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Putting your legs up against a wall does wonders for your body and mind!

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An article by our well being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

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Putting your legs up against a wall does wonders for your body and mind!

Did you know that putting your legs up against a wall for a few minutes every day does absolute wonders for your body and mental health ?

Christmas is a beautiful and magical time of year but can be really stressful and difficult too, especially if you or your child are neurodivergent .

By simply resting your legs against a wall, the whole nervous system is calmed and soothed, stress is eased and the heart rate and blood pressure come right down and stabilise again.

Blood is pumped to our core instead of all our muscles if we or our child have or are about to hit that dreaded Red Zone.

The body calms and grounds itself. Everything settles down.

Ninety percent of our serotonin, the neurotransmitter of happiness, confidence and self-esteem, is in our gut. As well as tonnes of that completely delicious dopamine which is all about attention, focus, perspective , clear thinking and the gorgeous feeling of reward.

Lying like this helps all of that zoom up the vagus nerve to the brain, leaving us calm and refreshed.

This position also improves sleep and digestion as well as reducing headaches.

If you suffer with swollen ankles or varicose veins, it’s also wonderful for this too !

Almost anyone can do it, even if assistance is needed.

The only contraindication is if you are epileptic.

So I wish you a beautiful, relaxed and happy festive season and a wonderful New Year.

See you in 2023!!!

Lots of love, Giuliana xx

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/rainbow-kids-club/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/482455567249684/?ref=share_group_link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/?ref=share_group_link

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How hanging upside down stimulates the vestibular system – Giuliana Wheater

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An article by our well being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater and her video!

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Do you or your child need to always be on the go , have trouble sitting still & concentrating ,bump into things or other people ,constantly fidgets , can play “rough” or “not know their own strength “?

Are you or your child prone to acting impulsively?

These are all signs that the vestibular system is under active.

Kids with an under responsive vestibular system may display signs army school that are deemed “behavioural.”

Movement breaks such as hanging backwards over a large exercise ball. I think these should be in all classrooms for anyone to use.

So, what is the vestibular system?

Basically, it is one of our sensory systems, just like sight, smell or taste.

It is located in the inner ear and is all about movement and balance.

It also regulates our motor skills, coordination , posture, body awareness and spatial awareness.

Hanging upside down provides a powerful dose of stimulation which is necessary for PREVENTING SENSORY RELATED MELTDOWNS!!!

Isn’t that amazing?!

Kids who excessively seek vestibular input can have it seriously interfere with their daily functioning.

It is actually almost IMPOSSIBLE for a child whose vestibular system is unresponsive to sit still and concentrate at school.

The benefits of hanging upside down can last for HOURS!!

And benefit EVERYONE!

In fact if everyone did it in short increments throughout the day , what a difference it would make up emotional regulation, focus attention and productivity .

  1. The whole nervous system is regulated as the vestibular system provides unique input.
  2. It can be calming or alerting.
  3. PREVENTS MELTDOWNS
  4. Relieved back pain by taking pressure off the discs.
  5. It IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION .
  6. IMPROVED EMOTIONAL REGULATION.
  7. Improved ability to learn new information .

So whether it’s monkey bars, hanging off the edge of the sofa or a therapy/exercise ball or using an indoor trapeze , hanging upside down I’d scientifically proven to be good for you !!

And its great fun to see the world from a different perspective!

See you next week. Lots of love, Giuliana

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/482455567249684/?ref=share_group_link

https://www.facebook.com/groups/rainbowtherapieskidsandfamilies/?ref=share_group_link

 

 

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Setting Healthy Boundaries…

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An article by our Well-being Ambassador Giuliana Wheater

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Hello everyone,

We all get those days, don’t we , when as parents we are only human and meltdowns, overwhelm and outbursts of screaming and shouting really get to us . It pulls our hearts to pieces seeing our child communicating such frustration, anger or hurt.

We are always feeling that we could have done something to prevent it , could be doing more or better , and occasionally just hitting that meltdown ourselves .

All behaviour is communication but it can nevertheless be very hard to be that ship’s mast in a tsunami of emotion.

When you feel yourself become simply overwhelmed by it all , feeling like you need the space away from it too because you feel like crying, screaming and telling yourself , please know that all these feelings are normal .

Do not beat yourself up over it.

We all need to take a step back and breathe sometimes.

So what sort of things can we say when our child has just exploded and you all need that step away ?

Here are a few ideas that I’ve tried and have been really effective at times , both as a mother and also within schools or my private sessions.

  1. It’s ok to be upset but not to say hurtful things.
  2. It sounds like you need a bit of space. I am going to wait to listen to you when you’ve finished yelling.
  3. Could you please lower your voice/tone so that I can understand you ?
  4. Could you try to say it in a different way please?
  5. I hear and understand that you’re upset right now but it’s not ok for you to talk to me like this .
  6. Let’s take a break from our conversation for now and come back to it when you’re calmer.

In the meantime here are some strategies that your child might like to do during the “cooling off” to help them process these big emotions in a healthier way whilst still acknowledging them .

And to try to regulate those big emotions BEFORE they build up to meltdown, here is a small fun daily workout which will also get they all important serotonin and dopamine going!!

I really hope this goes some way to helping the whole family.

Take care everyone and see you next week.

Lots of love, Giuliana

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

https://youtube.com/@giulianawheaterrainbowkids6329

https://www.facebook.com/groups/482455567249684/?ref=share_group_link

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Step in the Right Direction – Autism Dance Day 2022

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Every year we celebrate Step in the Right Direction Autism Dance Day on the last Friday of April because of my love of dance throughout the years and in our first year we received UNESCO Patronage.

It was a fantastic success, and everyone was dancing across the country and overseas in schools, colleges, offices, youth clubs, warehouses, garages and in our lounge’s gardens at home in fact wherever we could find space we danced like no one was watching. We all know the positive benefits of dance for our children and adults on the autism spectrum and it’s so good for our mental health and well-being.

So, this year once again I am asking you to get your dancing shoes on and post your photos or videos of you dancing wherever you can find a space to celebrate dance and show the love. Everyone please join in share your moves and don’t be shy whoop!!!

T shirts and vests are available from www.bornanxious.co.uk.

For more news on this campaign, please click here.

#autismdanceday.

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Is That Clear? ‘Effective Communication in a Neurodiverse World’ by Zanne Gaynor, Kathryn Alevizos and Joe Butler

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A book review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

For me a book is not just about what’s inside, I am drawn to the cover front and back, and I go from there. The first thing that struck me about this book was the handy size, great and easy to hold, and a quick flick of the pages showed me the easy-to-read font and colour coded sections.

I just loved it straight away. So, reader friendly, straight forward to follow and the information is brilliant! It is so useful for so many areas, aimed at allistic people, it is a powerful resource which gives amazingly clear concise advice on how to better understand those on the autism spectrum. With better understanding comes more inclusion, greater communication, and acceptance.

The book is not overwhelming, which is important, the chapters are short clear, and give useful tips and advice for the perspective of an allistic individual.

Great for use by teachers, those within educational settings, speech and occupational health therapists, and all specialists linked with autism. In fact, I also think within work settings, it would be handy to have to hand. Those amazing companies who are inclusive and have staff with autism, having this book to hand could help in many situations. from the recruitment, HR, employing and throughout staffs’ length of service, including appraisals and review times.

Parents of newly diagnosed children would also find this incredibly helpful, and even myself as a parent of a child with autism, ADHD and more, thirteen years on from their diagnosis I’ve found things in the book that have made me stop and think … serving to remind me that we never stop learning.

Each section has practical action items to remind you at the end, making it easy to refer to at any time. Amazing book. Life is busy for all, which means in short, this book could quickly help in so many ways.

Love it!!!! Brilliant!! Grab yourself a copy ASAP.

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World Book Day 2022

an article by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

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It is the 25th Anniversary of World Book Day and this year the theme is being marked by the message “You are a reader”. The aim of the official day is to celebrate authors, books, illustrators, and readers. Although it is mainly geared towards a younger audience, I thought we could not let this day go by without celebrating it in our own way, whichever age group you fall into.

Over the past year, as a Charity Champion for Anna Kennedy, I have been authoring Book Reviews which have been shared here on our website. There have been a wide variety of different genres of books including, recipes, fiction and factual, all related to autism or inclusivity, with some incredible information and some amazing illustrations.

As this year’s theme is You are a reader, I wanted to open this up to include my interpretation particularly for the autism community. I wanted to make sure we make this inclusive, so as far as I am concerned, reading can also include following a story or information by way of looking at illustrations.

And indeed, many of us in the autism community have used Social Stories to help others understand different situations. Perfect therefore for us to join in celebrating the day in whichever way we choose!

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I would like to talk briefly about my two personal favourite books reviewed for 2021, being Mickeypedia by Mickey Mayhew and Burning Embers by L S Pullen.

Amazing books, two completely different genres, the first an amazing informative database of all things autism, and what a role model Mickey is – it is an absolute MUST read. The second an adult indie romance novel with a character on the autism spectrum respectfully introduced into the storyline – refreshing and heart-warmingly inclusive.

Both amazing books, both amazingly talented authors – do checkout our website articles below for their full book reviews with information on where to purchase them:

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https://www.annakennedyonline.com/mickeypedia-book-review/

 

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https://www.annakennedyonline.com/burning-embers-book-review/

 

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My current read is called ‘Is That Clear?’ by Zanne Gaynor, Kathryn Alevizes and Joe Butler, which will feature in my next book review for this month. It is so uniquely written; I love it already!

Then I already have a list of books to read which will feature in my book reviews coming soon, they include:

Both look amazing, and I totally love that each book I read concerning autism, disabilities, inclusivity, and more are always unique and will always be relatable to someone.

We are all so different just as each book author and illustration is, and that is part of the beauty that you can find within the pages of each book. Of course, not every book will fit with everyone, the magic and joy are to keep trying to find what YOU enjoy in books, whether that is the print on each page, the different font, the formats, pictures or the illustrations, the cover, even the title!

When I look for a new book, personally I am interested in the front cover, and then the brief synopsis on the back, that is what attracts my attention. Whereas our son Chris who is Autistic and ADHD, well he prefers a book with pictures like photos and illustrations so he can follow them along with text. We are all different, and that is the beauty, magic, and excitement I find within the pages of each book I read.

So, if you have a book relating to autism, disabilities, inclusivity or something you feel relatable to our Charity, please get in touch, send your book for my attention to our Charity Office address, and I will endeavour to add it on to my reading list – my book review will then be featured about your book on our website.  I am also interested in any Social Stories you may have to share too!

Any pictures you have also relating to World Book Day 2022 and Autism please tag us in if you feel comfortable; you will find our Charity Founder Dr Anna Kennedy OBE is on social media – click on the icons at the bottom of our website page. You will notice I purposefully did not focus on the tradition of dressing up for the day.

I am well aware that World Book Day in an educational setting where people are encouraged to dress up can be overwhelming for those with autism. Our son was never one to dress up, he found it all very confusing and uncomfortable, labels would irritate him, and the whole experience for him was not an enjoyable one.

Matching the book to the outfit, and the reasoning behind it did not make sense to him. For me, the day should be celebrated in whichever way YOU find suitable, whatever way YOU find it makes sense, and if it means just continuing as usual reading your book, or looking at pictures in it, then that is cool.

So, let us celebrate World Book Day in our own way – You are a Reader – that means whatever format you prefer, you go for it in your own way.

https://www.worldbookday.com/2021/09/world-book-day-2022-announcements/

Thanks for reading, Bev Guest

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Hattie and Friends ‘A Day at the Farm’ by Lesley Berrington
Illustrated by Karen Middleton

A Book Review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

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I was instantly drawn to this book having seen the front and back cover, respectively. Having read the synopsis on the back cover, I was truly curious to delve in as it explained how the series of books aimed to show how children of all abilities could enjoy a day out.

The book is particularly user friendly with clear type and beautifully colourful illustrations which as the book says, it serves to promote a positive inclusive image of disability for children.

The series is unique from anything I have ever read concerning disabilities in a fictional setting. Like many, you could find yourself looking at the illustrations and reading the text waiting for the disability to be mentioned or highlighted.

This is where the author has brilliantly got rid of the box so to speak and done things differently. And it is fabulous! I absolutely love how the story reads and although the illustrations may depict a disability, the story is very careful NOT to mention it. and that is the whole point!

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The story serves to prove that the day out is still a lovely day out INCLUSIVE of all. Disability is part of our everyday life, and the author has brilliantly ensured that her books visually include all types of characters. The characters are not defined by their disability, they are who they are.

By being able to see positive images of disability within a story, this encourages a message that shows acceptance, awareness and understanding of all. The author has succeeded beautifully in telling a story without highlighting a disability and how to incorporate it without making it the actual story. if you see what I mean.

This lovely story about a trip to a farm shows children that you can be friends with anyone regardless and have fun whatever. By introducing the disability via the character rather than highlighting it, it becomes an inclusive story which will positively encourage respectful attitudes.

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I loved this book in its whole entirety. and the ethos behind why the author has created these books is totally admirable. I would definitely recommend the whole series of these books by the author, to serve as positive role models to all children.

Primary schools and educational settings may also want to include them, as the author asks in the back of the book ‘How Inclusive is your Bookshelf?’ 

Absolutely fabulous! Beautiful book, glossy, clear, and concise, expertly illustrated, and inclusive. Love love it!

Buy your inclusive books from Hattie and Friends here; https://hattieandfriends.com/

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The Autistic Side of Love by Samuel Turner
A Book Review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

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I first met Samuel at our Charity Annual Autism’s Got Talent Show in 2021. I call it the Greatest Show on Earth and Samuel was amazing as one of the performers on stage singing ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ – the audience loved him he absolutely made us all smile and gave an uplifting performance. What a joy it was to have him there!

Then Samuel shared he had written a book. Multi-talented is Samuel – and I was so excited to read it and could not wait for it to arrive at our Charity office!

I have now had the great pleasure of reading his book and absolutely loved it. The format and font are very clear, making it user friendly for the reader to follow. The illustrations are also very clear and specifically relating to the story and text on each page.

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​The book is great for all other autistics, their families, and professionals in this field – it really is insightful into explaining quite literally ‘The Autistic side of Love.’

The book highlights how autism and love during the pandemic especially was hard.

The main character Markus was finding it tough and when a girl called Prissy from his past came back into his life, he found a new way forward despite logistical challenges living in different areas of the Country.

I love the story and how it explains their background in detail, what was individually important to the couple, how they each felt and how they came to care for each other and fall in love.

The family support and celebration at the end is also clear and so heart-warming to read. ​

​Lovely book! Samuel and everyone must be so proud of this achievement, it is brilliant! It is rare to be able to read first-hand and have a clear insight into love blossoming direct from an amazing person on the autism spectrum. Even more so to read about it during the Worlds pandemic which caused so many extra challenges for all.

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I would thoroughly recommend the book, it is informative, enlightening, inspiring and a true beautiful love story. Well done Samuel Turner!

Grab yourself a copy of this book and enjoy the sweetest love story from the perspective of an adult on the autism spectrum.

Click here to purchase your copy!

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 “Burning Embers” written by L.S. Pullen
A Book Review by Beverly Guest our Charity Champion

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Having read all the previous books by this author, this next one was a must. The cover reveal was a brief glimpse into what lay ahead, an indie adult romance fictional novel with a difference.

So why you may ask, is this book review being featured on an Autism Charity website? Well, I will come to that… but first I want to discuss the core of the novel itself.

Burning Embers welcomes you to Olly and Rachel who are destined to be together, travelling on a journey of love, and understanding the experiences each of them have gone through, to become the people they are today.

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Those of you who have read the previous books by L S Pullen may remember the characters being briefly mentioned. I was so glad Olly had his own story explored, and this book did not disappoint.

It is a love story that shows acceptance of a past, enjoyment in the present, and excitement for the future. It is a no holes barred portrayal of love and all its nuances, it will grip you right bang in the centre of your heart and will hold you captive.

I already loved this author writing, but there is one thing in this book that made me love and respect them that little bit more. It is not often you read a fictional book which features a part about a character on the Autism spectrum.

It is more common to actually read or hear about children, and non-fictional books, so it was absolutely refreshing and fantastic to read fiction about an adult with Autism.

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This book welcomes you to an Autistic adult who is Rachels Mother. A Mother diagnosed late in life as we so often hear about in the present day.

The author shows absolute sensitivity, kindness, and true understanding of Autism. I was absolutely blown away by the way the character was gently introduced to the story, and how she featured in Rachels life.

The author does an outstanding job of explaining how Autism has made the mother the person she is in the story, and how Rachel gains a new insight and understanding to how and why her Mum is the person she is today. Kudos to the author, it is not often you read about a fictional Autistic character!

So, I would like to say a well done and thank you to author L S Pullen for pushing boundaries and highlighting that Autism can feature in a fictional book, not just a factual book. However small the part is, the author has clearly taken the time to include this character, and on a personal level from an Autism household, I found it refreshingly beautiful.

Wouldn’t it be cool to read more about the mother? Either way, if you like a true open and honest adult love story, I would definitely recommend this book… AND if you are curious to read about how an autistic adult features in it, then go for it!

Amazingly talented Author and feel so heart-warmed for the inclusive way they have brought our community into the characters story. LOVE LOVE!!

Click here to order your copy!

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The Autistic Side of Love – a book written by Samuel Richard Turner

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Remember our AGT singer and ITV Fundraising Winner, Samuel Turner?

Well, he is back in an all-new storybook written so deep in his heart.

In “The Autistic Side of Love” the story remarks how life with autism can be hard and challenging in the community during the Coronavirus pandemic. In the story comes a young man named Markus Evans which had suffered autism in his life with his parents living in his new Welsh home in Carmarthenshire.

Till a girl with autism came back from his past with true romantic life to a new journey that can make Markus’s dream come true again.

Written by ITV CYMRU WALES Fundraising Winner Samuel Turner, the 2021 Autism Got Talent performer.

“The Autistic Side of Love” is a new love story, filled with love at first sight, autism style.

Samuel shared:“Since my efforts I’ve approached from experience, I think making this storybook makes me not only just proud but honoured in order for me to recap everyone that autistic people can reach a light at the end of the tunnel when someone you love can come back to you anytime, anywhere. I think adding a little remark of the pandemic in this story can make a great example, as autistic people did stress a lot when Coronavirus yet broke out despite my experience with it.”

The story is now available to buy on Amazon UK in paperback for £6.00 GBP, and on Kindle Devices for only £4.50 GBP.
Click here to purchase your copy.

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