The Nurturing Neurodivergence Programme

A two-day neurodivergent extravaganza conference

Who: For those who are involved in the teaching and support of, as well as those living with and caring for neurodivergent pupils within an educational setting or the home.

Where: Online.

When: 28th and 29th of October 9am-4pm.

Aim: Our unique approach aims to equip professionals with vital insight, knowledge and tools to better support neurodiverse children and develop a nurturing environment for all.

Are you a teacher, SendCo, member of the SLT at a school, school governor or panel member within a local authority?
Do you feel overwhelmed with the number of children whose needs don’t seem to be met?
Are you wishing there was a way you could help them thrive?

We hear you!

Do you have neurodivergent students in your school who are just surviving rather than thriving? Have you ever wondered why the interventions you are using aren’t working as well as you’d been told they would? Do you wish to create truly nurturing environments so neurodivergent individuals have equal opportunities for great outcomes in the future? Do you have children with neurodivergence who are also on a journey with their sexuality or gender? Ever wondered how to support transitions for neurodivergent children/adults who wish to become the gender they feel on the inside?

We understand and empathise, and most importantly, we have done something about it.

Professionals within an educational environment are often the most inspirational people in our young children’s lives. These professionals are usually overworked, largely underpaid and hugely unappreciated. Access to training is potluck and access to the right kind of training is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We are inviting you to come and take part in what will be a life-changing event.

As you may already know, there is a current crisis within the system that leads many families to be on waiting lists for CAHMS who are desperate for further support. Often, these children are simply misunderstood, and their needs aren’t being met. The education system has been built on the assumption, that whilst differentiation is required, all children will fit into this mainstream picture and thrive. This isn’t the case, and the rise in need for EHCPs and support is a significant indication that, if we always do what we have always done, then nothing will change.

The Nurture Programme is responding to this outcry of need within the schooling system by putting on a two-day conference aimed at giving anyone working with or supporting children and young people, the opportunity to come together and learn how best to engage, support and nurture the next generation.

About the conference

Our two-day conference includes internationally-renowned speakers who will provide you with insight, the toolkit needed to better understand the needs of neurodivergent children and practical solutions to create a more nurturing environment. With interactive workshops, case studies, opportunities to broaden your knowledge, and the chance to ask questions based on your own challenges and experiences, you will leave this conference feeling better equipped to help support children, enable them to thrive and achieve their attainments.

You will also learn how simple and effective acceptance of those with differences can benefit them hugely and make a real difference to the mental health of the next generation of pupils. We will give you the opportunity to look through a different lens; one that brings about change, diversity, inclusion, acceptance and understanding. One where disability is not stigmatised by the judgment of a label.

Don’t worry, we are aware of costs and barriers!

We keep this in mind and deliver cost-effective strategies, tips and first-hand experiences of navigating various pathways.

Children who are diagnosed or identified as Autistic, ADHD and PDA are often misunderstood and sanctioned, with many being placed in isolation, all because they cannot manage within mainstream settings. With long waiting list times, these children are at risk of being excluded and losing out on crucial education.

Imagine if you could have two full days training, delivered online directly from the best neurodivergent trainers around, and be able to make a difference to these children? Imagine not having to worry about travelling fees, hotel rooms and long-distance journeys in order to attend?

Do you have neurodivergent students in your school who are just surviving rather than thriving? Have you ever wondered why the interventions you are using aren’t working as well as you’d been told they would? Do you wish to create truly nurturing environments so neurodivergent individuals have equal opportunities for great outcomes in the future? Do you have children with neurodivergence who are also on a journey with their sexuality or gender? Ever wondered how to support transitions for neurodivergent children/adults who wish to become the gender they feel on the inside?

Professionals within an educational environment are often the most inspirational people in our young children’s lives. These professionals are usually overworked, largely underpaid and hugely unappreciated. Access to training is potluck and access to the right kind of training is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We are inviting you to come and take part in what will be a life-changing event.

We will take you back to the very basics and on a journey with our guest speakers delving into the many myths, facts and misunderstandings that spread through the media like wildfire. We will also show you how everything you thought you knew about what it means to be neurodivergent was taught to you by people who aren’t neurodivergent themselves and how this practice is extremely damaging for young children who mask, fawn and camouflage. This conference doesn’t exclude a whole community of us who do not fit into that neat little neurotypical box – instead it makes us the very centre.

Two full days of learning from actually autistic, ADHD, physically disabled and other neurodivergent people will change your perception of inclusion entirely. We will have you scrapping the textbooks and making us your go-to source of information, help and advice every time you find yourself in a pickle.

INTRODUCING

The Nurturing Neurodivergence Programme

It’s time that people moved on from the out-dated research and practises created by non-neurodivergent people, and let go of the textbook. Now we need to learn from those of us who are neurodivergent, who have lived experiences and seen first-hand what living in a world geared towards non-neurodivergent people is like.

Since launching The Nurture Programme® during lockdown 2020, the number of families in desperate need of support with nowhere else to turn has risen. It has become even clearer to us that we need to take society back to basics with understanding and knowledge of what it means to be neurodivergent, and also what it means to support and create neurodivergent-friendly environments. Our courses not only help the attendees, their children, and the young people they work with, but the wider community too.

But how can we effectively support those in our classrooms who are struggling with anxiety, mental health issues and unmet SEN needs?

It is safe to say, since the pandemic, we have learned that thinking and doing outside the box does work within an educational setting and is beneficial to teachers, parents and students. We need to take this opportunity and re-think our environments. What could we do better? What could we change to make this inclusive for all? How can we teach the curriculum to a variety of different learners at the same time? How can we implement this across the whole school, while still making sure we meet all government expectations and Ofsted criteria? How can we make a plan of action, trial it and use the evidence to roll this out across the board?

Our conference will address all of these questions and show you how.

Let’s not waste the only gift that Covid has given us and settle back down into a system that is designed for the many, whilst excluding the few. Let’s NURTURE these children to be everything they are, instead of training them to be everything they aren’t.

We understand and empathise, and most importantly, we have done something about it.

Professionals within an educational environment are often the most inspirational people in our young children’s lives. These professionals are usually overworked, largely underpaid and hugely unappreciated. Access to training is potluck and access to the right kind of training is like finding a needle in a haystack.

We are inviting you to come and take part in what will be a life-changing event.

Book tickets

Day 1

Introduction to Neurodiversity and What it Really Means: How to be truly inclusive

Put down those books, get away from your textbooks and prepare to be speechless. On Thursday 28th October, we kick off this conference with an introduction to neurodiversity. I know, I know, you already have “awareness”, but what if I told you that this isn’t about awareness anymore? What if I told you that this is about acceptance, understanding and validation?

At the beginning of this conference, you are going to be asked one very specific question; “Is your classroom and teaching style inclusive?”, you will most likely say, “YES”! We may challenge you! If your classroom isn’t inclusive, don’t worry, we know this isn’t your fault. Our experts and speakers from various fields are here to help you. Together, you will be guided through supportive, compassionate self-reflection to consider ways you could have approached a situation differently, how you could have done better and help open your mind to different approaches. This day will take you on a journey through neurodivergence, race and autonomy, and leave you with the passion to make substantial changes that will transform the lives of those vulnerable people who strive for acceptance.

early bird offer!
Parent price
£85
early bird offer!
Educator price
£115

28th October 2021

09:00 - 16:00 (BST)

Day 2

Nurturing Neurodivergence, Inclusivity and Hope

This second day is focused on truly developing your understanding. It explores the practicalities of what neurodivergence really means. How can we be better? Where do we start? How do we apply what we have learnt at this conference to a classroom setting? Are just some of the questions that will be racing through your mind, and rightly so. There is a lot to cover here and this is where we can begin to help you establish the groundwork needed to validate neurodivergent experiences and create truly nurturing environments for your pupils. There will be four workshops available and you can choose two to attend that best reflect your environmental needs. During these interactive workshops, our facilitators will take your learning spaces from “inclusive” to nurturing!

This conference not only focuses on neuro differences, it also focuses on those communities that are often discriminated against (race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+) whilst also being neurodivergent.

early bird offer!
Parent price
£85
early bird offer!
Educator price
£115

29th October 2021

09:00 - 16:00 (BST)

Day 1 + Day 2

28th & 29th October 2021

early bird offer!
Parent price
£150
early bird offer!
Educator price
£180

It will always be the intention of The Nurture Programme to make a positive difference to the outcomes of children and young people. The programme thrives to be part of the change in how neurodivergent individuals see themselves, as well as how best to support each other in different aspects of life – from schools to hospitals to the workplace and beyond.

Covid has taught us that we can think out-of-the-box and adapt our ways of teaching and supporting children, but Covid has also put even more strains on an already overwhelmed service. With waiting times at an all-time high, it is now more important than ever to start changing attitudes, understanding and strategies, which makes our conference incredibly important and never more relevant. You, and those you work with, can help end the ongoing disabling that often our neurodivergent peers experience. If you would like to attend the conference and learn how you can become part of this change, then we will be delighted to welcome you.

Speakers

Kristy Forbes

Presentation: Growing Up Autistic (29th October)
Workshop: Supporting PDA Families & Educators (29th October)
Kristy is passionate about social change, and the recognition of the value of autistic people and their luminous qualities. She advocates for autism acceptance and has written, spoken and presented internationally on many topics associated with autism. Kristy Forbes is the Founder & Director of InTune Pathways, and the creator of inTune Families and an autism and neurodiversity support specialist, working closely with families to create joyous, thriving, unconventionally extraordinary lives. She is the parent of four autistic children and is autistic herself. 
 

Dr Chloe Farahar

Presentation: Introduction to Autism (28th October)
Workshop: Creating Neurodivergent Friendly Learning Environments (29th October)

“I was diagnosed at age 32 after a lifetime of being told I am “weird”, “odd”, “stand-offish”, and “unapproachable”. I struggled to make friends, and experienced bouts of depression and constant anxiety. It was only once I realised that I was Autistic that I found my “group of weird” – the Autistic community, and my new friend Annette. Together, Annette and I explored what being Autistic meant for us, and now we work together on projects and research to help other Autistics learn to find their “group of weird”

Aniesa Blore

Presentation: Introduction to Sensory Differences (28th October)
Workshop: Supporting Neurodivergent Children in the Classroom with Sensory Differences (29th October)

Aniesa completed her degree in Occupational Therapy in 1999 at the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa. She has since been focusing on paediatrics and sensory processing and integration.  Her speciality areas of practice include Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delays and Dyspraxia.

Karen Stepanova

Presentation: Why is Parental Engagement so important? (29th October)

Karen is the non-exec director of The Parental Engagement Network, a community interest company which develops and provides resources for schools across the U.K.  Her role is focused on inclusivity and diversity within the organisation, and she will talk about the importance of Parental Engagement and the impact this has on early identification of SEN within the school system.

Ann Hackler-Foutch & Heather Jessup

Presentation: Homeschooling Autistic & PDA Students (29th October)

Ann Hackler-Foutch, M.Ed.

Ann is the Co-Founder of Journeys with PDA, where she provides education, training, resources and support to anyone living or working with individuals with a PDA profile.  Ann has a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and is a Certified PDA Trainer.

Heather Jessup, M.Ed.

Heather is the Co-Founder of Journeys with PDA where their mission is to support all areas which encompass Pathological Demand Avoidance. Heather has a BS in Special Education and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education with endorsements including Gifted Education.

Kieran Rose

Introduction Presentation: Introduction to Neurodiversity
Main Presentation: The Damage Caused by Misunderstanding Masking (28th October)

Kieran Rose is a published Writer and International Public Speaker whose essays at https://www.theautisticadvocate.com/ have been read by over a million people and cited in numerous research papers.

With a background in SEND Education and service delivery, Kieran delivers his own specialist Autism training to families and Professionals and provides private consultancy for charities and organisations across the world that support Autistic children, adults and their families.

Harry Thompson

Introduction Presentation: Introduction to PDA
Main Presentation: The Importance of Authenticity & Autonomy

Harry Thompson is an Autistic PDA adult, he is the author of the bestselling book – PDA Paradox, a public speaker, autistic educator, PDA ambassador, consultant & self-advocate. His audiences receive invaluable insights into neurodivergent experience, often delivered with controversial humour & brutal honesty.

Harry supports parents, families, teachers, professionals as well as neurodivergent adults by offering consultations, training & talks. Harry uses his social media platforms to educate & create (sometimes controversial) conversation with the aim to create a more inclusive society.

Stephanie

Presentation: Neurodivergence & Physical Disabilities Inclusion (28th October)

I’m Steph. I was born with a physical disability Cerebral Palsy and am a Wheelchair user.

My brand of the Butterfly Princess has a real symbolic meaning to me it represents something that I experienced throughout my childhood a real negative experience and that affected me for many years. I was the little girl in the bathroom being very badly bullied , but now that little girl has transformed into a confident Butterfly.

But the other side of my vlogs is to raise awareness about disability taboo subjects such as Sex and Relationships and to be a positive role model for able bodied and other people with physical disabilities as I don’t think there is enough awareness of physical disabilities.

Yenn Purkis

Presentation: Autism & Gender Diversity - 29th October 2021

Yenn Purkis is an autistic and non-binary author, public speaker and community leader. They also have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. They are the author of nine published books on elements of autism and they are a regular blogger. Yenn has facilitated an autism support group in Canberra since 2011. Yenn has received many awards for their advocacy work over the years, including the 2016 ACT Volunteer of the Year Award and the 2019 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award. Yenn is a public speaker of almost 20 years’ experience and has presented at a range of events including at TEDx Canberra in 2013.

Venessa Bobb - A2ndvoice

Main Presentation - Race & Autism - 28th October 2021
Workshop - Race & Autism - 29th October 2021

A2ndvoice CIC are a non-for-profit organisation running various projects and events focusing on the needs of autistic people and their families. We host parents and carers groups, family events, workshops, bespoke packages and 1:1 support.
“If we are to improve the lives of BAME families dealing with what can initially be a devastating diagnosis, it’s vital that decision makers, service providers and faith and community groups listen to those families and work together to produce effective, culturally appropriate support.

She is the co-author of “Girls and Autism” edited by Professor Barry Carpenter, Francesca Happe and Jo Egerton.

Laura Kerbey - Host

Main Presentation - Introduction to ADHD - 28th October

My passion has always been working with autistic young people – I believe that they have so much to offer, and yet the education system often fails them because staff do not have the right skills and experience. This is something I am passionate about changing! I am an experienced trainer and really enjoy training others. Recently diagnosed with ADHD I have finally started to understand myself and the journey through acceptance is liberating.

Book your place

Please select your ticket type:

Questions?

Absolutely, this is suitable for everyone, and we encourage all to learn from neurodivergent adults. 

Of course, only one device per booking will be able to log-in but you can easily watch it off of the same device or even cast to the big screen.

Yes we do, Please do email jodie@thenurtureprogramme.co.uk and we will send an invoice with discount for the whole school team. 

Yes, you will receive a recording after 24 hours and it will be available for catchup for 30 days. The only segments that won’t be recorded are the workshops. 

Once you have purchased tickets you will be sent an email confirmation with a link to register, please make sure that you do this even if you cannot attend live and  prior to the event as you will need to register for the recording. 

You don’t need to do anything, once you have paid and registered your email will be automatically added to the recording database and sent out within 24 hours. 

This conference is scheduled as a webinar and you can make use of the Q&A function which has anonymous options available.

No, just relax, in your home with a coffee and cake and fully immerse yourself in the most inclusive conference there is! Only our speakers will have their cameras on. 

Please do email jodie@thenurtureprogramme.co.uk for other options, we strive to be inclusive and will do all we can to enable people to learn from us. 

Because we are launching the speakers names weekly until the end of September we will only be sending the full schedule at that point. 

We will be announcing our guest speakers week by week and will have introduction events on our Facebook page weekly to welcome our speakers, please follow https://www.facebook.com/thenurtureprogramme for regular updates, news and guest speaker announcements. 

No, this will only be available for a short period so don’t miss out. 

Yes, we hope to run this conference year after year, and we will be introducing you to even more amazing guest speakers and neurodivergent people. 

Absolutely, we will soon have a full list of speakers available, and their country of origin and specific timings for their time zone will be included.

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The Anxiety Nurture Programme

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The Autism Nurture Programme

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The ADHD Nurture Programme

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Week 2: Nurturing Advocacy Confidence

The aim of this session is to break down attendees’ advocacy skills, then rebuild them so that facts and controlled emotions are used successfully.

Laura and Jodie share their experiences of advocating for their children – both good and bad and demonstrate how to use assertiveness skills effectively and remove emotive language.

They also share their “Top Tips” before, during and after transitions to ensure that all objectives are achieved.  

Week 5: No-one can help me

What can I do? By week 5 we hope that all attendees will feel more confident, less stressed and have the skills and facts that they need to successfully advocate for their children. But we know that sometimes this is not enough.

The system can be fraught with challenges, and no matter how skilled you are, it can feel like your journey keeps being taken off track. In this session, an expert speaker will join to give fantastic advice on where to turn next when you feel you have exhausted all avenues. Practical advice regarding matters such as benefits, grants and additional sources of advice is also given, leaving the attendees feeling well equipped in their journey ahead.  

Week 4: Mental Health

In this session we look at how Imposter Syndrome can cause people to doubt their abilities.

The toll of advocating for children with additional needs can be detrimental to a parent or carer’s health. Our aim is to build up confidence and restore the mental health of parents or carers so that they have the inner strength to fight as hard as they can for their children.

This week focuses on changing negative thoughts to positive ones and helps restore the mental health of attendees. Jodie and Laura provide ‘Top Tips’ to staying mentally well during tricky times.  

Week 3: Reasonable Adjustments

The pathway of SEN / EHCP’s / Reasonable adjustments and so forth can be a scary and bewildering place. But knowledge is POWER and this session aims to provide members with this power. 

Attendees will be given clear information and knowledge so they will be able to navigate these pathways armed with confidence. This will include basic law and children’s rights including ideas about what reasonable adjustments vs unreasonable adjustments are. We give examples of our own reasonable adjustments, how to ensure these adjustments are put in place and ideas on how to approach the professionals in your children’s lives to ensure that their needs are met. 

Members will also be equipped with ideas for “reasonable adjustments” versus “unreasonable adjustments”. A guest expert speaker – Karen Stepanova – SEN Consultant is arranged for this week who will give her very own presentations on the basics of SEN Law.

Week 2: Differences I May Experience

We will also be joined by Harry Thompson who has PDA and ADHD.  In his brilliantly humorous and unique way Harry will discuss his own insight into living with ADHD, from diagnosis in his childhood years and into adulthood. We will explore the impact that ADHD can have on children and young people in terms of both physical symptoms and mental health. 

Week 1: Introduction to ADHD

We will explore the positive aspects of ADHD, some of the challenges that living with ADHD can cause and also some of the lesser-known symptoms of this condition.  This first week will lay the foundations for the rest of the 5 week programme.

Week 2: Differences I May Experience

Focussing on the saying, “When you have met one autistic person you have met one autistic person” we will take a deeper dive into the way that autism effects everyone individually.  During this session we will look at sensory needs in more detail and provide some ideas to help keep autistic children more regulated.

Week 3: Advocacy for ADHD

Sadly, many children and young people with ADHD are often very misunderstood within the education system.  In this session we will cover the basic legal rights of a learner with ADHD within school and college settings.

We will equip you with a comprehensive list of reasonable adjustments that schools and colleges can and should be using to ensure that learners with ADHD are able to meet and even surpass their amazing potential within the education system.  Most importantly in this session we will help equip you with essential advocacy skills to help you get the support you and your ADHD child deserve.

Week 4: Support for Siblings

At times living with ADHD can be challenging for the whole family. In this third session we will explore the impact ADHD can have on families and siblings.

We will discuss lots of helpful approaches to ensure that the negative impact of ADHD is minimised within the family environment.  We will also discuss how to support siblings of individuals with ADHD using empathy and understanding.

Week 5: The ADHD Experience

We will focus on techniques that can provide invaluable support for individuals with ADHD within the home and educational environment.  In this session you will also be able to ask us all questions relevant to this topic.  Finally, we can signpost you to other helpful organisations and sources of information related to ADHD.

Week 1: Introduction to ASC

We will explore the many aspects of being autistic or having an autistic family member. Jodie will share her road to diagnosis for her three children and finally herself and her own diagnosis in 2020 at 35 years of age.  This first week will lay the foundations for the rest of the Five week programme. 

Week 3: Advocating For My Autistic Child

Laura and Jodie feel that “small changes make a big difference” for autistic individuals – and during this session we will discuss helpful tips for parents and reasonable adjustments for schools and colleges. 

In this session you will also be able to ask us questions relevant to this topic and we will signpost you to other helpful organisations and sources of information related to Autism. 

Week 4: Sibling Support

There is no doubt that an autism diagnosis can affect the whole family.  In this fourth session we will explore the impact autism can have on families and siblings.

We will discuss lots of helpful approaches to help you support your whole family and explore the positive aspects of an autism diagnosis.  We will also discuss how to support siblings of autistic individuals using empathy and understanding whilst also covering the importance of looking after your own mental health as parents.

Week 5: The Autistic Experience

Chloe, Jodie and Laura will discuss the medical model of autism and some of the theories of autism which are now proven to be out-dated and detrimental to autistic individuals.

Chloe will talk using her personal insight as an autistic adult, will discuss effective ways to support the mental well-being of autistic individuals and answer questions from attendees.

Week 2: Nurturing Anxious Minds

Whilst it is true that many children suffer from anxiety at any one time, those who are neurodivergent (ie are autistic, with or without PDA; have ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia etc) are more likely to have anxiety to varying degrees as part of their experience.  In this session, the anxiety experienced by any child is approached with understanding and acceptance and is jam-packed with practical ways to support children in a positive and nurturing way.

Week 1: Understanding Your Anxious Self

In this first session, Laura and Jodie gently introduce what anxiety can look and feel like with a real and tangible understanding that all participants come from a variety of experiences. Together, we will look at the impact anxiety can have on how we behave and interact with different people as well as the internal struggles it can bring.  By offering an invitation to reflect on and recognise our own anxiety and the negative internal voices that drive it, they begin to consider ways to quieten those voices and fears both for ourselves and those we wish to support. 

Week 3: Worrier to Warrior

In this final session, we will help you and those you support to find ways to reframe negative thoughts so that it is possible to “think better and feel better.”  We will also cover practical strategies to help you manage your anxious self, keep calm and turn you from a worrier, to a warrior, ready to battle everything that life throws at you.

Week 1: Managing Transitions

In this first week, Jodie and Laura introduce themselves and discuss their journeys and experiences which have led them to develop this programme. Guidance for the programme is set to make sure that everyone participating feels comfortable and confident in sharing information and personal experiences. 

The basic laws and rights pertaining to all children are explained before moving on to discuss transitions. All children have varying levels of tolerance to transitions – moving from one task to another – and in this session we discuss how important it is to be prepared for even the smallest ones.

Laura and Jodie will share their “Top Tips” that parents and carers can use to ensure that the many transitions that need to be navigated when you have a child with additional needs run as smoothly as possible.