Category Archives: autism

Accessibility should be part of everyday arts practice

The English National Ballet’s My First Coppélia makes use of symbol resources, which supports the inclusion of people with a communication difficulties. Photograph: ENB

For many children and young people, particularly those with learning difficulties, attending a theatre performance can be a confusing and stressful experience. Sara Ryan from the University of Warwick has described the experience of many parents taking their children into such public places as being “contingent, unsatisfactory and incomplete”.

‘If my disabled son still lived at home, I wouldn’t be here now’

In the summer of 1999, I was sitting on Whitby beach with my husband, Andrew, and our two-year-old toddler, Tom. There was a strong breeze that kept blowing sand into our ice creams, but the sky was bright blue, and the sun danced on the surface of the sea.

I didn’t know that the next day would bring a tsunami with it, one that would destroy the life I knew and leave me to rebuild a completely different one. I was only 24 weeks pregnant and my waters broke. Three days later, James was born weighing just 1lb 12oz, with extensive brain damage.

Disabled girl ‘lost in the system’ by Birmingham City Council for four years

Birmingham City Council “singularly failed” a disabled child “lost in the system” for more than four years, the Local Government Ombudsman has ruled.

A report said the authority failed to contact the girl’s mother from November 2006 to March 2011 to assess support payments.

It added social workers had not identified the girl’s “complex needs” and left her mother to raise her alone.

The council has agreed to pay £5,000 following the ombudsman’s report.