May 2011

What a waste Just 6.4% of people with learning disabilities are in paid employment. That’s a stark statistic – and a shocking waste of financial (and human) resources. What can be done to tackle the issue? Take a look at this Guardian discussion

Spotting the early signs of autism Can a checklist which asks questions about a child's use of eye contact, sounds, words and gestures reliably identify children on the autism spectrum? More

On track? Using eye-tracking methods, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown that toddlers with autism spend significantly more time visually examining dynamic geometric patterns than they do looking at social images. This video shows an eye-tracking study of a toddler with autism. Video do people with autism literally see things differently? Recent research at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London is painting a picture of a unique way of ‘sensing’ the world.

What’s the evidence? WELD or Working with Evidence about Learning Disabilities is a blog with daily updates and debate aimed at health and social care professionals. There’s a recent interesting article about health inequalities in children with LD. Check it out. Blog

No stopping her! Lynn Hamel is one of the UK’s best cyclists. With plenty of achievements already on her palmarès she is tipped for the top. The difficulties of riding a bike at the top level are made that little bit harder by her Asperger syndrome. If her current achievements are not enough she’s also trying to break into children’s fiction! More

Give me a break Well if you are caring for a young person with autism in the UK you might actually get one. On 1 April 2011, a legal duty on Local Authorities to provide short break services to families of disabled children came into force. The good thing about the requirements is that breaks must be flexible i.e. at home, outside the home, evenings, weekends, holidays etc. Take a look at the law stuff. Here’s some guidance for Local Authorities.

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