My name is Rachel Lowden and I am an Autism and Aspergers Syndrome support Specialist. I have worked in the field of autism spectrum conditions for 22 years.
This year 2017 has been very exciting so far. My working week consists of 2.5 days therapeutic work (1-1 and groups) and 2.5 days project work. I was commissioned by the home office early on this year to adapt, write an deliver an autism focused programme about the PREVENT strategy, specifically radicalisation and extremism. This complimented my role as an Aspergers Syndrome Registered Court Intermediary which I qualified for in 2015.
The project consisted of delivering sessions in 5 different education settings in East Sussex. It was a pilot project and as just been approved and will be going live soon (Website address to follow.
Following a successful grant application I am now working on a project with Little Gate Care Farm in Beckley East Sussex. litlegatecarefarm.co.uk which helps people with differences into paid work. I am really excited about this opportunity to build a robust and sustainable autism friendly supported employment model.
The therapy I devised 10 years a go that functions as autism specific therapy is still central to my practice and continues to thrive and develop since taking on another practice room in the old town, Hastings. Our Aspergers therapy group is progressing and now we are at capacity and will be starting a two new groups. Group 1 is for adults over 21 and is built on a self sustaining model (Comments from the group to be downloaded soon!)and I shall be starting a second group and a group for teenage girls in the near future.
Sex and relationships courses have been successfully delivered to Autism Sussex and Sussex Coast College and are now leading to thoughts around events to introduce people who want to date.
In terms of training I still deliver for ESCC on their Autism pathway (Level 5) and have trained this year with targeted youth support, Mayfield Children's Home, NAS Bexhill, SCC and taken part in various conferences and events.
I am a trustee for Boathouse Theatre Arts based in Hastings and Millies night club and continue to build community relationships within these roles.
I have the privilege to work across services, education, criminal justice, adult social care and employment. Together with my clients we are striving towards celebrating difference and implementing change that reflects this.