Day 10 - Facts

Day nine was the last day where the general trend was south. It was also the last day for a while where was most of the miles were being done on the road. Today I started heading east towards Montpellier, and the Mediterranean Sea. My Dad joined me today, and, we will be riding towards Carcassonne over the next few days. We left Bordeaux on the Voie Verte, one of a network of cycle paths that have been converted from old railways. They are great if you do not like riding on the road, or want a break from the road. Then we cut across country to the Canal des Deux Mers (actually it is two canals, the Canal du Midi, and the Canal du Garonne). Unlike the Forth and Clyde and Union Canals at home it will take more than a day to ride the length of these two, in fact it will take the best part of a week to get all the way across, but at least there won’t be any cars!

I quoted a few stats about the trip in the last blog. The rest of this blog covers off some other facts. The 2019 Tour de France (the real one) marks the 100th year where the famous Maillot Jaune or yellow jersey has been used to identify the race later. In contrast it is only 50 years since Leo Kanner first described classic autism syndrome. He did not make any statements about the number of people with the condition.

Over 20 years later Victor Lotter published the first results of an epidemiological study of children with the behaviour pattern identified by Kanner in the former county of Middlesex. He identified that 4.5 in every 10,000 children displayed the bahviours identified by Kanner.

Today around 1% of the UK population may be autistic, this is roughly 700,000 people – 2.8m people in the UK may have a relative on the autism spectrum. Between 44-52% of people who are autistic may have a learning difficulty. In contrast around a third of people with a learning difficulty may also be autistic.

Some other facts about autism include:

• Autism is a life long condition, you do not ‘grow out of it’.

• Autism affects both boys and girls. However, five times as many males as females are diagnosed with autism.

• Some autistic people do not speak, they are non-verbal and communicate through other means.

• Autism is not a mental health problem. It is a developmental disability.

• It is not true that everyone is on the autism spectrum. What is true is that everyone might recognise some autistic traits within themselves.

Thanks for reading,

Neil