What’s On, November 2020

Whats On
Society for Neurodiversity

New Website

After months of hard work behind the scenes the new Society for Neurodiversity Websit is live.  The new site includes updated information about what S4Nd stands for, our aims and vision. You can also access important policy and documents and  calendar events. There’s an enhanced members’ area that features chat forums for discussions and spaces to share documents, photos, and files.  To access the members area, register or login. Profiles can use either your real name or be anonymous. we are still in Beta so there may be some bugs, submit feedback about your experience to to [email protected]

Assessment choice

Following detailed enquiries made by S4Nd members, Sara and Janine, over the past two years, NHS England and NHS Improvement have recently confirmed that patient choice does apply to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder diagnostic assessments.  It is likely that this would also apply to other neurodevelopmental conditions, such as Dyspraxia and Tourette Syndrome.  We are writing to Clinical Commissioning Groups across West Yorkshire to inform them that we will be advocating on behalf of our members to ensure they are able to go to a diagnostic service of their choice.  Guidance will be available soon in the Members Area of our website. To access the members area, register or login.

Mindful movement

If you’d like to try some mindful movement weekly online yoga and Tai Chi classes are continuing this month. Free for S4Nd members these mindful movement practices offer many benefits for neurodiverse people. No experience is necessary.

Yoga can help improve emotional regulation, concentration and sleep and reduce symptoms of stress, low mood and sensory overload. It does this by stimulating the vagus and dialling down the “fight, flight, or freeze” response to heightened levels of anxiety. The Yoga class at 7pm on Tuesdays is taught by Sally Brown from Bikebuddha Yoga who is autistic and the classes will cycle through a series of six topics of relevance to neurodiversity.

The ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi is also relaxing and beneficial for neurodiversity. The Tai Chi class at 7pm on Wednesdays is taught by Ian Burgess from Heaven Man Earth Yang Taijiquan (Tai Chi) in Edinburgh who is also autistic. For more information about mindful movement see the blog (coming soon) and activities

To take part you must be a member register or login.

Diagnosis stories

If you’ve got a story to tell about your diagnosis it could help shape a new service. Lived experience of diagnosis will help shape plans to develop a new S4Nd pre and post-diagnostic support service. A questionnaire will be available on our website www.s4nd.org  in November. If as many as possible can complete the form it will help give a fuller picture of the challenges faced by people receiving and seeking neurodiversity clinical diagnosis in the North of England.

Have our say

The next bi-annual members’ survey is a chance for us all to shape our society and what it does. The survey will be sent out December by email and on the website next month. It should only take ten minutes make time to fill it in and the deadline is Sunday 13 December. Names of everyone who completes the survey will go into a hat and the first one drawn out after the deadline gets a special Christmas surprise gift.

Return of Moots

After a brief break due to security concerns the online moots are back. These regular group catch ups take place on the Zoom platform. They run several times a week and contain information, sharing and chat. For details see events.

We’re a charity!

The S4Nd was awarded official charitable status at the end of last month. This important process means we can now enjoy some useful benefits in relation to tax and funding bids.

Award nomination

S4Nd has been nominated for a local award in Calderdale. S4Nd is a nominee in the Breakthrough of the Year category in the Calderdale Spirit Awards. Winners will be announced on 26 November. Keep your fingers crossed. www.cffc.co.uk/calderdale-community-spirit-awards-2020/

Annual General Meeting

The S4Nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) takes place in December. This is a gathering of all S4Nd members so we can discuss what we’d like S4Nd to do in the coming year. This year’s AGM will be online using Zoom. Log in details and agenda will be shared in advance of the meeting, see events.

Connecting during coronavirus

S4Nd has successfully delivered a service for autistic and neurodiverse people feeling isolated and vulnerable as a result of Covid-19. The  Keeping Neurodivergent People Connected (KNPC) service offered support, advice and connection for neurodiverse people aged over 18 and living in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. KNPC ran throughout the summer and autumn of 2020 and received positive feedback from participants and commissioners. People can continue to stay connected by becoming members of S4Nd and accessing activities including mindful movement sessions and Moots. For more information  register or login

Fundraising success

S4Nd members walked a total of 1,303 miles in September to raise money for the Move the Calderdale Way charity. The £600 raised will be spent on activities. S4Nd also won £20 in the team Public Health Draw.

Watch the video  https://youtu.be/ZUWyhLzj7YU

Thank you and best regards

Angie Balmer

Related Articles

Website accessibility

It was always our intention that S4Nd would be “virtual”. For many neurodivergent people, the idea of having to go somewhere can sometimes be a step too far. Being virtual gives people better access – the members area is available to use 24 hours a day. Geography is not a barrier to the virtual world, so it does not matter that we are based in Calderdale. Being virtual means we can reach far more people and create a dedicated, safe space for people to connect through shared interests.

Clothes make the man – the changing of a logo

The making of a logo. “Like it or not, things change. And, sometimes, they are completely unexpected. Like when I got the message that we couldn’t carry on using the logo. It had a stock photo of the rainbow infinity symbol and, according to conventional wisdom, that wasn’t something that was acceptable to use in an organisations logo so it had to go.”

Peer Support Groups

S4Nd’s peer support groups are run by and for neurodiverse people. The groups offer members mutual support, guidance and the sharing of information.All S4Nd peer support groups are open to anyone who identifies as neurodiverse. Groups are held monthly on Sundays using Zoom and take place from 2.30-4pm. They follow the same principles as the Moots

Neurodiverse yoga

Hi, I’m Sally SJ Brown from Bikebuddha Yoga. I’m an academic researcher, writer and editor and yoga teacher based in the north of England.

Since completing my 200-hour yoga teacher training in 2018 my goal has been to bring accessible, inclusive yoga to underserved people and places. That includes inner-city communities, more mature groups, wheelchair users – and neurodiverse people.