ARTICLE: Why Won’t They Let Me Join The Army?

Since the age of six all Jamie Barkshire has wanted to do is join the army. However, the 22-year-old has seen his dreams shattered after being turned down by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for what he believes is an unfair reason. Mr Barkshire, who lives off Colman Road, Norwich, suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a condition in which sufferers struggle with social communication, social interaction and social imagination. But Mr Barkshire is adamant his condition does not deter him from having a normal life and that he should be able to join the army. However, he was heartbroken to receive a letter in the post from the MoD saying his army application had been unsuccessful.

He said: “I have wanted to join the army all my life and I think it’s unfair and discriminatory that they won’t let me. I have been battling the army for five years to join.

I drive a motorbike and have a passport, and if I was not fit mentally, how could I have those? I want to know why they don’t think I’m mentally stable enough to join the army.” Continue article

Source: Norwich Evening News

Thanks to Valerie Morrow

RESOURCE: Looking For Resources? Respite Providers? Check Out Disability Compass

Disability Compass provides information on services, products, and special health care resources for people with disabilities, their families and their supporters.

There’s a Respite Provider search and a comprehensive listing of agencies and individuals serving the disability community. We have partnered with Disability Compass in the first year of our operations and highly recommend this resource.

RESOURCE: Carespace – A Blog and an Online Caregiver Community is the first major online community for caregivers. It’s a place for caregivers to meet, develop relationships, share stories and garner support for one another. They’re in their beta testing phase right now – you should join in and check it out.

While the community site is being tested and readied, you can check out their highly regarded blog here. Below, a snippet from a recent post.

The responses to my last post illustrate some of the many takes on the word “caregiver.” I’m grateful for all of them. Intense feelings about who we care for often supercede more general ideas around “caregiving.” So much so that any talk about grouping us together sometimes seems to detract from the individual experience.

At the same time, we know that parents of children with different illness or disabilities have a lot to share by way of information and support — even though when we do go looking for others, our search usually follows along the trail of a particular medical issue.

So I’ll be direct about the challenge of building the community for Carespace. I know that Carespace must be valuable and inviting to a mom and dad with an autistic child who want contact with others just like them. I also know that they may benefit from interaction with all sorts of moms and dads. (Not to mention that they may also be caring for an elderly relative.) But the reality today is that we haven’t established the idea of a global community of “caregivers.” It’s not yet ingrained in the overall dialog. To make this concept useful, we’ll have to discover the value of links between different “caring types.” This is something most of us will have to experience before we take it for granted.

Read more here.

The Autism Acceptance Project

The Autism Acceptance Project is dedicated to promoting acceptance of and accommodations for autistic people in society.

The Autism Acceptance Project (TAAProject) will bring forth a different and positive view about autism to the public in order to foster understanding and acceptance, and to empower parents and autistic people.

A great resource for people with autism and advocates. Visit them here.

Thanks to Dora Raymaker.

The New Wave of Autism Rights Activists

On December 1, the NYU Child Study Center came out with advertisements in the form of ransom notes. One said, “We have your son. We will make sure he will not be able to care for himself or interact socially as long as he lives. This is only the beginning.” It was signed “Autism.” Another said, “We have your son. We are destroying his ability for social interaction and driving him into a life of complete isolation. It’s up to you now,” and was signed “Asperger Syndrome.” Harold Koplewicz, director of the center, hoped the ads would propel undiagnosed children toward competent professionals. But they repelled and upset a subset of the very population they were meant to assist: people with autism-spectrum disorders.

Read more at New York magazine here.

Thanks to Dora Raymaker.