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

I'm an Autistic Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) based in Manchester, UK. I am also the Co-Founder of Divergent Perspectives - a training provider delivering workshops to professionals on how to support Neurodivergent / Autistic children and young people. I advocate and campaign for radical changes in therapy practices for Autistic individuals 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 bring to my work are courage, compassion, and authenticity. 

Autistic children do not have social impairments. I don't provide interventions based on behaviourism and the social-deficit theory of Autism which are rooted in flawed theories and outdated research. We now have research which shows the opposite; Autistic people have a diversity in social intelligence and communicate just as effectively with each other as neurotypicals do. I don't provide Social Skills Training - these interventions are designed to teach Autistic children to mask and perform a set of socially expected behaviours built upon neuronormative social norms. We now know that Social Skills Training causes harm, including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, self-harm, burnout, and suicidality.

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As a Neurodivergent-Affirming SLT I focus on helping the Autistic individual 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. I help them to identify their unique communication strengths & needs using neurodivergent-affirming language. I use trauma-informed approaches which take into context the historic marginalisation and exclusion of Autistic people and considers the accumulation of sensory, interpersonal, and emotional trauma. I prioritise emotional safety and collaboration over anything else.

Please note -

 

I am now on maternity leave and aim to return around July time - I will be working on a part-time basis and offering a limited number of Communication Assessments

 

I will be checking emails periodically and if possible, I will respond. 

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MY GOALS

To empower Autistic children / adults through:

  • Lived experience of being neurodivergent

  • Expertise of Speech, Language and Communication

  • Advocating for reasonable adjustments / accommodations

  • The Neurodiversity Paradigm

  • Respecting Autistic styles of communication

  • Accessible information

  • Activism

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