"We just wanted to write to thank you so much for all of your help and support for our son. Without your skills, knowledge and experience we have no doubt that he would still be at home without work or purpose. It's only been a short time but already we have noticed a big difference in him. He is really quite chatty which we haven't seen for many years and his quirky sense of humour has returned! Your style of working has been to build a positive relationship with him and go at his pace and this has built his confidence. Just as importantly has been your connections with possible employers. This enabled you to find him the perfect job and to support him to get it which he wouldn't have done without you. He is now talking like a man with a future and we know he feels good that he is contributing to the family. Thanks again Karen your support has been invaluable."
Karen initially trained as a Psychodynamic Counsellor, achieving an advanced certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory, before starting her career in educational support in 2002. Karen is accredited as a Specialist Mentor by UMHAN and a full professional member the National Autistic Society. Karen specialises in working with Young People between the ages of 16 – 30, specifically to manage educational or employment transitions, or support individuals and families pre and post diagnosis. Karen has an excellent track record of supporting her clients into appropriate and successful educational placements, apprenticeships and jobs.
Karen has worked in many different settings supporting young people and adults with AS or an ASD, including delivering and running therapeutic support services at a Further Education college, Guidance management at a Sixth Form college, running Sussex wide Youth Work projects, Specialist Mentoring at a University and since 2009, as an independent ASD coach. Karen also set up, secured funding for, and ran the first Social Club specifically for young people with AS or an ASD in Sussex.
Karen has been delivering ASD awareness training since 2010, some of her clients include Brighton Metropolitan College, Bluebird Tea co, SRC / Time accountants, The Friends Centre and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland. Karen has also delivered an annual ‘ASD, Anxiety and University’ presentation to new students and staff at the University of Brighton since 2015. Karen has a full clinical diagnosis of AS, which affords her an intrinsic understanding of her clients and the barriers they often face, she also brings 16 years of pastoral support experience to her training and public speaking.
Contact details for Karen:
Testimonials for Karen:
Thank you so much for the excellent training you delivered today at Moor House.
Feedback from staff has been really positive.
Helen Middleton, Moor House School & College
Karen's help was invaluable in terms of supporting and managing employees with High Functioning Autism. Her group training provided insight into the daily challenges Asperger Syndrome presents, and enabled team members to approach the day to day interactions with a more empathetic, inclusive. and supportive approach.
Matt Hendon, Bluebird Tea Co.
I found it pretty useful personally and professionally. There were a lot of things in my own life that I hadn’t realised autism would be implicated in, and it was a relief to realise that it was.
Robert Shepherd, Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland
Many thanks for a really excellent talk - very thought provoking and amusing but still very practical.
Stephen Coyne, B Sc, M Ed, PhD, PGCE HMC. Authorised Appraiser & Independent Consultant
The support I received from Karen was a massive help to both my confidence in finding employment and interviews. In particular, she significantly aided me in learning interview techniques and stress management in such conditions. Her help in my becoming employed in February this year cannot be underestimated.
Karen has been an invaluable independent support for our son who has a diagnosis of high functioning autism. Over the last year, she has tailored her support to help him identify and apply for jobs, and coached him in interview skills. He has now been offered a permanent part-time contract locally, which fits in beautifully with his part time distance learning. Karen has kept him motivated and positive, and helped build his confidence and self-esteem, as well as focusing on practical skills. She has been proactive in suggesting a reduction in support, though on this we are for once reluctant to take her advice!