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We had a successful day with Professor Tony Attwood

Fri, 19th May 2023

Yesterday, we hosted Professor Tony Attwood at Easterbrook Hall, in Dumfries, for a conference and networking event!

Professor Attwood is one of the worlds leading experts on autism, currently working in his own private practice Professor Attwood has worked with 1000s of clients over his 5-decade-long career, with many expressions of autism at all ages. He is also an adjunct professor at Griffith University, Queensland, and has been invited to be a keynote speaker at many Australian and International conferences. Including ours. Over the course of the day, Professor Attwood presented two talks one on making friends from early years to teenage years, and one on employment and relationships for autistic adults.

The focus on employment and relationships for autistic adults was particularly enlightening for our own work at Better Lives Partnership. The talk covered social scripts to help autistic employees get their needs met in the workplace as well as techniques to help individuals with interviews.

Karen O’Rourke, our Team Officer in Stranraer, said the day was: ‘An inspiring event that sparked new ideas and deeper understanding for those people working and living with autism and its co-conditions. It was thought-provoking as well as reassuring and a great opportunity to learn, network, and reflect’.

We also had a number of our own young people attend the event, both as volunteers and as members of the audience. About the event Lewis, who attends Better Lives Partnership, said:

“I really enjoyed listening to Tony Attwood and he described autism in a nice way and in a way that I could understand. He made me laugh and he has got good banter. It was good to meet him and get a picture taken. He also answered my question at the end, I was proud of myself for putting in a question and he answered the question really well so that I understand why I do certain things. I learned a lot, especially about myself and my autism.

My mum came with me and she really enjoyed the events and learned a lot as she has read a few of the Tony Attwood books.”

We were delighted to be able to widen the reach of this event to organisations across Scotland through a live stream, such as Sail Autism in Lanarkshire, members of the National Autistic Society Scotland, and Mindroom in Edinburgh.

About the conference our Fundraising and Strategic Director, Carolyn Kennedy, said: “It was a delight to have such a broad-ranging audience made up of autistic people in D&G, professionals from statutory and partner organisations, some of the young people who attend our BLP Programmes and their families together with our staff team.  The event provided a  wonderful opportunity to learn, network, and understand autism with the eminent Professor Tony Attwood in an informal way within the Easterbrook Hall.  We are grateful to Professor Attwood for taking the time to visit us in D&G and are pleased to have been able to facilitate this event”.

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