Find here a growing list of Aucademy educator-learners and the topics they covered. Listed in alphabetical order according to surname.
Our permanent/regular educator-learners have their own pages, and have covered topics such as: what *is* autism?; the spectrum really; Autistic challenges and strengths; the importance of Autistic identity, culture, community, and space for wellbeing; the importance of language; late discovery; psychosis; addiction; stigma; mental health; the importance of media for wellbeing; Autistic pride; harmful stims and self-harm; disclosing one’s Autistic identity; boundaries; Autistic people and crime; gender, sexuality, and de-gendering Autistic experience; etc. – all sessions found on our YouTube.
Tanya Adkin is SEND Advocate. Tanya is also a late identified Autistic, ADHD (possibly PDA), single parent to two Autistic/PDA/ADHD children.
Find Tanya and EHCP advice via her page seND Family Instincts on Facebook and the internet.
Topics: Autistic EHCP & SEND support ~ What *is* autism?: “autism” versus Autistic theories ~ Neurodivergent relationships ~ ADHD *really* ~ Autistic hyper-empathy ~ Explaining Autistic experience: Monotropism ~ PDA: Kristy Forbes educates Aucademy ~ The Importance of young people understanding their Autistic experience
Senka was born in Vancouver BC Canada where she grew up free-range in the rain forests and ocean shores of the west coast . Currently, she is a PhD graduate student at the University of Victoria. She is also raising and home schooling her oldest granddaughters who are diagnosed autistic. Through learning about her granddaughters’ experience of being Autistic, Senka has recognized autism and PDA in herself along with ADHD and situational mutism. During her time in university Senka had to devise strategies to manage her differences including the ongoing presence of SM. Senka feels there needs to be a greater acceptance of non-verbal communication as viable and significant and that less emphasis should be placed on verbal articulation and communication.
Topics: Situational mutism
Wayne Attwood (he/him)
Wayne Attwood (he/him) is a husband and father of two Adult children, their 19-year-old son is also Autistic and lives at home, and their daughter of 22 who is at university with suspected/undiagnosed ADHD. He has had a long and varied list of jobs throughout his life some good some not so good, most of which have not made it much further than the two and a half year’s mark. He has not worked properly since 2013. Wayne lives in rural Wiltshire England.
Emily is the founder and CEO of Enna. They are a specialised recruitment agency for neurodivergent adults, to help them find meaningful employment with inclusive employers. Facebook: EnnaGlobal http://www.enna.org
Topics: Autistic employment
Duante “SuitMan” Barnett
Duante (he/him) “SuitMan” Barnett a Seattle, WA native. He produces SuitMan Productions and his first original show idea Deaf Comedy Jam was inspired by his own hearing loss and offers a show that unites both the hearing and non-hearing communities. A staple of the Annual Northwest Black Comedy Festival for 3 years where he was awarded “Best Podcast” of 2020 and “Best Host” of 2021. Places like Laugh Comedy Club’s Laugh Off, Jai Thai’s Comedy Clash & a number of pacific northwest artists know his influences and creativity of production.
Anna Barzotti studied creative arts at Manchester Metropolitan University, creative writing at Chichester University and screenwriting in New York. Anna has worked in health, education and arts settings in roles spanning theatre performer, arts and health coordinator, workshop facilitator, researcher and writer. She has worked as a specialist mentor for autistic students since 2017 and is currently writing a book about her experiences as a late-diagnosed autistic adult.
Topics: Communicating away the barriers
Dr Mordehai Benhamou
Dr. Mordehai Benhamou – author, lecturer, professional guitarist, and Algerian Jew from Israel.
Louis Bishopp-Ford was diagnosed Autistic with attention differences as an adult. He believes not knowing he was Autistic when he was younger meant that he could not ask for the support he needed to complete a university degree. Now that he knows about the support he needs, he is currently in his final year of an English and Creative Writing undergraduate degree, and hopes to write better fiction once he finishes! Louis has contributed to a non-fiction chapter in the Neurodiversity Reader https://www.pavpub.com/mental-hea…/th…
Topics: The importance of gaming for neurodivergent people ~ Attention differences (ADHD/ADD) ~ ADHD *really*
Alison Blaney-Wombwell (she/her) is a dual diagnosed Autistic female with combined ADHD. Alison was diagnosed at thirty four after her own daughters were diagnosed with autism and other co-morbidities. Alison was originally diagnosed with anorexia at fourteen. Alison had struggled for decades with eating disorders, anxiety disorder and mental health issues. Alison is now a qualified emotional regulation coach, neurodiversity trainer, consultant and published author and blogger.
Chris Bonello (he/him)
Chris Bonnello (he/him) is an Autistic advocate, author, international speaker, and former teacher (both in special education and mainstream primary). He runs the website and Facebook community “Autistic Not Weird”, and has won multiple awards for his advocacy. He is also the author of the Underdogs series of neurodiverse dystopia novels. Autistic Not Weird on FB- https://www.facebook.com/autisticnotw… Chris Bonnello – Author on FB- https://www.facebook.com/chrisbonnello Instagram: @autisticnotweird YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/autisticnot… Autistic Not Weird: https://autisticnotweird.com Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/autisticnotweird
Sonia Boué – Artist, her multiform work explores home and the domestic as metaphors for exile and displacement. Sonia has a significant body of postmemory work. She is also a writer on autism and art with her blog, and a leading consultant for neurodiversity in the arts.
Topics: Neurophototherapy for the self-recovery of late-diagnosed Autistic women ~ Autistic artists Annette, Callum, & Sonia talk to Dr Chloe Farahar
Dr Monique Botha
Monique is an autistic Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. Monique’s PhD in Psychology from the University of Surrey, focused on the role minority stress plays in the poor mental health experienced by autistic people, and further, how autistic community connectedness may “buffer” those effects. Currently, at Stirling, Monique’s research focuses on several different areas including the ethics of autism research, how ideas around the philosophy of science have shaped the idea of autism, and how certain philosophies of science can provide routes to emancipation for autistic people from unethical, and violent research practice. Similarly, Monique is interested in the intersection of autism, sexuality, and gender, and lastly, the role that language used about autism, plays into stigma and marginalisation.
@DrMBotha on twitter
Topics: Autistic stigma & minority stress ~ Autistics respond to media reporting of violence & victimisation by neurodivergent people
Callum Brazzo – Autistic performance poet, currently working on a direct autistic-led response to Autism Speaks’ 100 Day Kit. Also working on a book called Ripples, a film and a theatre show called Compass, and appearing in TEDx talks: AUTISTICS IN CONVERSATION and Why we should make mountains out of molehills.
Topics: Autistic Experience & Tourette’s, The Rural Autistic Community and the 100 Day Community Kit ~ Autistic artists Annette, Callum, & Sonia talk to Dr Chloe Farahar ~ Autistic Joy on Aucademy
Carl Cameron is autistic and has been working with other autistic adults and children across the autism spectrum for the past 20 years both in residential and educational settings. Carl is a qualified teacher and taught health and social care for a few years. He has writing and delivering autism training sessions for the past 10 years and has worked with several organizations including the National Autistic Society, the NHS and CAMHS. Most of Carl’s work these days is in pre and post-diagnostic support at Matthew’s Hub, a unique autism charity in the city of Hull. Carl is the deputy chair of the Hull Autism Partnership Board.
Fiona Kumari Campbell
Fiona Kumari Campbell is a Professor of Disability & Ableism Studies. They are autistic, have PTSD, dyscalculia, and a spinal cord injury. Their research work is related to Studies in Ableism and also using non-western knowledges.
Tania Canedo (she/her) is a communications major. She has been working mostly customer relations, PR and Digital Marketing. Tania was raised in Cancun, where she currently lives. She was officially diagnosed as Autistic last year (at 38 yo). They’ve suspected it for about 18 years but only recently sought a professional diagnosis. She has diagnosed ADHD at a young age (around 6 or 8 years old). Tania refers to themselves as AuDHD. Currently they are harnessing their hyper focus on translating everything and anything they can find from English to Spanish as she has noticed there’s a lot LESS information about Autistic Voices in Spanish. https://www.facebook.com/soyautistaye…
Topics: Autistic & ADHD in Mexico
Raven (she/her/ze/zir) is an autistic + ADHD nonbinary femme, a scientist by training, and a big language nerd. She loves talking about the nuances of the language we use to describe ourselves and how it impacts the ways we conceive of ourselves. Raven also loves animals, music, Star Trek, and their partner. Instagram: @theraven918
Neuro-divergent Mother. CEO. Thinker in pictures. Ultra rule-breaker. Founder and CEO, over two decades, of a successful social purpose business working across the Southeast, which specialises in supporting care experienced young people, particularly from a refugee and asylum seeker background. Social entrepreneur, pioneer and business leader. Highly imaginative, creative thinker and innovator. Neurodiversity advocate. Cat lover. Tea drinker. Rule-breaker. Story-teller. Searcher. Proud mum.
Topics: Neurodivergent relationships
Monique Craine (they/them) is from Gibraltar but has lived in a number of countries over the years. Monique is a multiply-neurodivergent coach and consultant who specialises in neurodiversity. Monique delivers workplace training on a number of neurodiversity related topics, from understanding neurodiversity for beginners to how to adjust for neurodivergent people in the workplace. Monique also enjoys helping recently diagnosed adults to learn to better understand themselves and achieve positive outcomes. Monique runs sessions on understanding neurodivergent behaviour, making sensory profiles, understanding stimming and why we do it, and understanding relaxation and what that might look like for Autistic people.
‘Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement; stories from the frontline’ (edited by Stephen Kapp, Palgrave Macmillan press, 2020) free to download here: https://library.oapen.org/handle/20.5… YouTube video on autism: https://youtu.be/I_iQPy2n21U
Topics: Being Autistic in other cultures & LARPing ~ Autistic sensory, stimming, & relaxation techniques ~ Tidying your house when you’re Autistic
Harry is a fifteen-year-old Autistic boy. He is currently studying towards his GCSEs. His ambition is to pursue a career in psychology, counselling and advocacy, he would like to follow his mum into the research field to help improve knowledge about autism and mental health. During lockdown Harry moved out of mainstream school to a specialist school, where he is thriving. He loves the outdoors, exercise and activity help him to focus academically. Harry loves gaming, walking in the forest, fishing and as often as we are able visiting the beach. He is highly talented at art and maths, recently he learnt all number sequences up to 31 (i.e. hundred, thousand, billion, trillion…). He is a loving son and brother to his two younger siblings, and they very much look up to him. Harry loves nothing more than a deep and philosophical conversation.
Topics: The roots of the Autistic mind
Lisa Cromar is an autistic Person-Centred Counsellor, working predominantly with autistic clients, she produces autism workshops and is studying towards a PhD at the University of Chester, where she is aiming to improve research for counselling autistic people. She is a published author with a chapter in The Neurodiversity Reader, Pavilion Publishers. She is also an ‘actually autistic’ person and mum to three autistic children.
Facebook Neurodivergence forum for counsellors: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Counsellorsworkingwithneurodivergence/
Rachel is an Autistic researcher and advocate and proud member of the LGBTQIA community with an undergraduate degree in English literature and language, a PGCert in linguistics and currently studying for a masters in autism studies. Rachel is interested in several aspects of research that directly improves the lives of Autistic people with particular focus on language features of Autistic people across the spectrum.
Topics: Autistic language hypothesis ~ The Autistic communication hypothesis ~ Autistic empathy: Double empathy Aucademy special ~ Autistic people: Thinking in pictures versus language ~ Autistic women; importance of profile building; Autistic April; celebrating stimming ~ Autistic August special: putting April in the bin
Emma is an Autistic Woman of Colour, advocate, and activist, fighting against the harm done to Autistic people in the name of “curing” us. Emma is also the author of two great books explaining Autistic experience in an accessible way for children – “Susie Spins” & “It’s an autism thing: I’ll help you understand”, as well as being the CEO of Autistic Inclusive Meets Community Group AIM, and an admin on the 17,600+ member strong Autism Inclusivity Facebook page.
Jessica regards herself as being multi-generationally neurodivergent, with diagnoses of dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. She recently graduated from her master’s in special educational needs at Roehampton University where she researched ‘Late Diagnosed Autistic Women’s Experiences of Secondary School’ and has now progressed to PhD at Birkbeck University where she is exploring autism diagnosis disclosure in the workplace. In her spare time, she advocates for a better understanding of neurodivergence from a personal, parental, and professional perspective and is particularly interested in raising awareness and promoting supports among adult diagnosed autistics.
Dr Mary Doherty
Dr Mary Doherty is an Autistic consultant anaesthetist working in Ireland. She is currently researching barriers to healthcare for Autistic adults and the experiences of Autistic adults using mental health services. She was a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists working group which produced the recent College Report on autism in adults. She provides autism training for medical professionals and advises various medical institutions on autism. Her interests include reframing the tragedy narrative around autism in healthcare, improving the healthcare experience and outcomes for the Autistic community and more recently the presentation of autism in medical doctors. She is founder of the peer support & advocacy group “Autistic Doctors International”.
The Autistic Doctor @autisticdoctor
Mel Duncan (she/they) has been working with young people and vulnerable adults for 30 years. They have worked with young people within the criminal justice system, young people in local authority care, managed an advocacy service and leaving care provision and supported Autistic and ADHD students in alternative provision. Mel is one of the co-founders and Directors of Gecko Community, an alternative provision for Autistic and ADHD young people. Mel is a late diagnosed Autistic, ADHD (and suspects PDA) adult, who is completing their Forest School Leader Level 3 and has just completed a BA Honours degree, gaining 1st class Honours.
Find Mel at facebook.com/GeckoCommunity
Niki (she/her) is a 45 year old, late diagnosed person (ADHD and Autistic). She lives in the South East of the UK. Niki is mixed black Caribbean and white European. She has two children and is a midwife. They don’t have anything special to add. No USP. She has lived a lot.
Jacki Edry recently published her first book “Moving Forward: Reflections on Autism, Neurodiversity, Brain Surgery and Faith” on Amazon and launched a blog on her website http://www.jackisbooks.com, which focuses on education, inclusion, neurodiversity, and more. She enjoys speaking on podcasts to raise awareness about neurodiversity, healing, faith, and more.
Jacki is a graduate of Hampshire College with an extensive background in education, writing, and marketing. She has been exploring the world of autism and neurodiversity for over thirty-five years, as a professional, parent of neurodivergent children, and firsthand as a survivor of complex brain surgery that affected her neurological and perceptual abilities. Jacki has spent many years advocating for inclusion programs in the educational system, providing support for families of children with disabilities, and advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities in society.
She resides in Israel with her family and their amazing service dog. Jacki Edry on LinkedIn, @jackisbooks on Facebook http://www.jackisbooks.com (site and blog) Direct link to book “Moving Forward: Reflections on Autism, Neurodiversity, Brain Surgery, and Faith” on Amazon. Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Moving-Forward… Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Moving-Forwa…
Erin Ekins is a queer Autistic woman who runs the popular blog Queerly Autistic. She has appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show, Radio 5 Live and the Channel 4 documentary ‘Are You Autistic?’ and presented at NAS conferences. She lives in Essex with her two mums, her brother and her two dogs, Thor and Odin. Erin Ekins has a book, Queerly Autistic: [an] Ultimate guide for LGBTQIA+ Teens.
Clove Ellis (hey/him)
Clove Ellis (hey/him) lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. They are currently a Graduate student at Wayne State University pursuing a Masters of Arts Administration. They are also working full time making radically expressive wearable art through their small arts business, Peachfuzzums. Clove is an artist, curator, and advocate for queerness and neurodivergent diagnoses through the arts. They are multiply queer, specifically transgender and nonbinary. Clove’s studio work addresses themes of connection, expression, play, healing, and curiosity. They focus on creating pieces that are inviting, interactive, and create surprise. They hope that their administrative work will center around advocacy for the queer and neurodivergent communities through arts opportunities.
Topics: Autistic Joy on Aucademy
Bobbi Elman (she/they)
Bobbi Elman (she/they) was born in the US and moved to the UK over 29 years ago. She is happily married and a parent to two amazing neurodivergent young people. Bobbi has worked for more than 8 years in a primary school as an autism-specific one-to-one TA and had a temporary position with a LA on their Autism Advisory team. Bobbi also completed a postgrad degree in Autism from the University of Birmingham. Bobbi has over 17 years experience and now works for herself, Bobbi trains staff in primary schools, organisations, charities, etc., as well as online workshops and presentations. Bobbi believes firmly in the social model of autism versus the medical model and strives continually toward autism understanding and acceptance versus “autism awareness”. Bobbi only recently discovered her Autistic identity and has happily embraced it.
Topics: Autistic empathy: Double empathy Aucademy special ~ Autistic hyper-empathy – Bobbi has kindly shared their hyper-empathy slides with educator-learners below ~ Autistic exposure anxiety – Bobbi’s exposure anxiety slides below ~ Autistic August special: putting April in the bin ~ Autistic substance use ~ PDA: Kristy Forbes educates Aucademy
Priscilla Eyles (she/they)
Priscilla (she/they) is passionate about raising awareness of the many barriers Neurodivergent and Disabled people with multiply-marginalised and racialised identities face, alongside destigmatising the conversation around cult abuse. They are also an advocate, speaker and writer. As a bi-racialised, neurodivergent and queer person that has survived eight years of being in two cults (Landmark Worldwide and One Taste), they also see the great importance of seeing yourself represented and included in cult survivor advocacy, research and outreach work. Priscilla is currently an Intersectional Project Coordinator for a Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO) and is an ED&I trainer with Challenge Consultancy specialising in neurodivergence. As well as a trustee for their local Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation, Camden Disability Action. Priscilla previously worked as a Disability Job Coach for Disability Advice Services Lambeth (DASL), supporting young Neurodivergent people with complex needs. They also have a background in journalism completing an Magazine Journalism MA in 2009 and in 2019 completed a foundation certificate in Integrative Psychotherapy and Counselling. https://twitter.com/PriscillaEyles https://www.linkedin.com/in/priscilla… https://intersect-nd-dis-rg.wixsite.c… https://onbelief.fireside.fm/318
Topics: Representing & supporting Autistic/neurodivergent cult survivors ~ Autistic interpersonal victimisation
Kristy is a formerly identified PDA autistic person with ADHD and is passionate about supporting neurodivergent individuals, their families and those who support them. Her background is in education and social work and she is currently studying Psychology and a specialisation in human rights and antidiscrimination law as a Juris Doctor candidate. Kristy is parent to four PDA autistic children and develops and designs programs for parents raising neurodivergent children and facilitates gentle and principled private membership spaces for individuals and families seeking to leave behind the disorder narrative and move into positive autistic identity and culture. She is the owner and founder of inTune Pathways, with a team of 12 autistic parents of autistic children and is passionate about social reform for ND people in the workplace. facebook.com/intunepathways instagram.co/_kristyforbes http://www.kristyforbes.com.au
Asher Gilbert (he/him) is a university graduate who studied canine clinical behaviour and he has a particular interest in animal-assisted therapy. As well as studying, Asher volunteers with Noah’s A.R.T, supporting during animal-assisted therapy sessions for people of all backgrounds, including many Autistic and otherwise neurodivergent people. Asher is also a proud transgender man and LGBT+ advocate.
Ginny Grant (she/her) is a proud late-identified Autistic woman. She works as Reframing Autism’s Communications Manager, overseeing all social media platforms on which Reframing Autism is represented, as well as other internal and external communications. She is passionate about amplifying new and established Autistic voices and is also the host of Reframing Autism’s Amplified podcast. Ginny is deeply interested in mental health advocacy and has spoken openly about her own experiences of mental health in several articles, podcast episodes and at Yellow Ladybugs’ recent Mental Health and Safety Conference. In early 2021, she coordinated the successful Autistic Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference, co-hosted with Aucademy.
Instagram: @virginia_lily_grant Twitter: @VirginiaLGrant
Jane Green is an advocate for equality, diversity, human rights and co-production in education, health, employment, social care, police and transport (airport) accessibility for visible/invisible disabilities/conditions. She is a single parent of two adult children and carer to her eldest autistic child. Despite an unusual educational background she trained late and became the lead autism educationalist in various phases in schools, County and leading Charities. She helped design and steer the AET and became strategic Assistant Head Teacher but retired early in 2015 due to chronic ill health and disability. Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes in 2015 followed by very late autism dx in 2016 after many years of disbelief of being either. She survived. She now advocates on various roundtables, charities and organisations as Trustee for Carer’s charity, Social Care Institute of Excellence, SCIE co-production steering group and involved in DHSC Covid19 guidances and resources. She helps the national EDSUK charity and founded and is Chair of Sussex Ehlers-Danlos and Hypermobility (SEDS) in 2018.
Jack (they/them) is a 22-year-old autistic and dyspraxic person. They have just completed their undergraduate degree in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern History with a Year in Language (German). Jack’s interests include Doctor Who (and science fiction more generally, including Star Trek), history (modern, ancient, and historical reception), stamps and postcards. They help to facilitate some of the Aucademy Socials.
Sam Harris (him/”sir/king/lord”) runs family services at Running Deer as well as Neurodive training and online platform. He has been supporting Neurodivergent children and young people since 2007, families and parents since 2013 and recently sort of officially/unofficially confirmed he has ADHD. Maybe. Not sure. Changes his mind daily. @neurodivetraining on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. As well as the Neurodive pod on SoundCloud and iTunes. https://www.runningdeer.org.uk/family…
Topics: What therapy works for Autistic people? ~ “Sam the parsnip headed therapist” ~ ADHD discovery journey ~ Depathologising the language of ADHD
Dr Melanie Heyworth
Dr Melanie Heyworth is an Autistic mother to three Autistic children, who she homeschools. Melanie also runs the Australian charity, Reframing Autism, and is currently doing a second PhD in Autistic-led models of care to build parents’ empathy, knowledge and mind-mindedness in parenting Autistic children.
Alyssa Hillary Zisk
Alyssa (they/them) is an Autistic doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary neuroscience at the University of Rhode Island, and also a math teacher. Broadly, they are interested in issues related to disability and communication, neurodiversity and representation, and the overlap of neurodivergence and queerness. Sometimes they use mouth words and sometimes they use typed words.
Lyric Holmans (they/them) is an Autistic self-advocate from Texas who runs the neurodiversity lifestyle blog Neurodivergent Rebel. They are also the founder of NeuroDivergent Consulting. Lyric is known as the pioneer of the #AskingAutistics hashtag, where simple questions prompt open-ended responses that Autistic people can easily chime in with, and invites participants to engage each other in conversations related to the topic. Lyric regularly works with businesses and organizations to help make spaces more accessible to people with invisible differences.
Dr. Mel Houser (she/they)
Dr. Mel Houser (she/they) is an autistic family physician with a clinical focus on providing primary care for neurodivergent patients across the lifespan. She is the Founder and Executive Director of All Brains Belong VT, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in Montpelier, Vermont that uses universal design principles to provide healthcare, social connection opportunities, and neurodiversity-related education for kids and adults. At age 37, Dr. Houser was diagnosed as autistic, ADHD, dyspraxic, dyslexic, and dyscalculic. She is also the parent of an autistic 5 year old, who is her guru of so many keys to the universe. https://twitter.com/all_brains https://www.instagram.com/allbrainsbe… https://www.facebook.com/groups/www.a… https://www.linkedin.com/company/all-… All Brains Belong VT – https://allbrainsbelong.org Useful links: “Loops of Concern” (by autistic mental health therapist Sonny Hallett) ● Recorded webinar: Shifting the Autism Narrative – The Impact of Stigma on Health
Debbie Hughes is an Autistic English Literature MA student at Cardiff University and did her undergraduate at Kent. Gaming is one of her special interests, and she is primarily a PC gamer but also has a PS4.
Topics: The importance of gaming for neurodivergent people ~ Autistic social spaces vs autism social spaces
Spencer Hunley is autistic professional based in Kansas City, Missouri. As a current Executive Committee member for the Kansas City League of Autistics, this year he was appointed to the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and is currently finishing his undergrad in Psychology at UMKC. A Kansas University Medical Center LEND Trainee, he also serves on the SDLMI Consumer Advisory Board for the Juniper Gardens Children’s Project at KU, and on the newly-formed Kansas City Health Equity Collaborative to improve local health outcomes for persons with disabilities in the community. His current advocacy efforts, among other projects, focus on improving healthcare outcomes for autistics and other neurodivergent individuals through advocacy and policy change. When not working, Spencer enjoys yoyoing, trying new hot sauces and engaging in reverie with his friends. facebook.com/kcleagueofautistics facebook.com/neurologicpodcast spencerhunley.com neurologic.libsyn.com
After navigating and battling the education and health system successfully for her disabled children and partner, Jodie quickly became passionate about advocating for more than just her family. With success advocating personally for a number of families in the process of EHCP’s, respite, housing needs, Disability Living Allowance and other services, Jodie found that there just wasn’t enough hours in the day and couldn’t help as many people as she desperately wanted. This is a serious worldwide issue and so she began The Nurture Programme®, designed to encourage, nurture, support and hone your very own advocacy skills. Jodie has teamed up with Laura Kerbey – (Positive Autism Support & Training) and Dr Chloe Farahar to deliver a series of programmes, webinars, LIVE Q & A sessions and private consultations to reach as many families as possible and help them advocate for their own children. Jodie also has a Level 2 certificate in Supporting PDA children, teenagers, and young adults.
Topics: “Pathological” Demand Avoidance/the drive for autonomy ~ Why we should be fighting *prejudice* toward Autistic people, not “autism stigma”
Libby is a 21-year-old student and works for Aucademy. They discovered they were Autistic when they were 16. Libby enjoys learning about everything and anything, but their main interests include history (particularly disability history and historiography), the Autistic experience, stories (in any form or genre), unsolved mysteries, and generally human experience (cultures, languages, psychology, ethics, morality etc.)
Topics: Autistic situational mutism ~ Life as AuDHDers ~ Ways we explore our Autistic experience: Aucademy educates
Angela (she/her) is an Autistic counsellor with a late formal diagnosis, although she had suspected for years that she was Autistic. Angela is a therapeutic counsellor who works primarily, although not exclusively, with Autistic clients. Angela works with Laura Kerbey of PAST and also in schools, where she writes articles for Special Needs Jungle. Over her years of being a therapist, Angela has heard how often Autistic people are unable to access therapy, or, when they do are harmed by it. Often by well-intentioned therapists. As a result, this can increase poor mental health and “camouflaging”/masking and increase self-doubt.
Links from Angela: @NDtherapist
Nic King – Pandas Online – is the creator of NeuroBears and co-host of The inside of Autism. Nic has spent many years volunteering with autistic young people and adults. Nic is autistic, diagnosed in 2021 and dyslexic. Nic’s passion is educating, training, and writing about autism. They also sit on various research groups. Nic’s main interests are sensory experience and creating safe and understanding spaces for autistic people. Nic is married with two children, who are all neurodivergent.
Marianthi Kourti (they/them)
Marianthi Kourti (they/them) is an Autistic non-binary scholar and professional, currently working on their PhD at the University of Birmingham. Marianthi is investigating how Autistic individuals identified as female at birth form a gender identity, and what implications that process has in their lives. They have spoken and published on the topic of autism and gender identity, and organised a variety of workshops and other events on autism, gender, and sexuality, including the “Intimate lives? Autism, gender, sex/uality, and identity” in 2018, which was the first conference to specifically focus on gender identity and autism.
Pages/links for speakers: Working with Autistic transgender and non-binary people: Research, practice and experience, edited by Marianthi Kourti https://www.amazon.co.uk/Working-Auti… “I don’t feel like a gender, I feel like myself”: Autistic individuals raised as girls exploring gender identity. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/1…
Anna Langford (she/her) is an 18-year-old Autistic who enjoys singing, stereoscopy, has a bearded dragon called Ziggy, loves sharing art and music on her Instagram.
Autistic parent, who makes comics, muses about neuroscience and learns new things https://www.facebook.com/HVPPYHANDS/
Sarah McCulloch is the director of the Autistic Empire, an Autistic social organisation built by and for Autistic adults to form community-based on autism as a civic identity and to provide practical tools and services for all Autistic people.
Sarah is also a mental health occupational therapist who works as the deputy manager in a community mental health team in London, UK. Sarah has worked with many Autistic people presenting to mental health services to try and access the support that they need and she sees a lot of misdiagnoses and lack of understanding on the part of professionals and clients, and would like to help Autistic people to advocate for themselves.
I am a sociology PhD student and associate lecturer at within Social Sciences at Northumbria University. The working title for her thesis is ‘Co-producing articulations of autistic women’s feminist consciousness’. Before coming to Northumbria, I completed an MSc in Public Sociology at Queen Margaret University. I have two decades of experience in the third sector, mainly working alongside people from marginalised groups, and most recently worked in the women’s sector with Muslim women. I am a public sociologist who is interested in intersectional feminist theory and creative research methods. I also create and deliver training in issues related to equalities and social justice.
Social Media Links: https://twitter.com/SaraMcHaffie Web Links: https://researchportal.northumbria.ac.uk/en/persons/sara-mchaffie
Dr. Ben Mitchell (he/him)
Dr. Ben Mitchell (he/him) is a librarian, curator, and scholar in science and technology studies and the history of science and medicine. As a curator at the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre, he researched the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital and delivered talks, exhibits, and tours on the history of mental health, neurodivergence, and psychiatric institutions in Ontario. Since learning that he is autistic he has turned his attention to historical and contemporary patterns of neurodivergent identity, information sharing, and community building. He has presented work on neurodiversity and librarianship at numerous conferences and is the moderator of the Neuro-GLAM-orous Canada Discord Server, a place for neurodivergent gallery, library, archive, and museum workers in Canada (and their friends!) to share their interests, experiences, and support Twitter: @Library_ben Tumblr: @libraryben
JayJay Mudridge (they/them) is an academic tutor, crossfit athlete, hobbiest mechanic, multiply published poet, and Autistic advocate from Massachusetts USA. JayJay also hosts the platform @ Not Another Autistic Advocate on Facebook. JayJay’s Instagram is @ GiraffeinaJeep
Fergus Murray (they/them)
Fergus Murray (they/them) is an autistic science teacher, writer and community organiser. They write widely on neurodiversity and related topics, and are particularly interested in neurodiversity in education. Dr Dinah Murray, pioneer of Monotropism, was their mum, and Fergus is keen to keep pushing the theory forwards. https://linktr.ee/0olong https://twitter.com/MxOolong https://weirder.earth/@ferrous https://monotropism.org/ oolong.co.uk https://medium.com/@Oolong/starting-p…
Shona Murphy (she/her) is an Autistic parent to two Autistic children. She is a PhD student researching false accusations of Fabricated and Induced illness (FII; similar to what was known as Munchausen’s by proxy). Many parents of disabled children are falsely accused of FII. Parents of Autistic children, including Autistic parents, appear to be particularly vulnerable so it is an important area of research. Previous research has been on Autistic parenthood. Shona also works as a tutor at Edge Hill university, a trainer and a mentor.
René Myers (she/her)
René Myers (she/her) is an active union leader, public educator of 33 years, activist, and bad ass. She has ehlers-danlos syndrome, lung disease, and many comorbidities. While autism is a lifelong experience, René recognized her autism only within the last six months. The accomplishment she is most proud of is successfully raising two wonderful children to adulthood. Audience members can reach out via email if desired firstname.lastname@example.org
James (he/him) is a recently identified, multiply-neurodivergent transman who is a collector of initialisms – LGBTQIA+, PDA-ASC, ADHD (with additional experience of DID & CFS/ME) from the UK – who basically just gets bored a lot and picks up useless but often interesting facts which he later impulsively shares with a view to helping whoever may benefit from his musings.
Links for James: https://musingsofanautiemind.wordpres…
Dr Amy Pearson
Dr Amy Pearson is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sunderland, whose research focusses on masking, and experiences of interpersonal victimisation.
“Masking Is Life”: Experiences of Masking in Autistic and Nonautistic Adults | Autism in Adulthood
A Conceptual Analysis of Autistic Masking: Understanding the Narrative of Stigma and the Illusion of Choice | Autism in Adulthood
Topics: Autistics respond to media reporting of violence & victimisation by neurodivergent people ~ Autistic interpersonal victimisation
Yenn Purkis (they/them) is an Autistic and non-binary author, public speaker and community leader. They also have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Yenn works in the autism/neurodiversity, gender diversity and mental health advocacy spaces. They are the author of eight published books on elements of autism and a regular blogger. Yenn has facilitated an autism support group in Canberra since 2011 and has worked full-time in the Australian Public Service since 2007. They have received many awards for their advocacy work over the years, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2019 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award. Yenn is a public speaker of almost 20 years’ experience and has presented at a range of events including at TEDx Canberra in 2013.
Topics: Autism and gender
Emma is a 48 year old woman living in West Wales. Her professional career is in the field of social care where she has worked as a support worker, registered manager, and business development manager. She is one of the directors of Autism Wellbeing – a small non-profit organisation that works alongside Autistic people, their families and professionals involved in their lives, to provide training, consultancy, and support; and change the language about autism and the way autism is perceived. Autism Wellbeing’s research and publication about Sensory Trauma has shown the need for research that validates and draws upon Autistic people’s experiences – Emma is continuing her research in her current PhD work that is exploring perceptions of autism held by clinicians within community mental health teams. Emma blogs about autism, and about the natural world and has a Facebook group dedicated to local wildlife. She has written a regular nature column for her local newspaper. Emma also holds a motorcycle licence and has ridden motorbikes since she was a teenager, she is hoping to take her advanced motorcycle test soon. Emma fits work and studying around home educating her 15 year old son. https://www.linkedin.com/company/auti… https://www.instagram.com/autismwellb… https://www.facebook.com/Autism-Wellb… https://www.twitter.com/AutWellbeing Emma’s blogs, work, social media, current projects, and publications in a website: https://findoutaboutemma.wordpress.com/
Topics: Autistic sensory trauma
Jeanne Revest has spent many years in education as an educator. Jeanne had an unplanned interlude as a diplomat, and has been involved in social development work (including helping to set up and develop a supported accommodation service for young asylum seekers), and her next project (when Covid allows) is working on coral reef restoration and sustainable livelihoods in Madagascar. Jeanne thrives on variety, life being one long adventure, and doing things her way – if she had to have a motto, it might be “expect the unexpected”, both of life and of herself!
Topics: Neurodivergent relationships
Actor, mother to an Autistic child who meets the pathological demand avoidance profile.
Topics: Beginning the neurodivergence discovery journey with Kim Rhodes ~ Autistic invalidation trauma & stigma with Kim Rhodes ~ Autistic discovery journey: Kim Rhodes educates Aucademy
Kieran Rose (he/him) is an Autistic Writer and Consultant with a background in Primary education and SEN. He is father to two Autistic children, a boy and a girl; and one Neurodivergent child, a boy. Since his Autism diagnosis is 2003, at the age of 23, Kieran has been dedicated to changing the negative narrative of Autism and highlighting the harm being caused to Autistic people all over the world. Kieran has founded The Autistic Cooperative, an international networking organising for Advocacy organisations worldwide, with over 100 member organisations, including ASAN, ASAN AUNZ, Autistic UK, ASNZ, and 700+ individual members, from over 60 countries. Kieran is also an experienced public speaker and trainer, specialising in Autistic Masking and Burnout and he is a consultant on several research papers exploring them.
Find Kieran as The Autistic Advocate on social media
Topics: Autistic masking REALLY ~ Autistic masking and stigma ~ Situational mutism ~ Discovering an Autistic identity following becoming a parent ~ Autistic rambling ~ Autistic empathy: Double empathy Aucademy special ~ Autistic masking & introducing Autistic shielding
Autistic Selves is a system of personas who live together in one body. They are Autistic and plural – diagnosed with autism & Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Find Autistic Selves on: YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtpj… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/autisticsel… Buy them a coffee on Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/autisticselves And connect with them on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/autistic-……
Mollie Sherwin is a PDAer (meets the “Pathological” Demand Avoidance profile) and speaker on personal experience of PDA. She speaks about life as an Autistic teenager experiencing PDA following the release of a book about her life, and how this affected friendships and teenage life. Mollie Sherwin – of Crocheted Baby Yoda fame, and illustrator – https://www.facebook.com/MBsWorkshopss/
Topics: The importance of gaming for neurodivergent people ~ Autistic artists Mollie & Marie talk to Harry Thompson
Melissa (she/her) is a campaigner on autism and neurodiversity and intersections with race and faith. The founder of MisTÂûght and the creator of Black History Month for Dummies & White Teachers. She’s in her final year of a MA in Autism Studies at Sheffield Hallam University; where she is doing a dissertation on looking at children as ‘Agents of Change’ in birthing a more autism inclusive society.
Twitter: @ Mis_TAught
Jodie (she/her) is a children’s well-being practitioner specialising in autism. Or children autism specialist for short. Jodie works collaboratively with children, their families and their schools to support a process of understanding, acceptance and advocacy.
Jodie also offers training on the Autistic experience for a variety of organisations including schools, and delivers regular talks/webinars, which anyone is welcome to access. Jodie is also the parent of Autistic children and has co-authored a book with her Autistic daughter. She is currently studying for an MA in autism at Sheffield Hallam University.
Topics: Young Autistic people’s mental health, & burnout ~ Young Autistic people’s mental health, & burnout (Part 2) ~ Autistic parenthood & accusations of Fabricated & Induced Illness
Rie Sinclair (she/her)
Rie Sinclair (she/her) currently creates and produces songs for TV as a profession, and has been Emmy-nominated a few times. She believes ethics and aesthetics are keys to being a more fluid and functional human. She’s been studying Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari for six years now and working on a children’s music project, which will hopefully be more specifically directed to Neuro-Divergent Children.
Pages for speakers: http://www.riesinclair.com
Daryl (he/him) is a twenty-two-year-old Autistic writer who has recently finished studying at The University of Kent. The past six years have been the most challenging and traumatic years of his life. Daryl has been a victim of bullying, harassment, and discrimination, and has had to endure failed relationships. Yet after having received an autism diagnosis during his studies at Kent, Daryl now has an answer to all the traumatic experiences that he has endured. Now, Daryl wishes to rebuild his damaged life and move forward from his traumatic past and live as a writer to narrate the Autistic experience and be an activist for the Autistic community.
Nathan Spoon (He/him)
Nathan Spoon (He/him) is an Autistic poet with learning disabilities whose poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, Poetry, Poetry Daily, and the anthologies How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude and Hope and Sonnets from the American: An Anthology of Poems and Essays. He is the author of a debut collection Doomsday Bunker and the chapbook Fail Better! Feel Great!! and editor of Queerly. IG: @bloomymoss, Twitter: @npspoon https://nathanspoon.com/ Two poems: https://theboilerjournal.com/tag/nath… Two poems: https://bulletin.hds.harvard.edu/two-… Three poems: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poet… This from Jennifer White-Johnson: https://thinkingautismguide.com/2019/…
Topics: Autistic Joy on Aucademy
Angela Stapleford (she/they)
Angela Stapleford (she/they) is Autistic and has a visual condition that affects their depth perception. In the past they’ve worked in publishing, community education, and the arts. Angela studied photography and the History of Art. She moved through lots of different jobs and workplaces and struggled to fit in, partly due to being undiagnosed as Autistic (and possibly ADHD and being Dyspraxic). She discovered she was Autistic in 2021. Angela has been working as a freelance copywriter since 2020. In 2020 she also co-founded we’re all human (WAH) with their friend Sabrina Tirvengadum who is a deaf designer. They set up WAH to spread the word that accessibility is crucial in digital design. They also wanted to make sure that designers have the information they need to create accessible design. They were tired of feeling helpless in the face of ableist assumptions and inaccessibility. They want to uphold disabled people’s human rights and make the internet accessible. As they’re developing their campaign they’re trying to find new ways to bring together the different people who can have an impact including neurodivergent and disabled advocates and creatives. https://www.instagram.com/wereallhuma… https://www.patreon.com/wereallhuman https://wereallhuman.uno/index.html
Dr Catriona Stewart OBE
Cationar Stewart (she/her) is Founder and Organisational Development Lead at SWAN: Scottish Women’s Autism Network. She is a trainer and conference plenary speaker. She’s acted as an advisor at national level, including to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, Scotland, completed Dec 2019, the current Scottish Government #DifferentMinds Campaign, and since the start of the COVID crisis, the Human Rights-focused Independent Advisory Group to the Scottish Police Authority. SWAN is currently delivering an Employment Project, coaching and mentoring autistic women in their work contexts, and giving training to employers and colleagues.
Sam Story is a young person who explains his perspective on how to tell a young person they are Autistic.
Autistic trans male who is a public speaker and advocate for human rights. He loves art, nature, music, podcasts, Star Wars, dogs, and Supernatural. Leo works in a warehouse position with trading cards.
Topics: Imposter Syndrome
Mother of Autistic children, mindfulness mentor, teacher by profession. Nicola Wakeling on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aspacefordif…
Justyna Walecka-Bowery (she/her)
Justyna Walecka-Bowery (she/her) is a Polish woman living in the North-East of England. She is a speech and language therapist by profession, currently seconded as lead trainer for autism and learning disability. Karate nerd, fan of Stranger Things. Living in a 100% Autistic family, with 2 spaniels and 1 cat. One spaniel is definitely Autistic, the other is suspected of ADHD, the cat just rules the house (and miaows for food). Twitter: @WbJusti
Topics: Communication and Accessibility
Nick Walker (she/her) is a queer, transgender, flamingly Autistic author and educator best known for her foundational work on the neurodiversity paradigm and Neuroqueer Theory. She is a professor of psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies, a Managing Editor at Autonomous Press, and co-creator of the Weird Luck webcomic.
Topics: What is neurodiversity & why’s it important? ~ Neuroqueer Life & Literature ~ Neuroqueering, & postnormal possibilities
Andria Walton (she/her)
Andria Walton (she/her) is a 51 year old mum of one daughter who is 25 years. Andria was assessed for autism when she was 49 years. Andria has many interests such as community work, and she is a university student, and enjoys creative projects. Facebook @Andria Walton Instagram AndriaWalton1
Elon Weintraub (he/him)
Elon Weintraub (he/him) is a Modern Orthodox Jew whose autism was discovered when he was a child. He has rabbinic ordination from private study with a mentor and he is working on completing an additional rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutisticRebb… YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXj7…
Leah Ahavah Weintraub (she/her)
Leah Ahavah Weintraub (she/her) is a Modern Orthodox Jew who discovered that she was Autistic in the last year (2020-2021). She has lived in 4 different American states, and currently lives in Central Texas. She is married to co-host Elon Weintraub and they have a toddler and a dog. She works for a cancer hotline. Leah Ahavah’s longest-held special interest is Lindy Hop, which she has been doing for almost 14 years.
Evaleen Whelton (she/they)
Evaleen is founder of AUsome Training and Konfident Kidz. She is dedicated to changing the narrative around Autistic people and creating courses and resources which are Neurodiversity affirming. Her recent book “Standing Up for Myself” – is a guide for Autistic kids and teens on boundaries, consent, healthy relationships and self-advocacy. She has also just released a new program, called “Include” for schools and clubs to promote and nurture Neurodiversity. (https://www.facebook.com/ausometraining) (https://twitter.com/ausomeireland) (https://www.linkedin.com/…/evaleen-…) (https://www.instagram.com/ausome_trai…) (https://konfidentkidz.ie/) (https://ausometraining.com/)