Our website use cookies to improve and personalize your experience and to display advertisements(if any). Our website may also include cookies from third parties like Google Adsense, Google Analytics, Youtube. By using the website, you consent to the use of cookies. We have updated our Privacy Policy. Please click on the button to check our Privacy Policy.
Latest News

SEND & Celebration 2022 – Biography of Speakers

SEND & Celebration 2022 – Biography of Speakers

Want to know a little more about our presenters for SEND & Celebration 2022? Read on…

Chris Bonnello
Tuesday 15th March 2022

Chris Bonnello is an autistic advocate, blogger, international speaker and teacher in an autism-specific school, formerly a primary school teacher. 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.

On Tuesday 15th March @ 7 pm, he will be speaking about his experiences as an autistic child, adolescent and adult, sharing insights he has learned from both a personal and professional perspective. Chris’ approach to autism is both realistic and positive, with his insights often based around encouraging autistic people to define themselves by their strengths – and to find places in the world where those strengths can be played to.

Chris Bonnello. Photo by Sarh Chambers-Tonner.

Dr Naomi Fisher
Wednesday 16th March & Wednesday 23rd March 2022

Dr Naomi Fisher is a clinical psychologist and mother of two children who have never been to conventional school.  She is a specialist in trauma. She works with children and families who are unhappy at school and is passionate about raising awareness about alternatives. She is the author of Changing Our Minds: How Children Can Take Control of their Own Learning.

Dr Fisher is presenting twice during SEND & Celebration 2022. Here are the details about each presentation:

Won’t Go or Can’t Go? When your child refuses school
(Wednesday 16th March 2022 @ 8 pm)

Thousands of children are unhappy at school, and some of those refuse entirely.  Parents are left helpless, stuck between the school which says that the child must come in, even if that involves force, and the misery of their child.  The usual narrative about these families is that they are ‘feckless’ parents who just need to be firmer, but what’s really going on? Drawing on her own experience as a school refuser and her professional experience, Naomi will talk about the cycles of anxiety which children and parents find themselves trapped in.  She will encourage you to look at what is behind your child’s behaviour, and to rethink some of the assumptions our society holds about school.

Taking a Different Path: Education that doesn’t look like school.
(Wednesday 23rd March 2022 @ 8 pm)

Some parents choose to home educate, whilst for others, it was never part of the plan.  For both sets, when a child stops going to school, the question is, what next? Most of us imagine lessons around the kitchen table because for us, education means school.  Unsurprisingly, children who didn’t like school resist the same approach at home.  Home education can be so much more than that.  When we break free of the constraints of school and instead focus on learning, we can truly get alongside our child and find a different way.  This webinar will present self-directed education, an approach that starts with each child and their needs.

Catherine Gulliver
Monday 21st March 2022

Catherine’s research over the last three years has been with primary schools that support children with Williams Syndrome. Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. It is characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays, and learning challenges. These often occur side by side with striking verbal abilities and highly social personalities.

Catherine explains, “The children worked closely with 1:1 teaching assistants who facilitated a highly responsive and supportive environment, and understood the importance of listening to more than words. Children’s eagerness and apparent excitement talking about certain objects does not always reflect their worries when faced with the object in front of them. Although able to verbally communicate with staff, children were not always able to express their needs fully. This increases the risk of misunderstanding and can hinder the practitioners’ ability to listen to the child and so provide the right support.”

She also has a 31-year-old brother with Williams Syndrome, so is happy to share her experiences both as a family member, as well as a Disability and Inclusion lecturer at Plymouth University.

Harry Thompson
Tuesday 22nd March 2022

Harry Thompson is an Autistic PDA adult, he is the author of the bestselling book – PDA Paradox, a public speaker, autistic educator, PDA ambassador, consultant & self-advocate. His audiences receive invaluable insights into neurodivergent experience, often delivered with controversial humour & brutal honesty.

Harry advocates for the ND community to give them a voice, allowing them to celebrate their neurobiology and be seen as an important and much-needed part of society. He regularly aims to educate his followers with a regular live interview series ‘The Naughty Autie in Conversation’ where he is joined each session by a guest speaker from the ND community to discuss important topics related to Autistic & ND experience.

Harry allows his audience to explore PDA from an insider’s perspective. From the families he works with to the schools & professionals he trains, it’s never about advice or strategies, but much more an exploration to invoke understanding. The more you understand PDA and how the mind of a PDAer operates, the closer you are to the individual – and the more those ‘strategies (whatever they are)’ will simply fall into place and become second nature.

Related Posts

Skip to content