I have been working for decades in the autism field, in capacities ranging from practitioner to researcher to trainer, first working with autistic children as a volunteer aged fourteen. I worked for The National Autistic Society (NAS) as a Service Co-ordinator assisting in the development of a residential service for young autistic adults. I worked within this service supporting young adults with a range of complex needs, from those with high dependency needs and severe learning disability, to individuals with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome; prior to this I worked in the voluntary sector in the learning disability field.
I co-wrote the ASPECT consultancy report (2007), the largest UK consultation with autistic adults undertaken at the time; I am co-editor of five books on autism published by Jessica Kingsley, and am sole author of three books: ‘Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Adulthood’ (2017); ‘Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Childhood’ (2019); and ‘Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children’ (2020) and have several other publications in journals and books.
I have run a Project developing autism services within a specific Local Authority, been involved in the setting up and running of two autism Social Groups, and have also been employed by the NAS as Regional Development Officer co-ordinating developments over a large geographical area. This has given me the background experience to work at a strategic level within Local Authorities to develop good practice in the field of autism. The Project included the development of diagnostic services, day provision, residential provision, and transition services.
I have been part of a research team at Nottingham University running a three year project, and have several publications in National and International journals related to the project. I completed my Doctoral thesis at Sheffield Hallam University which was titled: Asperger Syndrome and Perceived Offending Conduct: A Qualitative Study.