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Laura McConnell

Neurodivergent Advocate and Disability Campaigner- Scotland

Laura is Autistic, Dyslexic, has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and has several additional processing conditions that are common amongst Neurodivergent individuals, including Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Auditory Processing Disorder (APD).

Laura started her career in education with the Additional Support Needs Service of a Local Authority before switching to become a mainstream primary school teacher eleven years ago.

In recent years, Laura has worked as a Behaviour Support Teacher and a Support for Learning Teacher in mainstream primaries, where she supports groups and individual Neurodivergent and Disabled children with their learning, emotional literacy and emotional regulation.

In January 2018, Laura founded the Edinburgh ACEs Hub, a voluntary group of multi-sector professionals and adults with lived experience of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma. In June 2020, Laura created a support group for Autistic teachers and subsequently, linked the group with several other peer networks of Autistic and Neurodivergent professionals. Throughout 2021, they have projects planned to raise the profile of Autistic and Neurodivergent professionals in each sector to demonstrate that Autism alone is not a barrier to individuals with the right skills from entering the professions.

Laura is also part of the Development group of DisabilityEd UK, a user led disabled teacher organisation. She recently became a user (Autistic) representative with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) on the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Autism and Learning Disabilities that will be rolled out across NHS England.

An avid writer, engaging public speaker and broadcaster, Laura is passionate about all matters disability in education, healthcare and criminal justice. Her current research interests include, Inclusive Pedagogy and the Autistic workforce.

Ross Pollard

Neurodivergent Advocate and Disability Campaigner- Scotland

Ross is a diversity and inclusion consultant, with a background in employability research. He is also a qualifying psychotherapist.

Ross has ADHD and is a passionate advocate of Neurodiversity and Disability inclusion.

Kirsty Henderson

Parent Neurodiversity and Disability Advocate – England

Kirsty is a mother to two children with additional needs. Her daughter age 7 is diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Learning Disability and has a complex medical history. Her son age 4 is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Kirsty is currenting undertaking a children’s nursing degree and is a passionate advocate for children and their parents on all matters relating to SEND and inclusion.

Adam Murphy

Parent Advocate & Campaigner with a Neurodivergent & Disabled Adult Son- England

Adam is a full time carer, dad of three, husband and has a Twitter account where he shares his journey with his Autistic son.

Adam came up with the idea for SEND U.K. because he hoped that parents starting out on their journey with there Autistic child wont feel as lost and alone as he did when negotiating paperwork and support services.

With SEND UK Adam hopes that ultimately, we can all look out for each other.

Ash Loydon

Neurodivergent Advocate & Parent Advocate of Neurodivergent Children- Scotland

An autistically minded bequiffed illustrator who lives in the cold north lands beyond the wall.

Ash – in a previous life – worked as an arts/play development practitioner delivering training sessions to such diverse groups as social work, education and a variety of local authorities as well as occasionally donning colourful outfits to perform at events that sometimes even featured minor celebrities and/or politicians. Which beats 9 to 5 in an office, probably.

Although giving this it up to concentrate on drawing wee pictures instead, he still occasionally helps out at his children’s school any way he can – from running the Anime Club to giving work-based talks in the hope of showing that being autistic shouldn’t be seen as a barrier to employment and relationships.

When not doing any of this however, he can be found at home annoying not only his three – autistic – children (twin girls and a wee boy) but also, to prove he’s not prejudice, his neurotypical wife.

Elaine Mc Greevy

Professional Neurodiversity Advocate, Speech & Language Therapist- Northern Ireland

Elaine Mc Greevy is a Speech and Language Therapist with 25 years of experience, based in Northern Ireland, working in the NHS and independent practice. Elaine has worked as a leading clinician, involved in setting up and developing diagnostic and therapy services for Autistic children and young people. She has supported many families to understand and navigate the various health and education services and ensured families accessed all the services and supports that were available.  Elaine actively promotes the Neurodiversity model in speech and language therapy practice ensuring that Neurodivergent children are supported positively and based on strengths.

Elaine advocates passionately for services for Autistic children and their families that meet their needs. She promotes positive understanding of Autistic children and young people through her bespoke training sessions for parents, health, educational and voluntary sector colleagues.  

Elaine’s contribution to Autism speech and language therapy services was recognised with the Autism NI Laura Millen Award in 2011. Elaine and early years colleagues at Glenbrook Surestart, Belfast, won the National Autistic Society Professional Awards in the early years and education category for “Inspirational Education Provision – Primary School and Early Years” (2019).

Elaine believes that every child and young person has the right to succeed in their own life and to access the support that they need to reach their goals so that they can achieve happiness, personal accomplishment, social integration regardless of the way in which this is achieved and the form it takes.

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