Our Talks

A selection of brief talks on autism, open to everyone

Understanding Autistic Burnout with Viv Dawes

ABOUT

What is autistic burnout? According to Judy Endow, it “is a state of physical and mental fatigue, heightened stress and diminished capacity to manage life skills, sensory input and social interactions, which comes from years of being severely overtaxed by the strain of trying to live up to demands that are out of sync with your needs”. It’s common, and commonly recognised, amongst the autistic population, yet still little understood by professionals.

Viv Dawes is a late-identified and diagnosed autistic and ADHD lived experience advocate, writer and trainer. She’s also the parent of a ND teenager. Viv has over 25 years’ experience of working with vulnerable young people and adults, who have mostly been neurodivergent. She regularly delivers training on autistic burnout, and her website has a host of useful related resources.

It’s important to us to be able to welcome people regardless of financial means however we have significant running costs, so we ask that if, if you are able to, you donate £5.00 or more.

We send a recording to everyone who gets a ticket for the event. It helps us if you let us know if you aren’t planning to attend live. 

LOCATION

This is an online event at 18:30 on Monday 20th May 2024.

 

BOOK HERE

Previous event: A Conversation with Steve Silberman

NeuroTribes by Steve Silberman explores in fascinating, near-encyclopaedic depth how autism has evolved. It’s a gripping narrative written with journalistic verve.

The Guardian
ABOUT

Steve Silberman is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity – a book we regularly recommend to people who are seeking context around autism. Steve will be reflecting on how the understanding of autism and neurodiversity has transformed since the publication in 2015 of NeuroTribes, in conversation with Jess Rees, who was recently diagnosed as autistic, and is now a staff member at AutAngel.

There will be Q&As following the interview.

It’s important to us to be able to welcome people regardless of financial means however we have significant running costs, so we ask that if, if you are able to, you donate £5.00 or more.

We send a recording to everyone who gets a ticket for the event. It helps us if you let us know if you aren’t planning to attend live.

Sign up here for occasional updates about our online talks and other events.

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 29th April 2024.

 

Previous event: Q&A with Nat Titman

ABOUT

By popular request Nat will return to our AutAngel event space and answer your questions about their previous talks on The Elephant in the Room, Autism and Dissociation and Chronic Unaddressed Toxic Stress.

Many autistic people are initially unidentified and or misdiagnosed. The Elephant in the Room talk explored some of the reasons for this using an analogy based on the fable of the experts each only able to examine one part of a huge elephant. If they only have the tail, it’s a rope, the tusks are a spear, the ears a fan, the leg a tree trunk and so on. Each expert has a specialism in one part of the elephant, but none of them are delivering a diagnosis of ‘elephant’ because they never meet to compare notes.
The talk on CUTS reviewed research showing how autistic children are more prone to chronic stress, and the range of physical and mental health issues that can result if this isn’t properly addressed. Building from concepts of sensory trauma and adverse childhood experiences, Nat will suggest reframing long term autistic stress responses through the lens of Chronic Unaddressed Toxic Stress, or ‘CUTS’.

The talk on the Autism Dissociation Association examined the connections between autism and the dissociative response, looks at the surprising overlaps in experiences between autistic and dissociative support communities, and advocates for a change in perspective on autism, dissociation and chronic, unaddressed toxic stress.
Dissociation is a psychological defense mechanism where the conscious mind becomes distanced from the outside world, or from the feelings and memories it provokes. This is a common, natural response to unbearable experiences. Dissociative disorders develop when the mind learns to distance itself as a habit and forms an instinctual dissociative response to the stresses of daily life.

 

LOCATION

This was an online event at 18:30 on Monday 4th March.

Previous event: Autism and Therapy - a conversation with autistic therapist Siana McGarvey

ABOUT

People who feel the need for help and support naturally turn to therapy. Historically, autistic people have had mixed experiences with therapy. This conversation with an autistic therapist will examine how autistic people can get the best out of therapy.

Siana McGarvey has been a therapist since 2002; however she only realised she was autistic 5 years ago. She has found that gradually embracing her autistic identity has led to major shifts in her self-understanding and compassion for herself.

Caroline Hearst is the founder of AutAngel. Caroline trained as an art psychotherapist and also consumed copious amounts of therapy before the discovering she was autistic in her 50’s and developing training about autism for therapists.

Siana believes that therapy works through the close attention given by the therapist to the client. This supports the healing and integration of the aspects of the client which have been harmed, denied and suppressed. In turn it then helps aspects of the personality which have been over-working to keep this all this at bay to soften and change.

Siana will be talking to Caroline about how neurodivergent people can choose an appropriate therapist. Siana will also talk about her own neuro-affirmative practice.

Siana’s website: www.therapywithsiana.com 

Together with a fellow autistic therapist Siana co-hosts a podcast about intersectional therapy: Autistic Licence | a podcast by autisticlicence (podbean.com)

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel, which is a community interest company run by and for autistic adults. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, and we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation. For those who can afford it, our recommended donation is £5, but we are grateful for any amount you donate, and we very much appreciate larger donations.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating conversation and Q&A session!

We send a recording to everyone who gets a ticket for the event. It helps us if you let us know if you aren’t planning to attend live.

Sign up here for occasional updates about our online talks and other events.

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 12th February 2024.

Previous event: The Autism-Dissociation Association - a talk by Nat Titman

ABOUT

Nat Titman joins us for the third of three events. Nat is a middle-aged multiply neurodivergent autism trainer, IT consultant, musician, artist and former podcaster with a collection of labels and diagnoses, including a dissociative disorder.

Dissociation is a psychological defense mechanism where the conscious mind becomes distanced from the outside world, or from the feelings and memories it provokes. This is a common, natural response to unbearable experiences. Dissociative disorders develop when the mind learns to distance itself as a habit and forms an instinctual dissociative response to the stresses of daily life.

This talk explores the connections between autism and the dissociative response, looks at the surprising overlaps in experiences between autistic and dissociative support communities, and advocates for a change in perspective on autism, dissociation and chronic, unaddressed toxic stress.

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel, which is a community interest company run by and for autistic adults. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, and we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation. For those who can afford it, our recommended donation is £5, but we are grateful for any amount you donate, and we very much appreciate larger donations.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating conversation and Q&A session!

 

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 8th January 2024.

Previous event: Chronic Unaddressed Toxic Stress - the impact on autistic people

ABOUT

Nat Titman joins us for a second of three talks.

Nat is a middle-aged multiply neurodivergent autism trainer, IT consultant, musician, artist and former podcaster with a collection of labels and diagnoses, including a dissociative disorder.

In this talk they will review research showing how autistic children are more prone to chronic stress, and the range of physical and mental health issues that can result if this isn’t properly addressed. Building from concepts of sensory trauma and adverse childhood experiences, Nat will suggest reframing long term autistic stress responses through the lens of Chronic Unaddressed Toxic Stress, or ‘CUTS’.

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel, which is a community interest company run by and for autistic adults. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, and we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 4th December.

Previous event: The Elephant in the Room: autism hiding in plain sight - Nat Titman

ABOUT

Nat Titman is a middle-aged multiply neurodivergent autism trainer, IT consultant, musician, artist and former podcaster with what seems to be an ever-growing collection of labels and diagnoses. In this engaging talk they use sustained metaphors and allegories, building from the concepts of the ‘elephant in the room’ idiom and the ‘parable of the elephant’, to explore the ways in which obvious autism traits can be missed in childhood or entirely overshadowed by a single trait. We’ll move from metaphors to case studies, before finally considering how these factors can also affect support group dynamics and impact autistic people with other disabilities, chronic illnesses or neurodivergences.

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel, which is a community interest company run by and for autistic adults. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, and we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating conversation and Q&A session!

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 13th November.

Previous event: Surfing the Wave: Asserting Autism Acceptance - a conversation with Luke Beardon

ABOUT

Dr Luke Beardon is passionate about autism, an engaging and entertaining speaker, and a staunch ally to autistic people. In addition to being a Senior Lecturer in autism at Sheffield Hallam University, he’s written a number of popular, accessible and highly recommended books about autism. He’ll be talking to Caroline Hearst about the changing environment around autism and the autistic community, as we work our way towards autism acceptance.

 

LOCATION

This was an online event on Monday 16th October 2023.

Previous event: Autistic Masking - A Conversation with Kieran Rose, Monday 4th Sept at 6.30pm

ABOUT

Kieran Rose is an unapologetically autistic writer, consultant, trainer, speaker and researcher. He is “the autistic advocate” on twitter and his website. The name fits him perfectly: he is a clear communicator who is realistic and positive about autism. Together with Amy Pearson, he has recently authored a new book:Autistic Masking: Understanding Identity Management and the role of Stigma‘. We are delighted that he has accepted our invitation to talk about his work on masking, which many autistic people have found invaluable.

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel, which is a community interest company run by and for autistic adults. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, and we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating conversation and Q&A session!

We send a recording to everyone who gets a ticket for the event. It helps us if you let us know if you aren’t planning to attend live.

 

LOCATION

Online event.

This event was held on Monday 4th September 2023.

Previous event: Autistic people and therapy: a conversation with Erin Stevens

ABOUT

Erin Stevens is a counsellor/psychotherapist in private practice, working primarily with people who have been harmed in previous therapy. She is proudly autistic and ADHD, and is a steering group member of the Association of Neurodivergent Therapists (ANDT). Erin is interested in the dynamics of power and harm in therapy; anti-oppressive practice; social justice; and the large overlap between harmful experiences of therapy and neurodivergence. Erin can be contacted for consultations, commissions and training via her website www.erinstevens.co.uk or on Twitter.

LOCATION

This was an online event, on Monday 12th June 2023 at 6.30pm BST.

Featured Trainers

AutAngel provides this list of autistic trainers as a resource. We include anyone who is able to evidence that they have experience of offering training. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with trainer's background and position on subjects of interest to you, as we take no responsibility for the views of trainers and the content of their training. If you are a trainer who would like to be included here, please contact us.

Caroline Hearst

Caroline at Autism Matters provides autism awareness courses and talks as well as onsite training for therapists and employers. She also offers individual consultations for those wishing to discuss autism related issues confidentially.

TOPICS COVERED
BIO

Caroline self-identified and was diagnosed as autistic in her fifties having previously qualified as an art-psychotherapist and worked in a variety of roles including librarian, trade union recruiter and adult educator. Following her diagnosis she designed training about autism for practitioners in the mental health service. She prides herself of facilitating interactive sessions which offer an informed insider perspective on autism. She has written about autism in OpenMind, Therapy Today and The Psychotherapist, and edited the book Being Autistic. She is the founder of AutAngel and has designed and developed a post-identification peer support programme. She was an Autism Professionals Award winner in 2017.

FEES

One day session £500 - £800 (depends on numbers, type of organisation and what is required). Talks are from £150 by arrangement. One hour consultation via Skype or phone is from £45.

LOCATION

UK-wide and international.

WEBSITE

Autism Matters

Cos Michael

Cos Michael specialises in issues around adult autism and ageing. She offers conference presentations, talks and training. Subjects covered include:
• Autism and ageing: health and welfare
• Being autistic; a personal perspective
• The impact of sensory issues in everyday life
• Autism and ageing; social and residential support
• Autism and ageing: introduction
• Supporting ageing autistic adults

Fees: Negotiable

Location: UK-wide and international.

Bio: Cos was diagnosed as autistic aged 50. She spent several years at the NAS, leading the Autism and Ageing projects, which won the Autism Professionals Award for Outstanding Adult Services in 2014. Cos has specific knowledge of issues around autism and growing older. She has worked with researchers on various projects around health and welfare in autistic adulthood and ageing. Publications include an editorial in the journal, Autism, on Why we need research about autism and ageing, a chapter in The Challenge and Promise of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life, Ed: Scott Wright. JKP, 2016 and co-authorship of various research papers. Cos is often invited to speak at conferences.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autism and ageing: health and welfare
  • Being autistic; a personal perspective
  • The impact of sensory issues in everyday life
  • Autism and ageing; social and residential support
  • Autism and ageing: introduction
  • Supporting ageing autistic adults
BIO

Cos was diagnosed as autistic aged 50. She spent several years at the NAS, leading the Autism and Ageing projects, which won the Autism Professionals Award for Outstanding Adult Services in 2014. Cos has specific knowledge of issues around autism and growing older. She has worked with researchers on various projects around health and welfare in autistic adulthood and ageing. Publications include an editorial in the journal, Autism, on Why we need research about autism and ageing, a chapter in The Challenge and Promise of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life, Ed: Scott Wright. JKP, 2016 and co-authorship of various research papers. Cos is often invited to speak at conferences.

You can find Cos on LinkedIn.

FEES

Fees: Negotiable.

LOCATION

UK-wide and international.

WEBSITE

Cos's Twitter

Andrew Carpenter

Andrew offers bespoke training and has a particular interest in autism and mental health. He’s typically delivered courses on Autism Awareness/Acceptance and Adapting Practice. He has teaching qualifications and over 20 years of experience as both teacher and trainer.

Andrew is currently Autism Programme Development Lead for NHS England in the London Region and has previously been the statutory Autism Lead for two London councils (Westminster and RBKC).  He has a background in Personalisation and is the Public Champion for Personalised Care and Social Prescribing with NHS England in London.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autism and mental health
  • Self-Directed Support, Personalisation and Personal Budgets
BIO

Andrew was diagnosed with autism at the age of 41, having previously experienced mental health issues throughout his life. He has trained hundreds of people from all walks of life, including local authorities and third sector/user-led organisations. Andrew’s trainees have also included IAPT students, mental health staff in NHS Trusts and directors/senior managers in NHS England. Andrew’s feedback is always positive and trainees find him an engaging speaker. Occasionally, people even laugh at his jokes…

 

FEES

Autism training is bespoke and therefore fees are dependent on your requirements, but will be competitive.

LOCATION

UK-wide and international.

Wenn Lawson

Dr. Wenn B. Lawson PhD, CPsychol AFBPsS MAPs is happy to conduct adult autism assessments, professional development, facilitate teacher training, share at parent support groups & run training programs for those wanting to understand autism better. Dr. Wenn’s work is research based, but also practical, down to earth and applicable to parents, professionals and others wanting to understand autism and make a difference.

Please note that Dr Wenn’s waiting list is currently closed to new clients. However, if you have an enquiry about assessments or would like to be alerted when his waiting list reopens, please complete this form.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Adult autism assessments
  • Professional development
  • Facilitation of teacher training
  • Sharing at parent support groups
  • Training programs for those wanting to understand autism better
BIO

Psychologist, lecturer and author, Dr. Wenn has run his own business for 25 years. Being on the autism spectrum, Dr. Wenn is passionate about the rights of those who so often cannot speak for themselves. Dr. Wenn is the parent of four children (three of whom are on the autism spectrum) and grandparent to three granddaughters also on the on the autism spectrum. Dr. Wenn is currently Senior Consultant Complex Support, with the South Australian Government, Education Department; Researcher with McQuarrie University Sydney; Research Associate of Curtin Uni, WA; Teaching Fellow with Birmingham University, UK, and a sessional lecturer at other universities. He resides on several boards and is a member and advisor to researchers with the CRC in Australia. He has written numerous books (and papers) on the topic of autism in a variety of guises (e.g. females on the spectrum; older & ageing in autism; mental health & education, gender divergent & neuro-divergence in autism). Dr. Wenn has received a number of awards, such as the Australian and Pacific Autism Award; The Naturally Autistic Community Award; Australian of the year (fourth in the State); The Author of the year and Most Esteemed Speaker.

FEES

Available on request (typically range from £250 for assessments, with report, to £800 for a day’s training).

LOCATION

Dr. Wenn is based in Australia but is often in the UK. He also does consultations over Skype/Zoom and email.

WEBSITE

Wenn Lawson

Jorik Mol

I am available as a freelance autistic trainer, speaker and mentor. I have over 8 years experience as an educator and personal tutor. I am a qualified teacher with over four years’ classroom experience. I currently work freelance as an autistic mentor and an autistic PA. Please contact me for more information.

As a trainer, I can provide single training sessions on autism and neurodiversity, seminars on how to improve working practices and longer term courses, which I will modify to suit your particular needs and desires. Please find a course overview by clicking here.

I speak on autism and neurodiversity and how to improve your organisation in a changing world. I am able to work with individuals, small groups and larger organisations. I have the necessary technology to present barring a projector.

I work with the following groups/organisations:

Public sector: police, criminal justice, education (tertiary, secondary, primary, early years, adult education, SEN, organisational and HR) , social care, NHS (general practice, neurodevelopmental, AMHT, CAMHS, emergency care, specialist care, organisational and HR).
Private sector: any business that wishes to engage more positively with neurodivergence in their practices, such as in education (language teaching, SEN, organisational and HR), media (publishing), transport, international collaboration, science & technology, etc.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autism and Neurodiversity
  • Neurodivergence and Intersectionality
  • Working with Autistic Service Users
  • Running a Neurodiverse Workplace
  • Autism and Education
BIO

I am a 32 year old autistic gay man who lives in Caversham, Berkshire with my autistic partner and our collection of books. Beyond autism, my special interests are literature, languages, cooking, travel and the natural world.

Email: jorikmol@gmail.com

FEES

Charges vary, but prices for talks and seminars are listed in the Course Overviews.

LOCATION

Based in Caversham, Reading, UK, I am happy and able to travel locally or by public transport across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

WEBSITE

Jorik Mol

Richard Woods

Richard Woods offers mentoring, Skype consultations, general and bespoke training, workshops and conference talks. Areas include:

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autism and anxiety
  • Autism and ethics
  • Autism, an introduction
  • Autism strategies
  • Disability studies introduction
  • Monotropism theory (an interest based account of autism)
  • PDA (Pathological Demand Avoidance)
BIO

Richard Woods is a leading author on Demand Avoidance Phenomena (Pathological Demand Avoidance) and an editor of the autistic-led good practice journal, Autism Policy and Practice. He has delivered training sessions in both the UK and internationally. ​He completed his BSc Technological Physics at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in 2016. After his diagnosis in 2012, he was pivotal to the running of the Autistic-led society at NTU until 2014. Since 2013, Mr Woods has been working in schools in his local area, undertaking roles such as a mentor. Currently, he is an independent scholar pursuing an Interest Based Account of autism (monotropism theory). Mr Woods’ is involved with Participatory Autism Research Collective. When not advancing autistic persons’ rights, Mr Woods can be found immersing himself in cyber-goth style music and socialising with his friends. Ironically, he resides in Nottingham, the source of Rational Demand Avoidance.

FEES

Mentoring and Skype sessions, £40 per hour, plus travel costs; training events, £50 per hour, plus travel costs; day rates, £250, plus travel costs.

LOCATION

Based in Nottingham, willing to travel.

Shona Murphy

Shona offers bespoke training and presentations. Some examples of recent ones are:

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autistic parenthood
  • Challenging behaviour: who is challenging who?
  • From ableism to activism
BIO

​Shona Murphy is currently researching Autistic Parenthood for her dissertation which is the final piece of work to achieve her MA in Autism. She is an autistic mother to two autistic children who are both home educated due to problems with school. She has had her own business for 17 years. With an academic background in autism, lived experience and daily engagement with the autistic community Shona is able to offer a broad perspective on autism to a variety of audiences.

FEES

Fees are variable. Enquire via her website.

LOCATION

Shona is based in the North of England but will travel.

WEBSITE

Shona Murphy

Paul Isaacs

Paul promotes and talks about (in differing contexts) the promotional of autism as a “fruit salad”. This is the analogy of the late Donna Williams (Polly Samuels) in which he looks at autism as a multi-faceted condition made up of condition in both neurology and/or biology.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Autism as “fruit salad”
  • Autism and sensory perceptual issues
  • Autism and language processing disorders
  • Autism and exposure anxiety (which has cross-overs with PDA, ODD and Reactive attachment disorder)
BIO

FEES

Speaking, training consulting: £50. Travel: mileage 40p per mile and/or travel ticket reimbursement.

LOCATION

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (longer distances can be discussed). Overseas Skype presentations & Google video presentations (same fee applies).

WEBSITE

Paul Isaacs

Robyn Steward

All training is bespoke and built around individual clients needs. Training includes practical strategies friendly and understandable explanations of theory and how this looks in real life, worked into this is my own experience and and how this might be different to others. Not afraid to tackle difficult topics such as sex and abuse.

People I have delivered training for include: teachers, TAs, OTs, SLTs, psychologists, paediatricians, judges, social workers (children and adult), support workers (children and adult), prison officers and parents and carers.

Talks can be delivered to a wide range of groups: parents, young people, schools assemblies (age 5 +), 6th form, events, etc.

Consultancy work includes specialist in media (TV , radio , print, web).

TOPICS COVERED
BIO

Robyn Steward has been a trainer for over 10 years, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at 11, she has nine other disabilities, she was educated in mainstream schools. She is a trainer believing in providing the theory in terms of real life experiences, and how this varies from person to person. She also provides lots of practical strategies and tools, and suggestions for further reading/learnings. She is also a speaker to both adults and children, and has conference co-chairing experience. Robyn is author of The Independent Woman’s Handbook for Super Safe Living on the Autistic Spectrum (JKP 2013). Robyn is keen to understand the perspectives of others on the Autism spectrum and she is a visiting research associate at CRAE (Centre for Research in Autism and Education) at the Institute of Education, University College London. In 2015 Robyn was joint awardee of the National Autistic Societies professional award for Outstanding achievement by an individual on the autism spectrum.

FEES

Competitive rates upon request.

LOCATION

Internationally, travel independently.

WEBSITE

Robyn Steward

Zaffy Simone

Zaffy Simone works in support of people with a learning disability and those on the autism spectrum and is set up as a self-employed consultant on autism. Zaffy trains staff and parent groups, offers face to face and email consultation and works as a mentor and advocate with autistic people.

TOPICS COVERED

    Zaffy teaches yoga, meditation, mindfulness and is a breathing coach. He speaks about his journey from a holistic perspective and how these practices and therapies enabled him to have a full happy, healthy life. Zaffy also works for a national charity advising carers how to support people with learning disability and/or autism.

BIO

Diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum at the age of 39, Zaffy Simone lives with Lucy and their cat and dog in Nottinghamshire. Zaffy has struggled throughout life with sensory, social and learning issues, and has put lots of energy into learning how to manage a very sensitive nervous and sensory system. Zaffy’s diagnosis was a relief, ‘my diagnosis has been positive and beneficial, it was a final piece of the puzzle for me and my aim now is to help others by raising awareness and understanding of what it means to be on the autism spectrum.’ Art has always been a form of communication for Zaffy. Zaffy uses art and cartoons to show what it is like to be on the spectrum and to increase understanding and acceptance of autistic people.

FEES

Available on request.

LOCATION

Available on request.

WEBSITE

Zaffy