Treehouse – getting people talking about autism

Popped into Treehouse (our exemplar centre for children with autism in Haringey) and as usual they had a stunning new initiative about to launch.

This time it is an online initiative to get the public talking about autism. Last Thursday, the world’s first virtual Talkathon was officially launched by TalkTalk Commercial Director Tristia Clarke, CHI Founding Partner Johnny Hornby and TreeHouse CEO Jolanta Lasota at TalkTalk’s Customer Experience Centre in the heart of Soho. Young people with autism, parents and supporters all came along to celebrate the initiative which also aims to raise £150,000 for TreeHouse.

The world’s first virtual Talkathon is part of TreeHouse’s “Talk About Autism” national campaign to increase public understanding of autism, launched on GMTV by celebrity Keith Duffy during National Autism Awareness Month. It’s a simple, fun way for everyone to find out a little bit more about the condition which affects one in 100 children in the UK and TalkTalk will donate £1 for every person who takes part.

To see more about the Talkathon click here.  Arsenal Football Club, Matt Lucas, Jon Snow and Nick Hornby are just some of the famous faces who have already backed Talk about Autism. Please help us Treehouse reach their target of 200,000 online talkers by joining the conversation yourself – and then spreading the word!

0 thoughts on “Treehouse – getting people talking about autism

  1. One in 100? That sounds too high – check your source?

    The incidence rate is usually estimated to be around 1 in 1000. One of the biggest reasons why autistic people get screwed is because it’s rare enough that most people don’t see it very often (which is precisely what they’re trying to address here).

  2. My son has recently been diagnosed with mild autism – one thing that concerns me greatly is Michael Gove’s insane ‘free schools’ plan. Children with special needs will get the short end of the stick at these independent schools – Fortismere is particularly shocking in this regard. Despite receiving £500k a year in grants specifically for special needs children – they have not been providing any care, and have simply stolen the money by the looks of it. See this weeks Ham and High.

    We need more than talking, Lynne – we need action. I am sure that your ‘equalities’ brief will mean that I have nothing to worry about. I have seen how good Lib Dems are at keeping promises.

  3. I’m assuming our self-styled fabby MP will have already opposed her colleagues’ ludicrous policy on the ‘open door’ approach that will actually permit the exclsuion of kids with SEN from mainstream education, and subsequently, the inevitable exclusion that will be the outcome from this barking mad ‘free schools’ plan.
    After all, she’s minister for equalities, right?

    However, as usual, news has not been forthcoming from her on this, nor the raising of tuition fees to £7K.
    How many kids in the constiuency (and beyond) will not now be able to pursue higher education?
    Vote LibDem get LibDem!

  4. I personally have had no experience of people with autism, but it is still an issue which occupies my mind more than many others. It was an awareness campaign which started it off, of a short film of a middle-aged man at a train station who had a panic attack because he couldn’t get on the train. I sat in front of the telly, it came on and suddenly, without any preamble, I was bawling. I have a cut-out of the same campaign in my scrapbook and the image never fails to make me cry. It’s a gutteral reaction – the image of frustration and lack of understanding. I think it’s one of the most powerful images I have ever seen.

  5. A whole blog entry without using the phrase “big society”!

    I am not sure who you are trying to kid- yourselves or us- although I think on balance you appear to be so deluded about life that it is yourself.

    Recently you have attacked state provision and bureaucracy in connection with children with disabilities in a very veiled way, hinting largely that the future lies in volunteers, because you know the funding is going. I am assuming the volunteers will come from the soon to be sacked public sector workers who will receive no benefits if they do not volunteer.

    Quite bizarrely you have also regaled us about your love of blokes hitting each other in legally sanctioned assaults. Hey violence is ok if it has the Featherstone approval. It is apparently totally lost on you though that a sport designed to render people unconscious leads to the kind of disabilities that you are allegedly such a fine advocate for. I expect we will now be deluged with the “it keeps kids with no hope off the streets” brigade.

    Speculation on the radio this morning that today’s budget will not derail the coalition- because of the LibDems lust for power- but the anticipated non-arrival of PR should do it some time next year- when they realise they will get, what’s that boxing term, “knocked out” without it.

    Oh I could go on but to be honest this has all very quickly become a not very funny joke. I recommend any readers the least bit interested to google “Quentin Letts Lynne Featherstone” for a far better appraisal of our local MP than I can manage.

  6. I think that “spreading the word” is great but it is only part of the equation. We need to undersatnd the consequences of what to do once we have the message. My experience over the past 25 years in this field has shown me it is the deepset attitudes that need working on. The “word” is only the first part, resources time and money are required to make the changes we really need.

  7. This really is a good idea and what is needed to promote this condition. The attitudes are very fixed in these conditions and they do need to change, when the public see famous people involved it helps enomously it can bring down barriers. I do hope this initiative continues.

  8. Hi Lynne, I sent you a message on Twitter but thought I’d stop by here also to thank you once again for your support, not only for the Talkathon, but for parents, families and people on the spectrum. Also, hope you enjoyed your day participating in Walk In Our Shoes!