2020 Speaker Biographies


Catherine is a Consultant Speech and Language Therapist and & Honorary Lecturer University of Manchester, IMPACT & Roundway Centre. Catherine’s goal is early intervention for autism and associated social communication impairments, preventing secondary needs and promoting the best quality research into practice. She led pioneering autism therapy trials developed from her Ph.D. research at the University of Manchester and clinical practice including PACT, a follow-up study and UK and international implementation trials in India, France, Italy, Hong Kong due to extend to China and Denmark.

Catherine has worked in the NHS for 38 years simultaneously to her clinical research at the University of Manchester and become the founder of a new not-for-profit social enterprise IMPACT (Interaction Method for Paediatric Autism Communication Therapy) disseminating evidence-based autism intervention for the benefit of all children and their families.

Catherine is an honorary lecturer at the University of Manchester. Catherine provides assessments, diagnosis and therapy intervention for children with communication needs at the Roundway Centre. She is a national trainer in autism diagnostic and assessment instruments and developed a measure of child communication competencies, sensitive to change through therapy intervention (DCMA, Dyadic Communication Measure for Autism).


Denise Anthony BA (Hons) is a Special Educational Needs Advisor.

Denise has work in education for over 25 years in a variety of Senior Roles. She started her educational career in the University sector, working for many years for both Salford and Manchester Universities. During these years she worked in the areas of Equality and Diversity and Academic Quality and standards.

Denise also undertook assessments for both under and post graduate students, identifying the best fit support to enable the students to reach their potential. In more recent years, following a period of years living in France with her family, she started a new chapter working in a small, specialist independent school. After 10 years, from SENCO, Head of Learning Support, Deputy Head, Denise became Headteacher.

This role has been both the most challenging and rewarding of her journey so far. Denise has dedicated her work to enabling pupils and students to grow in confidence as learners and to be able to realise their own potential, There is nothing more meaningful than to see a child fulfill what they are capable of, to be part of removing the barriers to their learning and facilitate amazing outcomes. Denise is proud of her collaborative work with parents and other professionals.


Autistic individual (Asperger Syndrome) identified at the age of 12. Reece holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology and is currently completing a PhD within the area of Education and Autism.

A regular lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University Autism Centre, and the current lead for POINT SEND Training in Oldham, Reece combines lived experience and professional expertise in a way that brings real insight!

“I am passionate about helping others flourish – and this includes individuals with Autism – and those impacted by it. My lived experience, together with a unique understanding of the gifts, trials and tribulations gives me an insight which I believe offers real value and support to the field”.


Anna is a Specialist Occupational Therapist who has worked within the NHS for 18 years. Throughout her career she has worked with children from birth to 16 years in a variety of settings including, orthopedics, burn injuries, long-term ventilation, hand therapy and community services (focusing on developmental co-ordination disorders and sensory processing difficulties). Anna currently works in a child and adolescent mental health service in Greater Manchester as a Specialist Occupational Therapist working with children and young people with neurodevelopmental difficulties.

Within Anna’s current role she is part of the multi-professional assessment pathway for young people with complex social communication difficulties. Anna has completed post graduate training in sensory integration and she is a member of the Sensory Integration Network. Anna provides assessments and therapeutic intervention particularly looking at sensory processing difficulties and the impact these are having on a young person’s ability to function in everyday activities. The specialist assessments also contribute to the wider assessment to help with differential diagnosis, particularly around ADHD and ASC. Anna provides regular post diagnostic training to families regarding sensory processing. She has experience of providing sensory processing training programs to education provisions including specialist and mainstream schools. Free Resources Read Here


Professor Jonathan Green is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in the University of Manchester, UK, and Honorary Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Manchester Biomedical Research Centre.

Jonathan is a clinical scientist with a focus on early development and autism intervention. His work on parent-mediated early intervention has including leading RCTs of the iBASIS prodromal intervention for infants at risk for autism in the first year, and the post-diagnosis Pediatric Autism Communication Therapy (PACT) – which both showed reductions in symptom severity sustained for 2 and 6 years respectively post-treatment. PACT has been widely implemented internationally and successfully adapted for low-income contexts in South Asia using task-shifting (PASS). Jonathan is currently leading a trial to scale of PASS in Delhi and collaborating on a number of international trials of parent-mediated therapy for autism in infancy and early childhood. He also investigates additional potential treatments within monogenic syndromic models of autism such as Neurofibromatosis 1, in basic science collaborations and intervention trials. Clinically, he runs a specialist Social Development Clinic at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, undertaking assessment and treatment innovation with ASD and other impairments of social development. Jonathan has been associate editor for Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, a member of the UK 2013 NICE guideline for autism treatments and on an MRC methodology research group into process and causal analysis in clinical trials. He is an UK National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator. http://research.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/socialdevelopment/


Carly is a British Autism Advocate who has worked for the inclusion of Autistic women and girls since 2008 . Speaking on News channels, Universities, Parliament and was the first British Autistic woman to address the United Nations on Autistic females’ rights.

Carly created the first free U.K. online safeguarding course for Autistic girls and has made award winning disability films shown in the UK, USA, Indonesia, India, Rome and Cannes Film festival.

Due to this , Carly was made an MBE in the 2017 New Years Honours list for services to those with Autism .

Since 2017 Carly has endeavoured to continue her campaign for U.K. wide pocket free Autistic safeguarding and elevation proudly holding a public appointment of a member of the UK Honours Committee .

In 2018 Carly was commissioned by the National Autism Charities to author on the updated National U.K. Government Department for Education Safeguarding guidance on Online Safety ,Prevent Terrorism and Child Sexual Exploitation as well as working review of Autisticas Female specific briefings for The Autism Acts strategy 10year Anniversary . In addition to this she has had several submissions to UK Parliament and the United Nation Human rights office accepted and published and a credited contributor to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology guidance on Autism for both the House of Commons and House of Lords . After which she was invited to serve on the National Autistic Society Knowledge and Expert Advisory team , is a independent panel member for the Ministry of Justice works for the Heathrow accessibility advisory group ,NHS England Immunisation board and Barbican Accessibly. Carly was named one of the UKs Top 100 U.K. female entrepreneurs of 2020 and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for her duties . Her aim to create social mobility and elevate the most diverse talents in the UK to ensure no talent is overlooked or wasted . In her spare time Carly runs a free Sunday youth club for Autistic teens in crisis and supports Autistic children out of education by facilitating Maths,Art PSHE and Safeguarding classes. Free Resources Click Here


After obtaining her MSc in Pharmacy, Aletta Kraneveld worked at Glaxo Group Research Ware, UK, 1990-1991). She obtained her PhD at the Utrecht University (1994) after which she continued her research at Harvard Medical School (Boston MA, USA, 1994). Being recognized by the Utrecht University as talented female researcher (UU award) Kraneveld was appointed as assistant professor in 1999 and in 2002 as associate professor at Utrecht University. 2016 Kraneveld was promoted to a joint appointment as Full Professor Interdisciplinary Translational Pharmacology at the faculties of Science and Veterinary Medicine. She has published 88 papers and presented over 35 invited lectures. Under her guidance 16 PhD-students successfully obtained their degree. Kraneveld is involved in the citizen initiative Immunowell (see www.immunowell.com) that focuses on defining a nation-wide research program on ‘Immune Fitness’ in a public-private setting with strong patient participation. Besides science, Kraneveld is active in policy and management. Since 2015 she is the chair of the Diversity Committee of the faculty of Science. Kraneveld is or has been an active member of several boards of the (inter)national scientific organizations (Dutch Society of Pharmacology, EPHAR, IUPHAR, Netherlands Federation of Innovative drug research) as well as in Topsector Life Sciences & Health roadmap-teams and in the International review committee LSH Impulse.


Jeremy Parr is Professor of Paediatric Neurodisability at Newcastle University. He leads research that aims to improve the quality of life of children and adults on the autism spectrum. Jeremy’s clinical work is at the Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders Service at Cumbria, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, where he sees young people for autism spectrum diagnostic assessment, or management advice. Over the last 10 years Jeremy has led a programme of research focused on using a Virtual Reality Environment in the treatment of situation specific anxiety, phobia and fear – the research led to a brand new clinical treatment that is now provided by the NHS.


Charlotte is an author and freelance journalist. She has written widely on autism–related issues and has spoken at many conferences and other events. ‘George and Sam’ her account of life with her autistic sons, is published by Penguin. She lives in Sussex with George and Sam, now both in their twenties, their neurotypical brother Jake, and her partner Simon.


Felix Moore is a transgender, autistic actor and activist who trained at Drama Studio London. He played Adrian in Rotterdam on BBC Radio 3 on 2018, and has appeared on the Today Programme on Radio 4 and in the Daily Telegraph discussing transgender and autistic issues. He helped create and promote a survey of trans people’s experiences accessing gender affirming treatment on the NHS, and used the data from the survey’s nearly 800 respondents to write a report on the state of NHS trans healthcare which was cited as evidence in the Women and Equalities Committee’s 2019 report on Health and Social Care and LGBT Communities.’

See his reading list here.


Wanda Palmer BA (Hons) is the designated nurse for safeguarding adults at Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group and the lead for Learning Disability Mortality Review (LeDeR) in Stockport.

Wanda is a mental health nurse, with over 25 years’ experience in a variety of direct clinical and leadership roles, working predominantly in crisis mental health care, patient safety and quality and safeguarding roles across the healthcare sector. She has recently moved to the North West after managing perinatal mental health services in Scotland, and has also worked and lived in London, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

As the Local Area Contact for LeDeR, Wanda is responsible for the allocation and quality assurance of reviews, and for extracting the learning into action for the health and social care sector. Involvement in this project is rewarding, helping to improve care and treatment for people with a learning disability with the aim to increase life expectancy in collaboration with partners across health, social and voluntary services.


Jess is a Speech and Language Therapist. She qualified from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 2004 with a BSc (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy. She holds a licence to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Jess has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for more than 12 years with people with a range of communication difficulties with a particular interest in working with individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Condition, ADHD and learning difficulties. All of this time has been spent in the NHS. Jess is currently employed in the NHS working on a neurodevelopmental conditions team as part of Healthy Young Minds (what was CAMHS) team. Jess is qualified in the use of standardised communication assessments and the use of the ADOS II for assessment of autistic spectrum conditions. Free Resources Click Here