Carry On Live Streaming

No, this isn’t the title of a new Carry On film, but a quick look at some of the groups who benefit from church services being live streamed. When the UK went into the first lockdown at the start of the pandemic, something wonderful happened – churches closed the building’s doors and they started to live stream their services instead! Now, this may not sound hugely earth shattering, but online church services had been something that some in the disabled community had requested for many years. Sadly, the Church had often seemed reluctant to do it (saying it would be too complicated and difficult to do). Thanks to the pandemic live streamed church services are now happening each week. It’s not just the disabled community that has benefitted from churches live streaming their services though, there are several other groups too. Let’s have a brief look at them.

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What A Year It’s Been!

Photo of Lynnette sitting on a sofa with a studio light and video camera pointed towards her

A year ago today, I nervously hit the publish button and “2020 – A Positive Year?” launched this blog. At the time I didn’t know if I was any good at writing or whether anyone would be interested in reading anything that I wrote. As it turns out, people seem to like what I write! I still don’t know whether that means I’m any good at writing, although friends say I am (but they may be biased!). The blog has covered topics such as childhood bereavement, additional needs and mental health. So far it has had 2,647 views from 2,125 visitors from 40 countries – not bad for a newbie to this writing lark! I was also asked to write a guest blog for Growing Hope, a charity that provides free therapy for children and young people with additional needs. What else has happened in the last year though?

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Busting Ten Autism Myths

There’s a lot of myths about Autism that are out in society. My good friend Mark has a look at his top 10 myths. Have you ever said any of these? If you have, please stop and consider correcting the myths when you hear them instead

The Additional Needs Blogfather

There are an awful lots of Autism myths out there; most are ridiculous, some would actually be quite funny if they weren’t so harmful, but they do seem to somehow persist in the national consciousness. So, here’s my guide to the top ten Autism myths and how we can bust them:

  1. “We’re all ‘on the spectrum’ somewhere.” Autism is a neurodiversity, a different way of the brain being wired. You are either Autistic, or not; so no, you can’t be “A little bit Autistic.”
  2. “Children can grow out of it.” Autism is a difference hard wired into the brain. It is an integral part of who an Autistic person is and cannot be “grown out of” or “cured”. There are loads of ‘treatments’ and ‘therapies’ out there, but mostly they seem to be about trying to force an Autistic child to behave like a non-Autistic child; few are of…

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Taizé – A Different Style Of Church

Last month we found ourselves on a Eurostar train heading to Paris on our way to the Taizé Community. We were going out to help bring our daughter, Charlotte, and her belongings back to the UK after volunteering with the community for the previous 15 months. Taizé is an ecumenical Christian monastic fraternity and is very different from the church style that we’re used to. It was also my first trip abroad since the late 1980s, so how did we all get on?

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Dental Visit…Well, That Was Painless!

Picture shows a young man sitting in a dentist chair. He is wearing jeans, a t shirt and dark glasses. He has a paper towel placed on his lap

I think there probably aren’t many people who really enjoy going to see the dentist, but when you have autism it can make it even more stressful due to the many sensory experiences attached to the visit. These can include the noise of the equipment, hands and equipment touching you, bright lights and unexpected movement of the dental chair. This post is about a time when our son had a particularly positive visit to the dentist.

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“I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends”

Picture shows a wooden plaque with the words "I get by with the help from my friends" on it

I bought the wooden plaque in the photo when I visited Liverpool a few years ago. The words, of course, come from a Beatles song, but how true is it? Do I really only get by with a little help from my friends? I hate to disagree with the Beatles, but I think that I do far more than just get by thanks to my friends. They really do bring out the best in me, but how?

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When You Can’t Remember Your Childhood

If you have read my blog post “Childhood Bereavement – The Club I Didn’t Want To Join”, you’ll know that one effect that my Dad’s death had on me is that I have virtually no childhood memories before the age of 13. If I’m honest the memories for the rest of my childhood are fairly sketchy too! It feels like a shutter has come down on my childhood memories. This can be quite hard to live with, especially when others can seemingly talk quite freely about their childhood.

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Left Behind – Children With Additional Needs As We Emerge From The COVID-19 Pandemic

As we start enjoying more freedoms as pandemic restrictions ease, this isn’t going to be true for many disabled children and their families. My good friend Mark shares the findings from a recent report and the action we can take to help these families

The Additional Needs Blogfather

As part of its ongoing research partnership with Pears Foundation, the Disabled Children’s Partnership (DCP) of which I’m a member, surveyed roughly 300 parents in June 2021 in our final survey as part of the series. I had the privilege of being one of those parents. The findings, released today, reveal that whilst the rest of the population has been able to enjoy additional freedoms as pandemic restrictions have eased, disabled children and their families are struggling to heal the pandemic and remain cut off from the rest of society. This blog post shares the report finding and action required to make a difference.

The findings:
· Three quarters (71%) of disabled children have seen their progress managing their conditions reverse or regress due to the pandemic.
· Disabled children, their parents and their siblings remain more isolated than the rest of the population, with 9 in 10 disabled children…

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