In the news this week………..

A collection of news stories from around the country and around the world

If you find a news item you feel may be of interest to other Outside-iN members, please send us the details and we will add it to this section.


Firstly, a big thanks to the local organisations who are supporting us over the next 12 months. We have been selected to be the organisation sponsored by Greggs Bakers, Biggleswade and also the TSB, Hitchin branch.

In addition , we were also fortunate enough to receive funding from the Whitbread Foundation to support us expanding our regular support network. This funding will allow us to run pilot support groups in areas where people without transport may struggle to access support.

A very big “Thank You” from the team and our members.


Chris Packham: Asperger’s And Me.Tuesday 17th October at 9pm on BBC Two.

Across the board, this programme won critical acclaim, and quite rightly so. You may know Chris Packham from his broadcasting association with wild animals and nature. (Springwatch etc)

What you may not have know is that he is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

The programme took an inside view into how the condition impacts on his life from childhood, his relationship with his long term partner, and his career.


A Google search on “Chris Packham Asprgers” will bring you most of the reviews and the programme is available on the BBC IPlayer for a month. It really is worth watching. as it gives a unique perspective into the condition and is one of the best pieces of television we have seen for a very long time.


Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show on Friday 13th October ran a feature about a book called ‘Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8’, which was written by Naoki Higashida who has severe Autism. Naoki has diagnosed in 1997 when he was five and was unable to make himself understood to other people. He learn to communicate through writing and is now one of Japan’s most famous writers.His first book about Autism, ‘The Reason I Jump’ was published in 2007 when he was 13 and was translated by the English author David Miitchell in 2013, becoming a Best Seller in the UK and America. It asks a series of questions about why those with Autism display the traits and mannerisms they do and the answers, penned by Higashida, are a real eye opened, even to those who have a high degree of familiarity with the condition.Higashida’s second Autism based book, ‘Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8’ was released in July and has again been translated by Mr Mitchell.This is a labour of love from Mr Mitchell, as he has an Autistic son and clearly feels passionately about raising awareness for the condition.


  • You can hear the article on the JV Show by going to the BBC iPlayer, where the show is available for 29 days from the date of broadcast.
  •  As well as the show if you go to the Radio 2 web site, click on Jeremy Vine in the DJ and presenter section, click on episodes in top banner, select 13th October and scroll down to the feature on Autism,  you can click on that it will re-direct you to an article in the Guardian newspaper from 2013, written by David Mitchell which explains his feelings about the condition and how Naoki’s first book really led him to a greater understanding.

         If you cant read the book, then try to access the article. Simply superb.




This from the Independant newspaper. The first link will take you the full range of articles on this subject.

 Autistic children are increasingly being suspended or expelled from school, official figures show.

            The number of times youngsters with autistic spectrum disorder were permanently excluded rose by more than a third in 12 months, while fixed term exclusions increased by around a quarter, according to statistics published by the Department for Education (DfE).

One charity said it was “very worrying” that recorded exclusions for these children were rising, as it warned it was concerned pupils were also being excluded from lessons unofficially.

The data showed that in the 2015/16 academic year, children recognised as having autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), were given fixed term exclusions on 9,040 occasions.

This was up around 24.7% from 7,250 suspensions the previous year (2014/15).

In addition, youngsters with this recognised special educational need were permanently excluded on 150 occasions in 2015/6, up 36.4% from 110 the previous year.

The data does show an increase in the number of pupils with ASD, from around 90,780 in 2014/15 to about 100,010 in 2015/16.

Elizabeth Archer, campaigns and policy director at Ambitious about Autism, said: “Children and young people with autism deserve equal access to education so it is very worrying that the number of recorded exclusions for these children is going up.

“We are particularly concerned as parents regularly contact us to talk about exclusions that are unrecorded so don’t appear in these figures.

“We hear about children who are sent home early, or asked not to come in for school trips, and who as a result are missing out on vital learning experiences.


Again, from the Independent newspaper – they certainly have a more proactive and positive approach to the conditions than other papers- Virtual Reality may be a way of helping Autistic children in the classroom. Research by the University of the West of England in Bristol – Dr Nigel Newbutt  of the department of design communication to be precise – has shown that virtual reality headsets in  a classroom environment could offer autistic students a way to break down perceptual and societal barriers. (Great fun for video games as well I imagine………)

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