2019 Presenters' Bios

This page about Autscape 2019 is of historical interest only. Go to the home page for current information.

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David Hartley

Presenting: Creative Writing Workshop

David Hartley is a writer, performer and PhD student at The University of Manchester studying Creative Writing. He is writing a fantasy novel for his PhD based on his childhood as the sibling to an autistic older sister. His PhD has been fully funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Hartley's works of fiction have been published in many literary magazines including Ambit, Black Static and The Shadow Booth. He tweets at @DHartleyWriter and regularly performs at spoken word nights in Manchester and beyond.

Dr Mary Doherty

Presenting: What do we want our doctors to know about autism? And how should we tell them?

Dr Mary Doherty MB BCh FCARCSI is a consultant anaesthetist with over 20 years experience in the Irish health services.

She developed and delivered autism training for healthcare providers as part of the AsIAm Autism Friendly Town initiative in Clonakilty, Ireland in 2018.

She is a member of an autism working group with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and advises various Irish medical institutions on autism. Her interests include increasing autism understanding and acceptance, and improving the healthcare experience and outcomes for autistic people.

Emmi Varis

Presenting: Stability in Peer Support: Experiences and ideas

Emmi Varis is an autistic public speaker and project worker. She received her diagnosis five years ago at the age of 27 without prior knowledge of autism. After two years of contemplating, she began giving speeches about her life as an autistic person. Currently she works in a project called Stability in Peer Support that aims to support and improve peer groups and activities in Autistic Spectrum Finland, a national association led by autistic adults. Before working in the autism field Emmi worked in business administration. Besides autism, Emmi is very enthusiastic about cats.

Heta Pukki

Presenting: Connecting autistic-led organisations in Europe

Heta Pukki is autistic, and has family members and close friends on the spectrum, which has given her many perspectives to both the strengths and the challenges. She self-identified and connected with autistic people’s online communities in the late 1990’s, and was diagnosed a few years later. Over the past two decades, she has had many roles in the Finnish and international autism scenes, both voluntary and professional, as advocate, NGO activist and employee, translator and writer of professional literature, project worker, educator, event and peer group organizer, and personal assistant. She is particularly interested in supporting groups of autistic people to connect with each other across cultural and language barriers. She has a degree in biology from the University of Helsinki and another one in special education, focusing on autism, from the University of Birmingham.


Presenting: Getting unstuck: anti-inertia strategies

Kalen is involved in autistic community and research in various capacities, with Autistica, the National Autistic Taskforce, autism@Manchester, Autscape, and as a PhD student.

Kalen suffers from severe 'inertia' that may be related to catatonia. She is currently studying autistic inertia for her PhD. This began by looking at everything that has already been written about it, which was easy because nothing has. She did, however, find some possibilities for what may be leading to 'difficulty doing stuff'.

Kalen lives in the English countryside with an assortment of children and pets, some of whom are also autistic.

Kate Fox

Presenting: Bigger on the Inside

Kate Fox is a professional stand up poet who has made two comedy series for Radio 4 and been Poet in Residence for the Glastonbury Festival, Radio 4's Saturday Live and the Great North Run.

She has written about autism and comedy and done a PhD in stand-up performance as a tool for resistance. Her show about Northern women "Where There's Muck There's Bras" has toured to sell out theatres and is developing "Bigger on the Inside" as her next show.

She was diagnosed with an ASC in 2017, at the age of 42.

Katie Linden

Presenting: The intersection of autism and complex PTSD

Katie is a psychotherapist in private practice, and a PhD student at Newcastle university. She trained as a therapist before her autism assessment, but somehow was still diagnosed; her assessor said that being in a career requiring empathy wasn't necessarily a barrier as she might just be terrible at her job. Luckily most of her clients seem to disagree, although possibly not all. She started her PhD in 2018, looking at the impact of interpersonal trauma on autistic people, which is a subject she has considerable personal interest in, as well as professional.

Kosma Moczek

Presenting: Reinventing the wheel. Descriptions of autism in non-autism research

Electronics engineer, old-school photographer, eccentric fiddler, hopeless sailor, social activist, and an autistic self-advocate. An autism professional in the making, defender of human rights, an incurable extrovert. Tools of trade: empathy, drama, and science - in that order.

Lexi Orchard

Presenting: The problematic nature of forming connections whilst passing

Lexi Orchard is a Expert in Passing, a Mistress of Masking, and an unparalleled practitioner of precognition for over thirty years.

A non-binary autistic, diagnosed in their early 30’s with “female autism” after a physical illness prompted years of misdiagnosis by the NHS. Once a well-paid, software designer passing as an eccentric cisgender male. Now suffering from PTSD, and a severe anxiety disorder. Failing in style to finish their book, quietly in isolation and exile.

This is their second ever lecture after completing a talk at AutGenSex last year on the subject of Passing and sexuality.


Presenting: The identity of disconnection?

Paul is a 57 year old man, diagnosed at 54. Experienced public speaker. Had his own H&S consultancy for a few decades, has presented many training courses...later, crashed and burned and was subsequently diagnosed. He spends his time now living with Helen and travelling between the city of Cambridge and a small market-town in Gloucestershire. Published author of technical journals, and still writing, although it's mostly social comment and fiction these days. Generally content.

Sonny Hallett

Presenting: Intense Connections: autistic community and our other identities

Sonny Hallett is an artist and autistic activist based in Edinburgh, who grew up between China and the UK. They are the current chair and a co-founder of AMASE (Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh), and the lead author of 'Too Complicated to Treat', AMASE's report on autistic people's access to mental health support in Scotland. They are an advisor on DART's Diversity in Social Intelligence study, looking into intra- and cross-neurology communication and rapport. They also presented a talk at the AutGenSex Intimate Lives conference last year on physical intimacy, autism, gender and culture.