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Managing Anxiety & Mental Health

An online learning series: 5th & 6th Nov 2021

Watch live and/or stream recordings of all webinars for 30 days

Welcome to Autism Learns. We provide trusted and affordable online learning to parents, family carers and professionals who support children and adults on the autism spectrum.

While around 25% of the general population will experience mental health issues at some point in their lives, studies have shown that autistic people are three times more likely to be affected, with anxiety, stress, and depression commonplace.

Growing up is hard enough if you’re neurotypical but for autistic children, the school years, adolescence and the transition into adulthood is a particularly vulnerable time. Their communication and social interaction difficulties, can both contribute to, and cloak, a decline in mental health. They may develop fewer coping skills than other children and are more likely to be met with negativity throughout their lives, such as bullying, stigma and discrimination.

Our two day webinar programme will provide you with the practical skills and knowledge to maintain good mental health in autistic children and young adults. You’ll learn how to unravel the causes of anxiety, how to spot the warning signs of delicate or declining mental health, and what you can do to help.

Learnings include:

  • Recognising the warning signs of mental ill health
  • Identifying and understanding stress thresholds
  • What is anxiety and what can be the common causes of anxiety in autistic children and teens?
  • Tips for preventing/minimising depression – what can you do at home and school to help?
  • Why do ADHD and autism coexist so often and what are the similarities between them?
  • Building resilience and independence
  • Understanding self-harm in autistic people
  • How you can support autistic children and teenagers to achieve a better night’s sleep

Book the two day series now for just £49.99 for parents and family carers, and £74.99 for professionals. Booking fees apply. All content is CPD certified. Price includes 30 day streaming access to recordings of all webinars.

Please scroll down and click on the tabs for more information on this series.

Fri 5th Nov 2021

TimeTitleSpeaker
10.00 - 10.10Welcome and introductionKate Laird, Webinar Manager at Autism Learns
10.10 - 11.00It’s not just the autism! Understanding mental health issues in autistic young people
  • What do we mean by the term "mental health"?
  • Are autistic young people more likely to have mental health difficulties and why?
  • What are the most commonly co-occurring mental health difficulties we see in autistic people?
  • Recognising the warning signs of mental ill health
  • How to have open conversations about mental health with a young autistic person
  • Avenues of support – CAMHS and other options
  • Dr Michelle O’Reilly, Associate Professor of Communication in Mental Health at the University of Leicester
    11.00 - 11.50Managing stress for a better quality of life
  • What do we meant by stress?
  • Is stress always bad?
  • Identifying and understanding stress thresholds
  • The energy accounting model and how it can help with managing stress
  • Maja Toudal, Autistic psychologist, speaker, and author
    11.50 - 12.10Interval
    12.10 - 13.00Avoiding anxiety in autistic children – a conversation 
  • What is anxiety and what can be the common causes of anxiety in autistic children and teens?
  • How to help identify what is causing their anxiety
  • Strategies for managing anxiety
  • De-sensitising strategies
  • Dr Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism at The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University and Stephen Connolly, Lecturer in Autism and Education at The Autism Centre, Sheffield Hallam University
    13.00 - 13.40 Lunch
    13.40 - 14.20Understanding depression and what therapies can help autistic children and young adults
  • Is there a connection between autism and depression?
  • Recognising the signs of depression with autism
  • Tips for preventing/minimising depression – what can you do at home and at school to help?
  • What treatment options can help and what to be aware of (e.g. medication, CBT etc).
  • Speaker to be announced
    14.20 - 15.00Autism and epilepsy
  • What is epilepsy?
  • Is there a connection between epilepsy and autism?
  • How does diagnosis work?
  • Supporting autistic people with seizures - what should we know and look for?
  • What are the treatment options?
  • Professor Rohit Shankar, Professor in Neuropsychiatry at Peninsula School of Medicine at the University of Plymouth and Consultant in Adult Developmental Neuropsychiatry – CFT
    15.00 - 15.20 Interval
    15.20 - 16.00Autism and ADHD
  • Why do ADHD and autism coexist so often and what are the similarities between them?
  • What are the differences between ADHD and autism?
  • ADHD and autism specific behaviours
  • Treatment and support
  • Colin Foley, National Director of Training at the ADHD Foundation
    16.00 - 16.10Closing remarks and end of day oneKate Laird, Webinar Manager at Autism Learns

    Content may be subject to change.

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    Professor Michelle O’Reilly (BSc [hons], MSc, MA, PhD, PGCAPHE) is an Associate Professor of Communication in Mental Health at the University of Leicester and a Research Consultant for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Michelle is also a Chartered Psychologist in Health. Michelle has specific interest in child and adolescent mental health. Michelle has made several media contributions about her research on social media and mental health funded by the Wellcome Trust. Michelle also undertakes research in self-harm and suicidal behaviour, neurodevelopmental conditions, and child mental health services, such as mental health assessments and family therapy.

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    Maja Toudal was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in 2003 and has worked in autism communication for more than a decade, primarily as a speaker at conferences, parent groups and local networking groups for people with Autism Spectrum Conditions.

    She has written articles and blogs regarding her experience living with Asperger’s. Maja has worked closely with autism experts Dr Tony Attwood and Kirsten Callesen for many years, gaining clinical experience and helping to run social groups for teenage girls with ASD.

    Maja is currently studying psychology at the University of Copenhagen, while continuing her work in autism communication.

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    In his post as Senior Lecturer in autism, Dr Luke Beardon runs various courses at different academic levels in autism, including a Masters qualification, while continuing to research and consult in the field of autism. He is the course leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Asperger Syndrome, run in collaboration with the National Autistic Society, and supervises students at Doctoral level. In 2011 he was nominated for and subsequently awarded the Inspirational Teacher Award as voted by students. In 2012 Luke was nominated for and subsequently awarded the Inspirational Research Supervisor Award as voted by students.

    Luke has been part of a research team at Nottingham University running a three year project, and has several publications in national and international journals related to the project. He completed his doctoral thesis at Sheffield Hallam University which was titled: Asperger Syndrome and Perceived Offending Conduct: A Qualitative Study.

    He co-wrote the ASPECT consultancy report, the largest consultation with adults with AS undertaken at the time. He is co-editor of three books on Asperger syndrome published by Jessica Kingsley, and has various other publications in journals.

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    Stephen Connolly’s interest in autism and HE began while navigating university life as an autistic student studying Physical Education at Leeds Met. The challenges and successes he experienced, sparked an interest into how other autistic students experience HE.

    Moving to Sheffield Hallam to gain his MA Autism Spectrum degree has led to a career researching autism and HE.

    Stephen’s work is heavily influenced by the “Actually Autistic” movement and Emancipatory and Participatory movements. He strives for accessible involvement in the full research process and firmly believes that autistic people should be the main stakeholders in autism research.

    Stephen’s PhD research is titled “Inclusion of students that identify as autistic in Higher Education”.

    He is a member of the Sheffield Hallam Autism Research Partnership, SHU Disability Research Forum and the Equality and Social Justice Research Group.

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    Professor Rohit Shankar is a professor in Neuropsychiatry with the University of Plymouth Medical School and director of its Cornwall Intellectual Disability Equitable Research (CIDER) unit. Awarded an MBE (2018) for services to the learning disability community he has national/international awards including the BMJ awards for mental health (2020), Education (2019) Neurology (2016), Innovation (highly commended-2017), ILAE Epileptic Disorders best paper (2017) and Epilepsy Foundation America SUDEP Challenge (2016). He has over 150 index-linked publications/book-chapters and led/contributed to various national reports. All his publications can be viewed HERE.

    He is a Consultant in Developmental Neuropsychiatry and is Clinical Director at Cornwall Partnership NHS FT, Associate Professor (Hon.) at University of Exeter Medical School, Hon. Fellow Falmouth University (2019 –current) and chair of the SW RCPsych division. His interests are in co-producing translational clinical research in neurodevelopmental/neuropsychiatric disorders, clinical risk management, and use of implementation science for health technology.

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    Colin Foley is the training director of the ADHD Foundation, the largest ADHD charity in Europe. After twenty-five years as a secondary teacher and senior leader, Colin’s work for the ADHD Foundation is grounded in empowering teachers to deliver outstanding outcomes for children and young people with ADHD through increased awareness of the condition and through practical classroom strategies that every teacher can use at all key stages.

    Timings

    DayTimes
    Fri 5th Nov 202110.00am - 3.40pm

    Advance Ticket Prices

    Ticket TypePrice
    Parent/Family Carer£49.99
    Professional£74.99
    Professional Groups (10 tickets or more)£59.99

    •This is the advance price for the whole two day series and includes 30 day access to recordings of all webinars.
    •Booking fees apply. £4.49 for parent/family carers, £6.43 for professionals, £5.27 for professional groups.
    •Post this online series, edited recordings of the webinars are available to stream for 30 days for a standard price of £74.99 plus £6.43 booking fee.

    We will send you an email containing joining details on the Monday preceding the start of the webinars. Our webinars are live streamed on Zoom.

    In order to watch the webinars, you will need the following:

    • A computer, tablet or smartphone with working speakers (a computer is preferable to better view the presentations, participate in live polls and chat with other attendees if you wish)
    • An internet connection with a good speed

    Simply click on the link we send you to join the webinars. If you do not already have Zoom downloaded on your device, you will be prompted to download the free software and set up an account – this should only take two minutes to complete.

    Please try and join the webinars a few minutes early in order to allow time for the Zoom download if necessary, and to be ready for the first session.

    Alternatively you may wish to watch the webinars when it’s most convenient to you. If so, we will email you details on how to access video recordings of all webinars in the series, by the Friday of the week following the event. You will have 30 days to watch them.

    If you don’t receive a booking confirmation or joining email from us, or generally have difficulties logging into the webinars, please contact us at info@autismlearns.co.uk.

    Ticket holders will gain 30 day access (until 12th December 2021) to video recordings of all webinars in the series, plus available speaker presentation slides and Q&A transcripts, by CLICKING HERE and entering the password provided by us the week following this event.

    Professional ticket holders will also receive a CPD Certificate of Attendance by email.

    Sat 6th Nov 2021

    TimeTitleSpeaker
    10.00- 10.10Welcome and introductionKate Laird, Webinar Manager at Autism Learns
    10.10 - 11.00Building resilience and promoting good mental health – an insider’s perspective
  • What do we mean by resilience?
  • Building resilience and independence
  • Identifying difficulties and barriers and what to do to address them
  • Perspectives on treatment options
  • Self-help strategies, mindfulness, and ways to improve sleep patterns
  • Yenn Purkiss, Autistic Advocate, Author and Presenter
    11.00 - 11.50Interoception: why is it crucial to self-regulation and understanding your mental health and anxiety?
  • What is interoception and what do we mean by interoceptive awareness?
  • What’s the relevance to self-regulation?
  • How perceptions of our internal signals and emotions may be unclear
  • How understanding our body signals is essential in enabling us to take the right steps to regulate
  • Alison Neal, Consultant Occupational Therapist at Midlands Occupational Therapy
    11.50 - 12.10Interval 
    12.10 - 13.00Autism and eating disorders Speaker to be announced
    13.00 - 13.40Lunch 
    13.40 - 14.20Understanding self-harm in autistic people
  • What is non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) / self-harm – what behaviours qualifies?
  • Why do autistic people self-harm?
  • Breaking the cycle – what you can do to help and what we can learn from the voices of autistic people?
  • Dr Rachel Moseley, Principal Academic in Psychology and Researcher in the Social, Cognitive, Clinical and Affective Neuroscience (SCCAN) research group at Bournemouth University
    14.20 - 15.00Sleep and mental health in autism: learning from autistic teenagers
    Examining the four key factors that play a role in the sleep experiences of autistic children and teenagers and how you can support a better night’s sleep:
  • focused interests
  • physical activity
  • sensory autonomy during bedtime
  • having more control and choice in their daily lives
  • Georgia Pavlopoulou, Senior Teaching Fellow in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health and Lead Autism Trainer at the Anna Freud Centre
    15.00 - 15.10Closing remarks and end of day twoKate Laird, Webinar Manager at Autism Learns

    Content may be subject to change.

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    Yenn Purkis is an autistic and non-binary author, public speaker and community leader. They also have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. They are the author of nine published books on elements of autism and they are a regular blogger. Yenn has facilitated an autism support group in Canberra since 2011. Yenn has received many awards for their advocacy work over the years, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2019 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award. Yenn is a public speaker of almost 20 years’ experience and has presented at a range of events including at TEDx Canberra in 2013.

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    Alison Neal is the director of Midlands Occupational Therapy and provides specialist occupational therapy services for children and young adults with a range of difficulties. Alison is an advanced practitioner in sensory integration therapy; she has several years experience of providing post graduate training to other therapists on this subject and has co-authored a book on sensory movement breaks. Alison works with families, children and young people at home and in a variety of mainstream or special schools and colleges to find solutions to everyday problems that actually work and can be implemented at home or school. She can also offer assessments for EHC plans and tribunals where necessary.

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    Dr Rachel Moseley (pronouns she/her) completed her PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, where she studied brain function and structure in autistic people. After her PhD, Rachel took up two positions as a postdoctoral researcher to pursue this research further. In the course of learning more about the presentation of autism in girls and women, she sought assessment and was diagnosed as autistic, which helped answer a lot of questions.

    Rachel is now a Principal Academic at Bournemouth University, where her research centres around understanding the challenges faced by autistic adults – most notably around mental health, self-injury and suicidality, ageing and late-diagnosis.

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    Dr Georgia Pavlopoulou is a Senior Teaching Fellow in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health with post doc research in sleep. She is also the Lead Autism Trainer at Anna Freud Centre National Charity for Children and their families.

    Dr Pavlopoulou is an Early Career researcher with more than 19 years of experience working with autistic people and their families in health and education settings. She was awarded a PhD in Developmental Psychology and Mental Health in 2019 examining autistic and non-autistic siblings’ experiences of wellbeing. Her UCL post doc research focused on personalised care in sleep management and anxiety with autistic adolescents using innovative participatory methodologies.

    She has expertise in creative participatory health and educational research and knowledge exchange programs which aim to bring together families, professionals, YP and activists to promote neurodiversity, acceptance, and mental health in educational and health settings. In 2018, she co-established and run the 1st ever Siblings Research Network at Great Ormond Hospital for autistic and non-autistic children and their families.

    Timings

    DayTimes
    Sat 6th Nov 202110.00am - 3.10pm

    Advance Ticket Prices

    Ticket TypePrice
    Parent/Family Carer£49.99
    Professional£74.99
    Professional Groups (10 tickets or more)£59.99

    •This is the advance price for the whole two day series and includes 30 day access to recordings of all webinars.
    •Booking fees apply. £4.49 for parent/family carers, £6.43 for professionals, £5.27 for professional groups.
    •Post this online series, edited recordings of the webinars are available to stream for 30 days for a standard price of £74.99 plus £6.43 booking fee.

    We will send you an email containing joining details on the Monday preceding the start of the webinars. Our webinars are live streamed on Zoom.

    In order to watch the webinars, you will need the following:

    • A computer, tablet or smartphone with working speakers (a computer is preferable to better view the presentations, participate in live polls and chat with other attendees if you wish)
    • An internet connection with a good speed

    Simply click on the link we send you to join the webinars. If you do not already have Zoom downloaded on your device, you will be prompted to download the free software and set up an account – this should only take two minutes to complete.

    Please try and join the webinars a few minutes early in order to allow time for the Zoom download if necessary, and to be ready for the first session.

    Alternatively you may wish to watch the webinars when it’s most convenient to you. If so, we will email you details on how to access video recordings of all webinars in the series, by the Friday of the week following the event. You will have 30 days to watch them.

    If you don’t receive a booking confirmation or joining email from us, or generally have difficulties logging into the webinars, please contact us at info@autismlearns.co.uk.

    Ticket holders will gain 30 day access (until 12th December 2021) to video recordings of all webinars in the series, plus available speaker presentation slides and Q&A transcripts, by CLICKING HERE and entering the password provided by us the week following this event.

    Professional ticket holders will also receive a CPD Certificate of Attendance by email.

    Book the two day series now for just £49.99 for parents and family carers, and £74.99 for professionals. Booking fees apply. All content is CPD certified. Price includes 30 day streaming access to recordings of all webinars.