Hello! My name is Emily Lees (she/her)

I'm an autistic Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) based in Manchester, UK. I work in a specialist setting supporting autistic children and teenagers.

I advocate and campaign for Autism Acceptance through public speaking, training, and education in order to transform the way professionals assess and support autistic children and young people. My core values which I whole-heartedly aim to bring to my work are courage, compassion, and authenticity. 

Autistic children do not have social impairments. I do not provide interventions based on behaviourism, flawed theories and outdated research which perpetuate the stigmatising narrative that autistic people are broken and need fixing. I do not support Social Skills Training which is designed to teach autistic children to mask, rehearse scripts and perform a set of socially expected behaviours which are entirely built upon neuronormative social norms.

My hand is holding five badges. For example "I need time to process your words" and "I'm autistic

As a pro-neurodiversity SLT I focus on helping the person advocate for themselves through their chosen method(s) of communication. I support them to communicate their choices, views, boundaries, emotions, and decisions. I give the person full autonomy to select their own goals e.g. if they want to learn how to make friends with people who share similar interests (who accept them for who they are), how to repair communication breakdowns. I help them to identify their unique communication strengths & needs using neurodiversity-affirming language. I use trauma-informed approaches which take into context the historic marginalisation and exclusion of autistic people. which considers the accumulation of sensory, interpersonal, and emotional trauma. I prioritise emotional safety and collaboration over anything else.

UPCOMING WEBINAR:

"An Introduction to a Neurodiversity Paradigm"

For health, social care, and education professionals

Monday 18th October 2021

1:30pm - 4pm BST

ZOOM

£80 per ticket

Register and book your place:

Event flyer (left) reads:

An introduction to a neurodiversity paradigm for health, social care, and education professionals. Two images of the speakers with their names underneath: Elaine McGreevy and Emily Lees. A graphic image of the infinity logo symbolising neurodiversity and autism with a rainbow gradient. The details of the event are: 18th October 2021 at 1:30 – 4pm BST. Via Zoom. Tickets are £80 per person. In this course you will learn: Proneurodiversity practices and approaches for your practice, why the pathologizing Medical Model is failing neurodivergent people, the daily barriers that neurodivergent people face accessing healthcare and education], What professionals can do to support neurodivergent people.
 

In the bottom left corner of the flyer is reads: CPD certificate available. To register for the event and book your place, visit this link to an Eventbrite page: https://introduction-to-neurodiversity-paradigm.eventbrite.co.uk

 

 

Flyer 2 (right) reads:

“Speakers” in bold at the top of the flyer. An image of Elaine McGreevy is next to her bio which reads: Elaine McGreevy, based in Northern Ireland has worked as a Speech & Language Therapist for 25 years and is the Founder Director of Access Communication C.I.C which offers pro-neurodiversity Speech & Language Therapy. Elaine has been a lead clinician since 2001 and has been involved in setting up and developing Speech & Language Therapy services for autistic children and young people. Elaine is a Senior Advisor for The Therapist Neurodiversity Collective; an international collective of therapists who support neurodiverse clients through non-behavioural based, empathic, and respectful practices. Elaine wants to contribute to making a change in how society accepts and supports neurodiverse people, especially autistic children and young people.


An image of Emily Lees is underneath with their bio which reads: Emily Lees is a proudly autistic Speech & Language Therapist, professional speaker, and founder of www.autisticslt.com. She graduated from the University of Manchester and works in a specialist setting supporting autistic children and young people. Emily does not provide behaviourist interventions which are based on outdated research that assumes autistic children have social impairments e.g. Social Skills Training, PECS, Lego Therapy, PACT etc. Emily provides a consultancy service where she offers accessible information, signposting, and bespoke training. Through her lived experience and Speech & Language Therapy expertise, she campaigns for radical changes in therapy practices.

MY GOALS

Graphic of a red and white striped lighthouse

To empower autistic children / adults through:

  • Lived experience of being neurodivergent

  • Expertise of Speech, Language and Communication

  • Advocating for reasonable adjustments / accommodations

  • A pro-neurodiversity model / paradigm

  • Respecting autistic styles of communication

  • Accessible information that's easy to understand

  • Visually soothing resources (a sensory, stimmy website)

  • What is neurodiversity?

  • What is a neurodiversity-affirming approach?

  • The pathologising of neurodivergent people

  • Recognising sensory and social trauma

  • Speech and Language Therapy approaches:​​

    • Medical Model​

    • Neurodiversity-affirming model

    • Common approaches used with autistic children

  • How our beliefs influence our approach

  • Neurodiversity-affirming research

Promotion poster of a podcast episode: Emily Lees on the left and the title: "Self-Advocacy, Work, and Autistic Girls and Women'

Check out my interview on:

Hosted by American Occupational Therapist Meg Proctor.

WE DISCUSS:
  • Autistic masking, misdiagnosis, mental health
     

  • Problems with many Speech and Language Therapy interventions and assessments for autistic children
     

  • Pro-neurodiversity approaches in Speech and Language Therapy

3:30 - What is autism?

5:44 - Understanding the spectrum

8:24 - Medical Vs Neurodiversity model

15:38 - Sensory processing

20:57 - Masking

23:37 - Autistic communication

31:42 - Stimming

33:31 - Echolalia

34:54 - Sensory overload

36:23 - Autism myths