Rebecca SwistRebecca discovered her interest in Autistic Spectrum Conditions when she was tasked with supporting a boy on the autistic spectrum in a mainstream nursery setting nearly 20 years ago. She now works as an Autism Specialist, currently in a local authority, as well as delivering training and workshops to a wide variety of audiences.

Rebecca is enthusiastic about “learning each other’s language” and sometimes feels that she is a bit of a translator between individuals on the autistic spectrum and those around them. She believes that a better understanding will lead to a reduction of potential barriers individuals on the spectrum can face, as well as a recognition and celebration of the skills and abilities individuals have. Her training sessions are therefore likely to include some experiential learning activities as well as interactive discussions and group work.

With over 10 years of experience as a qualified social worker there are plenty of examples and case studies from across the whole of the autism spectrum, which make her courses engaging and bring them to life. Having worked in multi-disciplinary learning disability teams for a significant part of her career, Rebecca also has extensive knowledge of learning disabilities in general and when co-occurring with autism and / or mental health problems in particular. She is aware of the constraints those working in social care can face and tries to give ideas and strategies that can make a real difference whilst being achievable.

At present Rebecca spends a lot of her time turning the theory of the Autism Act 2009 & National Autism Strategy into practice in a local authority. She has also been involved in the implementation of the SEND reforms and the Care Act 2014, ensuring that the needs of individuals on the autistic spectrum are considered in the implementation plans both. She is involved in various projects ranging from the planning and realisation of multi-sensory spaces to the development of an online 3D environment complete with training courses accessible through avatars.

In addition to this Rebecca is a qualified Best Interest Assessor and as such can provide information on the legislative framework relating to mental capacity and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards as and when appropriate.