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There are around 700,000 people with autism in the UK in one form or another.

A neurodevelopmental disorder, autism will be present in the individual from birth but may not manifest until years later – often in childhood.

The disorder is often characterised by difficulties with social interaction, verbal and non-verbal communication, repetitive behaviours, restricted behaviours and sensory processing.

However this is a broad generalisation in order to categorise the condition. No two people with autism will think and behave the same way and so it’s really important not to treat them as such.

Anyone who remembers the US television series Nip Tuck will have some understanding of the crazy world of cosmetic surgery. Or at least a highly glamorised version with some truly bizarre plot twists thrown in.

What it highlighted however was a cultural obsession with perfection: the idea that an individual is somehow deficient or needs improving.

It’s important to understand that we are not slamming cosmetic surgery. There are times when it is entirely reasonable or even necessary to go under the knife for cosmetic reasons.

However, where cosmetic surgery becomes a problem or even a danger is when there is an overriding need to correct something the individual incorrectly perceives as critically flawed.

Living with a learning disabilities or enduring mental health issues can sometimes mean that a lot of decisions are made for you. Either because your challenges dictate no other choice or because whichever choice you make, the options are being provided by a number of different experts.

This isn’t necessarily a negative – providing you are made to feel like you also have the option of saying no too – but it can start to feel like your freedoms are being eroded through circumstance.

Domiciliary care is the provision of services that enable a person to remain living in their own home.  This service is available to anyone, at any stage of his or her lives from children to adults and can address issues that might emerge suddenly or have developed over time.

Essentially domiciliary care allows a person to retain that normality, independence and familiar surroundings whilst getting the support they might need with anything from physical disabilities or sensory impairment through to mental health issues or learning disabilities.

Mental health issues take many forms and have dramatically different levels of severity.

For some reflection techniques and a reliable support circle is sufficient to get through those difficult days.

For others on going treatment, support and even medication is required.

Whatever the condition and whatever the level of support, it’s important for the individual to be able to make their feelings known and for the appropriate action taken that reflects their outcomes and goals.

We all know our physical health is important. Eating healthily and getting regular exercise are fundamental to a healthy body and overall good health.

Big factors in achieving a healthy life style are education and motivation.

Despite being part of the national curriculum for years, there is a surprisingly wide knowledge gap in terms of what constitutes a healthy diet.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is caused by a neurobehavioral disorder and is the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. This pattern of challenges, which occurs 4 times more in boys than in girls, can emerge as early as 3 years old with the average age of onset being 7 years old.

There are 3 subtypes of ADHD with the combined type being the most common:

  • Hyperactive-impulsive
  • Inattentive
  • Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive

Teams are good.

Teams share the load, share responsibilities and support one another towards a common objective. Much like a community.

However whereas a community is made of a random roster of people that changes from one year to the next due to simple act of population migration, a team is put together based on individual skills and abilities and what they can bring to the commonality.

Essentially they are made up of experts. Or at least the good ones are.

With freshers well into their first semester we took a look at alarming reports that mental health issues in student's are sharply on the rise.

University should be a place of learning, excitement, friendships and positive experiences. More needs to be done to prepare individuals for univeristy life, support them whilst they are there and make it more affordable for all. 

The 10th October marks World Mental Health day, marking a week of raising awareness of an issue that affects 1 in 4 people and as indiscriminate in whom it can affect as any biological condition.

Events will be taking place up and down the country in schools, universities and in community centres to help raise awareness of mental health issues to those looking to understand more and to those in need of support but yet to engage.

However, all of this got us thinking about what we could do as individuals to support World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Awareness Week and we kept coming back to the same thing.

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