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Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

  • Wednesday, 01 June 2016
  • Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre
  • 08:30 - 14:00
Expert Speakers
Sponsors & Supporters
  • Overview

Developed in association with Autism Together, the second annual Autism conference will help to develop a better understanding of the needs of autistic people, including actual experiences of those on the autistic spectrum, as well as informative insight into services available.

The programme will focus on life stages ie childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood, focusing on key challenges such as diagnosis, education, SEN, family and social situations, employment, identity, and more. Presentations from those with first-hand experience of autism will be supplemented by practical sessions which are designed to be transferable, encouraging adoption across different teams and organisations.

Open Forum Events are delighted to be gaining a reputation for “truly inspirational” health and social care conferences. Delegate feedback from our last Autism conference includes:

“A good introduction to autism and services”
“Interesting information on current thinking and initiatives”
“A good insight and very good networking”

Join us at Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities to hear the latest developments in autism care and support, and examples of best practice from leading organisations across the health and social care and education sectors. You will have the opportunity to question, discuss and debate the very latest policies, projects and emerging models of care, as well as sharing your own stories and experiences with the conference and contributing to wider thinking about autism in the UK.

  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Event Programme


Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area


Chair’s Opening Remarks

  • Robin Bush, Chief Executive, Autism Together (confirmed)
"Diagnosis and Early Intervention"

Parents are often aware early on that there is something different about their child’s development, however, they frequently have a long wait before an official diagnosis is received. Early diagnosis is crucial, as it is commonly thought that early intervention can make all the difference for children at risk and those who show early signs of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

  • Kevin Oakhill, Director of Service Development, Ambitious about Autism (confirmed)
"Meeting Educational Needs and SEND Reform"

To ensure that children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) are afforded the same opportunities as other children, the government has been reforming and will continue to reform SEND support. Placing children and their families at the heart of the system and backed by funding of £80 million, it is hoped that the life chances of children will be transformed and full potential reached.

  • Jacqui Shepherd, Teaching Fellow and PhD researcher (autism), University of Sussex (confirmed)
"Supporting Young People Through Times of Transition"

Transitions of all kinds can be particularly challenging for young people with autism, knowing that an ‘anxiously obsessive desire for the maintenance of sameness’ and a ‘dread of change’ are likely characteristics of autism (Kanner, 1943). Jacqui will present findings from her PhD research on the experiences of young people in transition to college and consider the implications for effective and ongoing transition planning.

  • David Ellams, Founder & Managing Director, Yoga4Autism (confirmed)
"How to Unleash your FULL Potential"

A presentation by the founder of Yoga4Autism who is on the Autistic Spectrum on how he has turned his life around with yoga, meditation & mindfulness. He discovered how yoga worked really effectively to bring all of his symptoms under control. He created Yoga4Autism to help others live the life he now enjoys.


Question and Answer Session


Coffee in the Networking Area

"Neurodiversity in Employment"

In 2014 the BBC launched a research project studying the knowledge and attitude towards neurodiversity, focusing on the recruitment, support and management of employees  with hidden conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, ADD/ADHD and Autism Spectrum Conditions

"Being Autistically Happy"

Reflections from an Autistic Person

"Liverpool: An Autism Friendly City"

Creative approaches to supporting autistic people and their families


Sharing Best Practice

"How People on the Autism Spectrum Can Develop Careers With Adequate Support"

There are many organisations supporting people on the autistic spectrum in their journey from childhood through to adulthood, and from home to school. This work is invaluable as it helps them to understand and adapt to the changes experienced in their new environments. There are also a number of organisations that help to find jobs for people on the autistic spectrum, celebrating victory when their clients are successfully placed. However, very few realize just how much of a transitional change moving from a student or home environment to the workplace can be for someone on the spectrum. As a result, many people who could have potentially developed very successful careers using some unique talents, tend to sit in very low level or unsuitable jobs, or even suffer overloads at work and end up leaving. Rosalind talks about the workplace transition – from the perspective of someone who has been there herself.


Question and Answer Session


Chair’s Closing Remarks


Lunch in the Networking Area


Event Close

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Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre

Pendulum Hotel & Manchester Conference Centre is the ideal solution when searching for conference venues in Manchester. Top-of-the-range conference suites, 3 star value hotel accommodation, delicious dining and friendly service are the ideal components for a successful conference or event in the heart of the city centre.

The 18 conference rooms are decked out with all the mod cons including state-of-the-art AV technology, projectors and screens, free Wi-Fi and flip charts. Our clients cover the whole spectrum and include government organisations, trade unions, large corporate companies, non-profit organisations, health and education sectors and small to medium-sized businesses.

From the get-go we strive for excellence in everything we do and our dedicated team of conference professionals go all out to make sure your conference, event or exhibition runs like clockwork.

Featured Events

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    • 12 October 2017
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  • Autism: The Challenges and Opportunities

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