Advice to my past self: lessons I have learnt over the last year

By Grace Hill

I remember it clear as a bell. The date was 16 March 2022. The time was around 3pm. I was on my bed going about a normal day with KISS FM on. Or at least that was what I thought until one particular artist came on. That might not sound like a big thing to most people… often when we have music on it is just to keep us entertained while we do something else like cleaning our rooms or studying. And that day I was no different. But when this particular artist came on KISS, I stopped and paid attention. Who was this and why did I understand what they were saying in their lyrics more and more every time I heard them? Curious, I looked into their story and found that they had devoted most of their life to their passion for the creative arts. This was something I related to massively having been passionate about KISS since the age of 5, and especially since I was getting very frustrated with myself for having no skill or interest in other areas like sport.

Since hearing that artist on KISS, a lot has happened. I have taken up writing to help me express what is in my head, as opposed to it just being something I enjoy, like it was when I was younger. I keep myself physically active by dancing (badly!) and I have aspirations to take this more seriously in the future. I guess the biggest change is that I now have a solid support network from across different generations, including friends of a similar age range to me who accept, maybe even like, all of my differences. From my anxiety about getting ready to go out, to my fits of dancing and smiling for no reason. But how have I reached this point? If my past self was sat beside me now, what would I tell her? The truth is I have learnt a lot over this last year. It has been, as the title of this newsletter says, a journey of acceptance and growth. Here are some pieces of advice I would give to my past self if I was helping her on the same journey again.

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Sleep Problems (and Solutions) in Children on the Autism Spectrum 

Children who fall within the autism spectrum often have trouble sleeping. Studies have shown that up to 80% of autistic children have sleep issues at least at one time in their childhood. 

As a parent, you want to do whatever you can to ensure your child gets enough high-quality sleep. What do you need to know about sleep problems in children with autism and their solutions?

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Further Evidence of Violent Abuse in Specialist Settings

Blog by Amelia McLoughlan, Policy & Research Officer and Michelle Daley, Director.

ALLFIE is appalled, and yet unsurprised to see yet another investigation into the injustice of a ‘specialist’ setting, that found systematic and sustained abuse and denial of rights to Young Disabled people.

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Join the campaign to end the torture of Disabled people in so-called ‘care homes’

ALLFIE, DPAC and ROFA demand an immediate statutory review into the torture, sexual violence, violence and deaths of Disabled people in institutions. Abuse must end in all service provision, and Commissioners who are using public money for Disabled people to be abused held to account! Please get involved and register for our next campaign planning meeting:

  • Date: Thursday 1st June 2023
  • Time: 5pm – 7pm
  • Where: Zoom (link will be emailed automatically when you book)
  • Access: BSL interpreters and captions
  • The event will be recorded for note taking purposes

June 2023



While education, health and social care is being underfunded, profits are being made through incarceration and segregated provision in which Disabled people are subjected to tactics of violence, harm and torture. This is a historical systemic failing, recently re-highlighted by the BBC, Guardian and ALLFIE:
“The failures behind the scandals, by contrast, are rooted in systems that are massively opaque. In the case of children’s homes and residential schools, the bodies responsible include Ofsted, local councils and a tangle of profit-making companies.” (Guardian, April 2023)

The statistics speak for themselves: The top 20 private providers making £250m+ in annual profits, alongside a 9% cut in funding per pupil (Guardian)

We want to spend this money on improving the life chances and opportunities for ALL Disabled people; the government want to lock them up and pour profits into shareholder returns for corporations!

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MAPs in Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton Educational Psychology Service are excited to continue our third year of the Promoting Inclusion from the Early Years Project (PIFEYP). This project is situated within our wider strategic work to develop a culture of inclusion and belonging in Wolverhampton. Part of the collaborative PIFEYP has involved using person-centred planning, Making Action Plans (MAP), to support the transition of children with identified special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) who are starting mainstream reception in September 2023. We have worked with partners to offer parents/carers across the city MAP meetings. This year we have offered to facilitate 45 MAPs and cannot wait to collaboratively use this creative and inspiring process to create shared visions and plans for positive transitions and futures for children starting school.

A fantastic update from Wolverhampton Educational Psychology Service

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person holding smartphone riding airplane

How You Can Earn Money While Travelling Abroad

A long trip abroad is one of the most exciting things that anyone can do. There will always be places you have dreamt about going to, and you know that a short vacation will never really give you the in-depth experiences you crave. A week or two is enough to give you a taster of these amazing countries, but if you want to soak up the culture, see beyond the tourist traps, and get to know the people, then you are going to have to look at a longer trip.

However, the stumbling block for most people when they think about packing their bags and heading abroad for a few months is, of course, money. Prices are going up everywhere you look right now, and it can be tough to think about stashing money away when you are struggling to pay for your weekly supermarket shop and your energy bills. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can earn some money while travelling abroad. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular.

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