People with Autism and Learning Disabilities excel in Creative Thinking,Study Shows- Term life

A new study showing that people with autism display higher levels of creativity has been welcomed by campaigners, who say it helps debunk a myth about people with learning disabilities.

Scientists found that people with the developmental condition were far more likely to come up with unique answers to creative problems despite having traits that can be socially crippling and make it difficult to find jobs. The co-author of the study, Dr Catherine Best from the University of Stirling, said that while the results, from a study of 312 people, were a measure of just one aspect of the creative process, it revealed a link between autistic traits and unusual and original ideas.

“We speculate that it may be because they are approaching things very differently. It goes a way towards explaining how some people with what is often characterised as a disability exhibit superior creative talents in some domains.”

“It’s time people with autism and other learning difficulties are seen as people first. I want to educate people without learning disabilities that I’m not all that different to them, and I want people who do have learning disabilities to feel better about themselves by showing my problems. They are not alone.”

After working as an autism consultant on the National Theatre’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Binchy trained with Access All Areas, an award-winning theatre company that supports adults with learning disabilities to work in the arts, and runs the country’s only professional training programme for the creative arts for people with learning disabilities.

Actress Daryl Hannah says she has had autism since childhood
Actress Daryl Hannah says she has had autism since childhood

Patrick Collier of Access All Areas said: “It’s not about helping someone with autism of Down’s syndrome play Hamlet, although if they want to that’s fantastic – its about finding their own voice and to have that heard. People do need support to navigate the industry, but as this research shows, the creativity is there to be enabled.”

Autism is a lifelong disorder which affects 1 in 100 in the UK, changing the way they communicate and experience the world, and varying greatly from person to person. Jolanta Lasota, chief executive of the charity Ambitious about Autism, said lack of creativity is one of many autism myths. She welcomed the study for suggesting that seeing the world in a different way can be a positive trait

She said: “There are many misconceptions and myths about autism, the biggest one including being antisocial and having a lack of empathy. However, what people with autism struggle with is fitting their feelings of sympathy and caring into everyday interactions.

“While it is true that some people with autism can have very specific interests and may struggle with abstract concepts, this research helps to highlight the fact that seeing the world in a different way can be a positive trait too. We find time and again that many of our pupils in our TreeHouse School and Ambitious College are very creative, whether that be through art, music, film or photography. It is great to see research continued in this area to help dispel more autism myths.”

Lasota has been campaigning for employers to consider people with learning disabilities when they’re hiring, and hopes that studies like this will help. “With the right support, planning and opportunities from parents and employers, many people with autism have the ability to work. Despite this, recent figures show that only 15% of people with autism are in full-time paid employment – 79% of those polled who are not in employment would like to be.”


Hope for millions as scientists find ‘cure’ for dyslexia- Drug rehab center

Millions of people with dyslexia have been given hope by a set of simple exercises that experts say can cure the disorder.

A new study found the revolutionary treatment transformed the reading and writing skills of children with dyslexia.

They improved so much in national literacy tests they even beat classmates who had no learning difficulties.

More here…

• The girl struggling in class who’s now passed her 11-plus

The non-drug treatment also dramatically improved the behaviour of dyslexic children who suffered from attention problems and hyperactivity.

Many of them currently have their behaviour ‘controlled’ by drugs. But it appears that the exercises, originally designed for astronauts, could be far more effective – and without any chemical side-effects.

One of the teachers in the study said the approach had such a massive impact on the children that it had ‘cured them of their learning and attention difficulties.’

The findings will give hope to the two million British children and adults who suffer from dyslexia.

Many of them are never properly diagnosed as having the condition – which literally translates into ‘difficulty with words’ – and so struggle with reading and literacy problems all their lives.

Once diagnosed a child is usually helped through support from specialist assistants at school, extra tuition and more time to complete written exams.

A significant proportion of youngsters with dyslexia also have Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) so may be given drugs such as ritalin to improve their concentration.

Last year, a total of 359,100 prescriptions were written out for Ritalin-type drugs, at a cost to the NHS of £12.5million – with 90 per cent of them going to under 18s.

The revolutionary treatment Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Attention Disorder (DDAT) programme is based on the idea that dyslexia is caused by lack of co-ordination.

It aims to stimulate the brain with a series of exercises, which were adapted by the father of a dyslexic child from moves used by astronauts.

They include walking downstairs backwards with your eyes closed, throwing a bean bag from one hand to another and standing on a wobble board or ball.

Professor David Reynolds of Exeter University, a leading Government adviser on education, and Professor Rod Nicholson of Sheffield University carried out the three-year study to test its effectiveness.

Prof Reynolds said ‘Before the treatment began, independent school reading tests showed that the children with learning difficulties were making only seven months progress in 12 months. And they were falling further and further behind their peers.

‘In the 12 months of treatment the children made 20 months improvement in reading progress and caught up with their peers.

After the treatment the children maintained their progress – in other words the treatment provided a permanent solution to the problem.’

The study, published today in the academic journal Dyslexia, tested 269 children aged between eight and 11 years attending Balsall Common Junior School, near Solihull (Midlands) and identified 35 children with dyslexia.

They were given a series of 10-minute exercises to do at home twice a day morning and night.

Every six months they completed a range of tests checking their progress, and they were assessed annually for their reading scores and national SATs test scores in maths, writing and comprehension.

The study shows:

  • Following the treatment, the children’s test scores showed they were no longer dyslexic
  • The more severe the dyslexia, the more the children gained from treatment
  • The beneficial effects persist more than a year
  • Before treatment the children were falling six months behind their classmates – afterwards they made 18 months improvement in 12 months – catching up with their peers.
  • National SATs results showed children treated for dyslexia did better than their classmates
  • Originally half the children had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, but this dropped to eight per cent after treatment

Prof Nicholson, an international authority on dyslexia, said ‘The treatment’s effect on those children with ADHD symptoms was particularly striking.

‘Before the intervention 12 of the children were diagnosed as ADHD. After the treatment only two had symptoms of ADHD and that position has remained one year after the course was finished.

‘The treatment is eliminating the inattention problems in the vast majority of children.’

Trevor Davis, headteacher of the Balsall Common School, where the study took place, was delighted by the results.

He said ‘I have been a head for 25 years and I have seen a lot of children with learning and attention difficulties getting nowhere.

‘In my entire career I have never been involved with an initiative that has had such a massive impact on children’s learning and their lives

‘In my opinion this programme has cured these children of their learning and attention difficulties.’

Professor Reynolds said: ‘Medical specialists and scientists avoid using the word cure in this situation because the debate it causes about whether dyslexia and ADHD have disease status or not.

‘But I have no doubt that the layman watching the effects of the treatment in more than 80 per cent of children who complete this programme, would agree it is a cure.’

The DDAT programme was developed by Coventry businessman Wyndford Dore.

He discovered the technique in his search to find a cure for his daughter Susie, now 33, who suffered from dyslexia that was so severe she tried to commit suicide three times.

Technology that was originally designed for astronauts, who suffer a form of temporary dyslexia in space, was used to develop the exercises.

Dore’s methods work using individually prescribed eye, balance and sensory exercises designed to stimulate an area of the brain called the cerebellum – a tangerine sized organ at the back of the head that is now understood to be involved in learning new skills such as reading and controlling attention.

Studies by Harvard Medical School, New York University and the University of California, have all confirmed the link between the cerebellum and learning and attention difficulties.

But the new British research is the first long-term study to be published in a journal that has been reviewed by experts in the field.

Wynford Dore said ‘Experts have argued for 50 years about whether dyslexia exists or not, they have argued about what causes it, how to define it, how to diagnose it and how to treat it.

‘We didn’t have time for any more argument. My daughter Susie attempted to take her own life while the so-called experts argued among themselves.

‘We focused on solving the problem rather than arguing about its existence. Is this a cure? This independent research, backed by a peer review, confirms we can now take away the problems in more than 80 per cent of cases. It is drug free and thus risk free, no other can say that.’

There are 11 Dore centres in the UK offering treatment costing around £2,000 for an 18-month course. Children in the study were treated free.

A spokesman for the British Dyslexia Association said ‘The BDA has not yet seen the research, and is not in a position to evaluate research.

‘Any new research has to be well evaluated by professionals in the field before the BDA can comment.



Augsburg student prepares for her 121st brain surgery- Drug rehab oregon

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn — Life isn’t always fair. But Olivia Maccoux won’t let a rare brain disease stop her from living.

The 20 year old has had more than 100 surgeries on her brain.

The Augsburg sophomore was born with a condition called hydrocephalus. The disease causes fluid to pool on the brain.

Next week she said surgeons will operate on her brain to remove an infected shunt.

“I trust my neurosurgeon, obviously with my life. He’s probably done close to 120 surgeries on me,” she said. “The shunt is there to drain the right amount of fluid to make it even and that shunt is infected right now. It is working but not working to its full capacity.”

One to two of every 1,000 babies are born with the diseases.

But surgery is the last thing on her mind. She’s focused on making the dean’s list, again.

“I am going to try to do classes from the hospital when I can Skype into classes,” she said.

And once she recovers. Maccoux said she can’t wait to enjoy some of her favorite sports.

Playing soccer, hockey and swimming has helped with her headaches.

“It is an escape for me. It is weird. For some reason, when I play sports, specifically soccer my headaches — they don’t like just go away ( but)  I feel better,” she said. “I don’t know if that is a distraction or just the love of the game.”


Gourmet Low Carb High Protein Weight Loss Meal Plans

Gourmet Low Carb High Protein Weight Loss Meal Plans


The following meal plans are designed for people who would like to lose weight and prefer a high protein, low carbohydrate approach. Although this is a low carbohydrate, high protein plan, some small servings of wholegraincarbohydrate foods have been included, as carbohydrates are needed by the body for optimum health and energy production. The plans are designed to provide you with balanced nutrition, including some carbohydrates, high levels of lean protein, and healthy fats. They also include plenty of fruits and vegetables, plus essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, essential fats, and fiber.

Each day provides around 1500 calories, which is the amount required by an average woman looking to lose 1-2 lbs (0.5-1kg) per week, and is a healthy rate of weight loss. A steady rate of weight loss such as this is more likely to be maintained long-term than the faster weight loss promised by “crash diets”.

For men who would like to follow the plan, the total daily calorie intake should be increased by approximately 500 calories. This can be achieved by adding extra snacks and/or doubling some of the portion sizes, as shown in the example below:

Day 1:

  • 1 extra egg = 74
  • 1 extra slice of buttered rye toast – 102


  • Extra 20 almonds = 139
  • Double the size of Snack 2 = 157

TOTAL = 472 calories

You can also add snacks from other days of the plan if that works better for you.

For optimum results, the plan should be followed in conjunction with regular exercise. Anyone exercising a lot should increase their calorie intake accordingly, in line with the guidance given above. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or suffering from any medical condition, please consult a health professional before changing your diet.

Below are 7 days of low carb high protein diet plans.

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Day 1
1533 Calories – 119g Protein – 79g Carbs – 105g Fat

Breakfast: 323 Calories – 21g Protein – 14g Carbs – 20g Fat

Food Items Calories
3 Scrambled Eggs 221
1 slice Rye Toast, lightly buttered 102

Snack 1: 139 Calories – 5g Protein – 5g Carbs – 12g Fat

Food Items Calories
20 Almonds 139

Lunch: 449 Calories – 37g Protein – 19g Carbs – 45g Fat

Crab, Shrimp (Prawn) & Avocado Salad Calories
100g Crabmeat, 100g Shrimp (Prawn) 154
An Avocado, 80g Mixed Salad Leaves 174
Dressing: 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, 1/3 Red Chili, finely chopped (optional) 121

Snack 2: 157 Calories – 12g Protein – 14g Carbs – 5g Fat

Food Items Calories
2 Oat Crackers, topped with Cottage Cheese & Shrimp (Prawn) 157

Dinner: 331 Calories – 37g Protein – 14g Carbs – 17g Fat

Fish with Caper Sauce Calories
Cod Fillet 114
Caper Sauce (1 tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tsp Capers, Chopped Parsley, Lemon Juice) 129
80g Peas, 100g Broccoli 88

Desert: 134 Calories – 7g Protein – 13g Carbs – 6g Fat

Food Items Calories
150g Whole Unsweetened Yogurt 124
2 tbsp Blueberries 10

Day 2
1508 Calories – 100g Protein – 83g Carbs – 88g Fat

Breakfast: 313 Calories – 13g Protein – 25g Carbs – 20g Fat

Food Items Calories
150g Whole Unsweetened Yogurt 124
Handful of Raspberries 29
30g Pistachio Nuts 160

Snack 1: 145 Calories – 6g Protein – 4g Carbs – 12g Fat

Food Items Calories
25g Pumpkin Seeds 145

Lunch: 552 Calories – 33g Protein – 36g Carbs – 32g Fat

Salmon & Quinoa Salad Calories
100g Roasted Salmon, 60g Salad Leaves 245
50g (dry weight) Quinoa 187
Dressing: 1 Tbsp Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Black Pepper 120

Snack 2: 78 Calories – 2g Protein – 7g Carbs – 5g Fat

Food Items Calories
1 tbsp Hummus, Carrot Sticks 78

Dinner: 420 Calories – 46g Protein – 11g Carbs – 19g Fat

Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry Calories
100g Fillet Steak, in strips 220
200g Mixed Vegetables (Onion, Bean Sprouts, Baby Corn, Broccoli etc.) 70
1 tbsp Coconut Oil, Chilli, Garlic, Ginger 130

Day 3
1460 Calories – 94g Protein – 80g Carbs – 106g Fat

Breakfast: 356 Calories – 26g Protein – 31g Carbs – 15g Fat

Food Items Calories
2 Boiled Eggs 154
50g Smoked Salmon, 5 Asparagus Spears 106
A Pear 96

Snack 1: 138 Calories – 5g Protein – 8g Carbs – 11g Fat

Food Items Calories
25g Cashew Nuts 138

Lunch: 523 Calories – 22g Protein – 23g Carbs – 57g Fat

Mozzarella, Tomato & Avocado Salad Calories
120g Buffalo Mozzarella 340
1 Large Tomato, 1 Avocado 169
Dressing: Balsamic Vinegar, Basil, Black Pepper 14

Dinner: 395 Calories – 40g Protein – 12g Carbs – 21g Fat

Salmon & Vegetables Calories
150g Salmon Fillet, baked with 1 tbsp Olive Oil, Garlic & Lemon 307
100g Broccoli 36
80g Peas 52

Evening Snack: 48 Calories – 1g Protein – 6g Carbs – 2g Fat

Food Items Calories
A glass of warm Almond Milk 48
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Day 4
1444 Calories – 97g Protein – 85g Carbs – 91g Fat

Breakfast: 338 Calories – 9g Protein – 42g Carbs – 15g Fat

Almond, Banana & Blueberry Smoothie Calories
1 Banana, 100g Blueberries 157
3 tbsp Ground Almonds 145
150ml Almond Milk 36

Snack 1: 38 Calories – 1g Protein – 9g Carbs – 0g Fat

Food Items Calories
A Peach 38

Lunch: 461 Calories – 50g Protein – 16g Carbs – 31g Fat

Chicken & Avocado Salad Calories
150g Cooked Chicken Breast 294
1/2 Avocado, 10g Pine Nuts 134
Salad Leaves, a few Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon Juice 33

Snack 2: 139 Calories – 5g Protein – 5g Carbs – 12g Fat

Food Items Calories
20 Almonds 139

Dinner: 468 Calories – 32g Protein – 13g Carbs – 33g Fat

Butternut Squash & Feta Frittata Calories
3 Eggs 221
75g Butternut Squash, roasted in 1 tbsp Olive Oil 149
50g Reduced-fat Feta Cheese 89
Green Salad 9

Day 5
1435 Calories – 92g Protein – 86g Carbs – 82g Fat

Breakfast: 391 Calories – 12g Protein – 35g Carbs – 22g Fat

Food Items Calories
150g Greek Yogurt 188
200g Melon, 100g Raspberries 116
15g Pumpkin Seeds 87

Snack 1: 100 Calories – 2g Protein – 2g Carbs – 10g Fat

Food Items Calories
3 Brazil Nuts 100

Lunch: 510 Calories – 44g Protein – 18g Carbs – 29g Fat

Tuna Niçoise Salad Calories
135g Tuna in Brine 142
1 Boiled Egg, 4 Baby New Potatoes, 80g Green Beans, 5 Cherry Tomatoes, 5 Black Olives 248
1 Tbsp Olive Oil, Lemon Juice 120

Snack 2: 69 Calories – 2g Protein – 17g Carbs – 0g Fat

Food Items Calories
Large Slice of Melon 69

Dinner: 310 Calories – 31g Protein – 9g Carbs – 17g Fat

Food Items Calories
Grilled Chicken Breast 142
85g Broccoli, 85g Spinach 49
1 tbsp Olive Oil 119

Evening Snack: 55 Calories – 1g Protein – 5g Carbs – 4g Fat

Food Items Calories
3 Small Squares (approx 40g) 70% Dark Chocolate 55

Day 6
1438 Calories – 106g Protein – 94g Carbs – 69g Fat

Breakfast: 464 Calories – 21g Protein – 13g Carbs – 35g Fat

Almond Pancakes Calories
50g Ground Almonds, 1 Beaten egg, mixed and made into pancakes 396
50g Berries 27
2 tbsp Whole Unsweetened Yogurt 41

Snack 1: 139 Calories – 5g Protein – 5g Carbs – 12g Fat

Food Items Calories
20 Almonds 139

Lunch: 342 Calories – 35g Protein – 35g Carbs – 4g Fat

Open Turkey Sandwiches Calories
125g Cooked Turkey Breast 154
5 Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber Slices, 1 tsp Mustard 22
2 Slices Rye Bread 166

Snack 2: 69 Calories – 10g Protein – 1g Carbs – 1g Fat

Food Items Calories
1 Slice of Turkey, Cherry Tomatoes 69

Dinner: 424 Calories – 35g Protein – 36g Carbs – 16g Fat

Shrimp (Prawn), Spinach & Lentil Curry Calories
150g Tiger Prawns 87
50g Red Lentils, 100g Spinach, 1/2 Onion 211
1 tbsp Olive Oil, Garlic, Chilli 126

Day 7
1524 Calories – 112g Protein – 49g Carbs – 98g Fat

Breakfast: 427 Calories – 43g Protein – 8g Carbs – 26g Fat

Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Eggs Calories
3 Scrambled Eggs 221
100g Smoked Salmon 170
Grilled Tomatoes 36

Snack 1: 116 Calories – 5g Protein – 3g Carbs – 9g Fat

Food Items Calories
20g Pumpkin Seeds 116

Lunch: 477 Calories – 38g Protein – 19g Carbs – 28g Fat

Chicken & Cannellini Bean Salad Calories
100g Cannellini Beans, cooked 91
100g Chicken Breast, cooked 165
1 tbsp Olive Oil, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives, Parsley 221

Snack 2: 20 Calories – 0g Protein – 5g Carbs – 0g Fat

Food Items Calories
Satsuma 20

Dinner: 484 Calories – 26g Protein – 14g Carbs – 35g Fat

Tofu, Cashew & Vegetable Stir-Fry Calories
150g Tofu 183
2 Spring Onions, 1 Eggplant, Broccoli 55
20g Cashew Nuts, 1 tbsp Coconut Oil, Soy Sauce 246