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Empowering People, Launching lives

Speaker information

Find out more about our speakers at this years' conference.

To see the event programme and confirmed sessions, click here.

Guest speakers

Dr Virginia Bovell OBE – Vice President of Ambitious About Autism

Dr Virginia Bovell is the mother of Danny, 30, who has a diagnosis of autism and severe learning disabilities. A former trustee of the National Autistic Society, she was also one of the founding parents of TreeHouse school and its UK umbrella charity Ambitious about Autism. She has since written and spoken about autism and ethics, for which she received a doctorate in 2015. Her book Danny’s People: A Memoir and Manifesto about Autism will be published by Oneworld Publications in August 2024. 

Headshot of Dr Virginia Bovell

Dr Clare Lawrence – Associate Professor of Participatory Autism Research, Bishop Grosseteste University

Clare Lawrence is an academic, teacher, writer and parent who has been working in the field of autism research for nearly 20 years. She is the East Midlands convenor for the Participatory Autism Research Collective (PARC), is a Lincolnshire County Council Autism Champion and is on the editorial boards for the peer reviewed journal Autopia. Her recent projects have included exploring flexi-schooling for children with different educational needs, considering the perspective of autistic teachers, and exploring intersectionality between autism and raceLast year she was proud to be awarded the National Association for Teachers of English (NATE) award for her contribution to diversity, and has been exploring the use of creative approaches to reading and writing to support articulation of neurodivergent identities. 

Headshot of Dr Clare Lawrence

Dr Alison Bishop – University of East London

Alison has worked in the Childhood department at University of Suffolk for over three years, teaching on a variety of modules relating to psychology and sociology of childhood. She has an interest in special needs, in particular autism spectrum disorders. She also has experience in play therapy for children with autism having worked in a number of different education settings in the past. Alison is also a counsellor and a coach and so brings a therapeutic approach to all she does.  

Alison’s research interests are in resilience, and involve creating a kinder, more inclusive message in the narrative around this topic. She has recently passed her PhD viva on this topic, having completed a study on resilience with mothers of children on the autistic spectrum, which proposes a new conceptual framework model of resilience.  

Headshot of Alison Bishop

Stephanie Camilleri – CEO, The ADHD Advocate

Stephanie is a prominent figure in ADHD advocacy and coaching, renowned for her leadership and dedication as the Director of The ADHD Advocate. Her journey was personally motivated following the diagnosis of her daughter and subsequently her own diagnosis with ADHD. This led her to transition from a successful career as a Magic Circle Lawyer in Banking to a mission-driven path aimed at educating and inspiring people about ADHD. 

As the founder of The ADHD Advocate in 2018, Stephanie focused on raising ADHD awareness across various sectors, including education, healthcare, and the workplace. She was also the co-founder of ADHD Unlocked, a community providing education and support for ADHD. 

Stephanie holds certifications from the ADD Coaching Academy (ADDCA) and has a combined academic background in Commerce and Law. Her expertise encompasses transformational coaching, with a focus on parents (including SEND legal guidance), relationships, employees, employers, and entrepreneurs. 

Contributions to the field have been recognised through various platforms, including speaking engagements and the creation of the UK’s first ADHD Coaching Summit.  

Stephanie has assembled a team of coaches who bring a variety of experiences and specialisations to the table, many of whom share the perspective of lived experience with ADHD. 

Headshot of Stephanie Camilleri

Daniel M. Jones – The Aspie World 

Daniel is an international best selling author of Autism For Adults and video influencer with an award winning YouTube channel called The Aspie World. 

The Aspie World is the biggest YouTube channel dedicated to autism from an autistic person in the world. The channel is dedicated to autism awareness and understanding from an autistic person’s point of view as well as engaging with real people to create real change in a positive and uplifting way. The channel also helps raise money for charities like The National Autistic Society.  

Daniel has a diagnosis of Autism, OCD, ADHD and Dyslexia and uses his influence to help educate people about autism using his skills of video and social media influence. He has also created the first ever neurodiverse panel talking about ADHD and autism at VidCon US, the largest video convention in the world.  

Headshot of Daniel M Jones

Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova – Associate Professor, University of Suffolk

Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova is an Associate Professor in Childhood and Education at the University of Suffolk. Her area of expertise is training of professional for inclusive practice in education and working with families, with a focus on sensory processing needs and creative arts methods. 

Headshot of Dr Ivana Lessner Listiakova

Rose Webb – Policy, Practice and Innovation Lead, The Thrive Approach  

Rose is a trainer, teacher and strategic SEMH specialist educator with a background in secondary school education and multi-professional support. 

For the past 5 years Rose has worked for The Thrive Approach guiding and training local authorities, multi academy trusts, school leaders, health and social care professionals and practitioners to implement relational practice and a strategic approach to improving mental health and emotional well-being. 

Rose is passionate about supporting adult professional development to embed practice that creates a culture of emotional regulation in schools and settings so that adults, children and young people, can live and work, in an emotionally safe environment, where staff and students thrive. 

Headshot of Rose Webb

BeyondAutism Representation

Tracie Coultas-Pitman – CEO, BeyondAutism

BSc. Hons; Dip. Conductive Ed; QTS; NPQH; MBA

Tracie has a wealth of leadership and management experience within the field of special educational needs and disability; she worked for Scope for over 20 years, where she held two headships and ultimately rose to the position of Regional Director for the South of England. More recently Tracie was Executive Head of the Autism Schools Trust where she led on setting up a Free School. Tracie has experience of developing early year’s provision, establishing outreach and training services, providing strategic leadership to schools and developing Post 19 and adult services.

Photo of Tracie Coultas-Pitman - CEO

David Anthony – Director of Research, Learning and New Business Development, BeyondAutism

BA MSc PGCE QTS NASENCo FRSA 

Practising Member of the UK-SBA, accredited by the Professional Standards Authority 

David began his career as a special needs teacher in 2005 working with learners who had learning disabilities and difficulties in special school settings.  He specifically worked with autistic learners and children with a diagnosis of ADHD and associated communication difficulties.  

In 2015 David joined BeyondAutism, a not-for-profit organisation delivering outstanding education to autistic learners. He became a Director in 2023, after serving as Head of School, Head of Post-19 and leading on the organisation’s Outreach and Training services.  

David is a graduate of the Institute of Education, University College London; Queen’s University Belfast; The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London; and the University of the Arts London.  David is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.  

David has several interests related to autism and education which include quality of life for autistic people and their families, resilience of learners, families and educators, and the impact of continuing professional development on learners’ progress and outcomes.  

David serves as a community governor at his local mainstream primary school in the city of Southampton, Hampshire.  

David Anthony - Head of Post-19

Hannah Smith – Head of Fast Responder, BeyondAutism

BSc MSc BCBA UKBA(cert) 

Hannah is a Board-Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and UKBA(cert), and has worked with and supported autistic children and young people and their families for over 10 years. She has worked across a variety of settings including, an autistic school, on early intervention home programmes, SEN & mainstream schools, and most recently worked for a specialist NHS CAMHS team (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service). 

Hannah joined BeyondAutism in January 2022 as the Fast Responder before becoming Head of Fast Responder in July 2023. Hannah is passionate about preventing placement breakdown, whether that may be at home or within education, and doing so by working collaboratively with the interdisciplinary team around the child or young person, whilst keeping the views and needs of the individual and their families at the forefront. 

Hannah Smith

Matt Wicks – Head of Outreach and Training, BeyondAutism

BSc MSc BCBA UKBA(cert) 

Matt has worked with children and young people since 2007, in a variety of settings including mainstream schools and special needs schools. After completing his degree he began work as an ABA Tutor at Ambitious About Autism. 4 years later he left to pursue his career in ABA, studying for a masters in ABA part time while working as a self-employed Behaviour Analyst on ABA home programmes. In 2014 he graduated and began working towards becoming board certified. Matt passed the BCBA exam in February 2017 and started working for BeyondAutism as an Outreach Consultant in June 2017. In July 2023, Matt became Head of Outreach and Training. He is passionate about disseminating knowledge and understanding of behaviour analysis. 

Matthew Wicks - Outreach Consultant

Sarah Larner – Head of Early Years, BeyondAutism

BSc MSc BCBA UKBA(cert) 

Sarah joined BeyondAutism in September 2011 having worked in various capacities with autistic children prior to this. She joined as a Trainee ABA Tutor and worked her way through various roles across the schools, post-19 and outreach. In 2018 she joined the Early Years Team as the Behaviour Analyst before becoming Head of Early Years in June 2023. 

Sarah completed a Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis through Bangor University in September 2016 and became a BCBA in February 2018. 

She is passionate about helping autistic children succeed through learning communication strategies and gaining access and understanding within their local communities. She loves seeing the progress that the children make and celebrating these successes with parents and staff. Whilst Sarah has extensive experience working with individuals from 15 months up to 25 years of age, she is particularly motivated working with young children and their parents, focusing on early intervention and consistency across all settings from a young age to empower children to grow and succeed. 

 

Photo of Sarah Larner - Head of Early Years

Rachael Hlomador – Outreach Consultant, BeyondAutism

BCBA, UKBA (cert)

Rachael studied Psychology at university, with a special focus on Child Development. In the last year of her degree, she took an ABA module that gave the inspiration for her future career.

She volunteered at Focus – a weekend group for autistic children – as well as at a primary school in Barnes, before joining BeyondAutism Schools in 2017. Rachael found her passion in the field and loves to see her pupils learn and grow to achieve new milestones. She was promoted to ABA Instructor in 2018. Whilst in this role, she undertook her Masters in ABA and in 2020 graduated from Queen’s University Belfast. She became a Behaviour Analyst in 2020 at Park House School. Rachael became a board-certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) in December 2021.

In February 2023, Rachael became an Outreach Consultant. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge about behaviour analysis and autism. She believes all autistic children and young adults should be able to access a bespoke educational experience to enable them to develop skills that will have a meaningful impact on their lives.

 

Rachael Hlomador - Outreach Consultant

Francesca Moore – Behaviour Analyst, BeyondAutism

BA Hons

Francesca applied for the role of Trainee Teaching and Learning Practitioner in September 2018. She was interested in working with autistic young people, due to having autistic relatives. She worked as a Practitioner for a year before becoming an ASP in November 2019. Francesca started her new role as Behaviour Analyst in September 2022 and is currently working towards her MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis and becoming a BCBA. She is passionate about empowering autistic children and young people to access every part of the community they live in.

Headshot of Francesca Moore

Alicia Robson – Therapies Assistant, BeyondAutism

Alicia started at BeyondAutism as a Teaching and Learning Practitioner in September 2022 working at Post-19 where she worked one-to-one with the students. After a year Alicia moved to the Therapy Team as a Therapy Assistant at Park House.  

Alicia studied Occupational Therapy at university in Aberdeen and during her last year was diagnosed with autism. Her two passions are working with children and working with neurodiverse individuals, especially those who are autistic. Her therapy role at Park House fuses these passions perfectly and she loves working with the Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists to provide the best education and outcomes for the pupils.  

Headshot of Alicia Robson

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