Episodes
Melissa Simmonds is black and autistic, as are her children. In this episode she talks about the anxiety she feels when her 16-year-old stims in public, and what he might do if stopped by police. How would you feel if a builder arrived an hour earlier than expected? Listener Daisy was overwhelmed when her plans had to suddenly alter and says 1800 Seconds on Autism helped her get through. You're welcome. This is the last episode in the current series. We've published regularly since March...
Published 06/25/21
This is the one where we get through some of your emails. Jamie describes how it feels when the "mouth words" won't come. Robyn explains why wearing her favourite jumper to a medical appointment helps "cocoon" her from what's happening and how a whiteboard beside her front door helps to structure the week. The two autistic presenters also bond over how confusing neurotypical people can be. With Robyn Steward and Jamie Knight. Produced by Emma Tracey and Damon Rose. Subscribe on BBC...
Published 05/26/21
Our podcast host Jamie attended A&E three times recently with excruciating pain but because he couldn't describe it, he was sent home. Autistic people often can't explain severity or location of discomfort and he was only admitted to hospital when outward signs, screaming and black-outs, showed it was serious. It's now thought that Jamie had sepsis and, when he stopped being able to walk, they began to realise he has a spinal injury. We discuss what could have been done differently...
Published 04/28/21
There is no episode this month but we’ll be back soon. Jamie has been very unwell over the last few weeks, leading to A&E visits and hospital stays. He is doing much better now though, recovering at home and managing his energy levels. We’ve spoken before on the podcast about how tricky being autistic and in hospital can be so as you can imagine, Jamie has lots of important stuff to share about his recent experiences. All being well, Jamie and Robyn will be back in late April with...
Published 03/25/21
Just two weeks after an autism diagnosis, comedian Fern Brady gets support from our podcast hosts Robyn and Jamie. Like many others, Fern waited until lockdown broke all her routines before seeking help. In fact, she says it became cheaper to pay for a private diagnosis than to repair her house when meltdowns led to "punched walls and cracked light switches". The successful stand-up describes the journey from GP contact onwards, and gets reassurance from the presenters that feelings of...
Published 02/25/21
Blogger Neurodivergent Rebel explores why sex and gender are big topics in the autistic community, and talks about the two metaphorical closets they had to “come out” of. Listener Madge has advice for young autistic people starting their gender journey. And ... it's the third lockdown everyone. Jamie hopes never to need a Covid test as "sticking a long thing in his nose" might stop him speaking for weeks. Robyn, who has been tested twice, helps out with a big dose of reassurance and...
Published 01/28/21
We chat about “scripting”, the rules of eating that no one tells you about, and avoiding crunchy food. This all comes before an email from a postman sparks lots of happy stimming. Emily from the blog ‘21 And Sensory’ explains how her autism diagnosis was given to her in a really positive way and on what occasions she uses the sunflower lanyard to show she has a hidden impairment. We finish with tips for how to do Christmas in a helpful way for the autistic person in your life. With...
Published 12/24/20
Autistic psychologist Emily Lovegrove says that when her children left home, she "needed something else to obsess about". So she studied bullying to PHD level and now arms young people with strategies to cope if they are being targeted. Ignoring it, telling someone and fighting back are, she says, logical strategies for an emotional subject. Instead, Lovegrove suggests working on your self-esteem, learning grounding exercises, practising meditation and keeping a bunch of written down...
Published 11/26/20
Welcome to series 3. We're back by popular demand. In this feedback episode Jamie's assistant Oli gets some appreciation, a super fan tells of her plans to become a paediatric nurse, Jamie describes his game changing new truck and we talk about paintball - a sport which allows you to REALLY focus: "Whilst you're out on the field playing, nobody is going to come and ask whether you want a sandwich." There are seven more episodes to come in this series, but this time we're putting them out...
Published 10/29/20
Robyn has a new bike, something lots of people are turning to in lockdown to avoid public transport. She can't read maps or judge distance but has found ways to cycle safely - like using a "safety wing". Jamie loves bikes but stays off-roead because, when tired, he says he's not safe. Producer Emma is a bit shocked at how many times he's been hit by a car. As always, they both also have sound advice for coping as the lockdown eases. Since recording this episode, a new series of this...
Published 07/20/20
In the final official episode of series 2, Robyn and Jamie respond to emails from listeners. Robyn’s advice for an autistic teenager on staying safe and getting by at school morphs into a geeky chat about ear defenders. Jamie explains why he takes Lego and colouring books to social gatherings and sits on the floor during work meetings. And listener Fritz teaches everybody his complicated clapping stim. Jamie is missing from the beginning and end of this podcast due to low energy levels...
Published 05/21/20
In the penultimate episode of this season of 1800 Seconds on Autism, YouTuber Agony Autie Sara Harvey has advice for autistic parents. Planning an office in a cupboard sparks joy for Jamie, and he and Robyn reveal how weighted blankets and familiar voices play a part in their carefully honed bedtime rituals. Just to prepare you, next week’s episode will officially be the last one in this series. However, another coronavirus extra might just land in your podcast feed some time in June. ...
Published 05/14/20
When parking-related overwhelm means their guest can’t take part, Robyn and Jamie discuss how they manage sudden change. A cafe closure complicates Jamie’s daily life. Robyn rethinks her living situation to get more help. And the conversation turns to how some autistic people struggle with knowing what’s wrong when they’re unwell. With Robyn Steward and support bat Henry, Jamie Knight and Lion. Produced by Emma Tracey Subscribe on BBC Sounds and say "Ask the BBC for 1800 Seconds...
Published 05/07/20
What if you are autistic and get Covid-19 symptoms? For Robyn, previous hospital visits have been tricky and caused great anxiety. On this shorter episode, with her doctor's surgery closed, Robyn tells Jamie about her solo visit to A&E in an ambulance to get checked out. They discuss when and how to let A&E staff know you are autistic, why walls are better than curtains and the pros and cons of wearing a face mask. Produced by Emma Tracey Subscribe on BBC Sounds and say "Ask...
Published 05/05/20
Peter Street started his working life as a gravedigger before becoming a gardener, running a restaurant and teaching in prisons. The author grew up with epilepsy and a learning disability. But it was therapy for PTSD stemming from his time as a war poet in Croatia, which lead to an autism diagnosis aged 64. Humorous stories about losing five inches in height in a forestry accident, reading fairy tales to young offenders and his two week stay at a brothel keep Robyn and Jamie...
Published 04/30/20
Published 04/30/20
This episode is about a difficult aspect of autistic life and includes discussion about the urge to give yourself physical pain to get some relief from extreme emotions. You may want to avoid this one if you feel fragile or if children are around. Meltdowns are an outward explosion of emotions whereas shutdowns are when some autistic people internalise what’s happening and withdraw and go quiet as a result. Robyn holds onto her support bat Henry as she relives her most recent meltdown and...
Published 04/23/20
When Robyn and Jamie phone autism advocate Carly Jones, things get surreal and a bit naughty. It takes Jamie's mind off a distressing smell, but this episode might not be one for listening to with young children in the room. Policy expert Carly explains the roll of "Out of Order" stickers in her handbag and why some people are no longer giving her unwelcome eye contact. Robyn recorded this one from San Francisco, long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. They share travel tips, like how...
Published 04/16/20
Robyn and Jamie are self-isolating which means that Routines have changed and support has reduced. The pasta meal Jamie has eaten daily for five years can't be found, and Robyn's food habits have been affected too. IN this short episode, the first of several coronavirus extra podcasts during this series, they share their experiences with their usual honesty and warmth. Listen out for two super helpful tips for getting through lockdown. With Robyn Steward and Jamie Knight ...
Published 04/15/20
Robyn and Jamie are joined by young naturalist and writer Dara McAnulty. They chat about black holes, nature, the environment and inevitable comparisons to Greta Thunberg. The 16 year old tells how difficult school has been and why writing every day helps him process it all. Watch out for a tense moment where the conversation has to be put back on track, and a poem from Dara. With Robyn Steward, Henry the bat, Jamie Knight and Lion. Produced by Emma Tracey Subscribe to the podcast...
Published 04/09/20
Robyn and Jamie are back for series two of 1800 Seconds on Autism. They kick off Episode 1 by chatting about some of the emails you sent in and catching-up with two listeners who got in touch. First, 17-year-old Hannah, who says the podcast helps her feel less weird and alone. She wants to know why some think autistic people don’t have empathy. Jamie busts that myth by recalling the time he offered his bank card to a needy stranger on the Tube. Then there’s Rachel, whose love of horses...
Published 04/02/20
Robyn and Jamie are joined by TV's Alan Gardner aka The Autistic Gardener. Alan was initially diagnosed by an education specialist after taking his son to be tested for dyslexia. Though it was randomly sprung on him, the diagnosis was not a big surprise. At an early age, the pink-haired presenter found a love for gardening which, over time, turned into a love for garden design and a career. Alan says that contrary to the popular stereotype, he's not a typical autistic person because he...
Published 01/08/19
Robyn and Jamie are joined by Times journalist Jessie Hewitson whose son has a diagnosis of autism. She says that, when she first found out, she was attending typical local play activities with him. "I was taking him to those God awful music groups that you take toddlers to. They were absolute hell for my son - he was trying to escape I now realise." She talks candidly about the first time it was suggested to her that he might be autistic, how that made her feel and how she started to...
Published 12/18/18
In the office, we call this the show where Robyn falls off her chair laughing - because that's what happens. We're nothing if not extremely literal, you know. Stand-up comedian and poet Kate Fox joins our two autistic hosts and the talk turns to comedy, anxiety and some brilliant analysis of well-known jokes to work out where the funny bits lie. Why, for instance, is the one about the chicken crossing the road funny? Or the sticky brown stick? Lots in here for autistic people, parents and...
Published 12/11/18
It’s episode two and Robyn and Jamie are keen to share their ‘special interests’ with you, and talk to callers on our phone-out (not a phone-in) about their passions. Sometimes thought of as negative, autistic people often have the ability to seriously focus on things that interest them and this is why the geek image has emerged. These days it tends to be seen as a positive skill which some employers are lapping up. From sci-fi to computers and Rubik’s Cubes to Underground trains – plus a...
Published 12/04/18