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Newsletter 7th April 2014

Spectrum Bloggers Network

Hello and welcome to the first Spectrum Bloggers Network Newsletter!

First of all, thank you very much to the bloggers who have so far joined the network and thank you all for taking time to check the blog. It is very early days but hopefully as word gets around we’ll develop a thriving community. Trying to get the ball rolling is always a tricky task, but hopefully word will get around over the next few months.

New blogs in the network this week. Please note that blogs that cover more than one SpLD will appear in more than one section.

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What we know about autism: Wendy Chung at TED2014

TED Blog

Wendy Chung. Photo: James Duncan Davidson Wendy Chung. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Wendy Chung of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative says that she is constantly asked the same question by parents: “Why does my child have autism?” It’s a question that plagues them whether their child has a severe form of autism, to the point of being non-verbal, or a mild one.

“Autism isn’t a single condition. It’s actually a spectrum of disorders,” says Chung. “And like it is a spectrum of disorders, it has a spectrum of causes.”

1 in 88 children is diagnosed with autism. But while it’s often called an epidemic, Chung isn’t so sure that it actually meets the criteria. She shows a graph of the number of diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder per year, and there does indeed appear to be a strong curve upwards, with the bars in recent years towering over those in the past. But this difference could be explained…

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Check out @marctolra96’s Tweet:

Is ‘Inclusion’ leading to Exclusion?

Do you speak Autism?

iphone 4s pics 154

I have made an (apparently) controversial choice regarding James’ transition to school this September. Despite attempts by various professionals to dissuade me, I am determined that James should go to a special school rather than our local mainstream primary.

The difficult thing about Autism is that two children with a diagnosis of ASD might have very different needs when it comes to education. However, approximately 70% of UK school age children with ASD do attend mainstream school, so I am seen to be going against the grain with my decision- especially since most children that attend a special school do not do so from their reception year. But it is not a choice I have made lightly; in fact, up until as recently as this week, I have agonised over it.

Having said this, hearing recent stories in the press that children with Autism are being denied education due a…

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