Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of Bank Tower Two

The scene from the Library of Birmingham shows how Bank Tower Two is rising well above the others in the westside cluster with several floors still to go. Over 20 photos in this update.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of Bank Tower Two





The scene from the Library of Birmingham shows how Bank Tower Two is rising well above the others in the westside cluster with several floors still to go. Over 20 photos in this update.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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90 passion points
Construction & regeneration
21 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

The Construction of One Chamberlain Square

Much of the external work is complete at One Chamberlain Square, just the rest of the sills to install it seems as well as finishing off the retail spaces at ground level. 12 more photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley

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The Construction of One Chamberlain Square





Much of the external work is complete at One Chamberlain Square, just the rest of the sills to install it seems as well as finishing off the retail spaces at ground level. 12 more photos in the full post.

Photo by Daniel Sturley


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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100 passion points
Fundraising & charity
16 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley
Inspiration

You're not alone with Autism

I hope the artical below will give you a self-esteem boost and also help reduce meltdowns with the questions and prompts at the end!

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You're not alone with Autism



I hope the artical below will give you a self-esteem boost and also help reduce meltdowns with the questions and prompts at the end!


Because I have autism, I needed to develop a survival tool kit to fit a bit better into the neurotypical world. I want to share what worked for me, to help others with the same problems. My vlogs and blogs hopefully highlight the less spoken about problems, risks and hacks that unveil autism in a new and brighter light, to those who are unfamiliar with autism.

 

I also design and develop illustrated resources to improve decision-making skills. In spite of my autism, I have learned (with many back-up plans as my extra safety net) to master a level of precise organization even many neurotypicals would struggle to maintain. Without this lifestyle, I fall apart very quickly and it is difficult to explain to other people that I need a system in place again, and fast. People who don't know me well perceive that the added responsibility of setting up a system is too much for me, as I am not coping already. Ironically, it's all my established systems that make for a happy and busy day. My safety nets enable me rather than ensnare me. Of course I have had a history of OCD but this was just lists and organizing going to the other end of the same scale. Everyone is different and that can be said for everyone on the autistic spectrum too.

 

Apart from timetabling, meal plans, and other systems to manage the logistics of independent life, the social side is an entirely different ball game. For a start, you have to work from the inside out. You can't change what other people do, or even fully understand what they communicate (or try to hide) with their actions, words and expressions alone. Growing up in a whirlwind of my own hormones (which changed sporadically in my teens because autism delays then "spikes" developments of any kind!), I also had to survive the new social hierarchy and rules at school, and I of course was a prime target for bullying with my combination of social cluelessness and high grades. My mum already had OCD at the time and the "man of the house" had an addictive personality, which led down the dark spiral of domestic abuse. This included a ton of mind-games where rules were twisted just as I thought I'd figured things out. By the time I was 16 I over-thought everything and this naturally manifested into all kinds of disordered behavior including eating issues, lying about everything, and deliberately self-inflicting sleep deprivation.

 

This extremely destructive lifestyle perpetuated and worsened my unhealthy mindsets, but thankfully, things got so bad and I was so alone, I knew the only person who could really improve things was me. I spent a year looking up motivational speakers and self-help resources. I also took the simplest advice from them and changed my words (I was too weak and muddled to do things like exercise or travel lots at this point). My language change had to be VERY drastic. I avoided absolutes like “always” and “everything”. I kept a complaining jar and used my OCD attitude to my advantage for keeping this track record. Slowly, my perception of life and myself started to change… Years of dreaming about recovery and leading a functional life finally became my reality. Once I accepted my wounds and weaknesses, I could start to deal with them methodically. Once I made friends with myself, other people approached me to become friends. It was an upward spiral from there.

 

I still find writing things down keeps a measurable record and highlights any bumps I need to address before things backlog and snowball. Over time, I have grown enough confidence to reintroduce, or try new things like food, conversation topics, and exploring places. Occasionally things go wrong or I push myself too far, but I bounce back much quicker now and am still willing to try again.

 

 

It sounds a bit sci-fi, but I strongly believe everything we see physically manifest, starts with an idea: aka the mind. If you can start and end life with a healthy mind, your life overall improves in both quality and length. I hope my story has encouraged you- autism is not the full stop or definition of what makes you “you”. 
 


Below are some questions I want to leave you with to help reduce meltdowns.


Is this situation reasonable?

Are other people as stressed as you? They might even have more urgent things happening in their life than yours.
Are you the only one to have ever felt like this?

Are you the only one to have ever had to do or go through this?
Is it likely?
What options do you have?
Will it last forever?

Will this affect you this badly by tomorrow?

How about in a weeks/months/years time?

Can you feel your feet? (If “no”, find a place to sit down. Avoid stamping or walking, and place hands firmly on a solid railing or wall).

Can you count to 10? (Then count to ten- don’t just say yes!)

Can you remember why you are here?

Can you see an exit sign or someone in a uniform that matches with the brand of this location?

Are you hot or cold? (Take off or put on a jacket accordingly).

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40 passion points
Photography
13 Oct 2018 - Daniel Sturley
Gallery

Christmas Day 2011 - Alone in the City Centre

In 2011 I found myself alone for Christmas Day and whilst I was a bit down, I wasn't lonely. As an autistic person I have a base state of alone, so I took the opportunity to indulge my 'special interest' of city photography and to wander the streets of Birmingham city centre to get some shots. Serendipity intervened to gift this set of rare photos.

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Christmas Day 2011 - Alone in the City Centre





In 2011 I found myself alone for Christmas Day and whilst I was a bit down, I wasn't lonely. As an autistic person I have a base state of alone, so I took the opportunity to indulge my 'special interest' of city photography and to wander the streets of Birmingham city centre to get some shots. Serendipity intervened to gift this set of rare photos.


Photos by Daniel Sturley

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70 passion points
Fundraising & charity
09 Oct 2018 - Noushka Galley
Did you know?

Unique Sensory Struggles

Sensory Spectacle asked me to list a few hang ups I had that were directly realted to having autism. Below are 10 things I struggled with but are now not really a problem for me.

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Unique Sensory Struggles



Sensory Spectacle asked me to list a few hang ups I had that were directly realted to having autism. Below are 10 things I struggled with but are now not really a problem for me.


1) Hugging

I feel awkward when people hug me but I still respond with a light hug back. Sometimes I initiate one using the same social rules I have picked up on when going along with small talk. I don’t get why people do it, but it seems rude or more awkward for other people if I don’t respond.

 

2) Getting your hair cut

It’s not a sensory problem to get it cut or lightened and dyed at a salon. I can bang my head on a shelf or open cupboard door and just carry on, but hair spray does make me retch and swallow. I condition rather than cut my ends to preserve length- it’s my aesthetic style preference.

 

3) Using escalators or Lifts

As a very young child I used to have to be warned and the longer I checked the speed of the escalator the less I wanted to use it- the scariest idea was getting one foot on and not having time to fully step on- I was scared I would fall over or do the splits (going down escalators was the worst because you could see the angle and height you could fall at).

 

4) Find yourself shouting

I raise my voice when I am enthused about what I’m talking about. I don’t realise until people say I’m shouting. When I try to be quieter, I’m told I’m mumbling. It’s hard to judge because I hear myself at a constant volume because my mouth is next to my ears.

 

5) Gag easily

Anything soft/fluffy and dry can make my throat close up- hair spray, wool and gloves covering my fingernails is especially bad.

 

6) Being told you're heavy handed

Because I am aware that my hand-eye coordination is not my strongest asset, I actually compensate by going to the other extreme and dropping things, or taking a noticeably longer time setting items carefully down on tables.

 

7) Brushing your teeth

Toothpaste used to hurt because the flavour was overpowering when I was a child and was getting used to switching from infant to adult toothpaste. Mouthwash also hurt but my sense of tatse has calmed down with time, so I am able to overlook ingrediants I don’t like in meals and use a wider range of toiletries without wincing, or neglecting things due to smell colour and taste.

 

8) Difficulty sitting still

I just like to fidget, I have never been sure why, I just seem to get bored or tired much quicker and my focus goes if I’m not moving constantly. However, I can stand very still for hours and don’t get the same problem.

 

9) Washing your hands

I have to do this half-way through a big lot of washing up- I like how my skin is not left slimy by hand soap but washing up liquid is slimy. I like the smell and how my skin is softened by soaps and creams for hands.

 

10) Wearing your hood up

I used to keep my head covered with a hat- hoods don’t turn with my head making crossing roads dangerous. I used to like keeping my ears warm and protected from loud noises but this need has reduced with time and I like to keep my hair less oily by avoiding hoods and hats nowadays.

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40 passion points
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