Community Session Highlights

In the Community Sessions, we’ll explore neurodiversity through the relationships we have, in our homes and our wider communities.

These are just some of the sessions we have in store. Discover insights and expertise from all corners of the neurodiversity world.


Neurodiversity & Quality of Life 

Monday 13th, March

Professor Sven Bolte (Director of the Centre of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm) explores how we can measure what “the good life” really means for very different kinds of people; discover how quality of life can be manifest in different ways for
different people, and practical information
about tools for measuring quality of life.

A History of Neurodiversity 

Monday 13th, March

Find out where the concepts of neurodiversity and neurodivergence originated and consider how those origins shape our knowledge today.  

Aileen Shrimpton (Salvesen Mindroom) will review the history of neurodiversity including how early pioneers in the field identified different diagnostic groups, and today’s legacy of that early work.

Kassiane Asasumasu (Foundation for Divergent Minds), the person who actually coined the word “neurodivergent”, examines how neurodivergence intersects with other aspects of a person’s identity, such as their gender, culture or ethnicity.   father and award-winning full-time carer and Twitter superstar) provides honest, rich and witty insights into daily life with an adult autistic son who needs plenty of care and supervision.

How can we build supportive communities for people with rare syndromes?

Monday 13th, March

An interactive workshop: Join us and contribute to identifying the best ways to provide supportive communities for people with rare genetic syndromes like fragile x, SYNGAP-1 or Smith-Magenis syndrome and their families.

The session will be led by Heather Love, University of Edinburgh and Natalie Frankish, Genetic Alliance UK

What’s the best way to involve neurodivergent young people in research and practice?

Monday 13th, March

An interactive workshop: Hear from young people themselves, how they want to be involved in shaping services and society.

The session will be facilitated by the Salvesen Mindroom Centre Young People’s Advisory Group.

Diversity in Neurodiversity

Monday 13th, March

Gain insights into how neurodiversity can be understood alongside other socio political phenomena and where this idea sits within a general equality diversity and inclusion framework

Dr Nick Walker, one of the world-leading thinkers on Neurodiversity, is Professor of  Psychology, California Institute of Integral Studies, USA. She will discuss the concept of neuroqueering, drawing parallels between the neurodiversity movement, and other rights-based social justice movements.  

Our second talk (speaker to be announced) will consider neurodiversity from a global perspective, considering how the idea changes across cultures. 

Neurodivergent Journeys 

Tuesday 14th, March

A lifespan view on neurodiversity and some of the challenges that arise for people who don’t follow the typical path.

Dr Kathleen Bechtold is an Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins University, USA. In her talk “Transition into Adulthood”, Kathleen will crucially examine the importance of understanding and supporting the transition from adolescent to adult life.    

Holly Wagner, actor, writer and epilepsy advocate will speak about her life with epilepsy, bringing her personal perspective on living with a lifelong condition.