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First Published Monday, 17 November 2008

Pip Brown

She hated physical contact, shunned company and once locked herself in her house for three months. Then, two years ago, Pip Brown was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. So how is she coping with life as Ladyhawke, the next big thing in pop?

By Luiza Sauma
Sunday, 16 November 2008

When New Zealand-born singer-songwriter Ladyhawke was beamed down into the music scene earlier this year, it was difficult not to be a little cynical. There was something too perfect, too Shoreditch-cool about her Stevie Nicks hair, her angelic face, those detached blue eyes and the 1980s revivalism of her music. Before long, Kylie Minogue’s people were calling Ladyhawke’s people to tell them that Kylie loved her – as does Canadian electro superstar Peaches and grunge crackpot Courtney Love. Her self-titled debut album of big, blustery pop songs was released to widespread acclaim in September – but who was the elusive young woman behind it?

Ambling into her PR’s east-London office, Pip Brown – as she is known to her parents – cuts a striking figure. Tall and resplendent in stripey trousers and Dr Martens boots, her kohl-lined eyes framed by that voluminous blonde mane, she’s quite the gangly, glamorous tomboy as she shakes my hand shyly and coos at the office kittens. The singer admits to being a little wary around journalists, and with good reason: recently, she revealed to a British newspaper that she has Asperger’s syndrome (a form of autism) which suddenly shifted media interest from her music to her autism. Among other traits, the syndrome manifests itself typically in social communication difficulties and, according to the National Autistic Society, “limitations in imagination”. Hardly the stuff of showbusiness legend, and entertainers with Asperger’s are few and far between: the actress Daryl Hannah (diagnosed borderline autistic in childhood) is one; Craig Nicholls, frontman of Australian rock group The Vines, is another. Still, everyone loves an against-all-odds story, and here was Brown’s.

But it’s not the story that the singer wants to be defined by. “I really regret talking about it,” she says. “There’s a kid with Asperger’s who wrote to me on MySpace, saying I was a liar. It was really hurtful. I was like, you have no idea what I’ve been through. Yeah, I’m a bit weird. I do weird things. I’ve been really wary since then.” Not that it shows. Brown is chatty, warm and sincere; in many ways, the opposite of the autistic stereotype – which goes to show how far the stereotype is from reality, and how far she has come. Slouched on a sofa, she talks breezily, in her thick Kiwi accent, about her overwhelming and exciting year as a rising star.

“It’s been very up and down,” she admits. “The ups are the touring and playing with other bands, and the way people have received me. That’s been amazing. The down is the constant exhaustion.” Then there’s the small matter of having moved from sunny Sydney – where she had been living – to the smog and grind of London. “Missing my family and friends has been really hard,” she admits. “When I arrived in London, I was living in Soho. I hate huge crowds of people and that’s what Soho is about. It was horrible. I haven’t made many friends since I’ve been here, but since I moved to Brick Lane, I find myself just walking up to the pub and meeting heaps of people.”

The curry-scented streets of Brown’s east-London neighbourhood are a far cry from her beginnings in New Zealand. The singer was born 28 years ago in Masterton, a small town near Wellington. “Growing up there was amazing,” she enthuses. “I love suburbia. We’re lucky in New Zealand because there’s a lot of space and not many people. It was always sunny. I have great memories of growing up there.” But her undiagnosed Asperger’s created all sorts of problems. “I wouldn’t go to school when I was younger, and when I did, I would just stare out the window. I didn’t like anyone touching me and I didn’t like people coming near me.” Even so, she excelled at art and music from an early age, thanks to her parents’ encouragement – her mother sings, and her step-father is a jazz drummer. “I started playing piano when I was eight. It came quite naturally, but I was just bored,” she says. “So I took up drums when I was 11 and that was it for me. I loved it. After that, I picked up lots of instruments instinctively.”

Brown has been almost famous on a couple of occasions. The first time, it was in the early Noughties as the lead guitarist of the New Zealand rock group Two Lane Blacktop, which she formed while studying design and photography at university. “It was a rock’n’roll band, like the Clash crossed with Iggy Pop,” says Brown. “It was so much fun playing in that band. It was me and three guys and we were great friends. We started to get a lot of attention and we were about to sign a deal in the states with Roadrunner Records when the band broke up. The singer didn’t want to do it. I was really angry at him. I hated him!” She laughs, before adding, “But then I got over it and we became friends again. When I was in that band it was the first moment when I thought, actually, I could do this.”

After the band broke up, Brown moved to Australia – first to Melbourne, then Sydney – where she pulled pints, DJed at sleazy nightclubs and ran gig nights with her best friend Sarah, who now designs all of her artwork. There, she had another stab at pop stardom when she formed the art-rock duo Teenager with Aussie musician Nick Littlemore (now one half of the dance-music double-act Pnau). Teenager were name-checked in the NME, somehow managed to achieve the indie-rock dream of working with two members of Sonic Youth (Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley) and then died a quick death. “I started calling myself Ladyhawke around 2004 or 2005, just out of frustration,” says Brown. “I just wanted to do my own style of music without somebody in the band saying, ‘I don’t know, maybe we should do this instead.’ I was so sick of that.”

And so Ladyhawke was born, named after a bizarre 1980s fantasy film about a pair of star-crossed lovers played ‘ by Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick (who are respectively cursed to take the form of a hawk by day and a wolf by night). “People always ask me why I call myself Ladyhawke – but why would I call myself Pip Brown? It’s so boring. If I had a cool name like Engelbert Humperdinck, that would be OK.” Ladyhawke suits her. It’s an armour, of sorts, lending the singer a certain toughness. Moreover, Brown – like the characters in the film – is herself something of a chameleon. She struggles with her confidence, but knows what she wants; she’s super-shy, but performs in front of hundreds of fans every night; she feels uneasy around people, but she’s charming company.

More importantly, her music is fantastic. Brown’s debut album as Ladyhawke exudes confidence and joy – pure pop with an indie heart. At times, it sounds like the lost soundtrack to Back to the Future and at others, just like the future. It’s more ambitious than any of her previous projects, both in terms of the songs – which are, each and every one of them, solid gold tunes – and the influences, which teeter towards classic 1970s/1980s pop, such as ELO, Blondie, Bowie and Fleetwood Mac. Brown is tickled by comparisons to Fleetwood Mac’s resident torch singer, Stevie Nicks, but remains unconvinced. “I always think it’s just because of my hair,” she says. “I don’t sound anything like Stevie Nicks and I don’t dress like her – I don’t wear crushed velvet and heels on a daily basis.”

Despite how far she’s come, personally and creatively, Brown admits, “I have my weird moments when I revert back to my old ways.”

Those “old ways” included locking herself up in her house in Melbourne for three months, after which, enough was enough. Two-and-a-half years ago, she went to a doctor and got her diagnosis – much to her relief, as it “explained so much”. “When I moved to Sydney, it got to a point when I was so sick of feeling like everybody hated me,” she admits. “So I went to a doctor who referred me on to somebody. I ended up having a few sessions with a psychologist and she told me, ‘I have Asperger’s as well.’ It was really inspiring.”

Live shows are still a bit tricky – partly due to the syndrome, partly due to nerves – and it hasn’t gone unnoticed by the music press. But it’s a love-hate thing. “It wasn’t until I became a solo artist that I realised I had terrible stage fright. I get really shy and embarrassed and stupid and klutzy and I trip over. I’m a mess! But I love it.” Luckily, her fans are behind her all the way. “When I played at the Roadhouse in Manchester, it was sold out. I was standing there shit-scared, so I said into the microphone, ‘This is the most nervous I’ve ever been in my entire life.’ And everyone cheered. I was like, OK. Is that a good thing? But I’m learning to be better on stage. When I know people are there to see me, I react differently because I can feel a better energy.”

In reality, Brown’s nervy honesty makes a refreshing change from the usual cocksure swagger of today’s rock stars (both male and female). She has a certain vulnerability and self-contained strength that anyone can relate to, whether they share her condition or not. Unlike many of the singers who have dominated the indie music scene over the past few years, Brown does not take drugs (but she likes a drink) or start media wars against her fellow musicians – although she has come across her fair share of such people. “Being a musician doesn’t make you better than anyone else,” she ponders. “When you meet a band, there’ll always be that arrogant, rock-star guy who has little tantrums and acts like a superstar. I’m so anti that. I feel like I’m really lucky because I’m doing the thing I love and I can survive off it – for now. When I meet an arrogant musician, I don’t get it.”

Instead, Brown seems to have a formidable control over her life, music and career. “I don’t know if this is a cliché, but as a female musician it’s really hard to maintain your credibility, because people often assume you don’t write your own music. They also assume you can be moulded easily. I don’t use a stylist any more, because I was sick of people trying to make me look feminine. I don’t wear girly shit. I have my own weird thing going on.” Plus, she’s a little bit wiser about the greasy inner workings of the music industry. “I always thought I was pretty wise to it when I was younger, but you don’t realise how everything works until things start to get serious for you. People build you up and you’ve just got to maintain a sense of self and keep your wits about you.”

A few days after we meet, Ladyhawke is named the sixth coolest person in the world by the NME, a dubious honour that Brown is probably taking with her usual pinch of salt. Unlike many others on the list, Pip Brown is talented, gracious and she isn’t one to ever rest on herlaurels. Sometimes, she even ponders going back to university to study composition – “so I can get my skills up as a writer and producer”. And she dreams about owning a pub. “I love a beer,” she giggles. “I’ll be that old lady with 20 cats and a pub. I just love pulling a beer and sitting down and chatting to people.”

In the meantime, Ladyhawke is touring Australia this winter, looking forward to seeing her friends and family at Christmas and writing her next album, which she promises will be entirely different to the first (which sold 3,500 copies in the UK in its first week of release). “I’m getting the hang of it,” she says, “and I think next year will be better for me, because I’ll know exactly where I am.”

She may not know it yet, but she’s already there.

Ladyhawke’s single, ‘My Delirium’, is out on 8 December. The album, ‘Ladyhawke’, is out now

Source:  http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/ladyhawke-you-have-no-idea-what-i-have-been-through-1017492.html

Ladyhawke reveals ‘disability’

By Greg Cochrane
Newsbeat music reporter

Ladyhawke aka Pip Brown released her self-titled debut album earlier this year


Sometimes it can go undiagnosed. Sometimes it can go ignored. Sometimes it can go unnoticed.

Asperger syndrome – a form of autism characterised by difficulties dealing with people and social situations – affects close on one in every 100 people in Britain.

With 500,000 suffers in the UK alone the condition is a lot more common than the disability’s current profile would suggest.

“People with Asperger syndrome often have a unique way of experiencing the world”, explains Mark Lever, chief executive of the National Autistic Society (NAS). “Many express this with great success through creativity and the arts.”

“Without the right help and support [it] can have a profound effect on people’s lives.”

‘Private person’

One high profile sufferer is New Zealand songstress Ladyhawke aka Pip Brown – currently enjoying extensive airplay with her latest single My Delirium.

Pip was only diagnosed with Asperger syndrome a couple of years ago. She is, understandably, still a little wary of speaking about the subject.

“I guess in myself it’s not in my nature to open myself up to people and I feel quite exposed.”

“I’m a really private person – I don’t really go out often,” she says. “I sort of regret opening myself up to the public that much.”

“On the other side of things I am glad that I’ve been able to talk to people in a similar situation.”

Indeed, since revealing her diagnosis she has been regularly contacted by other sufferers for advice.


Pip Brown live onstage

“I hear from a lot of people on MySpace who have Asperger. A lot of people I can relate to write me messages and stories about themselves.”

“I only have a very mild form of it and there are some people who have it so bad that they find it too hard to even write me a message to me – I love that I’ve been able to talk to people and be able to relate like that.”

‘Hidden disability’

The condition itself can often go completely undiagnosed. Termed a ‘hidden disability’ it can instead be attributed as shyness, social awkwardness or depression.

“People shouldn’t be scared of it or anything,” explains Pip.

“Some people don’t even realise that they have it. I went through my whole life not knowing until only a few years ago, when it was just doing my head in and I had to get help. “

Early reviews of Ladyhawke’s live performances noted her meekness and reluctance to interact with her audience.

She is though, still learning how best to cope with her condition. Her commitment to a touring lifestyle means she continues to confront challenges on a daily basis.

Some people don’t even realise that they have it. I went through my whole life not knowing until only a few years ago

“I have real moments, quite often in sound check, when I just don’t feel like I can perform,” she admits.

“I don’t feel like I can sing. I have these voices in my head telling me that I suck and I can’t do it.”

“There’s one side of me saying suck it up and do it. And there’s another side that says everybody’s looking at you and they’re judging you.”

“It happens to me every single show without fail, so I’m getting used to it.”

In many senses the condition itself is invisible. Symptoms are often subtle, if noticeable at all. For example those it affects might find comfort in routine or possess a unique focus on special interests.

“I’ll hone in on something like a game and I’ll end up being obsessed with it for a long time,” Pip concludes.

“So at the moment I’m just playing Lego Batman on the Wii. I play it so much that I fall asleep and end up dreaming that I’m destroying things and turning things into Lego money.”

Source:   http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/music/newsid_7745000/7745453.stm

First Published Monday, 17 November 2008

Painting the skies ... with happiness

Channeling unhappiness, in good and bad economic times

Neil Tickner

A new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland concludes that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as very happy spend more time reading and socializing. The study appears in the December issue of the journal Social Indicators Research.

Analyzing 30-years worth of national data from time-use studies and a continuing series of social attitude surveys, the Maryland researchers report that spending time watching television may contribute to viewers’ happiness in the moment, with less positive effects in the long run.

TV doesn’t really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading a newspaper does,” says University of Maryland sociologist John P. Robinson, the study co-author and a pioneer in time-use studies. “It’s more passive and may provide escape – especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise.

Based on data from time use surveys, Robinson projects that TV viewing might increase significantly as the economy worsens in the next few months and years.

Through good and bad economic times, our diary studies, have consistently found that work is the major activity correlate of higher TV viewing hours,” Robinson says. “As people have progressively more time on their hands, viewing hours increase.

But Robinson cautions that some of that extra time also might be spent sleeping. “As working and viewing hours increase, so do sleep hours,” he says. “Sleep could be the second major beneficiary of job loss or reduced working hours.

In their study, Robinson and his co-author, University of Maryland sociologist Steven Martin, set out to learn more about the activities that contributed to happiness in people’s lives. They analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (1975-2006) gathered from nearly 30,000 adults:

  • A series of time-use studies that asked people to fill out diaries for a 24-hour period and to indicate how pleasurable they found each activity;
  • General Social Survey attitude studies, which Robinson calls the national premier source for monitoring changes in public attitudes – in-depth surveys that over the years consistently asked subjects how happy they feel, how they spend their time among a number of other questions.

Robinson and Martin found that the two sets of data largely coincided for most activities – with the exception of television.

From the General Social Survey, the researchers found that self-described happy people were more socially active, attended more religious services, voted more and read more newspapers. By contrast, unhappy people watched significantly more television in their spare time.

According to the study’s findings, unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people, after taking into account their education, income, age and marital status – as well as other demographic predictors of both viewing and happiness.

Data from time-diaries told a somewhat different story. Responding in “real time,” much closer to daily events, survey respondents tended to rate television viewing more highly as a daily activity.

What viewers seem to be saying is that ‘While TV in general is a waste of time and not particularly enjoyable, the shows I saw tonight were pretty good,’ ” Robinson says.

The data also suggested to Robinson and Martin that TV viewing was “easy.” Viewers don’t have to go anywhere, dress up, find company, plan ahead, expend energy, do any work or spend money in order to view. Combine these advantages with the immediate gratification offered by television, and you can understand why Americans spend more than half their free time as TV viewers, the researchers say.

Unhappy people were also more likely to feel they have unwanted extra time on their hands (51 percent) compared to very happy people (19 percent) and to feel rushed for time (35 percent vs. 23 percent). Having too much time and no clear way to fill it was the bigger burden of the two.

Martin likens the short, temporary pleasure of television to addiction: “Addictive activities produce momentary pleasure but long-term misery and regret,” he says. “People most vulnerable to addiction tend to be socially or personally disadvantaged. For this kind of person, TV can become a kind of opiate in a way. It’s habitual, and tuning in can be an easy way of tuning out.

Robinson JP, Martin S. What Do Happy People Do?. Soc Indicators Res. 2008 Dec;89(3):565-571   [Abstract]

Blackdog Institute Fact Sheet(pdf):  Happiness:

Happiness [PDF,146KB]

First Published Tuesday, 18 November 2008

OCD dice

Psychiatry Weekly 2008 Nov 17;3(37)

Sussman N.

The diverse clinical presentations of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) often lead to confusion when diagnosing patients with OCD-like symptoms. The dimensions of OCD, broadly defined, include forbidden thoughts; obsessions with symmetry and exactness and related ordering and arranging rituals, as well as counting and repeating rituals; contamination obsessions and washing compulsions; hoarding obsessions and compulsions. Trouble with making decisions, procrastination, and checking are other possible variables. Most experts agree that OCD is part of a cluster of disorders, such as tic disorders, trichotillomania, and body dysmorphic disorder.

Three recent studies provide important new insights into the underlying brain circuits involved in OCD, and how these correlate with clinical presentations.


Famous Obsessive-Compulsives

Famous People with OCD:


Medical Pieces

Deep Brain Stimulation Shows Promise Treating Severe OCD

OCD affects 2 percent of the population and is the number four psychiatric pathology in terms of frequency following phobias, substance abuse disorders, and depression.

The people affected are obsessed with cleanliness, order, and symmetry, or are overcome by doubts and irrational fears.

In order to reduce their anxiety, they carry out rituals of tidying, washing or verification for several hours a day in the most serious cases.

These signs reflect major suffering and a serious handicap that often last for years, and should not be confused with obsessive, perfectionist and meticulous personality traits.

One third of patients are resistant to the usual treatment, a combination of cognitive behavior therapy and antidepressants such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Hypotheses centering on a dysfunction of the striato-pallido-thalamo-cortical cerebral circuits have in the past encouraged experimental attempts at psychosurgical treatment involving the destruction of certain parts of the incriminated cerebral areas or of their connections in patients with the most serious cases.

But the efficacy of these trials, which were never evaluated in a rigorous manner, is unclear because of uncertainty in the choice of the cerebral targets. Furthermore, the lesion is irreversible and thus open to criticism from an ethical standpoint.

More recently some neurosurgery teams have tried to reproduce the effect of the lesions using the deep brain stimulation technique. Despite interesting observations, a serious lack of precision concerning the choice of the target was reported.

Deep brain stimulation involves implanting two electrodes in the brain and connecting them to a stimulator implanted under the skin. This stimulator acts as a pacemaker, delivering a direct electrical current which modulates the sequences of abnormal signals emitted by the target brain region. The electrodes each contain 4 different contacts spaced two millimeters apart and each contact can be stimulated independently of the others. This technique has been used with success since the end of the 1980’s in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

In order to propose a reliable therapeutic alternative for the most severe forms of OCD, French researchers from INSERM (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) chose a different approach focusing on a small area of the brain that is involved in motor disturbances in Parkinson’s Disease (the subthalamic nuclei).

Stimulating it led to a substantial reduction in behavior disorders in two Parkinson’s patients. In such patients the insertion of an electrode at the center of the subthalamic nucleus eliminates motor disturbances. But when the site of the stimulation is shifted by a few millimeters, changes in the psychic state and behavior of patients are observed.

They may for example become hyperactive, insomniac or irritable. If the contact is changed again, these effects disappear. Previous research by Luc Mallet and his colleagues demonstrated that depending on the precise localization of the electrode, one of the various aspects of behavior, motor, social or affective, could be modified.

Deep cerebral stimulation was thus proposed as a therapeutic alternative for people with severe OCD that have not responded to pharmacological and psychological treatments. This technique has the advantage of being reversible. It also allows for precise adjustment of the various stimulation parameters (frequency, voltage, pulse duration) to obtain the best possible result.

Sixteen patients, divided among 10 French university hospital centers, were selected for surgical implantation of an electrode in each subthalamic nucleus. Over the course of 10 months, they were monitored by the doctors, psychiatrists and researchers involved in the study.

The electronic stimulator connected to the electrodes was activated and then deactivated in a randomized manner: eight patients underwent a period of active stimulation followed by a period of “placebo” stimulation while eight others received “placebo” stimulation followed by real stimulation. “This was a double blind test, i.e. neither the patients nor the doctors knew the periods of stimulation,” Luc Mallet explained.

The results were encouraging. After the surgery and at the end of 3 months of active stimulation, 7 of 10 patients showed a response to the treatment and an improvement in their condition with at least a 25 percent reduction in symptoms.

Evaluation of the efficacy of the treatment also focused on the capacity of the patient to return to normal family life, to form new social ties, or to go back to work. After 3 months of active stimulation, 60 percent of the patients reached satisfactory overall functioning with only moderate discomfort due to the illness. Only 12% of the patient group reached this level during the sham placebo stimulation.

Among the patients monitored, some experienced a return to a social, affective and professional life that had been abandoned for years because of the illness,” Luc Mallet said.

Deep brain stimulation was also trialed with a small group of Tourettes syndrome patients. Tourette syndrome is the resultant of a joint dysfunction of the limbic territories and the basal ganglia. This disease is characterized by motor and vocal tics. In patients with the most severe forms, medication has no effect.

Three people benefited from the deep brain stimulation technique. The electrodes were implanted in the limbic zones of 2 deep structures, a nucleus of the thalamus and the internal globus pallidus, in order to compare their respective efficacy in a double-blind protocol. The best results were obtained by stimulating the anterior part of the internal globus pallidus, with improvement in symptoms on the order of 70 percent.

Prolonged monitoring of patients ( of 6 years for the first patient to undergo the procedure) shows that the effects are maintained over time, allowing them to resume working and to have a normal social life.

A multi-center trial is now in progress on a larger number of patients. The researcher team will try to determine if this treatment can become a therapeutic option that is usable outside of a research setting.

This research demonstrates the considerable therapeutic potential of deep brain stimulation. When applied with precision, it allows for fine regulation of neuronal systems, the dysfunctions of which lead to pathological repetitive behaviors in humans.

While the INSERM researchers have shown that deep brain stimulation is effective in treating the most severe forms of obsessive compulsive disorder they caution that it is still an invasive technique with all the risks inherent in any neurosurgery. They also advise that the results require further evaluation and refinement of the stimulation parameters.

Mallet L, Polosan M, Jaafari N, et al. Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation in Severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. NEJM 2008 Nov;359:2121-2134   [Abstract]

Welter ML, Mallet L, Houeto JL, et al. Internal pallidal and thalamic stimulation in patients with Tourette syndrome. Arch Neurol. 2008 Jul;65(7):952-7.   [Abstract]

Cognitive Behavioral Sequence


Psychiatry Weekly 2008 Nov 10;3(36)

Andrea Allen, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) comprises many different therapies-behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and rational emotive therapy-that generally share the same philosophy and foundational principles.

One of the most basic assumptions these therapies share is that emotional reactions come from our interpretations of events, not from the events themselves,” says Dr Andrea Allen. “An ordinary event can seem like a catastrophe to a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) because of how they’re interpreting it.


Treatment gains are maintained after discharge from intensive residential treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder: Presented at ADAA

By Mary Beth Nierengarten

SANTA ANA PUEBLO, NM — March 15, 2009 — Treatment gains achieved during intensive residential treatment of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are maintained 6 months after the patient is discharged, according to trial results presented here at the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) 29th Annual Conference.


Copyright (c) 1995-2009 Doctor’s Guide Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.

The ABC’s of OCD Treatment for Kids

by Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.
March 28, 2009

Parents of children with OCD or symptoms of OCD want to help their kids get the best and most effective treatments. There are many options with many different names. For example in the treatment of OCD, we hear about CBT, BT, EXRP, ERP, E & RP. Professionals love initials! So how does a parent without a doctorate degree in psychology make an informed decision about what treatment to seek?

There is a large body of scientific literature that discusses evidence based psychotherapies for children. Despite the various names, settings, and formats, treatments that work often have common theoretical bases. In other words, whether the treatment is called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), BT (behavioral therapy), or one of the many initial permutations of Exposure and Response Prevention (EXRP, ERP, or E & RP), all of these treatments use elements of learning theory as a core foundation. The most widely studied and frequently used technique for treating OCD is exposure and response prevention.

Helping a child with OCD usually includes educating the parent about the disorder. Seeing a child once a week for therapy is seldom sufficient for eradicating OCD. That’s why parents will benefit from learning about how their own behaviors can influence their child’s symptoms. If your child is receiving therapy, the therapist is likely to show you exactly how these principles may be used to understand and help your specific child. Here are a few points based on learning theory the therapist may discuss depending upon an analysis of your child’s OCD:

  • Positive reinforcement: When a child behaves and the parents give positive reinforcement the behavior will increase. For example, although most parents generally wouldn’t do this, if a child with OCD washes her hands for long periods of time and her parent tells her what a good job she is doing, this behavior is likely to increase. That’s because for most children, praise is a positive reinforcement. Other positive reinforcements can include hugs, treats, or special time together.
  • Negative reinforcement: Negative reinforcement occurs whenever an action results in the cessation of an unpleasant, aversive event (stimulus). So when a child throws a temper tantrum (an unpleasant event) and the parent caves in, the parent has just been negatively reinforced for giving in. This fact makes it hard for parents to resist caving in (because they get reinforced, although negatively, for doing so).
  • Response cost: This is a principle that decreases behavior. Response cost involves taking something pleasurable or valuable away once a behavior has occurred. This might include losing cell phone or computer privileges for an older child or a toy for a younger child. Time out is considered a response cost as is getting a fine for driving too fast.
  • Extinction: When a behavior occurs and nothing happens at all, the behavior will decrease. This principle is the key to exposure and response prevention–the primary treatment for OCD. When a child with OCD is asked to expose himself to his OCD triggers and not do what he feels compelled to do (the compulsion), his level of distress will likely go up for a little while. But when nothing good or bad happens, this level of distress will eventually go down. Therapists are likely to conduct exposure and response prevention with your child and may suggest that you carry out practice ERP sessions at home as well.
  • Modeling: Children learn by watching others. The most influential models for behavior are the people that children live with, usually the parents. If you don’t want your child to learn to be aggressive, then don’t act aggressively in front of him. If you don’t want your child to pick up habits such as excessive worry, try to not model excessive worry. In some cases parents may need to get therapy for their own issues to minimize modeling effects on their kids.

Again, OCD is a complex disorder with multiple causes including biology, genes, learning, and the environment. Regardless of its origins, therapists can teach parents how to augment the therapy process with the principles above.

Related Posts

Source:  http://blogs.psychcentral.com/anxiety/2009/03/the-abcs-of-ocd-treatment-for-kids/

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents

By John Hauser, M.D.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood and is seen in as many as one in 200 children and adolescents. OCD is characterized by recurrent obsessions and/or compulsions that are intense enough to cause severe discomfort. Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses or images that are unwanted and cause marked anxiety or distress. Frequently, they are unrealistic or irrational. They are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems or preoccupations. Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or rituals (like hand washing, hoarding, keeping things in order, checking something over and over) or mental acts (like counting, repeating words silently, avoiding). In OCD, the obsessions or compulsions cause significant anxiety or distress, or they interfere with the child’s normal routine, academic functioning, social activities or relationships.

The obsessive thoughts may vary with the age of the child and may change over time. A younger child with OCD may fear that harm will occur to himself or a family member, for example an intruder entering an unlocked door or window. The child may compulsively check all the doors and windows of his home after his parents are asleep in an attempt to relieve anxiety. The child may then fear that he may have accidentally unlocked a door or window while last checking and locking, and then must compulsively check again.

An older child or a teen-ager with OCD may fear that he will become ill with germs, AIDS, or contaminated food. To cope with his/her feelings, a child may develop “rituals” (a behavior or activity that gets repeated). Sometimes the obsession and compulsion are linked; “I fear this bad thing will happen if I stop checking or hand washing, so I can’t stop even if it doesn’t make any sense.”

Research shows that OCD is a brain disorder and tends to run in families, although this doesn’t mean the child will definitely develop symptoms. Recent studies have also shown that OCD may develop or worsen after a strep infection. A child may also develop OCD with no previous family history.

Children and adolescents often feel shame and embarrassment about their OCD. Many fear it means they’re crazy. Good communication between parents and children can increase understanding of the problem and help the parents appropriately support their child.

Most children with OCD can be treated effectively with a combination of psychotherapy (especially cognitive and behavioral techniques) and certain medications for example, serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs). Family support and education are also central to the success of treatment. Antibiotic therapy may be useful in cases where OCD is linked to streptococcal infection.

Seeking help from a child and adolescent psychiatrist is important both to better understand the complex issues created by OCD as well as to get help.

Avoiding Avoidance

by Charles H. Elliott, Ph.D.
April 3, 2009

Real estate agents are fond of saying that their field can be distilled into three words: location, location, location. When it comes to anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), we turn to three words to capture much of the problem as well: avoidance, avoidance, avoidance. People with all types of anxiety disorders generally feel driven to do everything they can to stay away from events and thoughts that tend to trigger their anxiety. In doing so, they hope to keep their anxiety and distress at bay.

And this approach works. So what’s the problem? Although avoiding what disturbs you provides relief, that relief is fleeting. And that short moment of relief ends up making you feel even more desire to avoid feeling anxious the next time. An example may help.

Ralph is a twenty four year old computer technician. He’s had contamination OCD since he was a teenager. His OCD started with worries about becoming ill from touching doorknobs. So he developed strategies for avoiding such germs; he would wear gloves, spray knobs with disinfectant, or use his shirttail to open doors. Each time he used one of these avoidance techniques he experienced brief relief. But then he started to worry about contamination from faucets, toilets, and steering wheels on cars. He used similar strategies for these new worries and felt momentary relief each time he succeeded in avoiding contact with his fears. But as the years went by, his relief experiences encouraged him to look for more sources of conceivable contaminations to avoid. His life became unglued when his concerns turned to computer keyboards, mice, and touch screens. Without treatment, Ralph’s future looks worrisome as he becomes more and more avoidant.

That’s what avoidance does to you. It makes your world smaller and fosters your fears. The more you avoid, the worse things get.

That’s why successful treatment for OCD (and other anxiety disorders) rests largely on the antithesis of avoidance–exposure and response prevention (ERP). ERP gradually guides people to come into direct contact with the things that disturb them or arouse their anxiety. At first exposure escalates feelings of distress. But with continued work, that anxiety decreases. Your world gets larger. We’ll explain more about the “response prevention” part in a subsequent blog soon.

However, if you have serious OCD or anxiety, don’t try ERP on your own. Get the guidance of an experienced mental health professional that can show you exactly how to proceed. The great news is that ERP can be extremely effective. In future blogs we’ll tell you about some other ideas for working on anxiety and OCD, but exposure techniques typically make up the foundation of most approaches.

Source:   http://blogs.psychcentral.com/anxiety/2009/04/avoiding-avoidance/#comments

By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
September 26, 2003

Learn more

The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by the presence of recurrent, intrusive thoughts, impulses, or images (obsessions) or repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions). Symptoms include fear of contamination; excessive hand-washing; persistent, exaggerated thoughts of imaginary danger; and compulsive checking and counting rituals. Such symptoms can become so time-consuming and debilitating that they may have devastating consequences.

Research has established that a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy is the optimal treatment for OCD. Bruce Hyman and Cherry Pedrick have created an intensive, self- directed program that teaches a person with OCD how to block or postpone rituals, reduce fears, and change unhealthy thought patterns. Included are self-assessments, ways to enlist the help of family and friends, and approaches to overcoming specific disorders.

Softcover, 198 pages.

Psych Central’s Recommendation: Worth Your Time! +++

Source:   http://psychcentral.com/lib/2003/the-ocd-workbook/

“The School of OCD”
Books & Resources

Touch and Go Joe
An Adolescent’s Experience of OCD
Author:  Joe Wells

Breaking Free from OCD:  A CBT Guide for Young People and Their families
Authors:  Jo Derisley, Isobel Hayman, Sarah Robinson and Cynthia Turner
Illustrated by Lisa Jo Robinson

From Thoughts to Obsessions:  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents
Author:  Per Hove Thomsen

Washing My Life Away:  Surviving Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Author:  Ruth Deane

Brain Physics: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & Spectrum Disorders Resource

OCD Action, UK

OCD Ireland

Mayo Clinic, OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Foundation

Children of Compulsive Hoarders
Latest Research

“OCD: WSU Researcher Finds Connection Between Brain Chemical and Anxiety Disorder”:

“Abstract: Successful Treatment of OCD with a Micronutrient Formula Following Partial Response to CBT(A Case Study):

“Abstract: A Pilot Study of Telephone CBT for OCD in Young People”:

“Abstract: Childhood Neuropsychological Deficits Associated With Adult OCD/DBS For OCD: Reviewing The Evidence And Proceeding With Care”:

“WSU Prof Ties Chemical to Obsessive Disorder”:

“OCD: A Review”:

“Abstract: Acute Changes in Obsessions and Compulsions Following Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercise Among Patients with OCD”:

“OCD, Phobias Etc: Brain Power ~ New Techniques in Brain Surgery Mix Hope With Risk”:

” Holiday Anxiety and OCD Exposed”:

“Personality Disorders: OCD Article”:

“Obsessive Driving Fanatics Are Prone To Drive Aggressively”:

First Published Tuesday, 18 November 2008

adolescent depression

School-Based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Adolescent Depression: A Benchmarking Study

Shirk SR, Kaplinski H, Gudmundsen G.

The current study evaluated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for adolescent depression delivered in health clinics and counseling centers in four high schools. Outcomes were benchmarked to results from prior efficacy trials.

Fifty adolescents diagnosed with depressive disorders were treated by eight doctoral-level psychologists who followed a manual-guided, 12session, individual CBT protocol. Referred adolescents presented with high rates of comorbidity, traumatic experiences, and prior suicide attempts.

Posttreatment response to school-based CBT (64%) was comparable to results obtained in efficacy trials. On average, symptom reduction in this school-based study was similar to prior efficacy trials, exceeded results from an efficacy trial using the original manual, and exceeded results from a prior school-based CBT trial. Examination of predictors of symptom change and treatment response showed that life stress, trauma history, and depressive symptom severity were negatively associated with outcomes.

Results suggest that school-based CBT is a relatively robust treatment for adolescent depression across gender, age, and ethnic groups as well as for adolescents with varied patterns of comorbidity.


First Published Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Rosie King

Published Date:
18 November 2008

A CHILDREN’S book about disabilities helped a girl diagnose herself with Asperger’s syndrome aged just ten.

Rosie King, from Wakefield, recognised her own symptoms as she read the book about autism Little Rain Man.

She had been given the book to help her understand the condition her six-year-old brother Lenny had been diagnosed with when he was two.

Her parents, Sharon, 38, and Richard, 43, did not know that Rosie found it hard to identify facial expressions and to make friends. But when she read the book she told her mum that’s what she felt too.

Part-time lunch supervisor Sharon said: “We were reading the book together, and when it came to a section on Asperger’s Rosie blurted out ‘I think this might be me’.

Check out the weather in Leeds with our daily video forecast.

“We couldn’t believe it. It all started to make sense. We always knew Lenny was autistic, since he was diagnosed when he was really young.

“Their behaviours are completely opposite to one another, Lenny barely says a word and is very awkward around people, and lacks any social intent, whereas Rosie has always been highly sociable.”


The book, written by Karen Simmons, is told from the perspective of an autistic child, named Jonathan.

Sharon said: “Rosie could be a little peculiar, but more than anything we thought she was just a very sociable and happy child.”

Rosie’s little sister, Daisy, eight, has Kabuki syndrome – a rare condition that produces developmental abnormalities.

Sharon and civil engineer Richard took Rosie to see a speech therapist, child psychologist and behavioural therapist.

Rosie was officially diagnosed with mild Asperger’s Syndrome in August last year.

The condition is an autistic disorder which can cause communication and emotional problems.

Sharon said: “Some children with Asperger’s find it very difficult to communicate with people around them but Rosie is so inquistive and always wants to know what’s going on around her.”

Rosie said: “I want to make a film and then become an inventor. I have also written 11 books and I love art. I like having Asperger’s, it makes me different and gives me a great imagination.”

Source:  http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/wakefield-news/Wakefield-girl-of-10-diagnoses.4702038.jp

First Published Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Anti-Bullying Week

“People see that people with autism are different and just because they are different, they start teasing them. This man in a wheelchair came in [to our school], he gave us this little phrase to remember: ‘It’s OK to be different’.” Harry, age 11*

This week is anti-bullying week. Its theme this year is ‘Being different, belonging together’ and, as a member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, we’re challenging people to think positively about the differences that make us all unique. Watch our short film about the impact bullying can have on the lives of people with autism and send the link onto people you know.

We also have a range of information and resources for people who have been affected by bullying. Visit www.autism.org.uk/bullying

School can be a confusing and difficult place for children with autism.  Many have told us that they find it difficult to fit in and make friends and, unfortunately, many have been bullied. Yet the understanding and support of individual teachers, friends and support staff can make a huge difference to the lives of individual children.

Together, we can increase understanding of autism and make a positive difference to children’s and young people’s lives.

*Not his real name.

Related resources

Relevant areas/articles elsewhere on this website

External links

Autism facts

DURING National Anti-Bullying Week (Nov 17-21), the Rotherham branch of the National Autistic Society would like to highlight the shocking fact that over 40% of children with autism are bullied at school. The impact can often be devastating.

Autism is more common than most people think, affecting over half a million people in the UK.

Increasing understanding of this disorder is the first step to ensuring people with autism can enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the rest of society.

As the parent of a child with autism, I urge your readers to visit www.think-differently.org.uk to learn more.

Russell Wells, Branch Officer, NAS Rotherham Branch

Source:  http://www.thestar.co.uk/letters/Shout-loudest—.4704236.jp

1. Johnny left…

Friday, 5 November 2010 6:50 pm :: http://www.wix.com/speakuptoyourteacher/

Hello, I have an anti bully website that may help your readers which has many free resources for children and teachers to use along with fun educational games and free downloads as well as showcasing my anti bully program. It also has a free 16 page animated anti bully book which can be viewed by clicking on the boy bottom right of my home page where it says… kids help. I just thought that it may be something of interest to everyone out here to help them combat bullying behavior in our schools. I hope you enjoy my free resources and visiting my website. Many thanks Kind regards Johnny.

website: http://www.wix.com/speakuptoyourteacher/order-page

2. Julie left…

Sunday, 7 November 2010 7:23 pm

Johnny, just took a look at your site and the work you’ve been doing. Absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this.

First Published  Wednesday, 19 November 2008

More than a third of schools are not giving pupils a good education, inspectors have warned.

One in ten 11-year-olds is still leaving primary school without reaching the level expected of their age group in English and maths, Ofsted’s annual report found.

And more than half of England’s teenagers are still leaving school without five good GCSEs, including English and maths.

In her third annual report, Chief Inspector of Schools Christine Gilbert said England must do better if it is to compare favourably with the rest of the world.

She said she was concerned that there was still too much variation in achievement between different areas of the country. Poor quality services existed across the education and care sectors, for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Poorer children, such as those who qualify for free schools meals, were still less likely to achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths, than their peers.

In 2007, only 21% of children on free school meals achieved this benchmark, compared with 49% of other pupils.

Ms Gilbert said there was a strong link across every sector between deprivation and poor quality services. But she added it was possible to “buck this trend” and there were examples of places that were outstanding.

The report covers the first full year of Ofsted’s new wider remit – they now inspect and regulate social care, children’s services, adult learning and skills, as well as schools and childcare.

It found improvements in school standards, with 15% of schools judged to be outstanding, up slightly from 14% last year. In primaries that figure was 13% while in secondaries it was 17%. But more than a third of schools (37%) were found to be not good enough – given a rating of “satisfactory” or “inadequate”.

Source:  http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20081119/tuk-schools-are-failing-pupils-report-6323e80.html

Yesterday in Parliament

Educational provision for children with autism
Ministers were warned by the children, schools and families select committee chairman, Barry Sheerman, (Huddersfield) to “pull their fingers out” and take action over educational provision for children with autism. Junior children minister Sarah McCarthy-Fry replied: “I take on board the comments that you made. But it is important that we get it right and I think that getting it right is more important than rushing in with something that might not get it right.”

Source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/nov/18/houseofcommons-lords

Baroness Warnock gives lecture on education for children with special needs

Baroness Warnock captured the minds of a capacity crowd with her recent public lecture ‘the ideal of inclusion’ held at the University of Reading’s Madejski Lecture Theatre. Organised by the University’s Institute of Education who, with support from the Teacher Development Agency (TDA) are running an 18 month project focusing on Special Educational Needs (SEN), the free lecture focused on Baroness Warnock’s 1978 Report that radically changed the thinking behind this important and often contentious form of learning.

(Media-Newswire.com) – Baroness Warnock captured the minds of a capacity crowd with her recent public lecture ‘the ideal of inclusion’ held at the University of Reading’s Madejski Lecture Theatre.

Organised by the University’s Institute of Education who, with support from the Teacher Development Agency ( TDA ) are running an 18 month project focusing on Special Educational Needs ( SEN ), the free lecture focused on Baroness Warnock’s 1978 Report that radically changed the thinking behind this important and often contentious form of learning.

Under the 1944 Education Act, children with special educational needs were categorised by their disabilities defined in medical terms. Many children were considered to be “uneducable” and pupils were labelled into categories such as “maladjusted” or “educationally sub-normal” and given “special educational treatment” in separate schools.

Baroness Warnock’s report introduced the idea of SEN and an inclusive approach, based on common educational goals, for all children regardless of their abilities or disabilities: namely independence, enjoyment, and understanding.

Professor Andy Goodwyn, Head of the University’s Institute of Education said: “We are honoured and extremely grateful to Baroness Warnock for presenting such an entertaining and informative lecture. This is just one of many events we are holding for this important project, which aims to highlight and discuss the vital issues surrounding the education of children with special needs.”

As part of the Institute’s focus on SEN, Professor Tony Charman will present a lecture about autism on 3 March 2009, and then on 19 November 2009 Professor Maggie Snowling will speak on dyslexia. Both are internationally well respected experts in their field.

Source:  http://media-newswire.com/release_1079525.html

Whitetail in snow


“Special school staff investigated”:


“Investigation: Doctors turning away autistic children”:


“Anger over ban on vulnerable man”:


“Justice system fails vulnerable”:


“Betraying the disabled”:


“Fed complaint filed over dog for NYC autistic boy”:


William Stillman “Demonstration lets you get ‘inside’ autism and see what it’s like”:


Jeddah ~ Autism, Reality & Future “Forum sheds light on new methods in autism care”:


“Rickets returns to Birmingham … The Victorian children’s disease of rickets has made a shock return to Birmingham after decades of lying dormant, public health bosses have revealed. Measles and mumps swept through communities, killing thousands in the Victorian era, and Midlands cases have surged over a decade, partly due to false claims the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine was linked to autism.”:


“Autism help for social care professionals”:


“Autism2008 – the world’s biggest online autism conference – opens on November 24, 2008”

“OCD Conference 2008”:


“First ever NAS reception at 11 Downing Street”:


Gary McKinnon “Hacker loses latest fight over extradition”:


“Alleged computer hacker Gary McKinnon could serve sentence in UK jail”:


“PM urged to intervene over hacker suspect”:


“McKinnon turns to internet fame in extradition battle”:


“Justice should punt McKinnon”:


Controversial Debate, London “Should we want to cure autism?”:


“UK autism campaigner Lee Scott MP shortlisted for e-Politix Disability Award 2008”:


“Blind pilot guided to land by RAF”:


“Man develops mobile phone satnav system to help guide the blind”:


“Wacky vids for deaf are web hit”:


VIDEO “The teenage rock band formed at a school for deaf children”:




“Lecture explores robots, autism”:


“Supercomputers unlock brain’s secrets(includes photo gallery)”:


“Dangers of cod liver oil”:


“Optic nerves regrowth raises hope for blind”:


“Is cognitive therapy the answer?”:


“Warning over untested web cures”:


“Researchers find link between nicotine addiction and autism”:


“Ouch! Q & A: Depression”:




“Around the world, parents of autistic children are fighting to give them a future”:


“New report: Schools are failing pupils”:


“Clarity in autism approach”:


New Report “Why don’t you understand?: The difficulties of teaching autistic children”:


“One in six school children in Scotland has learning difficulty”:


“Homeschooling the middle school years”:


“Baroness Warnock gives lecture on education for children with special needs”:


“Special Sensory Room helps autistic students in Michigan classroom”:


“Well done Torfield School”:


“Speaking up to help Max”:


“Parents want children to get higher education they missed”:




Position Available “Chair of the Board of Trustees, Adepta”:


Position Available “Director of Children’s Services”:


Position Available “Development Director, The Autism Trust”:


Position Available “Subject Leader: Learning Support Leading on Literacy”:


“MP backs Autism Cymru at Westminster”:


“Backing for Glencraft future plan”:


UK: NAS Prospects Employment Service “Employment training courses for autistic adults”:


Individuality, Diversity, Equality, Achievement

Auties..org is an Aspie & Autie friendly site for all people on the Autistic Spectrum who are ready to dare reach out to occupation and employment, open the doors to the community and market their abilities directly to the public and for those interested in supporting these pioneers. http://www.auties.org/


Linking job seekers with vacancies in work related to autism, Aspergers and ASDs

“Current job vacancies within the NAS”:

For further employment information, please view”:



Archived “What Asperger’s syndrome has done for us”:


Archived “The Holocaust and Disabled People”:


“Soldier is facing Taliban threat”:


VIDEO “Charity helps autistic child”:


“After 17 years I’ve only just learnt why my Annie is so different”:


“Tinnitus: a whistling and distorted nightmare”:


“Dogs make you healthy – official”:


“Disabled West Cumbrian teen Ana aiming to be an inspiration”:


“Choices limited for those with disability”:


Blue Icelandic Iceberg


Flag of Iceland

“Flag of Iceland”



3 grass-roofed houses

“Umsjonarfelag einhverfra”


Biggest guyser in Iceland

“Around Iceland”


Secret horse spotting place on the fjord

Archived “Icelandic director starts work on autism documentary”


Jokulsarlon glacier lake

“Travels and Tribulations in Iceland”


Gorgeous sunrise in Iceland

“Iceland’s Heated Debate: Photo Gallery


Iceland's Flying Viking

“Iceland: Power Struggle”


Viking Village, Iceland

“Iceland – Introduction(includes a wealth of resources), Land of Fire and Ice, Icelandic Vikings”




Includes Audio “Diagnosis can miss ADHD symptoms in girls”:


“MHAPC presents educational program”:


“Large deformation diffeomorphic mapping reveals brain abnormailities in ADHD”:


“Early onset approved for ADHD drug – Focalin XR”:


“Gluten/Celiac, Migraine, & ADD/ADHD connections 1”:


“Aripiprazole in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder”:


“UNT to test ADHD treatment with amino acids, B-vitamins”:


“Canteens to look at effects of slushies”:


“Injuries link to ADHD diagnosis”:


Our objective is to promote awareness to AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) and to provide information and as much free practical help as we can to affected by the condition, both adults and children, their families in the UK and around the World via this website.

“ADDISS” The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service…



“hi2u ADHD Pages”:




“Racing star honoured in national rally event … The official charity for the rally this year is TreeHouse.

TreeHouse is the national charity for autism education. Its vision is to transform through education the lives of children with autism and the lives of their families.”:


“Top award for young javelin star”:


“The 5k Santa run – 7th December”:


“Flora London Marathon 2009”:


“It’s back! The London to Paris Bike Ride 2009”:


“Cycle India 2009”:


“Sahara Desert Trek – 8th-15th November, 2008”:

“Cycle China 2009 – 19th-29th March”:

“Trek the Inca Trail 2009 – 14th-23rd May”:

“Trek Jordan 2009 – 10th-14th September”:



The Sunbeam Music Trust “Eleanor Rigby worked as a maid on a ward where she slowly grew old, mystery solved”:


“Ladyhawke: ‘You have no idea what I have been through”:

“Vines singer’s mental health deteriorating”:


“Matt Savage on Wikipedia”:


“The Jazz of Matt Savage”:


“The AutisMusic Project”:




ARTIST: Rozagy

Rozagy is a musician, writer, artist and a Mother of two.Rozagy’s artwork from her “DON’T Demonise Autism!” series was recently displayed in a Birmingham museum and in private galleries. She currently fronts the Autism Awareness campaign with a song “Open Every Door” that was presented to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in Sept. 2007 to highlight the plight of Autistic people of Britain for better services and education. To view/purchase Rozagy’s art, you’ll click on her picture on page 2 of “Artists”, where you’ll find examples of her work.


Philippines “Colors of a Spectrum Photo Workshop – November 22”:


“Autistic artist having big year”:


“NAS Christmas cards”:


“ARTROOM ….where under 17s can make and display art online”:




“Autism-friendly film screenings coming to Cineworld on the Isle of Wight”:


“Mary McDonnell talks ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ ‘Battlestar Galactica” … She plays Dr. Virginia Dixon, a cardiac surgeon who begins a stint at Seattle Grace. The character also has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism that causes an inability to interact socially with others.

“This woman is really an excellent surgeon and a leader in her field, but she has a really interesting twist to her,” McDonnell says. “… It’s accompanied in her case by an inability, in a sort of normal social sense, to perform everyday functions easily that other people do quite easily.”:


“Disability: Beyond a Joke”:


“Director’s anger over comedy film’s ‘disability’ warning”:


“Actors for Autism”:



Book review “The House of Wittgenstein by Alexander Waugh”:


Book/Film – A Mother Like Alex “Grimsby link to wonder story”:


New “The Hidden Curriculum 2009 One-A-Day Calendar: Items for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations”

by Brenda Smith Myles with Megan Duncan


Coming Soon “Asperger Syndrome and Anxiety: A Guide to Successful Stress Management”

Author: Nick Dubin

Foreword by Valerie Gaus


Coming Soon “Fathering Your Special Child”

A Book for Fathers or Carers of Children Diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome

Author: Josie Santomauro

Illustrated by Carla Marino


Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows

New “Anne Droyd and the House of Shadows”

Author: Will Hadcroft


Kung Fu Panda


Kung Fu Panda(Now Available on DVD)

Synopsis – http://www.cineworld.co.uk/cinematheque/Cinematheque.jgi?FILM=26486&FILMPART=4856

Sonic Unleashed


Sonic: Unleashed

UK Release Date November, 30, 2008




New project aims to unite science and Hollywood


Danger Will Robinson!


“How to build robots we can trust”:


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating. For a listing of over 50+ interesting Thanksgiving websites … http://www.virtualquincy.com/quincy/holiday/thanks..html

Hope you enjoyed the read.

Till next time,

Take Care,


Icelandic canvas

1. Lenni left…

Saturday, 22 November 2008 10:09 pm :: http://www.thegirlwhospokewithpictures.c

After reading your blog, I thought you may be interested in Kim Miller. She’s an autistic artist. There is a website with her information on it: http://www.thegirlwhospokewithpictures.com/ill.html

2. Julie left…

Sunday, 23 November 2008 4:56 pm

Thanks Lenni – have just posted a feature page and will include Kim in the December 4 Newsletter.

First Published Sunday, 23 November 2008

Inspiring, Moving, Empowering: 2009 iRun Awards

The 2009 iRun Awards go to:

  • Paul Franklin
  • Joanne Gunning
  • Derek Modry
  • David Daze
  • Matt Hill and Stephanie Tait
  • Gary Gobeil
  • Ken Hill
  • Dina Salvador
  • Amanda and Mark Collis
  • Rob Tolman
  • Cheryl Bartmanovich
  • Alex Bain

  • Alex Bain, Oyster Bed Bridge, PEI

    iRun for Autism Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion.

    At the age of 20, PEI native Alex Bain’s unwavering dedication to running already sets him apart from most of his peers. Bain races almost every weekend. He has broken the 20-minute mark in the 5k and is very close to breaking 40 minutes in the 10k. He just completed his first full marathon in an impressive time of 3:29:29.

    But his age isn’t the only thing that’s special about Bain; he was diagnosed as autistic at the age of three. Today, a huge part of Alex’s motivation each time he laces up his shoes is to promote awareness about autism – and the fact that he, and many others like him, wish for acceptance, not a cure. “Autism makes me different from my friends,” says Bain. “That’s OK.” As his trademark yellow race t-shirt spells out, Bain is “Running For Autism, Not Against It.”

    In July 2006, Alex (accompanied by his mother, Janet Norman-Bain, who played both support crew and videographer) embarked on a run from tip-to-tip of PEI to raise money for autism awareness and risk and safety management. But even this challenge – he averaged between 20-25k per day – didn’t quite prepare him for what the last stretch of his marathon would feel like: Bain admits he hit the wall with 10k to go, “the first time I’ve done three hours of running.” Still, he exceeded his projected time goal by more than five minutes.

    Bain is no stranger to awards; he has also been crowned PEI RoadRunners Rookie of the Year, Junior RoadRunner of the Year and Inspirational Runner of the Year.

    Congratulations Alex! ~ Julie

    Source:   http://therunman.blogspot.com/2008/11/2009-irun-award-winner-alex-bain.html