Team

We believe that to provide the best opportunities for individuals and families, training and support should only be given by highly experienced professionals. We also recognise that no one person will be able to provide the range and breadth of what is required. Therefore all of our work is carried out by an expert in the respective area identified and is overseen by an AT-Autism Director. When designing programmes for individuals and organisations we are led by the need to personalise the approach and by current evidence. Our experience means that we can respond swiftly and work in partnership with you to design workable and lasting solutions.

As a team we are experienced in working with partners where the cultural context means we have to make adjustments to the content and delivery of training. We enjoy working alongside our partners to develop measurable improvements in practice and wellbeing of people. Our collective experience is primarily in autism but our Directors and Associates are able to provide support in terms of neurodevelopmental conditions, mental health and behaviours that challenge. We also look to work with organisations in crisis or those wishing to devise and implement strategies for change.

The Directors

Our Directors have worked extensively in the autism and related fields, across a variety of contexts and within the public and charitable sectors.

Chris Atkins

Chris Atkins

Director

Chris has worked with autism for over 30 years in a variety of specialist services and agencies. Since 2001, he has been the Executive Director at Stroud Court Community Trust, a specialised charity providing a range of services for people with autistic spectrum conditions. He also works as a tutor and visiting lecturer in autism for the Department of Inclusion and Special Needs at the University of Birmingham. Prior to this, Chris worked for several years with the National Autistic Society as Group Manager, Adult Services Manager and Head of Projects and Developments. He is the lead Learning Disability representative for the Gloucestershire Care Providers Association and is a founder member of the Gloucestershire Joint Learning Disability Commissioning Team Challenging Behaviour Strategy Working Group. Chris has many years experience in operational leadership and management and strategic development in human services and has a particular interest in cultural and values-based organisational change.

Ann Memmott

Ann Memmott

Director

A well regarded autistic autism consultant, with some 20 years of experience as a professional within this field. Originally a Trustee for Berkshire Autistic Society, Ann is also Managing Director and co-owner of a Professional Practice, and works nationally as a trainer and conference speaker alongside ‘household names’ such as Tony Attwood, Wenn Lawson and Peter Vermeulen. Ann was Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Autism’s Advisory Board for some years. Ann’s work informs the Royal Collection Trust, the BBC, the Police, Royal College of Psychiatrists, healthcare professionals and social work teams throughout the Thames Valley & Oxfordshire, and education professionals. She is also an expert-by-experience, working with NHS England on Care and Treatment Review panels on complex autism situations. Ann is currently studying autism at Postgraduate level, with a particular interest in autistic sexuality and gender diversities.

Jacky Towells

Jacky Towells

Director

Jacky is an experienced and accomplished professional with substantial experience in finance, organisational management and strategic planning in the care sector. She has held senior positions in specialist autism care services in the independent sector for over 14 years. Jacky is a founding director of AT-Autism and takes a leading role in the strategic, financial and operational management aspects of the company and in providing close support to the board and network of Associates.

Linda Woodcock

Linda Woodcock

Director

Linda has many years experience of working with individuals with autism and their families. She previously managed advice and advocacy services and a family support service for a large regional charity. She has been instrumental in devising and delivering innovative person centred training courses for parents and families in understanding autism and behaviours that challenge. She also delivers this training to professionals within health, social care and education services, as well as the criminal justice system. In addition, Linda carries out assessments and service audit and reviews working both in the UK and internationally. She is the co author of the book ‘Managing Family Meltdown: The low arousal approach and autism’. Linda manages a person centred service for her adult son who has autism and severe and complex needs.

Richard Mills

Richard Mills

Special Advisor

Richard is Research Director of Research Autism, Hon. Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath and Senior Research Fellow, CASD, Bond University Australia. Until 2013 he was Director of Research for the National Autistic Society and before that he was their Director of Services, responsible for all schools and adult services. Richard’s expertise and interest is in challenging behaviour, forensic aspects of autism, autism in women and girls, programme evaluation and service design, as well as management coaching and mentoring. Richard was a member of the Guideline Development Groups for both the NICE guidance on Autism in Adults and Challenging Behaviour. Richard has authored numerous scientific papers, book chapters and articles on autism and related topics. He is an editor for the journals Autism,the international Journal of Research and Practice and Advances in Autism.

Dr Simon Wallace

Dr Simon Wallace

Special Advisor

Simon has worked in the autism field since 1994. He has held research and honorary clinical positions at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford. Since leaving academic research in 2008 Simon has worked in the UK and Europe within the charitable sector. Along with colleagues he wrote the European Commission’s DG-SANCO strategy on autism and built a network of nine government departments in south-east Europe who signed up to a working partnership on autism. His most recent position was as Research Director of UK medical research charity Autistica, where he wrote and implemented their five year research strategy.

Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about our services

"The feedback we have received following Richards training and seminars has been amazing. People have asked when he will be returning as they would like more of this very practical but evidence based information. Richard is very easy to work with and understands his audience. Can’t recommend this training highly enough."

Sharon Paley: Director Clinical Innovation and Governance, Government of Queensland, Australia 

"Fantastically helpful. A really useful workshop, much to collectively follow up on, thank you
Great to hear feedback from academic studies. Excellent day, very informative. Great plans and ideas that can be taken forward."

Feedback: States of Guernsey workshop

"Synergy works because it looks to create the optimum physical, sensory, communication and social environment for the child rather than focusing solely on changing the child’s behaviour."  

Laskaridis Foundation, Greece.

  "The participants spoke very highly of the workshop and I enjoyed myself immensely. It is a really interesting, sustainable and empowering concept. The presentation was super, one never knows enough! Thank you Richard and Michael"  

Dr Rita Micalef, Inspire Foundation, Government of Malta and University of Malta.

"Richard was a very generous and excellent presenter who provided a very good and broad overview of autism and interventions. He was happy to share and discuss his wealth of knowledge, experience, and values base; and was responsive to the various needs and interests of the audience. Richard provided an excellent reminder of the use of strengths and sound clinical judgement in being appropriate and effective in our work with people with autism."

Murray Rieck: Senior Clinician, Clinical Innovation and Governance, Government of Queensland, Australia

"Within 6 months of working with AT-Autism we had taken a fresh look at our operations, had appointed a new CEO, had achieved financial stability and our operational activity had returned to surplus."
Autism Jersey

    "I am not only indebted to the AT-Autism team for the skills and knowledge they taught us but for their profoundly humane and supportive approach."

Katerina Laskaridou

    "If you want the right experts in autism then go to AT-Autism. Efficient, knowledgeable and professional’"

Kaim Todner Solicitors