The PDA Space Summit 2022
Meet the Speakers
Back Pocket Pass £99
Back Pocket Pass
Full access to all webinars until March 31st, 2023, so you can watch them in your own time.
Our Speakers and their Message
All of our speakers bring unique values to the summit and their own message.
Some have a mix of personal lived experience and professional experience;
others bring support techniques and practical guidance.
You can find out more and how to contact each speaker when you register.
Thank you to our speakers, and thank you too for joining us this year.
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Friday 1st April: Encapsulating PDA
The PDA Society provides information, support and training for people living and working with PDA. We aim to increase acceptance and understanding of the PDA profile within the concept of ‘dimensionality’ in autism and to improve outcomes for individuals and families by focusing everyone involved on ‘what helps’. The PDA Society is led and run by a small team, all of whom have a direct connection with PDA and most of whom are volunteers.
I’m an adult PDAer author, illustrator, public speaker & animator, as well as the mum of a ten-year-old PDA girl. I publish illustrative memes describing PDA on my Facebook page. I’m the author of ‘PDA by PDAers’, the first book about adult PDA, and ‘Pathological Demand Avoidance Explained’ which describes the inner experience of PDA through 75 illustrations. I am currently writing a book abouts circadian sleep disorders, which often co-occur with PDA.
Alison Hart is an Occupational Therapist and Associate Lecturer for the University of Derby. After 20 years in the NHS, Alison left to set up in independent practice to fill a gap in services with particular consideration to complex needs, Autism and Sensory Processing. She founded Children’s Choice Therapy service in 2010 which is a company of specialist OTs working across education, social care, health and looked after care, and independent commissioning from parents.
Cathie is a highly acclaimed independent social worker who specialises in assessing neurodivergent children, young people, adults, and older people. She is the Social Care Advisor to the PDA Society.
Dr Judy is a clinical psychologist with a special interest in neurodevelopmental disorders in both children and adults and currently working as an independent clinical psychologist.
Formerly a student nurse and civil servant, David was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism, at the age of 42 years. His children were also both diagnosed as autistic, amongst other disabilities. David has 14 years’ experience working in health and social care, predominantly in the field of autism. In 2015, David became a certified autism needs assessor with The National Autistic Society, and the following year became a qualified trainer and speaker.
Dr Gloria Dura-Vila is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Medical Lead for the ASD Pathway in Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She is a member of the Autism Education Trust’s Expert Reference Group and combines her work in the NHS and private practice with teaching and research. Her passion for communicating the Autism diagnosis in the best possible manner compelled her to write many books.
Jim is an an adult with PDA and shares some great tips on avoiding that downward spiral, despite what life throws at you. He talks about ableism and in particular how some people really infantilize and patronise those with a disability. This informal chat with Nicola covers Jim’s thoughts about Secondary schools and College. He has a great outlook on life we can all learn from about adapting and reaching for activities that help you focus on the positives.
Yvonne Newbold MBE is the Founder of Newbold Hope, a small parent-led organisation supporting parents and professionals to develop the confidence and the skills they need to reduce or completely eradicate anxiety-led difficult and dangerous behaviours in children and young people with additional needs and disabilities. She strives to challenge the societal perceptions of judgement and blame towards families who are facing childhood behavioural difficulties.
Awesomely Autistic and an Autistic and Pathological Demand Avoidance, Advocate, Consultant and Trainer. Tigger has over thirty five years of professional and personal experience. Working alongside, learning from and advocating for neurodivergent individuals. He has done this in many different ways: support worker, advocate, teacher, facilitator, trainer, manager, lecturer and friend. Plus a lifetime of Autistic experience, which he is still exploring.
Kyra is an autistic PDA adult and parent to an autistic PDA child and a neurodivergent child. She writes as The Prism Cat, offering a selection of informative articles, poetry and social commentary often surrounding education and autism. She also helps to run several autistic led groups, most notably PDA Together, The Sanctuary (A Safe Space for Autistic Mothers) and Autistic Parents Group. Kyra also enjoys creating art for her other page, The Shiny Selkie.
Becky is a black woman and parent on this wild PDA journey, navigating the complex, tiring and multiple challenges, in the quest of getting the right support for her children. She helps other parents on the PDA journey through offering resources, ideas and support. Becky's webinar explores assumptions and bias through the lens of race and intersectionality and she shares a few of the tips learned that have helped her along the way.
Saturday 2nd April: Supporting PDA
Dr. Wenn (PhD) is an autistic psychologist, researcher, author, tutor and family man with autistic offspring and grandchildren. He is committed to assisting humans to understand, support and enrich lives of those in the autistic and autism communities. He has a particular interest in PDA and autism, as well teaching, assessing and encouraging those beneath various autistic and autism umbrellas connected to ageing and the LGBTAQ+ communities.
As a learning disability nurse, Jude worked with adults and children specialising in autism and PDA. She qualified as a behaviour analyst in 2001 and set up a children's learning disability team. After 30 years in the NHS Jude now supports parents to become their own therapist with simple adjustments to support change within their family by empowering their understanding about behaviour to bring out the best in their children.
I’m a 38-year-old with diagnoses of PDA, ADHD and psychotic episodes. I’ve made it my life’s mission to share my story with anyone who will listen and to educate and raise awareness of PDA. My book, 'Being Julia: A Personal Account of Living with Pathological Demand Avoidance', was published last August. I am a training facilitator for the PDA Society, have spoken at the major UK PDA conferences and helped organise several smaller events.
Karl is the father of a PDA young adult and business director of a psychology practice focused on supporting autistic young people in Western Australia. Working in the IT industry for most of his life assisted Karl to use his passion for all things tech to connect with, support, and guide his son from unschooling to tertiary education and into employment. Karl has learnt some valuable lessons that have assisted his neurodivergent family to thrive.
Sam is a Communication Specialist and TEDx Speaker working with leaders across multiple industries to help Neurodivergent people at work to achieve recognition, respect and understanding. She works with the whole team to enable self-awareness and better communication as a cohesive team. Sam is a Distinguished Toastmaster, has a degree in Business Management, organises TEDx Telford, has 25+ years corporate experience.
I am an independent consultant and trainer working within the field of neurodiversity. My passion comes from my experiences as a parent navigating the education and support systems for my four amazingly diverse children. They have taught me compassion, patience and the ability to view the world through a different window. More recently I have worked as a Disability Consultant providing assessments of autistic parents to ensure their needs are understood.
I am a parent blogger, keynote speaker and author on parenting three children who are all neurodivergent. My eldest daughter is PDA and ADHD and has been the reason that I began to connect with the community. I am passionate about improving the outcomes for all children and young people who are neurodivergent as well as spreading PDA awareness. Our blog won an award in 2021 for ‘Educating Education'.
Lynn McCann is an autism and PDA specialist teacher working with schools in North West England. Reachout ASC is a team of specialist teachers, a TA and Sensory therapist who work with individual pupils in primary and secondary schools, developing the strategies and support they need to thrive in school. She employs autistic people in her team and provides work experience for young people with differing needs and is author of 3 books.
Rachel is mum to two PDA boys, both of whom are home educated. Since their PDA diagnosis, she has searched out new ways of parenting and educating to support them to thrive. Her website and Facebook page "Connect and Respect" allows her to share her journey. Rachel aims to help and inspire other parents and in her webinar draws out some of the key pillars of this success regarding parenting and educating, and how these work well for PDA children.
Hi I am Chloe from Chloe me just me I am a teen social influencer who advocates for positive authenticity & Neurodiversity. I raise awareness of alternative education and show aspects of my home education to others to show that there isn't just one path. I also work with many charities and organisations when I can and am able. I will be discussing how my life has become much easier and how I have progressed through home education.
Sunday 3rd April: Solutions
Karen has worked in the field of child sexual abuse (CSA) for 19 yrs and is passionate about supporting positive future outcomes for children, young people and families impacted by CSA. She currently manages a Harmful Sexual behaviour Service for a local authority and offers specialist consultations and advice in CSA practice and service development for Children’s Services, Health, Education and Police, across the UK and Ireland, Europe and Australia.
Leon is the Owner of Pushforward Education & Youth Work. His passion for supporting those who are misunderstood or need help has taken him on a 20 year journey working in the most deprived areas to develop programmes and new ways of working with 100s of young people that gives them a safe place in the world and an opportunity to find their spark. I know from personal experience and adversity that given the correct role models and self belief, anyone can achieve.
Kate is a parent of a PDA child, a PDA adult and brings over 20 yrs experience working in the Criminal Justice System which has included work with Harmful Sexual Behaviour as an assessor and a court reporter for families. As a PDA adult Kate has become increasingly concerned about the pornography agenda and the significant impact that pornography has on children, young people and adults and their relationships, sexuality and lives.
Libby has more than 35 years’ experience in her field working with autistic children, those with PDA and Selective Mutism and belongs to the PDA professionals’ group, the PDA research group and the PDA working group who are trying to design formulations for clinicians to determine PDA from demand avoidance. She will explore the areas to look out for and how they can be best supported and also discuss the latest thinking about working on social communication.
Nicola is a parent, carer and solution focused coach, passionate about spreading PDA awareness and helping families create a calmer more compassionate home. As the host of the PDA Summit, Founder of The PDA Space and the PDA Portal, Nicola aims to bring a calmer, more peaceful life for all parents and young people by bringing together a diverse range of experts by training and experts by experience, so we can all learn from one another.
I'm a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD adult. I spent most of my childhood masking my needs, and having no idea why I was different to everyone else, and not even really knowing who I was, until one autistic breakdown too many left me needing psychiatric care which then led to a string of psychiatric diagnosis'. Fast forward a few years, I became a mum, and saw the challenges my son had, which led to his autistic diagnosis.
Rosie is a trained transpersonal integrative psychotherapist driven by the desire to help others make life-affirming journeys from their head to their heart - a journey she’s been on most of her life. She and her daughter were both formally identified as PDA autistic in 2016. She has made significant changes to how she lives and relates to others since arriving into the PDA community and enjoys sharing her learnings.
Dr. Ross W. Greene, Ph.D., is best known for his New York Times bestselling author of the influential books The Explosive Child, Lost at School, Lost and Found, and Raising Human Beings. On the faculty at Harvard Medical School for over 20 years, he is now Founding Director of the non-profit Lives in the Balance appearing on The Oprah Show, Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and the Boston Globe, lecturing and consulting worldwide.
My experience in my industry as well the parent of two autistic children, led me to founding MindJam. My goal is to build their self esteem, confidence, and ease their anxieties whilst honing their skills and abilities to help them reach their potential. I'm a nominee as BAFTA Mentor of the Year 2021, featured on BBC, Channel 4, played at the 2012 Olympics, taught the youngest grade 8 rock guitarist in the UK and won awards for song writing and web design.
I'm a PDAer, multiply disabled and single parent to 3 children; 2 are also PDA. As a blogger I love to support PDAers and their families by sharing my own experiences. I'm going to talk about what it's like to be a PDA parent and supporting PDA kids whilst managing my own needs plus how to help PDA kids do things they want and need and sharing helpful tips on how parents can support children to do their best as well as managing their own needs.
Sarah is a senior lawyer and a specialist in all aspects of the law relating to children and education, including special educational needs and disabilities. She helps parents secure EHC plans, SEN support, social care support and advises on complaints and disability discrimination claims. Parenting disputes can be distressing and complex. In particular, she advocates for parents where a child’s behaviour is often misunderstood as poor parenting.
I am mother to a 19 year old PDA lad and 22 year old daughter working in private practice as a Counsellor supporting clients aged 16+. I'll be talking about control in a child centred relationship, starting again with parenting thinking & judgement, punishment. Plus discussing how to recognise old behaviours and the way you’ve been raised, lower verbal dialogue and understanding how your child communicates and the choices, flexibility and acceptance that are possible.
Back Pocket Pass £99