Over the past 18 years Dee has gained extensive experience in working with children and adults across the spectrum, whether they have High Functioning Autism / Asperger Syndrome or have classical autism with and without other learning difficulties. Her experience ranges from children and young adults, both within mainstream and special educational settings. Dee has an excellent theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and conditions and engages in continuing professional development in this area.
Dee’s previous roles have included Lead Teacher of ASD and Teacher in charge of a primary school ASD Resource base, which she set up. The ARB offered 8 places for children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, all of whom have a diagnosis and a statement of Special Educational Needs and range from Nursery/Reception to Year 6 and their levels range from P Scales to Level 4. The amount of time spent in class varied according to the abilities and needs of each individual. Wherever possible, the children joined their class for lessons and activities and were included in class trips and other projects. As Lead Autism teacher, Dee devised appropriate and differentiated Individual Education Plans, which take account of pupils’ need to access the full National Curriculum, with specific reference to the thinking and learning styles of pupils with ASD. Her aim was to involve all children in the social and academic life of the school. As Lead Teacher for Autism, Dee disseminated the most effective teaching approaches for pupils with ASD and she was also a founding member of a working group to develop good autism practice within the borough.
As an ASD practitioner, Dee is passionate about autism awareness and sharing good practice. She is available to deliver high quality training and run regular staff and parent training, for example What is Autism?, 5 point scale, Sensory Processing, ASD Friendly environment, Visual Communication, Differentiation within the classroom and created specific training for lunch time staff on ‘AS in the playground’.
Dee has an energy about her that cannot be rivalled by many and her personality and drive are infectious.
Autism Support Consultant
Kitty has always enjoyed helping others. She first got involved in working with children on the spectrum when she studied and had placements in her BA Social Work course at Kent University.
During the end of second year Kitty and her husband had a pleasant surprise of thier little boy, James who is now 9! At the time Kitty decided to put her studies on hold and looked after her son full time until he went to school.
At that point Kitty began working as a senior support worker for young adults with autism and learning difficulties and then moved on to working as a TA in a specialist secondary setting for students who are on the autistic spectrum. While working as a TA, Kitty also organised and taught the arts award course. Her ‘on the job’ experience has been invaluable and has taught her much about herself as well as the children and young adults she has worked alongside.
Kitty’s passions are art, music and psychology and being able to combine theses skills to deliver benefits to others. Kitty loves working with people and really wants to use her skills to make a positive impact. Kitty is a passionate and outgoing person and believes patience and the use of empathy are some of most important skills to possess.
“If a child cannot learn in the way WE teach, we must teach in a way THE CHILD can learn” ~Ignacio Estrada
Autism Support Consultant
Mary has worked for the NHS as a Speech & Language Therapy Technical Instructor since 2009 working with early years children. She is SCERTS, PECS, Makaton and Intensive Interaction trained and has previously been a National Autistic Society EarlyBird trainer. During her time as an SLTI, she was part of a team project looking at approaches to working with children on the autism spectrum. As part of this project, she received regular mentoring from Emily Rubin (one of the SCERTS co-authors) which really developed her knowledge, skills and passion for this approach. Prior to working as an SLTI, Mary worked as a teaching assistant in special schools, working with children with a range of needs from the age of 2 to 19. It was during this time that she developed a keen interest in both autism and communication. For over 10 years, Mary has worked at a social club for children with disabilities, the majority of whom had significant communication difficulties and challenging behaviour and had found it difficult to access other social opportunities and clubs. Mary has also worked for social services as a sessional worker providing support for families with a child with disabilities both within the family home and also accessing activities in the wider community, which has given her an incredible insight in understanding some of the challenges that families can face.
Mary has an infection smile and her bright and playful personality puts children at easy. Her passion is ensuring children are given every opportunity to be successful communicators both at home and across their communities. Mary believes that in supporting the whole family, change can happen.
Autism Support Consultant
Beth completed her degree in Education in 2003 and went on to work with students with significant special educational needs in residential school settings including Priors Court School, a specialist training centre. She was able to take advantage of a variety of professional development and completed her post graduate certificate in Autism with the University of Cambridge in 2007.
In 2009 Beth joined the County Council as part of a small mentoring team offering bespoke packages of support to families and schools with children with Autism.
Since 2017 Beth has also worked as an independent consultant, working with families and individuals providing support to understand a recent diagnosis, strategies and structure for the home and developing social skills and independence through community visits and 1-1 sessions.