Working with Autistic Clients: Implications for Trainers
Autism comes with strengths, skills and difficulties: Julia will talk about what they might include and how to harness or accommodate them in training.
You will learn how the sensory/perceptual experiences of autistic individuals can impact quality of life, ability to interact/perform in certain environments and how this can have implications in our profession or when working with clients.
Julia will also be covering how accommodating an individual's preference for a certain communicative style can help to build a positive trusting relationship in which training can be more successful.
About the Speaker:
Julia Leatherland is an autistic parent of five autistic children. Since the first of her children received an autism diagnosis in 2010, autism has become her area of special interest and she has gone on to successfully complete a Post Graduate Certificate in Asperger Syndrome, an MA in autism, and a PhD focusing on understanding and improving the mainstream secondary school experience for autistic pupils. Julia received her own diagnosis in 2016 at the age of 42.
Julia Leatherland was awarded the Education Childhood and Inclusion Prize for Outstanding Personal Commitment and Determination in Academic Study for my PhD work (2018) and won a Sheffield Hallam University Inspirational Female Student award in 2016. In addition, she was a finalist in the Anna Kennedy Online (AKO) Autism Hero Awards Autism Parent category (2016).
Julia has worked in a variety of support roles, including being a specialist mentor for autistic university students, and running advice and support groups for parents of children with Special Educational Needs. She was involved in working alongside Local Authority autism and education professionals, to develop city-wide autism strategies, and has written several articles, published in a range of academic journals, about autism, education, and well-being.
Julia is passionate about working with autistic individuals to find ways to empower them to lead rich and fulfilling lives through the provision of enabling environments.
She is currently working with her (and our) friend, colleague and KAD approved trainer, Lorraine Benham, to launch Pawtonomy, an autism support dog training programme designed to empower members of the autistic community to owner-train their own dogs to perform support and comfort tasks.
Finally, Julia has four pet dogs, and she is in the process of training one of them, Alfie, to be her own support dog. He has brought much joy to her life and gives her the courage to do things that I typically find difficult. It is through her partnership with him that I have been able to truly recognise the enabling power of successful human-dog relationships.
He is paw-inspiring!