celebrate work by autistic people of color.

 The deadline is November 15. 

 If you identify as both (1) autistic (self-diagnosis does count) and (2) a person of color, racialized, or non-white, then you are welcome and encouraged to share your work with us. Feel free to send in your personal essays, poetry, short fiction, and artwork (with captions). Detailed submission guidelines available here

 Submissions from children and youth are welcome along with submissions from adults and elders. Submissions can also come from people living in any country. Contributors will be paid for their work (though the exact amount has not been determined yet). 

 Questions and submissions should go to Lydia Brown at

 Please share far and wide in these last two weeks.

 Thank you! 

Lydia Brown (they/them/theirs)

Direct: +1 (202) 618-0187 

Cell: +1 (781) 854-6346


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Response from Nick Hodge to the Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty consultation

The Autism Centre’s Nick Hodge, Professor of Inclusive Practice, submitted this response to the Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty Consultation. If you have not yet responded and would like to then there is still time. Information on how to do this can be found at

Dear Mr. Spencer-Lane

I really welcome the review of the current law in relation to Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty. I welcome the thrust of the proposed changes and I am especially pleased to see the  LB Bill recognised within them. I would like to add the additional comments on the following proposals:

  • 6-10 I fully support the LB Bill. No Local Authorities and NHS in England should not set personal budgets for disabled people living at home by reference to the cost of meeting the person’s needs in residential care. People should be fully supported to live where they consider home and where they wish to be.
  • 6-11. Yes people should have their wishes met concerning where and with whom they live. It is critical to maintain family and community links.
  • 6-12 Yes as detailed in the LB Bill Local Authorities and NHS in England should report annually. In doing so they should  report on a. The number of living arrangements made in the previous 12 months for disabled persons for whom the local authority or NHS body is responsible; b. When and by whom the decision was taken in each case where a living arrangement was made which was not consistent with the wishes and feelings of the disabled person; c. Why in each case where the living arrangement made was not consistent with the wishes and feelings of the disabled person there was no appropriate living arrangement available which was consistent with their wishes and feelings; d. What plans are in place in each such case to make a new living arrangement which is consistent with the person’s wishes and feelings; e. The name of the social worker with responsibility for the person’s care plan; and f. The steps taken to comply with the duty to secure a sufficient supply of community support.
  • 11-1 : Yes there should be a right to apply to the First –Tier tribunal but this needs to include the provision of skilled and fully qualified legal support. The Centre for Education and Inclusion Research at Sheffield Hallam University conducted research for the DFE on how parties experienced the new appeals procedures for school exclusions. In the abstract of the attached paper you will see that for parents and carers and young people preparing for and attending the appeal came at high personal cost. The process was experienced by them as unbalanced and inequitable because schools had access to greater resources and could if required fund legal support. For most parents and carers and young people this was not an option. Access to this was repeatedly raised as an essential by these parties.
  • 11-6 The nature and structure of the First-Tier tribunal should be the best fit for the requirement of the appellant and his/her advocates. For some the preferred mode of engagement might be via a paper review for others they may feel that they can only present their case in person.
  • 12-1 – people may well need more than one advocate. Circles of Support ( can be an excellent way of providing someone with a team of people around them all of whom bring different skills to support of the person at the centre of the circle. The requirement of an establishment of a circle of support would ensure a greater range of people who monitor and are concerned for the person’s welfare.
  • In the accessible format version I wonder if it is correct to say that some people cannot make decisions. In my experience it is usually that they have not been correctly enabled to make them.
  • Practitioner carers need to be appointed who are  committed to their work, skilled and  effectively supported.


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Make your thoughts known on proposed legislation for Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty

Time is pressing as the consultation ends on Nov 2nd but the Law Commission requires feedback on proposed changes to legislation that governs Mental Capacity and Deprivation of Liberty. If you only have time to read and comment on part of the document then consider advocating for the changes in legislation and policy that are being campaigned for within the LB Bill. Full details can be found at

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Free session on stress relief for parents of children with additional needs

Please note that this is not an Autism Centre Event

Are you a parent or carer of someone with additional needs and feeling exhausted, isolated, or stressed?

Claim your Free place at my ‘Make more time for yourself and feel less stressed’ taster session! At Ecclesall Library, 24th November 2015, 6.30pm – 8pm

  • Are you a parent of a child with special needs? Or a carer for someone with special needs?
  • Can life sometimes feel overwhelming and exhausting?
  • Do you feel fear for the future?
  • Is stress and anxiety a struggle at times?
  • Does it sometimes feel isolating for you?
  • Would you like some “ME” time?
  • Would you like to be able to fully switch off, relax and regain some fresh energy in a safe and confidential space?
  • If the answer is YES to any of the above questions then come to my free ‘Make more time for yourself and feel less stressed’ taster session where:
  • You will learn about the effects of stress and anxiety and how to reduce them
  • You will be shown techniques to make more time for yourself
  • You will find out how to cultivate positive emotions to build your inner resources for coping with isolation and daily struggles
  • You will take part in a guided relaxation exercise to create some ‘ME’ time allowing you to fully switch off and re-energiseWellness Coach, Fitness Professional, Meditation Teacher, Diploma in NLP, Licensed to present Vanderbilt University Parent Stress Intervention Programme.Wellness Coach, Fitness Professional, Meditation Teacher, Diploma in NLP, Licensed to present Vanderbilt University Parent Stress Intervention Programme.

“Makes you stop and think how much you do. I have learnt how to be more organised and how to make more time for myself. I will do this in everyday life” – Tasleem

“Really useful on the importance of looking after yourself” – Sarah C.

“A 10 out of 10 session which was very useful with some very good tips to use against stress” – Dean

Jayne Spenceley

Jayne is a single mother to two children, one with special needs. She has experienced first-hand the difficulties of working and dealing with extra parental stress and has developed effective methods to continue to live a full and varied life at the same time.

24th November 2015  6.30pm 8pm

Ecclesall Library, 120 Ecclesall Rd S, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S11 9PL



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