I have over 20 years of experience of working with children and adults with autism and their families across a variety of settings. This includes; managing family support services and providing a helpline service for people with autism and managing and providing 1:1 crisis advocacy support. I have also managed a young carers project and applied for funding for and set up a youth group for people with autism. I am very passionate about ensuring that people with autism have a voice and are able to speak up about the issues that affect them and have developed self advocacy forums within several of my roles. I have been a member of a local autism strategy group for a number of years.
I have a 20 year old daughter with autism so have first hand experience of how the strengths and challenges associated with autism can influence day to day life for people with autism and their families.
Since 2013, I have provided Specialist 1:1 Autism Mentoring for DSA funded students at university and have supported many students in achieving positive outcomes. Within my role as Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner with an autism specialism at a university, I have experience of supporting students to achieve positive mental health and well-being . I have delivered a number of training sessions including basic autism awareness, mental health issues and autism, careers for people with autism and LGBT issues for staff and students.
I have supported students with Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Dementia and mental health issues with specialist mentoring to find effective strategies to learning and to understand their strengths and difficulties and strategies that may help.
I have a M(ed) in autism (distinction) and published a journal article in 2013 in the Good Autism Practice Journal around supporting people with autism to participate in their annual review meetings. I have recently written a chapter in a book on supporting positive mental health for university students with autism – Helping Penguins to swim available at https://www.inspiredbylearning.eu/book/12. Over the years, I have attended a number of training courses around autism including sensory issues and PDA. In 2020. I gained a Distinction in an Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Diploma and completed an online course with Kings College London – Understanding ADHD.
I have first hand experience of how negative attitudes can limit a persons opportunities throughout their lives. I am very passionate and committed to ensuring that people with autism have a voice and that the positive skills and abilities that autism brings are developed and celebrated.
I have specialised in supporting disabled students in the higher education sector for seventeen years. I am passionate about making the world more accessible to those with disabilities. Having grown up with a disabled brother I understood from an early age the barriers those with disabilities can face on a day to day basis and the positive difference reasonable adjustments, education, understanding and inclusive thinking can make to one’s quality of life.
I have worked as a disability adviser at a university for many years and was responsible for assessing, advising and setting up support for students with disabilities and specific learning difficulties. During my time as an adviser I specialised in support for students on the Autistic Spectrum and successfully set up and ran a popular social group for students on the Autistic Spectrum, which is still going strong today.
I have been working as a specialist mentor with students on the autistic spectrum for the past year.
I have a postgraduate qualification in Asperger’s syndrome.