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Is the World Ready for Autie-Friendly Brass Band Concerts?

Could autie-friendly brass band concerts catch on?

If you pop in to your local supermarket or discount store, some chain stores have what is known as an ‘Autism Hour’. Each Saturday from 9am to 10am, your local Morrisons store turns off the background music. The lighting is toned down to avoid sensory overload triggers.

Some cinema chains have Autism Friendly Screenings. In your local multiplex cinema, the adverts are cut; the sound is turned down a bit; and the lighting is set at an amenable level. Many of the films are family-friendly, which is good for younger people with autism spectrum conditions.

Continue reading “Is the World Ready for Autie-Friendly Brass Band Concerts?”
Former Burton Shop, Old Square

Tameside’s Autism Hour, 05 – 12 October 2019: Ashton Review of Shops Extra

Which Tameside shops are taking part in the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour?

If you have an autism spectrum condition, a trip to the shops can be a daunting prospect. One issue could be the bright lights, another could be the background noise. In a supermarket, even the sheer variety of items can be overloading.

As for the queues and the crowds, say no more… This eejit in his formative years used to squeal his way through department stores. Shoppers thought I was being mistreated when it was the bustle of John Moores’ most famous retail concern that drove me nuts. The background noise in Ashton’s Pound Bakery is enough to put me off from being a regular customer (the one in Hyde isn’t as bad for that).

Continue reading “Tameside’s Autism Hour, 05 – 12 October 2019: Ashton Review of Shops Extra”

The Return of Pablo: Series Two Starts Next Week

How the second series of Pablo will make thinking differently cool again

Was it really two years ago when Pablo hit the screens? On the 01 October, Paper Owl Films‘ and Kavaleer Productions‘ part-animated part-live action series broke new ground when it was aired on CBeebies and RTEjr. It is the first television series to look at life with an autism spectrum condition beyond the lazy clichés – and at a perspective that is appealing for adults as well as young children.

Continue reading “The Return of Pablo: Series Two Starts Next Week”
Ewing School Minibus Image

On The Road With Ewing School: Midweek Minibus Trips

A look at the weekly environmental excursions that were part and parcel of life at Ewing School in the 1980s

With the start of a fresh school year and an online reunion with a former fellow pupil, I too have ‘returned to school’ with this post.

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Around the Houses: A Look at My Co-Written Pablo Episode

Or: can you get a bus from Station Road to Market Street via Dizzy Heights and Dangerous Corner?

In October 2017, yours truly wrote about the start of a new series entitled Pablo. It is a part-animated and part-live action children’s television series by CBeebies and RTEJr. One that I have had the joy of contributing to alongside several other people with autism spectrum conditions. The first series began in October with 52 episodes spread out over a year.

Continue reading “Around the Houses: A Look at My Co-Written Pablo Episode”

Pablo: A Look at CBeebies’ and RTEJr’s Autie-Friendly Animation

Why Pablo draws upon the experience of people with autism spectrum conditions

Before I start this entry, I would like to declare an interest. Over the last year, the creator of this blog has been involved in the production of CBeebies’ and RTEJr’s exciting new children’s television series. Entitled Pablo, it is a groundbreaking new animation and live action programme aimed at children under five years of age and their parents. There will be 52 episodes over two series. The first episode of the first series was aired on CBeebies and RTEJr at 0900 today [02 October].

Continue reading “Pablo: A Look at CBeebies’ and RTEJr’s Autie-Friendly Animation”

Sleepless Near Settle: Sleeplessness And My Childhood

Or: Why the creator of this blog is very much a night person

SV and a Chaser: Sleepless Near Settle caption.

You will be wondering “why on Earth is The Chase’s Ann Hegerty in an East of the M60 article?” Well, the story behind this picture takes us to December 2014. After meeting her with (Tremendous Knowledge) David Rainford at The Water House in Manchester (in early 2013 after a Poetica event in City Library), I had finally got around to joining a local quiz team. Since the close of 2014, I have been involved in the quiz teams for The Wheatsheaf and The Lodge Hotel. Regular readers of this blog would know for sure the two pubs are in Dukinfield. Continue reading “Sleepless Near Settle: Sleeplessness And My Childhood”

Christmas Comes Early for Oldham Mother

Stagecoach Manchester awards carer announced as Greater Manchester’s Unsung Hero

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Amazed: Marie Carslaw on being presented her award.

Here’s a nice Christmas story for you regarding a charitable Oldhamer. That of full time carer, Marie Carslaw. In a Stagecoach Manchester competition, she has been announced as the region’s unsung hero. Continue reading “Christmas Comes Early for Oldham Mother”

The Autie Friendly Guide to Booking Taxis

From booking to boarding and tipping drivers

A useful primer on the joys of using minicabs and taxis for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions

If you’re the proud owner of a concessionary pass of some description, there’s every chance you’ll find it useful for accessing local services or your nearest shop. As part of any holiday or day trip, a boon for meeting people or seeing new attractions.

Sadly the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme (and its equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) does have some limitations. Firstly it cannot guarantee the prompt running of any bus service. Secondly, some pass holders may be in a bus dessert; for example rural areas without a service at all, or urban areas cut off at night time.

In some cases this leaves you with two options. Either a lift to and from your destination from a relative or carer. Or a taxi. This piece concentrates on the latter example. Continue reading “The Autie Friendly Guide to Booking Taxis”

From Grey-Green to Party Scene: Ashton Lad Turns Leyland Lynx to Fun Bus

Late-1980s vehicle converted to mobile playroom

When I was young, I quite fancied having a Leyland Atlantean outside my front door, so long as it was a GMT standard. The nearest I got was a collection of models, which takes up far less room. Probably a good thing because it would have rusted till I got my ‘L’ plates and PCV licence. (I still have neither).

Kudos to the teenage entrepreneur who has converted a single decker bus into a mobile playroom. Ben Laidler and his family from Ashton-under-Lyne purchased the 1987 Leyland Lynx, which previously saw usage as a tattoo parlour in Saddleworth. Continue reading “From Grey-Green to Party Scene: Ashton Lad Turns Leyland Lynx to Fun Bus”