January 2018



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Archive for January 27th, 2018

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Ulric Neisser


What can one say about an article that explores self in terms of stage theories (5 stages that match my own stage theoretic framework), has references to infantile autism and paranoia , and even references Carol Dweck‘s entity vs incremental intelligence theories and George Lakoff‘s ‘idealized cognitive model‘- all focuses of this blog…Well I just love this article by Ulric Neisser titled ‘Five kinds of self-knowledge’. That artcile gives me an opportunity to integrate and synthesize many of the prominent threads of this blog in a coherent narrative.


Let me start with core thesis of Ulrich that there are at least five different types of selves that we gradually become aware of in developmental time frame. Because Ulrich does such a nice job of presenting his findings , I’ll quote at length from him.

Read in Full:

Five kinds of self/self-knowledge

Mysterious path


Who doesn’t enjoy a walk outdoors in nature? The fact that nature settings are less and less accessible to those who live in cities should be concerning, especially with respect to overall health and well-being. The fact is, however, that continuing research shows nature has multiple benefits for your well-being.


More than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas and that proportion is projected to increase to 70 percent by 2050. Despite many benefits of urbanization, studies show that the mental health of urban dwellers is negatively affected by their city environment, with greater prevalence of anxiety and mood disorders and an increasing incidence of schizophrenia. Finding that bit of green space in cities or spending time in nature visiting rural areas may do more than provide a temporary escape from concrete, steel and glass.


Being in nature improves creativity and problem-solving.


Ever been stumped, hit a wall, unable to arrive at a well-reasoned decision? Most people have, at one time or another. It isn’t coincidence that talking time out to be in nature can result in a subsequent creativity surge and/or the sudden realization of a workable solution. Beyond that, according to 2012 research published in PLoS One, there is a cognitive advantage that accrues from spending time in a natural environment. Other research published in Landscape and Urban Planning found that complex working memory span improved and a decrease in anxiety and rumination resulted from exposure to natural green space.


Read More …


7-8 March 2018


About the conference


Be inspired and learn from world-renowned experts

This annual two-day conference is a unique opportunity for senior professionals to discuss best practice and share learning. Hear the latest information from leading experts in the field and learn from case studies illustrating best practice. With four different seminar streams to choose from, you can select the seminars which are most relevant to your work. 


Don’t miss out!
Places are limited so book now to secure your place.


Key topics

Some of the key topics this conference will cover include:

  • *recognising and treating anxiety
  • *helping parents to improve their child’s sleep patterns
  • *employment for autistic adults
  • *using speech and language tools to aid communication
  • *developing a new adult diagnostic tool
  • *eating disorders in autistic women
  • *autism and epilepsy
  • *techniques for coping with bullying.


Confirmed speakers

Our top international speakers will give you unique insight and understanding into autism. Among our expert speakers and panelists are:

Michelle Garcia Winner

Yo Dunn

Christine Lenehan

Mark Lever

William Mandy

Chris Oliver

Rohit Shankar

Owen and Cornelia Suskind

Jack Welch

Penny Williams




Hypertension is a pervasive and growing threat to global health. The number of adults with hypertension has nearly doubled from 442 million to 874 million worldwide in the past 25 years.1 Among those with hypertension, many take antihypertensive drugs from multiple classes (such as thiazide-type diuretics and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors) to control their blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular risk.2 Although the addition of a second (or third) class of antihypertensive drug to a patient’s hypertension treatment regimen is done routinely in clinical practice, the incremental benefits and risks of each additional drug class remain controversial. It is commonly believed that the addition of a new drug class to a patient’s regimen will result in progressively smaller reductions in blood pressure while increasing the risk of adverse events.345 Because of physiologic limitations or drug-drug interactions, escalation of the number of antihypertensive drugs has been postulated to produce diminishing benefits and increasing harms.6 Such concerns are particularly pronounced for older patients78 or those for whom some drugs might prove less effective, such as patients with resistant hypertension91011 or black patients.1213 Others have argued that adding a drug from a new class that targets a distinct and complementary mechanism, however, could reduce blood pressure at lower doses of each drug, improving therapeutic benefit and lowering side effects.1415


BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j5542 (Published 22 December 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5542

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Posted on


We’re happy to announce the re-launch of our project ‘Cyberselves: How Immersive Technologies Will Impact Our Future Selves’. Straight out of Sheffield Robotics, the project aims to explore the effects of technology like robot avatars, virtual reality, AI servants and other tech which alters your perception or ability to act. We’re interested in work, play and how our sense of ourselves and our bodies is going to change as this technology becomes more and more widespread.


We’re funded by the AHRC to run workshops and bring our roadshow of hands on cyber-experiences to places across the UK in the coming year. From the website:


Cyberselves will examine the transforming impact of immersive technologies on our societies and cultures. Our project will bring an immersive, entertaining experience to people in unconventional locations, a Cyberselves Roadshow, that will give participants the chance to transport themselves into the body of a humanoid robot, and to experience the world from that mechanical body. Visitors to the Roadshow will also get a chance to have hands-on experiences with other social robots, coding and virtual/augmented reality demonstrations, while chatting to Sheffield Robotics’ knowledgeable researchers.


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The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is very pleased to announce the recipients of our 2018 Autistic Scholars Fellowship! ASAN awards $5,000 tuition scholarships to 4 to 6 Autistic college students who demonstrate a strong commitment to disability rights advocacy, Autistic culture and community, and disability accessibility and inclusion on college campuses. We are extremely proud to include these exceptional self-advocates in our third class of Autistic Scholars. Nothing About Us, Without Us!


Megan Lambert

University of California, Merced (Merced, CA)


Megan is an autistic college sophomore at UC Merced. As the President of the up-and-coming Disability and Neurodiversity Alliance, she works to maintain a strong community of disabled students. Megan’s focus is on creating and strengthening further leaders in her community and providing resources to enable disabled students to thrive. She hopes to continue her work after college to make positive impacts for disabled people everywhere.




Huan Vuong

Northern Virginia Community College (Alexandria, VA)


Huan is an autistic student at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  He is non-speaking but can communicate intelligently by spelling on a letter board. He started a club at NOVA called Aware to bridge the gap between the disabled and neurotypical communities and create a space where they can engage and break down stereotypical barriers.  He also seeks acceptance and respect from college administrators as well as his community of the different modes of communication that autistic individuals, or the disabled in general, use.  In his free time, Huan enjoys swimming, ice skating, volunteering at the local library, and spending time with friends.


Ashton Brock Sorrels

Brite Divinity School (Fort Worth, TX)


Ashton is a second-year graduate student at Brite Divinity School studying theology and religious practice. He is the co-founder of Divergence: The Neuro- and Body-Divergent Community at Brite advocating for the rights and inclusion of disabled students on campus. He is also a council member at Emmaus Dinner Church, a church plant centering the leadership of LGBTQIA persons. His long-term goal is to work towards autistic inclusion and expression in religious spaces and to defend the validity and importance of autistic modes of religious identity and community.


Elyan Chuba

The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ)


Elyan is a history major at The College of New Jersey. He is incredibly excited to have the opportunity to work with ASAN. He is currently in the process of founding a club by and for all disabled students, and is the Education and Advocacy Chair of the university’s LGBTQ organization, PRISM. He hopes to use both positions to draw attention to disability as a valuable form of cultural diversity and to ensure that it is included in discussions of intersectionality and that intersectionality is included in discussions of disability. In addition to his disability and LGBTQ advocacy, he is passionate about cats, science fiction, and the histories of psychology, eugenics, queer music subcultures, religion, and, of course, autism and I/DD.

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The ongoing crisis is evidence of systematic discrimination against children


It has been almost 20 years since Every Child Matters was published, a government report intended to bring a sea change in children’s services, including substantial investment in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).1


But in recent years children’s mental health has received less than 1% of the overall health budget, although, as children grow into adults, mental health problems account for 23% of disease burden in the UK. Many affected children remain invisible because they are not in contact with services, or because of gaps in data.2


Increasing pressures in child and adolescent mental health services have been highlighted in numerous reviews,34 culminating recently in an extraordinary judgment by James Munby, president of the High Court’s family division, who condemned the “disgraceful and utterly shaming lack of proper provision in this country” for young people.5 Unfortunately, the young person highlighted in this case is not an exception. Children face long …

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BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4254 (Published 29 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j4254

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Jem Lester

I am so looking forward to my trip with my son next week. First up is Cern, in Switzerland, where my son gets an hour on the Large Hadron Collider all to himself. On Tuesday, it’s off to the National Portrait Gallery in London, where an exhibition of his crayon selfies is on show (royal attendance is rumoured). Wednesday he’s being filmed for the BBC completing a Rubik’s Cube with one hand.


Thursday, he’s on at the National Theatre, where he’ll recite the works of Shakespeare from memory. Friday, we’re off to Vegas to win a fortune at blackjack. I’ve bought the matching suits and sunglasses and, get this, he gets to fly the plane home himself.


It is a whirlwind being the father of an autistic child – especially one as multitalented as mine. Some autistic children only have one special talent.


OK, so this isn’t true. I am the father of an autistic child, and the first question I’m always asked when the subject of my son comes up is: “Does he have a special talent?” because everyone has read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and seen Rain Man, and assume all autistic children have special powers.


Read More …https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/dec/30/seen-rain-man-that-doesnt-mean-you-know-my-autistic-son