Friday 25 March 2011

Patagonia Pending

Hello all,

First of all, apologies for having to wait a while for another blog entry, as I have been using up some spare annual leave I have left to use before the end of March as well as giving talks and interviews, including an interview for the Autism File Media Channel. This entry will be my last before my upcoming trip to South America, after which I will hope to return to my duties here at Autism Works from a refreshed perspective.

One of the benefits of mindfulness practice, including meditation, that I have been noticing much of late is gaining a refreshed perspective which helps when when starting new tasks or adjusting to different circumstances, almost similar to the refreshed perspective one may find when returning to their job or to their native surroundings after having been travelling. It is surprising what one often notices or how they see their 'normal' surroundings after being somewhere different for a period of time.

Presently at Autism Works, Peter is continuing to work with potential clients while I am in the process of developing a database of major national and international software developers whom we will look to market ourselves to. While I have been away giving talks, I have also met with Jackie Jenkins, who is a marketing specialist working mainly from home based in Berkshire, who has very kindly offered to help Autism Works with marketing our services. Jackie received an Asperger's Syndrome diagnosis just recently, which she said explained why she had spent much of her working life working from home.  Like Peter and I, Jackie doesn't believe in sending the same one big mail shot to all, but rather going directly to potential clients, so that we can tailor our services to meet their needs should they be interested in working with us, just like at Autism Works we try to tailor or working practices to meet the needs of our employees.

On this theme, I had the privilege to listen to Dr Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism at Sheffield Hallam University, in Nottingham yesterday. Dr Beardon's specialism is sensory issues and autism, but his approach relates well to what we value at Autsim Works, particularly in relation to being flexible towards the needs of people on the autistic spectrum, as this opens the way for them to use the strengths their condition presents effectively, rather than enforcing them to conform to and adopt conventional social cues, including eye contact. Luke was also pleased to hear that his work had been of help to Autism Works, and we would love him to come up to Newcastle and visit us sometime!

This time next week, I fly out to Buenos Aries before embarking on a trekking tour of Patagonia, including camping out in tents in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park. Be sure though to look out for my next entry in around late-April - early May.

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