Blog

Flow Unlocked: an interim reflection

Dr Georgia Pavloopoulou is an autism researcher specialising in family research and autistic mental health. She uses community based participatory methodologies[1] guided by the lifeworld of the participant [2]. Her recent study on the impact of COVID19 on family members of autistic people[3], showed how lacking society’s understanding is of #autistic lives and the wider autistic community. We have co-established FlowUnlocked to address this urgent issue.
Blog

My Attitude to Autism

“It would have been so easy,” Mum says, “just to say ‘oh, she’s Autie’, on so many occasions.” We’re talking about how Mum and Dad have pushed me through the years, not to be normal, but so I would do better on my own. We shared the same attitude towards parents who prefer to shelter …
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Worn Out

“Have a cup of tea.” Says a helpful voice, carefully placing a cardboard mug next to me on the grass floor. It’s the third festival I’ve been to with my Dad, by this time we have worked up a routine of starting our day in the comedy tent, theatre in the afternoon, then finding some …
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Normal

Normal is a state of equilibrium. I know this because of how much my life has changed just in the past two years - and how much it is set to change in the next five. I have a place to study at university in September, finishing my job in August, from university I plan to go into teaching - but who knows what state of 'normal' I will be in then. Since going into lockdown, there hasn't been a new 'normal' for me to stick to. Of course every week day has pretty much been the same, I have been surrounded by the same people and the same things - there is some consistency in my everyday experiences. But there is a questioning sensation in the back of my mind which is asking what this sort of 'normal' is, will it stay this way forever? What will happen once we go back to mingling with other people?
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I miss the Bustle

Here is the situation, I am not able to leave my house to work. That is the simple problem living in this situation.... Now, this is the longest I've gone without leaving the village. The trains can be heard rustling through the village, walks around the train line reveal the empty carriages. And I want that bustle again. The busy-ness of everyday life. This made up my normal.
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AUTISTIC TEEN SETS UP 3D PRINTING PRESS FOR PPE

An 18 year old autistic man has set up a 3D printing press to make PPE for healthcare workers. ... Having struggled to find work due to his inexperience, Jack was determined to find a way to help out during the crisis. The teenager taught himself to use the machinery through videos and articles online. "It only really becomes difficult when you have to start troubleshoot faulty printers or why something has gone wrong", he says.
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My experience with unemployment

My lockdown is proving to be a time for self-healing. After pushing myself to work in the wrong job, I feel I have gained clarity of thought and I can focus my effort in the direction I want to go. Getting through the working week sapped every ounce of energy, leaving me short-tempered, grouchy and bitter. Things aren't completely ideal right now, but I have a new direction in life that I am ready to run with post-Corona. Until then, I am grateful to have the mental energy to appreciate life and make more time for loved ones, as I look forward to a new normal.
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Parenting challenges in autistic households

It's Autism Awareness Month and for the 2.8 million people in the UK affected by autism, including children, adults and their families, the lockdown is incredibly tough. Along with uncertainty, upheaval and confusing messages, this vulnerable group of children are more likely to suffer long-term mental health problems as a result. Social distancing is a concept we are all coming to terms with, but for autistic children these new rules can often be especially challenging.