Our Talks

A selection of brief talks on autism, open to everyone

Autism and Social Communication - a talk

ABOUT

It is commonly believed that autistic people have a social communication deficit. Autistic academic Damian Milton challenges this idea with his concept of “the double empathy problem” whereby the communication difficulty does not reside solely with autistic people but rather in the difference between autistic and neurotypical ways of communicating.

This talk will look at the mechanisms underlying autistic social differences and consider how communication between people with differing neurologies might be improved.

This talk, by AutAngel founder and director Caroline Hearst, will take place on Tuesday 28th September at 6.30pm.

TOPICS COVERED
LOCATION

Online event – book here.

Previous talks: Autism and the Family

ABOUT

Taking place on Tuesday 7th September at 6.30pm, this talk will look at the various ways that identifying a family member is autistic can affect that person and the family as a whole. It’s one of a series of online talks by AutAngel founder Caroline Hearst on various aspects of autism and autistic life. Caroline is a parent to two, one autistic and one not.

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LOCATION

Previous talks: A Conversation with Wenn Lawson

I found the presentation to be incredibly informative and empowering. It was refreshing to have wonderfully educated information and support from an autistic person in the lgbtqia+ community.

J.O., Queer Autistic Attendee
ABOUT

Dr. Wenn Lawson is an late-diagnosed autistic Australian psychologist, author and a popular, engaging public speaker.

Dr. Wenn is currently a Teaching Fellow with Birmingham University’s online Masters autism course, and is active in the Australian autistic community. He has written a number of books, the most recent being The Autistic Trans Guide to Life (with Yenn Purkis).

Wenn will be interviewed by Cos Michael in the fourth of our series of conversations.

Cos Michael got her autism diagnosis aged 50 and advocates for more knowledge about autism and ageing. After a career in theatre and broadcasting she spent several years leading NAS Autism and Ageing projects, and now works as an autism and ageing consultant and trainer. Cos speaks at conferences in the UK and abroad.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

Please join us on Tuesday 17th August at midday (BST) for what promises to be a fascinating conversation and Q&A session!

TOPICS COVERED
LOCATION

Online event.

Previous talks: A Conversation with Luke Beardon

ABOUT

Dr Luke Beardon is passionate about autism, an engaging and entertaining speaker, and 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 and highly recommended books about autism, the most recent being Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children.

Luke will be interviewed by Cos Michael in the third of our series of conversations.

Cos Michael got her autism diagnosis aged 50 and advocates for more knowledge about autism and ageing. After a career in theatre and broadcasting she spent several years leading NAS Autism and Ageing projects, and now works as an autism and ageing consultant and trainer. Cos speaks at conferences in the UK and abroad.

There will be Q&As following the conversation.

This is one of an occasional series of autism-related talks offered by AutAngel. We rely on the generosity of your contributions to provide these talks, we want them to be available to all so the tickets are by donation.

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LOCATION

Online event

Previous talks: A Conversation with Kate Fox

ABOUT

On Tuesday April 13th 2021:

A conversation between two late diagnosed professional autistic women.

Kate Fox is a writer, broadcaster and performer. She sometimes refers to herself as a “stand up poet” she’s also a late-diagnosed autistic. Kate’s latest collection of poetry, The Oscillations, is hot off the press from Nine Arches Press. She’ll be in conversation with fellow late-diagnosed Cos Michael, and they’ll be talking poetry, performance and autism.

Cos Michael got her autism diagnosis aged 50 and advocates for more knowledge about autism and ageing. After a career in theatre and broadcasting she spent several years leading NAS Autism and Ageing projects, and now works as an autism and ageing consultant and trainer. Cos speaks at conferences in the UK and abroad.

TOPICS COVERED
LOCATION

Online event

Previous talks: 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 the award-winning author of Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. He’ll be in conversation with Cos Michael, who recently gave an entertaining and informative talk for AutAngel on Autism and Ageing.

There will be Q&As following the interview.

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

The interviewer

Cos Michael got her autism diagnosis aged 50 and advocates for more knowledge about autism and ageing. She spent several years leading NAS Autism and Ageing projects, and now works as an autism and ageing consultant and trainer. Cos speaks at conferences in the UK and abroad.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-conversation-with-steve-silberman-tickets-136408847535

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LOCATION

Online event

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Autism and ageing

"The talk was really informative and reinforced my own findings in my journey."

Late-diagnosed autistic woman
ABOUT

Although autistic people grow older, autistic ageing is barely recognised by society, policy makers, or by statutory services for older adults. How does invisibility impact on our lives and how can we keep ourselves well?

The speaker:

Cos Michael got her autism diagnosis aged 50 and advocates for more knowledge about autism and ageing. She spent several years leading NAS Autism and Ageing projects, and now works as an autism and ageing consultant and trainer. Cos speaks at conferences in the UK and abroad.

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    The talk covers:

  • The impact of invisibility
  • Ageing and health
  • Keeping well & lockdown ideas
  • Communication and social stresses
  • Q&A
LOCATION

Online talk.

Recognising Autism

"Caroline knows her stuff and delivers it with passion and humour."

Counsellor
ABOUT

Autism is a common but invisible condition, which is why most autistic adults are undiagnosed. Myths and misunderstandings abound and often get in the way of autism being identified and understood.

This one hour talk explores some of the ways in which autistic people think, feel and experience the world. It will help you better understand your autistic friends, family, employees, colleagues or volunteers and as an added bonus be more aware of your own thought processes.

TOPICS COVERED
  • What is autism?
  • How prevalent is autism and who does it affect?
  • How does autism affect people?
  • Personal Stories
  • Question and Answer session
LOCATION

Online talk.

The Traits of Autism

"Very helpful and challenging perceptions in an accessible way."

Participant
ABOUT

This one hour talk introduces some of the ways in which autistic traits (which are just human traits felt with an atypical intensity or configured in an atypical way) affect how people think, feel and experience the world. It will help you better understand your autistic friends, family, employees, colleagues or volunteers and as an added bonus be more aware of your own thought processes.

TOPICS COVERED
  • What is autism?
  • Atypical development
  • Social communication and interactions
  • Sensory atypicalities and spiky ability profile
  • Executive function
  • Q & A
LOCATION

Online talk.

Autism and Anxiety

"Thank you for a great talk yesterday. I learnt a lot!"

Emma Sullivan, Research Assistant, UCL
ABOUT

Many autistic adults and children experience high levels of anxiety. This one hour talk explores issues around anxiety – why it is so common amongst autistic people, whether it is an innate part of autism, how autistic people can manage anxiety, and more.

TOPICS COVERED
  • Why do autistic people experience high levels of anxiety?
  • Is anxiety part of autism?
  • How can autistic people address anxiety?
  • Q&A
LOCATION

Online talk.

Featured Trainers

AutAngel features established and up-and-coming Autistic trainers. If you'd like to be included in this list, please contact Caroline.

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.

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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.

FEES

Fees: Negotiable.

LOCATION

UK-wide and international.

WEBSITE

Autism Age

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.

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

Andrew Carpenter

Andrew offers bespoke training and has a particular interest in autism and mental health. He’s typically delivered courses on Autism Awareness and Adapting Practice. As a Director of the National Brokerage Network, Andrew also offers accredited training on Support Brokerage/Support Planning and on all aspects of Self-Directed Support, Personalisation, and Personal Budgets. He has teaching qualifications and over 18 years of experience as both teacher and trainer. Andrew is the Public Champion for Mobilising Community Assets with NHS England (London) and sits on their Personalisation and Self-Care delivery board.

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. Andrew worked in Direct Payments specifically for people with a learning disability, many of whom were autistic, and ensured that some very complex information was made more accessible. He has trained hundreds of people from all walks of life, including local authorities and third sector/user-led organisations. Andrew has recently delivered bespoke autism training to IAPT students and to mental health staff for CNWL NHS Trust. 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. Support Brokerage training and prices are on my website.

LOCATION

UK-wide and international.

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

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