Tag Archives: Autism

Ask, Listen, Do

Do you care for a child or young person a learning disability, autism or both? Have you ever raised a concern or a complaint about the education, health and social care services they receive? And you have been left feeling frustrated by the response you received?

Then you may well be interested in NHS England’s Ask, Listen, Do project which Cerebra is now involved with. The project is aimed at supporting organisations to learn from and improve the experiences of people with a learning disability, autism or both, their families and carers when giving feedback, raising a concern or making a complaint.

The project includes the development of resources to support good practice in organisations across health, education and social care, and guidance for people, families and carers so that they feel empowered and confident to speak up.

The project listened to people’s experiences of giving feedback, raising concerns and making complaints at events all over England. They also carried out a survey which nearly 1,300 people took part in. Some of the main results from this survey were:

  • Nine out of ten people said that they had wanted to raise a concern or make a complaint at some time
  • Two out of three people said they sometimes or never knew how to do this
  • Seven out of ten people said that they did not feel that their complaint(s) had changed the way the organisation supports people as a result.

As a result of the survey Ask, Listen, Do realised that feedback, concerns and complaints systems (and safeguarding and access to justice) do not seem to work as well as they should across education, health and social care for children and adults with a learning disability, autism or both and their families.

That reflects in part their journey through many complex systems in education, health and care and the many barriers and difficulties they face. The systems and processes are also very complicated. There is also not a good enough understanding about how to listen to families or children, young people and adults, and the reasonable adjustments needed to do that. People and their families are often not included or do not feel that feedback and other systems work for them and do not take part in them.

It must also acknowledge a perception that sometimes families can be seen as difficult and challenging, which can get in the way of organisational listening and learning.

Who do they work with? They are working with national partners, including the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman, Directors of Adult Social Services, Local Government Association, Care Quality Commission, Department for Education and others, along with families and people themselves. The idea is to work together to help all organisations make it easier for people and their families, children and adults, to give feedback, raise a concern and make a complaint and to know that it will make a difference through the Ask, Listen, Do approach, set out below:

and through the Ask Listen Do principles, set out below:

Ask, Listen, Do are seeking to influence and change organisational behaviours and approaches through the Ask., Listen, Do approach and the help of families, carers and national partners in education, health and social care.

One example already achieved is that NHS Improvement will include Ask, Listen, Do in their new learning disability standards which is to be issued soon. Another example is that the Department for Education commissioned Whole School SEND to work with families and NHS England to coproduce a guide to help make conversations about their children and young people count for all families in all schools. This can be found here.

They have also produced a Top Tips leaflet for families to help empower them in understanding and dealing with these complex systems, and training and other resources to support organisations.

The project is now launching on social media at #AskListenDo and you can find out more about Ask Listen Do on their website.

Autism and mental health – one family’s journey

“My daughter, Mair, is autistic with severe and enduring mental health difficulties. She was diagnosed with autism 6 years ago when she was 15. She was referred by her school and diagnosed through CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) because she had developed serious mental health problems.

My family have been on a roller-coaster ride of suicide attempts, A&E Admissions, Psychiatric inpatient admissions, discharge and recovery, relapse and re-admission, securing support, losing support, progress followed by decline followed by progress, understanding and lack of understanding from others, hope and fear and hope again. The most difficult thing has been dealing with shattered hope; I would be better off if I did not hope, but that would be to give up and I will never do that. I live in dread of withheld numbers calling my phone (the NHS and Police call like this) in trepidation of what I am about to be told.

I could write a dissertation on the failings of mental health services. During Mair’s last inpatient admission, she absconded from the ward on several occasions despite being on a cycle of 15-minute checks, once it took 45 minutes to notice she was gone. Twice, while she had absconded she took an overdose of paracetamol and ended up in A&E. This is while we, her family, thought she was safe. The main reason behind her admission being to keep her safe. On discharge from hospital, the psychiatrist acknowledged that Mair would probably go into crisis again. This is terrifying for us as each crisis results in more serious self-harm and more suicide ideation.

Our story has been characterised by delay and poor communication between services and even within services. In our experience, the professionals caring for Mair have not spoken to each other, staff turnover and lack of inter agency working has meant we have had to repeat our story many times, wasting valuable appointment time as well as being extremely frustrating and confusing. I have needed to be an advocate for my daughter, and as she has become an adult, she has had to become her own advocate as services are hard to access and we have had to push. The crux of the problem is that, despite political rhetoric, mental health services are not on an equal footing with physical health services. My daughter has life threatening mental illness; if she had life threatening physical illness, our experiences would be different. There would be fewer delays in getting treatment for one thing and more support for families.

Autism is different in girls. Girls are excellent at masking symptoms of autism, my daughter did this thereby her diagnosis was delayed. She knew she was different but did not know why; she developed elaborate masking behaviours that worked well at first, so well no one, including her family, noticed. This eventually became too much and she became mentally unwell. Those learned behaviours are now difficult to undo, not knowing what was wrong meant there was no understanding for Mair of why she was different, she came to her own conclusions and felt she simply did not belong. Early autism diagnosis is vital, even without support services to refer families to, as it aids understanding, awareness and acceptance of difference. I have witnessed medical professionals claiming that autism diagnosis is not a priority as there is nowhere to refer families post diagnosis. While this lack of services for autism is of great concern, it is misguided to not diagnose as it fails to recognise the importance of understanding, awareness and acceptance. For my family I believe earlier diagnosis of autism could have minimised, maybe even prevented, the development of severe and enduring mental health problems. Like most mothers when things first went awry I forensically examined our family life looking for what I did wrong.

I switched between concentrating on past mistakes to worrying about future scenarios. This was unhelpful. I have come to accept that I made mistakes, but all parents get somethings wrong. I do not have a time machine to go back and change things so now I try to balance it with what I got right. In particular my children have always been loved, well cared for and the centre of our family. They always have and always will come first. Likewise, I try not to worry about the future, in particular to dwell on scenarios that might never come to be, this is exhausting and not constructive. Mindfulness principles have been helpful and I continue to try and practice them whenever things feel like they are spiralling out of control.

The hardest lesson for me as a mother has been to understand that I cannot ‘fix’ this. I need to work with service providers who have the expertise and experience to help, I’ve had to relinquish control. My role, I’ve come to accept, is to provide love, support and security every day and to work with the professionals. This is not easy, but I continue to preserver with varied success. It’s important, I believe, that the professionals listen to me and my husband and our concerns. We know Mair better than them. We have 24/7 care responsibility, they should be working with us. Nearly all NICE guidance talks about the importance of working with families but the reality in our experience has been quite different.

We have needed support on our journey and got it from local support groups and charities. I feel less isolated by talking with families who have similar experiences and a local mental health charity, Hafal, has been able to advise and support us during our bleakest hours. This external support has been vital to our well-being. Not everything has been a negative experience. Individuals have more often than not been caring and dedicated but over stretched by working in underfunded services.

Mair’s school, and more recently her college, have been supportive. I would single out Mair’s interaction with the police which has been outstanding, they have been truly lifesaving and acted with genuine kindness and understanding. As a family, we have become much closer. I know the people I can rely on for support and they are always there. My son is an extraordinarily thoughtful and considerate young man and Mair is an accomplished young woman, despite her struggles. She has achieved so much more in her 21 years than many people ever will. She addresses large conferences, participates in consultations, appears in TV and Radio interviews all to promote mental health awareness and tackle stigma. She has won awards for her work, most recently the St David Award for Citizenship.

We are a strong family unit that has stuck together and we will be OK, all of us.

Tracy

New Books on Autism in the Library

library books

We have had a lot of requests to borrow books explaining autism recently, so we have purchased some brand new ones.

  • L6732 – A Parents’ ABC of the Autism Spectrum by Stephen Heydt published 2017
  • L6741 & L6742 – Talking with Your Child About Their Autism Diagnosis: a guide for parents by Raelene Dundon published 2018
  • L6743 – Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Autism Explained by Frederick Earlstein published 2017
  • L6745 & L6746 – Understanding Autism: the essential guide for parents by Katrina Williams published 2018
  • L6747 – The Parents’ Practical Guide to Resilience for Children aged 2-10 on the Autism Spectrum by Jeanette Purkis published 2018
  • C0275 – Creating Autism Champions: autism awareness training for Key Stage 1 and 2 by Joy Beaney published 2017 – includes photocopiable material and downloadable resources
  • C0290 – The ASD and Me Picture Book – a visual guide to understanding challenges and strengths for children on the autism spectrum by Joel Shaul published 2017 – includes photocopiable worksheets

If you would like to know more about our postal lending library please email Jan the Librarian on janetp@cerebra.org.uk or visit our library page.

New Book on Autism in Our Postal Lending Library

We have a new book available from our Postal Lending Library.Through the eyes of me

‘Through the Eyes of Me’ by Jon Roberts

ISBN 9781912213009  £6.99

Through the eyes of a young child with autism. This lovely picture book is perfect for describing autism to a very young child. If you have a young child or grandchild with autism this would be a special book to read with them or their siblings. The little girl in the book is Kya, she tells us all about the things she loves to do, the things that interest her and the things she doesn’t like. Like any child with autism she has definite preferences. It is a beautifully illustrated book with pictures that weave in and out of the text. It is written by Kya’s dad, who says “we are all unique and precious and should embrace and love those differences with all our heart and being”.

For more information about our library please email janetp@cerebra.org.uk.

The Effect of Delay in Autism Diagnosis

We’ve been asking parents to share their experiences with obtaining an Autism diagnosis for their child and the effects that delay can have.
In this article one family tell us their experiences.
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“Our daughter never slept easily. Midwives, health visitors, GPs, all offered advice and we tried everything. Our health visitor finally advised me to have one night a week in a hotel to save myself. Our daughter was apparently thriving, despite the lack of sleep, and no one had any other suggestions or reasons why.

Going into toddlerhood, cuddles were hated, eye contact wasn’t comfortable and things had to be a set way, e.g. the right plate, fork and spoon, sandwiches cut neatly into squares and on the plate in a specific pattern. However, speech was well developed, she practically taught herself to read fluently by age 2 and a half, and she could identify and add numbers ridiculously early. The nursery school were astounded and heralded her as a genius – so what that she preferred adult company and had some quirks? By this time her younger brother had arrived and he did elicit a closer relationship, rough and tumble, eye contact, etc. We didn’t worry.

In the first year of primary we noticed an increase in tics and obsessive behaviour. We mentioned autism, but the class teacher asked “why label?” and we decided to watch and wait. The teacher was particularly good at explaining why rules existed, why, in an emergency; our daughter couldn’t do her buttons up in a set order and take her time in the way she liked. Our daughter apparently thrived, becoming sociable and less obsessive. It was a classroom environment and teaching style that suited her – had it been different, we might have seen problems earlier, who knows?

As primary progressed we saw increasing abdominal pains, later diagnosed as infant migraine. We now know it was likely due to the level of stress she was carrying. Academic progress was exceptional until the junior classes, when she seemed to stall. It was put down to focusing on social interaction, later to laziness – always the argument was that she was a high achiever, she’d catch up easily when needed, she was already so far ahead it wasn’t important. Writing became a problem and we (at home, via support lines, and Google) diagnosed dysgraphia. This seemed to explain a number of ‘symptoms’ we’d seen and we dropped all thoughts of autism. We requested intervention from the school SendCo – it was by this time her final year at primary and her class teacher firmly believed her attitude was the only problem. The SendCo never observed, never assessed.

Our daughter chose a secondary school where few of her friends were going – she wanted a new start. The first year was wonderful: top classes, after school clubs, positions of responsibility. In Year 8 a number of things happened. Puberty hit and her body began changing in ways she was uncomfortable with, GCSE options had to be made and teachers were constantly pushing for ‘future plans’ to be made, peers were starting to form relationships, to talk about who they wanted to go to the Year 11 prom with and who they wanted to marry. At the same time, her brother fell ill with ME/CFS and so she lost her closest playmate and, as we now realise, social support.

The lack of sleep began to catch up – she had only ever managed 6-7 hours a night, although now older she would rest quietly and not disturb us. We contacted the school regularly with niggles – she’s exhausted today, she has a migraine today, she doesn’t understand what the teacher said, another child has been teasing her, and so on. The GP advised us to stick to waking her at 7am – on no account to ‘give in’, as this stage is just normal teenage stuff. By Year 9, grades had plummeted and after school activities diminished. Following a viral infection that seemed to be the straw that broke her, she was attending school only in the afternoons and we were receiving letters threatening court action. We asked repeatedly for a referral to the ASD team locally – the GP argued it was the school’s responsibility, they argued it should be the GP. We spoke to organisation after organisation, trying to join the dots.

We concluded she has high functioning autism, she has learnt to cover this, but has become utterly exhausted and unable to function fully. The school made the referral. Weeks later we have received a letter advising us it doesn’t give enough information to earn an assessment and we have now submitted our own evidence. We are told the wait, if granted an assessment, will be over a year – by which time she will be over 16 and will have left school, and will have to be re-referred to an adult team. In the meantime, the school are trying – but staff still ask her ‘when do you think you’ll be better?’ and her Autism Champion mentor forgets to turn up for appointments. The belief is that she is coping well – staff don’t see the fall out, or appreciate that her ‘good’ behaviour is just trying to fit in, and carries huge cost.

Interestingly, I recently bumped into some staff members from her primary school. I told them we were waiting for an ASD assessment. No one was surprised and all nodded and said it had always been pretty obvious. The huge question then is, why, oh why didn’t anyone mention it? The answer I suspect is that she was achieving educationally and behaving well, neither she nor I were making a nuisance of ourselves.

The current system encourages our children to make themselves ill, to fall seriously behind at school, to lose friendships, to take themselves to the brink before anyone helps. We have supported and protected our daughter, but in doing so we have continued the charade – allowed her to pretend at school and fall apart, unseen, at home”.

If this has struck a chord with you, we’d love to hear your story. Please get in touch with sarahj@cerebra.org.uk.

Why timely diagnosis of autism is important

Tracy Elliott, our Head of Research and Information explains why timely diagnosis of autism is important and tells us her family’s story:

Tracy and her family

Tracy and her family

“My daughter has a diagnosis of autism. The journey to diagnosis was traumatic and bewildering for my family. Aged 15 her self harming behaviour, driven by depression and anxiety, had become so severe she was a danger to herself and was admitted to a child and adolescence psychiatric unit five hours drive from our family home. She remained there for over 3 months.

Previously, unknown to us and for reasons not understood by herself, she had taught herself to copy and mimic the behaviour of her peers. From age 6 she knew she was different, she did not know why. She just felt something was very wrong and she had to hide ‘her weirdness’. Living in fear of ‘being found out’. At first this wasn’t so hard but as adolescence arrived it became impossible. She became suicidal.

The psychiatrist who saw her when she got to CAMHS had professional expertise and personal experience of autism (this isn’t always the case) and picked up on the autism, something no one else suspected as she did not fit any of the stereotypes. Her diagnosis followed within 6 months. The diagnosis explained to my daughter why she had the experiences she had, that she wasn’t ‘weird’, but had a neurological condition that meant her brain worked differently to that of most of her peers.

Exploring the diagnosis demonstrated that difference brought strengths as well as difficulties. Of course difficulties remain but they are understood, can be rationalised and coping strategies put in place. Things are no longer ‘impossible’ but ‘difficult at times’.  For my daughter her diagnosis came late. Mental health problems already entrenched and more difficult to address.

I was in a meeting recently that included senior medical professionals where a comment was made that early autism diagnosis was less of a priority to the NHS because without an effective intervention to offer there was less urgency required. While understanding the logic I was disappointed and saddened. It made me realise that people like myself and my daughter, who speaks publicly about her experiences, have to speak out. Key decision makers need to understand that even without an intervention an earlier diagnosis would have helped my daughter understand that she is not ‘weird’ but has a valuable contribution to make to her family, her friendships and society. That she is valuable not weird.

Earlier diagnosis could have limited the mental health problems that have plagued her adolescence and early adulthood. Earlier diagnosis would have made a difference to her and our family. Early diagnosis would have saved money on acute mental health services. As for intervention, well firstly it’s not all about interventions, understanding and support can go a long way. Secondly there are interventions that help, some currently being researched by Autistica, however accessing them is difficult (but that is a whole other discussion). My daughter did, eventually, receive valuable and effective intervention and it has helped. You can read my daughter’s story here.

Unacceptable delays for autism diagnosis exist across the UK. That’s for children who are already suspected of having an autistic spectrum disorder. For those children that don’t conform to stereotype, girls in particular, it’s even longer with some never getting a diagnosis. In my family’s experience diagnosis does matter, it does make a positive difference and that’s why I think timely diagnosis of autism is important”.

We want your stories about your family and getting an autism diagnosis. Do you think early diagnosis is important? What are your experiences?

Please send your stories to researchinfo@cerebra.org.uk.

Isaac’s Story – A Little Houdini!

Claire, Isaac and the whole family

Claire, Isaac and the whole family

Claire is mum to eight year-old Isaac. Here’s her story:
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“Isaac is 8 years old and the light of our lives. His big brother Josh and big sister Miriam adore him. He’s non verbal, double incontinent, and doesn’t really have any understanding of the world around him. He’s very sensory. He puts everything in his mouth, loves water and greets the world with a smile, a shriek, a clap and a licky kiss. Developmentally he’s somewhere around one to two and has been for several years now. Doctors never really found out why. They’ve called it severe global development delay, profound multiple learning disabilities and now Autism.

Isaac does not believe in sleep, or rather he sees it as an unnecessary waste of good partying time! He’s awake a couple of hours each night. Sometimes he’s awake and miserable. Sometimes he’s awake and everything is hysterically funny.

We have been on a mission since he came out of a cot 5 years ago to find a way to keep him safely in bed at night. I pride myself on being a quite ingenious, can do person who doesn’t give up easily. Sadly those traits are obviously hereditary and Isaac, or Houdini as he’s sometimes referred to, has frequently beat us!

Mummy and Daddy make DIY safe bed frame out of wood with long curtains tucked under his mattress- score one to team parent. Isaac wriggles between the gap between the curtains, escapes at 2am, knocks the bath taps on and floods the bathroom. Score one to team Isaac.

Mummy adds poppers to the curtains to try to keep Isaac in his DIY bed, 2-1 to team parent. Isaac finds a gap at the foot of the bed, escapes, and we wake to find him in the kitchen grinning at us, sat in a puddle of squash someone left out, trying to gnaw his way into a tub of custard. Team Isaac evens up the score.

Through it all Isaac giggles and claps and seems thrilled to have us join his 2am party, and we scratch our heads and go back to thinking how we can next keep him safe and get some kip.

At home at the moment our latest combination of a wood frame and a fabric cover is working. He loves enclosed spaces and seems to need to block out the visual stimulation of his room to be able to settle,  but I know soon he will beat us again, it’s not a long term solution. He’s made very little developmental progress in the last 5 years and we’ve accepted one day we will be caring for a non verbal, incontinent, adult toddler with severe learning disabilities, no real understanding of the world around him – five foot something of pure mischief.  As he gets stronger and bigger it’s essential we keep him safe in his bed at night.

We get by with a sense of humour, supportive friends  and a lot of coffee! Going away on holiday however is a whole other ball game. The last time we attempted to stay in a hotel we had the management knocking on the door frequently throughout the night telling us they’d had complaints about a child running about and shrieking and clapping. That was pretty hard.

Today a letter came through the post though and the world became a better place! Our Cerebra grant for a safety sleeper had been confirmed. This amazing piece of kit fits into a small suitcase to go away with us, and folds out into a fully enclosed and very cool looking safe sleeping tent . It can go everywhere with us and when team Isaac next defeats our DIY home solution, instead of weeping over triple strength coffee and eating a whole packet of Jaffa cakes, we will simply put the safety sleeper up in his room as his permanent bed and know he’ll be safe. This is our forever solution. Everywhere we go, it will pack up into its case and come with us. And that will restrict the bathroom floods and squash/ custard spillages and all the other mischief he gets up to, to just the daylight hours!

Not in a million years could a family like ours afford the four figure sum for this incredible product. Without Cerebra’s grant, while we would single-handedly keep the world wide coffee industry afloat, we would be facing a pretty bleak and sleep deprived future and we have got pretty close to just giving up on attempting to take the children away on holiday and chasing Isaac about all night.  I will be watching the post, our game changing life changing safety sleeper should be delivered next week and we have booked to go away the week after for a few days to try it out. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you Cerebra, for giving us a reason to hold onto our sanity and dare to hope that this is a big part of our happily ever after”.

Uniquely Human: a different way of seeing autism

uniquely humanUniquely Human: a different way of seeing autism

by Dr Barry M Prizant
ISBN 9780285643338
£20.00

We all have different coping strategies. Think about the behaviours associated with autism? Hand flapping, spinning, rocking, a restricted range of interests. A lot of current thinking aims to eliminate these behaviours. But what if they are strategies to cope, to adapt and to communicate your emotions? What if the current thinking is just treating an autistic person as a problem to be solved rather than an individual to be understood? Dr Prizant draws on his four decades of experience from working in the field of autism to present his thoughts and suggestions for helping those with autism to live more fulfilling lives and to help their relatives find a greater understanding.

We now have this book available to borrow in our library, along with a wide range of other books on autism and other special needs. Why not take a look at our book list?

Clueless Clarence Book Review

Our librarian Jan reviews a new book available to borrow for free from our postal lending library.

clueless-clarenceClueless Clarence: 5th April 2007
by Zoe Hunter and Leslie Roberts
ISBN 9781785076091
£14.99

Meet Clarence and his family. Clueless Clarence is a book of the innermost thoughts of a 15 going on 16 year old boy with mild Autism. From a day by day diary written over the course of 2008 to a selection of his poems. This is a quirky fun and imaginative book that joins fact and fiction. Any parent with an autistic child will recognise the anxieties and the preoccupations and any teenager with a diagnosis will recognise that they are not the only one.

Mental Health and Well-being Conference Write Up

Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing for Young People with Autism, ADHD and Learning DisabilitiesOn the 28th April 2016 we held our Annual Conference at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on ‘Improving Mental Health and Well-being for Young People with Autism, ADHD and Learning Disabilities’.

Our aim is to make sure that the needs, and voices, of young people with these conditions are not lost in the current discussion surrounding mental health.

With the exceptionally high calibre of professional speakers, including a number of young people and the variety of topics covered, hopefully delegates felt that they enhanced their knowledge and understanding by attending our Conference.

The first session of the Conference was ‘Risks to mental health and well-being in children and young people with a neurodisability’. This part looked at the current research that is being conducted around genetic and biological causes of mental health disorders, mental health problems in children with intellectual disability and co-occurring psychiatric disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The speakers in this session were:

Dr Andrew Cuthbert (Institute of Psychological and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University)

Professor Richard Hastings (Centre for Educational Development, Appraisal and Research, University of Warwick)

Professor Emily Simonoff (Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London)

After a superb lunch, the keynote address centred on ‘Mental Well-being and involving young people in defining the agenda’. This presentation was given by:

Dr Cathy Street (The National Children’s Bureau), accompanied by Jack Welch and Kiri Joliffe (NCB Young People Advisory Group)

This session focused on the benefits of children and young people’s involvement and participation in mental health and a short video was shown where young people talked about what it means to grow up happy. Both Kiri and Jack spoke, very bravely, of their own experiences of living with mental health issues and autism. They also stressed the importance of listening to young people.

Following a short break, the final session ‘Working to improve mental health and well-being’ comprised of talks given by:

Mair Elliot

This remarkable young lady gave an extremely powerful and moving speech about her own experiences of living with autism, mental health issues and psychosis.

Dr Jane Waite (Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders, University of Birmingham)

Jane looked at how to spot the signs of anxiety disorders and effective interventions.

Dr James Cusack (Autistica)

James provided an update on the research projects that the charity are currently funding into mental health in autism.

Professor Tasmin For and Dr Astrid Janssens (University of Exeter Medical School)

Tasmin and Astrid gave details of a new project focusing on what happens to young people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in transition from children’s services to adult services which will use national surveillance, qualitative and mapping studies.

At the end of each of the sessions the Conference Chair, Professor Stuart Logan (Cerebra Professor of Paediatric Epidemiology, PenCRU at the University of Exeter), fielded questions from delegates which gave them the opportunity to clarify matters arising from the presentations. The speakers were able to answer these questions clearly and make the subject matter understandable.

You can watch the Q&A sessions here.

Additionally there were a number of exhibitors at the Conference who included Leigh Day, Hyphen Law, Tomcat, A Stitch Different, The Clarity Partnership, Autistica and The Challenging Behaviour Foundation. Alongside these there were information stands for our Academic Chairs at: University of Birmingham, Cerebra Innovation Centre, University of Exeter, University of Leeds and University of Warwick. Information was also available regarding our Family Research Ambassadors Projects.

Cerebra would like to thank all of the speakers and exhibitors for giving up their time to join us on the day. We are particularly grateful to have received sponsorship from:

  • Leigh Day
  • Foot Anstey
  • Hobbs Rehabilitation
  • Lyons Davisdon
  • Hyphen Law
  • Tomcat
  • Autistica
  • The Challenging Behaviour Foundation
  • A Stitch Different Community Group
  • The Clarity Partnership