Category Archives: Uncategorized

TED talks on Autism and other child & family topics

maxresdefault copyDo you want to listen to ideas worth spreading? is a website devoted to global conferences where experienced and respected people share their thoughts and ideas with the world. The TED annual conference series began in 1990, and since June 2006 the talks have been offered for free online viewing through the website, which now has over 2,400 talks. Altogether, the talks have been watched over one billion times worldwide.

A great talk to start with is ‘How autism freed me to be myself‘ by 16 year old Rosie King, who challenges stereotypes of people with autism and contextualizes the issue by asking us, “Why be normal?” Rosie’s talk is only 6 minutes long, but has been viewed well over one million times and has both a transcript and multi-lingual subtitles. There are currently seven other TED talks on autism at

Other child & family areas to browse within the video library include:

Play (14 talks)

Family (19 talks)

Parenting (26 talks)

Children (92 talks)

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. TED’s speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. You can download most TED Talks in MP4 or MP3 format either directly from the website or through the TED app, which allows you to watch talks offline from your mobile device, although you will need to first download the TED app via iTunes or Google Play. This is great if you have a slow internet connection or you want to watch Talks when you’re travelling.80x15


The Online Waldorf Library

Online Waldorf Library logoDid you know the Online Waldorf Library has hundreds of free ebooks available to download?

The Online Waldorf Library is a project of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education and provides access to publications on Waldorf education and related subjects. The Library includes an ever increasing number of eBooks in pdf format that can be downloaded to your computer, tablet or e-reader. Three titles that I particularly like in the collection are:

* An Overview of the Waldorf Kindergarten, edited by Joan Almon
* Completing the Circle by Thomas Poplawski
* Childhood Under Threat by Christian Rittelmeyer

These and many more can be freely downloaded from the Library – no log-in is required, just visit:

The Online Waldorf Library

The Library also contains links to journals, articles and other resources about Waldorf education, and a selection of titles are available in Spanish. The Library is a valuable resource to Waldorf teachers, parents, home schoolers, and anyone interested in Waldorf education.

If you want to know more about the Research Institute, they have a Facebook page that is worth following:

UK Children’s Commissioners

4xCC collageEach of the four UK Children’s Commissioners are active on social media, making it easy to follow what they are thinking and doing.

Many countries have a Children’s Ombudsman responsible for promoting and protecting the rights of children and young people, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). An Ombudsman may also be referred to as a Child Advocate, or, as in the UK, as a Children’s Commissioner. The UK has four Commissioners, one each for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I find it valuable to follow them on social media as they provide a well-informed perspective on current issues affecting children. Here are the four individual UK Commissioners.

Anne Longfield OBE became the Children’s Commissioner for England in March 2015. Prior to this, Anne was chief executive of 4Children – a national charity which works to support children, young people and families. Anne can be followed through these channels:
Facebook: officeofthechildrenscommissioner
Twitter: @annelongfield (individual) & @ChildrensComm (official). The official account is busier and has many more followers.

Tam Baillie has been Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People since May 2009. Tam had previously been Director of Policy for Barnardo’s from 2003 to 2009, following 25 years experience as a practitioner and as a manager of services for children and young people and their families. Tam can be followed through these channels:
Facebook: RightsSCCYP
Twitter: @CYPCS
Online newsletter:
Many of Tam’s speeches and presentations are freely available as PDFs from

Dr. Sally Holland became the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in April 2015. Sally was previously an academic at Cardiff University specialising in family and child welfare, and was Director of the Cascade children’s social research centre at the University. Sally can be followed through these channels:
Twitter: @childcomwales (English language) and @complantcymru (Welsh language)

Koulla Yiasouma became the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People in February 2015. Koulla had previously been director of Include Youth, a post she held for 16 years, working tirelessly to improve the experiences of and outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people throughout Northern Ireland. Koulla can be followed through these channels:
Facebook: nichildrenscommissioner
Twitter: @nichildcom (official) and @ShriekingGreek  (individual & informal)

jVVtJFqxThe four UK Children’s Commissioners mostly act through their individual offices, but earlier this year the four UK Children’s Commissioners published a joint report which scrutinises the UK and devolved government’s record on children’s rights over the last seven years. It identifies areas of common concern drawn across the four nations; they include the state of mental health services, child sexual abuse, children in the justice system, the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and repealing the Human Rights Act. You can find the report at each of the Commissioners websites, e.g ‘Report of the UK Children’s Commissioners – UN Committee on the Rights of the Child