Oliver Pratley is following in the steps of Rebecca Adlington and Michael Phelps

A Notts teenager with Down’s Syndrome has followed in the footsteps of Rebecca Adlington and Michael Phelps by being fitted with a Speedo Olympic swimming suit.

Oliver Pratley, 15, could not even swim three years ago but now he’s making waves in the swimming world, breaking several world records.The teenager has been given two pairs of £130 ($201) Speedo LZR racer jammer shorts which he will wear in the Down’s Syndrome Championships in Taiwan in September, where he will represent Britain.

Oliver was given a tour of Speedo in Ascot Road, Nottingham, and was shown around the Aqualab where the latest innovations in swimming attire are developed.

After squeezing into the tight shorts, the Blidworth teenager gave his verdict: “What can I say? They make me feel like a professional. Other people will think I’m the real deal in them.”

via Oliver Pratley is following in the steps of Rebecca Adlington and Michael Phelps.

Boy wins Down syndrome photography contest

“Sun” by Rory Davies, 12, was the winning photo in My Perspective, a photography contest for people with Down syndrome held by the U.K.-based Down’s Syndrome Association.

Kernow Koi by Zoe Wilton, 39, took second place.

Angel Statue  by Charlie French,  18, won third place.

The photos and seven other winning photographs spent last week at London’s Strand Gallery. The exhibit will now travel across the UK and around the globe. All the winning photographers received a new Olympus camera.

Rory Davies was unable to attend the awards ceremony but sent a statement: ““Thank you, I like looking at the view through the camera. I like using the camera, I like the way it works like a machine for your eye. My photographs make me feel happy. Winning the prize makes me feel happy, I feel like a winner. We will have a party at home. love Rory.”

via My Perspective Exhibition – Down’s Syndrome Association – Help for people with Down’s Syndrome.

Software-testing jobs project for Scots with autism

A new social enterprise will create up to 50 jobs for people with autism by harnessing characteristics of the condition as skills to provide IT services for major Scottish companies.

A dozen trainees with autism are to be recruited by Specialisterne Scotland in the next six months and undergo a four-month training programme before being given positions as software testers with starting salaries from £18,000.

Figures show that only 13% of adults with autism are in full-time employment in Scotland, but the new project aims to tap into the insight, attention to detail and desire for consistency that are common traits in people with autism.

The company, which aims to create a working environment with a high degree of predictability and minimal stress for its employees, is the first in the world to stem from a Danish project that was set up by Thorkil Sonne in 2004 after his son Lars was diagnosed with autism.

via IT project gives career hope to autistic Scots – Herald Scotland | News | Home News.

Golfers play 42 courses in 24 hours for Alzheimer’s charity

We’ve seen a lot of golf fundraisers for Alzheimer’s — but this is fundraiser in northeast England is a lot of golf for Alzheimer’s!

FORTY two courses, 365 miles, 24 hours – that’s the novel challenge facing four plucky golfers.

Peter Simpson and three golfing buddies are aiming to play a hole at every course in Northumberland today.

Peter, the full-time manager and secretary at Alnmouth Golf Club, has organised the challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, after his 87- year-old mum Florence suffered from dementia prior to her death last year.

via JournalLive – News – Today’s News – Golfers to play 42 courses in 24 hours for Alzheimer’s charity.

Autism, Disco And Me: TV review

When James Hobley makes his professional debut as a dancer – and given his talent it is a when, not an if, even though he’s only 10 – Hollywood will be beating down the door to turn his story into a feel-good biopic. It’s Billy Elliot with the added twist of autism. If only Daniel Day-Lewis was 40 years younger and could get his leg behind his head without CGI, he’d have another Oscar in the bag.

James first sprang to attention in Sky1’s talent show Got To Dance, where his startling flexibility and curiously intense presence turned him into a contender. The worry was how an autistic child would cope with the intense pressure of a TV talent show but, as Autism, Disco And Me (BBC3) revealed, James is pretty hard core when it comes to strutting his stuff in front of judges. You have to be if you want to win the bizarre riot of sequins and hip dislocations that is Disco Kid.

via Autism, Disco And Me: TV review | Metro.co.uk.