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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Autistic and moving to London.

The trouble with the human is that he has never had much of a sense for keeping his nose out of stressful situations. I am starting to think he dives into them on purpose just to see what happens. I mean people often make choices which have big effects on the people around them, my human just seems to make big choices them act on them quickly. He is Autistic, Were moving to London. This post is some of the things we are doing to try and make this happen!

So first, Why the hell are we moving! We have everything we need in Taunton (well, mostly, i don’t see many herds of antelope). We have a wonderful stable home, great support, we earn enough to pay the bills and we have fun doing it. So what has possessed the human to uproots and leave? I believe at least 50% of the reason is to just prove to himself he can, the other 50% is a mix of ego, excitement and adventure. I don’t think he considered antelope supplies one bit!

For those who know about this autism lark i can see you thinking now, “crikey Lion, moving with autism, isn’t that going to be hugely awkward with the whole routines thing?” the simple answer is yes. The longer answer is, well the rest of this post.

Moving is stressful to everyone, but humans with autism find it particularly hard. Moving means that we are going to go from normal, through change, and then to a new and different normal.

Remarkably the big things do not bother the human all that much, but the little things do. Were moving into the centre of a large city and the human does not mind the increased crime rate or the higher chance of getting run over (factors he feels are out of his control). What bothers him is trying to think about things like the front door, the human is worrying about what type of lock it has, which way does it turn, how does he know its the RIGHT door. Does it slam when the window is open? What parameters effect the noise of the click. What colour is it? How do we know the door is “how ever it should be”.

The answer to this worry has been quite simple.. we have asked the estate agents for a photo of the front door and have prepared a list of questions to ask them about how it should be and how we know that its right.

This and a multitude of other details are causing the human concern! As we go through the moving process i have decided to blog a little about how we go about over coming these worries. How we stop them forming into worry chains.

We hope that by writing about these worries as they come up, we can write (or be guided towards) strategies to make this move work.

Published: 25 June 2011 Permalink

Independence Day: July 15th

No, thats not an error! I know i have not written here for a while (been nomming antelopes, starting companies and trying to breed smarties) but i have not gone crazy. July the 15th; Our Independence Day.

So back last year (about now give or take) the human and i were living in supported living & reached the decision that we would go independent & start our own business. This is a quick post a year on, what we have learnt and a little about what being independent means to us.

A lot has changed in a year, i can remember before we made the move, the human going over cake budgets and the like. The decision to move on was not taken lightly and its been an interesting time.

First up we have a whole heap of cool and amazing things, going independent meant we could start our own company, properly. This has been life changing, while my antelope management pays a few bills (the cake) the web coding design dance the human does pays the rest.

This little change has effected the way we see the world together. Once something which would have been expensive, or unthinkable (eg, a holiday, a double bed etc) has been achieved. Buying our own smarties means that we are in control and that feels very important. Independence has resulted in new choices we have never been able to make before, while some of these choices were unwanted, or scary, on the whole they have been for the better.

Independence however is hard to maintain. On good days, the flat looks after itself everything is just right and the antelope are plentiful, but on the bad days the hyenas are in the pride lands and it looks like everything is an elephant graves yard. This last year has had many challenges, sometimes they have been simply learning new skills, or adapting to new situations. At other times these challenges have been more about how we see where we fit in the world.

I am writing this post at Silly AM as the human is unable to sleep again. Coming up are lots and lots of changes, more university, more independence more new experience in places we never considered we would be going. Its time to budget for cake.

Published: 6 July 2010 Permalink

Hair Stones

Well, its silly am in the morning and the human is wet, cold and getting very annoyed. Why? well lots of reasons!

This all started when the human got very annoyed with smell this morning, i was lucky enough to be with him when he was chatting to the lovely support lady in college this afternoon, he could smell himself and that is never good!

Anyway, once he had got home he had a show, replaced his bedding (with “clean” bedding) and then had some dinner with jimmy. Really didn’t want the shower as today and for the last few days the human has had sensitive head fur!

The small patch of hair on his head seems strange, waking up early in the morning on not being able to sleep because his hairline hurts. It feels like small stones are his hair or someone keeps rubbing sandpaper against his head. It normally results in lots of tossing and turning and growling from us both! (he lies on my tail, grrrr)

Anyway, tonight was like this, even though we snuggled and snuggled, crumpled the new bedding and tried to make it nice, sleep just kept avoiding us. It took so long that the iphone even ran out of Audio book! At this point human was getting rawry so he decided to do something. He had another shower.

This shower was set too heat 2. Which is cold, very cold, it made his head and sholders go numb. He then used his nice shampoo to scrape his paws through his hair. Alot came out but it stopped feeling like it was full of stones. After the shower we came back into the room and made a nice nest on his bed.

And so, almost 2 hours later we are sat wondering what exactly to do, he is very sleepy but still not comfortable and i am bored. So i thought i would write this up incase anyone else gets the hair stones feeling!

Published: 18 June 2009 | Categories: , Permalink

My human can spell: EQUILIBRIUM

As a lion i don’t have a problem with spelling, the bigger problem is normally with typing.. paw sized keyboards are hard to find! Anyway, some humans do have trouble spelling and this can be a pain in the tail when they have exams coming up. Today, i was in college revising with my human and he was learning how to spell some really long complicated looking words!

My human has an interesting thing with spelling, words just don’t like staying in his head. Letters all move around and hide, and look like each other. And thats when they are behaving! If they dont wany to behave they come out in whatever order they feel like no mater how much i rawr at them!

So, we started doing it a different way. Remembering large movements and really clearly different signs works so well that we started to learn spellings that way. By using fingerspell the patterns are more obvious, so when something has “ILI” in it there is a nice rhythm. For this word he found that he was getting the end bit wrong (the horrible IUM bit) and getting the I and the U the wrong way around. With finger spell this was easy to resolve as it became apparent that the ending was just going around my hand from the I to the M (in finger spell, I is the poiting finger, I the little finger, and M is on the palm) I have popped a little video we made in college today on the end of here so you can see what i mean.

Finger Spell: Equilibrium from Jamie Knight on Vimeo.

Published: 10 June 2009 Permalink

This Lion Needs More Sleep!

Wow, its that time again. Its 7:47 in the morning and i have managed to grab the macbook long enough to write a quick update to lickr while jamie enjoys the simpsons.

Now what can i say about the last couple of weeks since my last post. Well a few things have been going on, Jamie finally got the new design online. He has been meaning to do it for a while and he finally go the time to sit down and finish the process of developing the new site and design.

He is pretty happy with how it has turned out, he is very happy that it has been picked up by a couple of the design sites, though as ever he is still adding to it.

The thing which i think is most interesting (besides having my own section on the new site) is when he made it. Since me and jamie moved to our new den he has had a huge problem with sleeping. After spending hours upon hours every night lying in the bedtent or snuggling with me he has still found himself unable to sleep.

This has generally been bad, but it has opened up a whole load more time when jamie is half a sleep for him to do design stuff in. Jamie says that he feels more creative at night, and i think some of his recent work shows the fact!

So with very little sleep, no talky and college not going to well jamie managed to push out his newly updated site.

In some ways he feels that he has moved forward in his love of the web in recent weeks and he has found more passion for what he does. For me i like to see Jamie passionate about something, Though i really wish he would sleep me. This Lion Needs More Sleep!

Published: 16 December 2007 Permalink

Music of the Pawed one.

“The Pawed One� I like it. It seems that Lion isn’t descriptive enough, I wonder if in 30 years time I will be the “The pawed one with the long tail and wrinkles�. Jamie called me this earlier, and I though I would share after one of of the people here said it was a nice way to refer to me.

Anyway, Today I am going to write about music! As anyone who has played with the macbook (or looked on the iPod) will know that I have my playlist of my favourite tracks. I thought I would list a couple of them up here.

Umlike Jamie I don’t listen to the same track for weeks at a time. I prefer to vary my music, We have similar tastes in most things, incluysing music, however there are some things Jamie likes which I do not (and I find myself hiding in the bed tent with my paws over my ears when he insists on playing them) but I am going to focus on what I like, and Jamie either likes, or doesn’t hate too completely.

The music I like can be split up into the following ever more specific lists. Studios or publishers. Artists and compilations, Albums and then tracks. (Jamie also likes bits of tracks, but I am not quite that obsessive).

I am going to start with the studio who’s music I love. I Love the Music of Disney and, by extension Pixar. The soundtracks to their films and animations are lengendary and in my collections I have “ Just around the River bend � by Pocahontas and I have the complete soundtrack to “ The Hunchback of Notre Dame �. Something which I have been hunting for is the full theme to the Lion King which I really love! I also Like the music of Toy Story , and Cars, I think they are both by Andy Newman…. I should really get Jamie to buy me one of those for Christmas, Add it to my wish list I think I will!

Some artists I love include The Fray, and Pink Floyd. I also enjoy much of the older David Bowie. The track from the fray which I love is called “ How to save a life � I heard this on Scrubs and I found it to be an excellent bit of music. So I found it on iTunes a few days later and got it (while Jamie wasn’t looking) I slipped it into his playlist too, and he hasn’t complained….

There are a couple of albums which I could listen to all day everyday until the end of time (or more likely, the iPods battery runs out of electrons willing to charge round in the direction I want them to). *Eyes Ope*n and The Very Best of the Chillout Session are the two main ones.

Individual tracks, where there is only one track I like from them there are a few. I really love the Blade theme tune, I also love the Song Killer Queen by queen, I like how the track jumps about. I know Jamie like it because he can vision it, I like it because its sounds Great!

So, that’s the posts, about music. You may now call me “The musical Pawed One�.

Published: 1 December 2007 | Categories: , Permalink

Quiet Balti

People. yes the funny pinky browny things which smell and make lots of noise. You know the ones I mean? Good. Well they got up to something very strange today, but also very good.

Lions, we are social animals, though we are not party animal, more of a “quiet get together over an antelope carcass, how are the cubs� sort of animal so we do like the occasional get together. For quite a while Jamie and I have lived in the world of our room, after spending almost 18 months living in places where leaving you room meant almost certain death (okay that’s an exaggeration, but that’s what it felt like to Jamie) we are now not in den where you can walk outside of the door and sit in your own lounge.

This is a bit of a strange thing, Jamie and I have never been the type of people who sit in a living room all night, we are far more likely to be sat up in our room on the computer, out on our bike or snuggling in the bedtent, so it’s a bit of a realisation when there is a lounge a top the building for us and the other in the dens dwellers nearby.

Today we found told about an event in a lounge, and we were invited. This is the first in a very long time. Jamie was a bit worried about the people and the changes, but we were quickly swayed. We were told free food was on offer so we went to have a sniff and a lick.

We enter room full of people, not mysterious people, but people who we knew very little about ( a bit like meeting the back of the fridge for the first time and finding out its hot!). We ventured in and found a nice seat to sit in where we were offered sweets and other foods. Then we sat and we watched.

Sitting there, quiet we found we could keep up, people were in a happy mood, people were making jokes about the food (which was yummy) and were discussing about life. Jokes were told and people were talking about things which didn’t seem to scary.

People sat down beside me, I could feel Jamie tighten his grip but in time it relaxed again. It got to the point where even Jamie joined in, using his phone as a textpad to send a few words and share a few jokes and funny stories.

So, in all, I like the idea of lounges, where people can meet, and I look forward to living in a more open house. I think Jamie does too, though I think he is scared of trusting.

We have been here for 5 days, and although the staff all seem to look like each other, and the residents can seem a little scary, I think Jamie is starting to feel like he has a home.

Thanks for the “bali� It was interesting and new. Though, I do feel next time, I should be careful of the nose. I think I know why India doesn’t have many lions…

Published: 17 November 2007 | Categories: , Permalink

New Den!

Smell that? Isn’t it a bit strange, in fact its new!

A Lion is nothing without den, almost like a car without wheels, sure the steering works, and the seats are comfy, but it wont actually go anywhere. Well, this lion now has a new set of shiny wheels.

This lion also has a Jamie, if I am a car, and I have new wheels, than Jamie is the driver. My job is to keep Jamie safe, and to make sure he doesn’t have any mega big problems when I all of a sudden have wheels.

As I may have mentioned before, Jamie doesn’t like change. He hates change, and it leads to many problems. So, having his car all of a sudden shoot out from under him has caused a few problems. The biggest one is he hasn’t been able to speak. I am sure I will write more on this in the future, but it has been, to say the least, an interesting couple of weeks.

With the new den, has come new things that I am very impressed with. First up the new den is a supported den. We use to live in a hotel which was temporary and the support was by the kindness of the staff. The staff did a greate job, but, while we were there we were able to keep the engine running and the seats heated, but going places was not an option. The new den however, is part of a bigger place. This new place is purpose built for supporting people in dens. So far this support has proved to be immensely awesome and very encouraging.

In the new den we have help with the things which people may consider basic, we have quiet and security, we have comfort and clarity. We have support and understanding. We are very excited to say the new den is great.

Published: 15 November 2007 | Categories: , Permalink

This and That.

Its 11:23pm.. well I think it is anyway… Basically what I am trying to say is that its almost midnight, but I don’t know how the darn BST thing works! so i am not entirely sure.

I have managed to steal away with the MacBook again to update you all with what has been happening in lion land.

At the end of last week, as I am sure you all know, Jamie and I went to the 100th boagworld podcast ( here is his blog post on it ), that was pretty cool and staying with Alan & Jesse up in London was also very amazing.

While I was in London I went to see museums, rode on tube train, a bus and even had a mini photos shoot . This was great fun and I really thank Alan for putting up with me and the Jamie.

While I was in London I met Anna, Anna was the person who made Paul his 100 cake… she seems to like making things because not more than a week later she had made an awesome animation of me doing the licking thing.

I was rather amazed at this, and to be honest I don’t have a clue what to say other than to say thank you and smile… I know the emotion is called gratitude so I am sending a big box of gratitude in Anna’s direction. I think the animation is superb and you obviously show some great talent as an animator!

This is a bit of a strange thing which did happen over the last few days, my little blog here has started to become more public. Only today I found myself adding an “about lion� page. This was rather odd, but I added it all the same. Jamie said the site needed one and I even read the comments that said the same.

As people have started reading lickr I have started getting messages, this is something Jamie and me both find very confusing. We don’t have a clue how to act over this, so if your one of the people who have sent me an email then that’s why the replies are a little bit muddled.

So, I think that’s about all I have to write about at the moment, Jamie and I are going back to college tomorrow so I beter go back and get snuggling!

Published: 28 October 2007 Permalink

Coaches and Train Pain

I hate travailing. It’s a lion thing. We love to roam. Lions don’t normally use bus’s or trains (people tend to stare…. Or run away) we prefer to walk. Though, I agree that walking to London is a bit much.

So, a problem is born. Me and That human friend of mine are expected in London, and walking there seems like a bad idea. So we required a plan.

By a lucky occurrence Jamie knew someone who was planning on going to London too for the same thing. So they made plans and I was going to tag along like a normally do.

Sadly During today Jamie got a phone call from our travelling partner. We had been planning to go onto the train (which said person would already be on) and trains down to London to meet the person we are staying with. However, This was not to happen. That’s the call that Jamie got.

Jamie doesn’t like trains. Well, Jamie doesn’t like trains when they are moving. (He says its something to do with all the wheel pointing in different directions apparently). So now that we are not meeting with anyone we decided that we would do what we know best and go by the slower but cheaper coach.

Nicely the travailing (or not so as the case may be) companion phone very early to say he was not going to be able to meet us, giving us time to make alternative plans. Jamie phoned the bus people and booked us a seat.

(As a strange little fact, the bus companies consider Lions as “luggage� and thus I don’t need my own seat. I don’t like being called luggage, But, it is nice to be able to travel for free so I will let them do it)

Jamie got a little bit flappy talking to the bus people trying to make sense of what they were saying. But soon we knew we needed the 5:20 bus.

So, after a little bit of hassle and what not we were ready to travel. Jamie is a little obsessive about things he HAS to have with him. So after packing all of these things (bowly, taily, Me, Lil-Lion to name a few) we headed for the bus stop.

The bus arrived on time and we had a quick chat with the person next to us. Then Jamie listened to his Audio book while I looked out of the window and got stroked.

I was interested in watching what was going by. I spend lots of my time in my bag so I don’t always get to see much. I hear and smell it instead. But today I got to see the whole experience. It was fantastic. It was new and exciting. As we entered London me and Jamie looked at the new things we could see… Entering London and night is a very fun thing indeed. Lots of pretty colours and new things.

The great thing Jamie likes about coaches is that the inside remains the same stable knowable thing, while the outside changes. This means that you can see, hear smell new things without losing the stability That he needs.

So, we got into London at 8:20pm and met with Alan after collecting out luggage we got onto a bus and went to the new place. Shortly after arriving I was out of my bag and snuggling with Jamie as he got use to this new place. Then Jamie and Alan tidied the room while I listened to some music.

Jamie is now Talking with Alan and I am writing this, About To go to bed.
So, so far a good start to what looks to be a very exciting week. Tomorrow is the boagworld 100th and the first trip into central London this trip! I really cannot wait!

Published: 20 October 2007 | Categories: , Permalink