Yvonne Crowhurst, Head of Autism Practice and Development, reports on our recent conference.

At the 3rd Wirral Autistic Society conference held at Acre Lane, Bromborough on 4th September, we were privileged to have as keynote speakers, not one but two illustrious contributors to the day. Chris Mitchell, who is an author, lecturer, speaker and operational  manager  for Autism Works and Dean Beadle, journalist and inspirational speaker at conferences, inset days, seminars and events across the UK.

chris mitchell

Chris Mitchell, author, lecturer, speaker and operational manager for Autism Works

Christopher got the conference off to a great start with his talk on Mindful Living with Asperger’s syndrome. Chris was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 1998 at the age of 20 before graduating from Northumbria University in 2001 with an MA (Hons). Chris, now 34, is operational manager for Autism Works which supplies sustainable employment for those on the autistic spectrum. In his spare time he practices Mindfulness techniques to help cope with the ups and downs of Asperger’s Syndrome and that was his subject of the day together with a session on applying Mindfulness in his everyday life. It proved to be a thought provoking morning which many saw as a fantastic new insight into those on the spectrum.

Dean Beadle

Dean Beadle – ‘discussed a very positive attitude to being on the autistic spectrum’.

Dean, now aged 22, spoke on his personal experiences of living with Asperger’s Syndrome and lived up to his reputation of a master of entertainment whilst doing so. Dean promotes a very positive attitude to being on the autistic spectrum however, there were many poignant moments amongst the humour and an underlying message of misunderstanding, poor autism specific provision and many difficult childhood episodes was obvious in his telling of his life journey, from being considered a “monster” to becoming a A-Grade student. From Dean’s response to the day on Twitter “As ever an amazing response in the Wirral” it was obvious that he had enjoyed the day almost as much as the delegates did.

Our delegates felt the day was hugely rewarding and found the speakers particularly engaging:

“Both speakers helped to show different points of view and give an insight into the differences and similarities in the management of anxieties as well as coping techniques”

“It was especially interesting to hear from two people who were able to discuss the struggles they have encountered through their lives and have managed it so well to become truly inspirational speakers”

Our heartfelt thanks are sent to both speakers. It would be wonderful to welcome them back to the Wirral for future events.