" Ju is a friend and colleague. She is a fine singer/songwriter and performer. An artist. A thinker. A big heart and an interesting mind" Denise Black (October 2020)
I feel very humbled to have been asked to speak at this years Community Care Live 2020 conference on 'Understanding Autism in Women' 13th/14th October. To be back virtually amongst my fellow social workers is special. Please follow the link if you wish to register for this event https://events.communitycarelive.co.uk/s/series-reg12/home
"Ju is an outstanding and inspirational human being. There are so many threads to her life and many "difficult to hear" stories. One wonders if her autism diagnosis had come sooner would things have been different for Ju? Ju has a way with words that hit hard and have real poignancy, she is an artist… Continue reading A Message from Carrie and David Grant
I close my eyes today and I focus on the fading silhouettes, the beautiful profiles of those women who have gone before us, those who have trodden corridors of silence, those who have withdrawn, battle worn, those who have protested and rocked and spiralled and faded without having had anyone truly listen to their stories.
"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing There is a field I will meet you there" RUMI There was once a little girl who danced to the rhythm of the daisy petals she scattered, a child who captured in her imagination a sense of velveteen calm through the scent of the lilac buddleia tree where… Continue reading “When we close our eyes” – hope for a better future for autistic women and girls
School Reports January 1975 “ This girl is somewhat nervous” “Needs to try harder” “ Somewhat lacking in confidence, she must realise that she has the ability and must make every effort to exploit it to the full” July 1975 “Capable of excellent work but refuses to concentrate” “More attention needed” “ Very disappointing, needs… Continue reading “The past is never where you think you left it” (Katherine Anne Porter) In support of excluded autistic children whose gifts are being forgotten. Is history repeating itself?
When my wife and I sat down to watch the first series of Keeping Faith, we were little prepared for the incredible impact that its beautifully depicted story would have on our own recovery as we privately waded our way through the complex aftermath of having lived through our own experience of 'missing'. There in… Continue reading Keeping Faith ( Serendipity – finding treasure in unexpected places).
I am struggling to find words that can aptly describe what it is like to be a pupil of a herd of horses but I will do my best to try. You see, that’s simply all the horses require of me, an openness to the lessons that they have the wisdom to impart and the… Continue reading “You are the teacher I am the student….What is the Lesson?”(Experiencing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy)
I don’t quite understand what actually happened to me today, I have no explanation for it nor grasp of the theory behind it, neither did I have a pre- conception of it or expectation from it. One thing I do know is that something happened today and that something was as profound as it was… Continue reading Accepted by the Herd (Experiencing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy)
I awoke to the sound of a neighbours heeled shoes clippety clopping on the hard driveway, the noise deafened me, she was exchanging pleasantries with another neighbour, talking loudly about the sunshine, laughing, the car door slammed shut, the engine revved and she was gone. All of those sounds had created a cacophony of audio… Continue reading Living Undercover (A message for Mental Health Awareness Week)
On Tuesday 2nd April I attended NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers)Girls and Autism Many Voices Conference in London. It was my first conference relating to autism just six weeks post diagnosis aged 56, in fact it was my first formal experience of being in a public place for a whole day since my devastating… Continue reading Rocking My Way Back Home- reflections on the Many Voices Conference
It was such a privilege to speak on the BBC Radio London Saturday Breakfast Show with my friends Carrie and David Grant alongside Francesca Happe, Neuroscientist and Sarah-Jane Critchley, educator in autism. It’s surreal being around people who know about autism because as a newly diagnosed woman I’m like a sponge wanting to soak it… Continue reading Thinking in Riddles
It is this time of year when the memories of being broken come flooding back and respectfully I acknowledge them and can now gently embrace them as valuable jewels in my life. In a few weeks time it will be three years since my mum died, two years since I went missing, since walking to… Continue reading In the Name of ‘Normal’ (the story of a broken fence)
On Monday evening my wife and I had the privilege of attending the Missing People Carol Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald OBE. Less than 5 minutes from where I was found in the Spring of 2017, transferred from a police car into a police van with wire mesh… Continue reading A Christmas Reflection on The Missing People Choir and Charity
Its World Mental Health Day 2018, a poignant title for an all encompassing lived experience for many. I would usually perhaps share a quote or a photo or make a comment about the importance of awareness but as the years change so am I changing and it feels right this year to be a little… Continue reading The Storms that Follow us