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 I do not provide interventions based on behaviourism, flawed theories and outdated research which perpetuate the stigmatising narrative that autistic people are broken and need fixing.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.

Back to due popular demand: 

An Introduction to a Neurodiversity Paradigm

28th Feb: 2pm-5pm

Tickets £99

Honouring Autistic communication

31st January 3pm-4pm

Tickets £60

2:00 - When did I find out I was autistic?
 

4:25 - Why did I become a SLT?

11:00 - Parent questions / SLT advice


31:45 - How I use the child's strengths to achieve their goals


38:15 - Why autistic children need neurodiversity-affirming professionals

40:50 - Dangers / harms of behaviourism

45:28 - How to identify a pro-neurodiversity professional

52:35 Parent questions / SLT advice

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

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