Wellbeing is an important measure of quality of life. So this evening’s meeting focused on autism and wellbeing factors. The event was particular well attended, with nearly 60 participants. Amy Sharp – Senior Peer Coach at Islington Core Teams – took the audience through to areas of daily life which can improve well being: diet and sleep. Amy’s presentation was practical and relavant – Her lived experience as a neurodivergent Peer Coach, made the topic relatable where the audience connected to anecdotal experiences.
A revealing interactive quiz highlighted our misconceptions about natural and added sugars in our daily diet. A pie chart was a motivator for a colour diet and those all important dark vegetables. Sweet potatoes are super food, replacing the traditional spud. Try to avoid sugary drinks! The busy online chat indicated that many audience members were also using apps and routines as part of their diet management.
We then moved on to the second section on improving sleep. Research suggests that people with autism, ADHD or both can have less REM sleep or delayed REM sleep. One member raised the issue of autism and transition from sleep to being awake.
After healthy eating and sleep, the busy evening moved to an update from our second guest speaker Dr Jason Crabtree on the digital Universal Care Plan (UCP). This is an NHS service that would enable autistic Londoners to have their care and support wishes digitally shared with healthcare professionals across the capital. Again there were thoughtful questions on implementation, application and data. For more information on the UCP, please visit: https://ucp.onelondon.online/about/
Overall, this was an informative evening with plenty of content advice. I enjoyed attending and moderating.
Nick Stone, Autism Hub peer support facilitator & ALAG member, 6 September 2023