Thank you to Southwark Council, Mr B in particular for organising 'Let's talk about Autism', conference yesterday. All of the speakers were amazing but the best speakers for autism are often those who can see through the world through neuro-diverse eyes.
Ros Blackburn is on the autistic spectrum and while not ice skating or trampolining she lectures around the country giving insight, hope and inspiration to those in the world of ASD. I would strongly recommend that schools invite Ros in to speak to their teachers, particularly schools with these new ASD units. I can't think of anything that would have greater impact when attempting to move school cultures than seeing Ros in full flow.
Her key themes involved loving quotes form her parents 'there is not such thing as can't, its can not yet!', and a powerful plea to push autistic children and not to compound their difficulties by sheltering them from the world.
This was followed by a mothers personal story which dramatically illustrated the impact of early intervention and then Dr John Biddulph closed with his own personal and professional story of Aspergers. His insight and celebration of autism as a variation on the rich diversity of human kind (definitely not to be confused with autistic people being an alien species!), was clear, profound and very funny.
If the aim of the day was to shift cultures and inspire hope and ambition for people on the spectrum then it did its job incredibly well. I hope others get to hear these speakers too!