2022 Presenters' Bios

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Alicja Nocon

Presenting: Autism as a different value system

Alicja Nocon is a late-diagnosed autistic coach and mentor at Expand the Circle. She specialises in working with autistic adults in the areas of meaningful employment, positive identity and wellbeing. She is also an associate coach at Hendrickx Associates and Know You More.

To help her understand what a good life is for her as an autistic person, Alicja recently completed a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology at University of East London. Her research project focused on the role of character strengths and humour in supporting the wellbeing of autistic adults.

Erin Muladore

Presenting: Physical Activity and Older Autistic Adults: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why

Erin Muladore is a psychiatric nurse practitioner currently providing psychiatric emergency services at a public hospital in San Francisco. This is her first presentation at an autistic event. Self-identified as autistic at age 37, she is happy to be part of the community of openly autistic healthcare providers. She has found joy over the years through engaging in regular physical activity, including running, kettlebell sport, backpacking, hiking mountains, and walking with the many dogs she has known. She is passionate about improving the wellbeing of autistic adults by promoting lifelong involvement in being physically active.

Heta Pukki

Presenting: Working together globally to amplify autistic voices

Heta is an autistic woman diagnosed in adulthood, and the mother of two neurodivergent daughters. She has been involved in autistic advocacy and peer support in many different roles, both volunteer and professional, in Finland and internationally, for the past 25 years. She has studied biology at the University of Helsinki and special education for autistic adults at the University of Birmingham. She is currently the President of the umbrella organisation European Council of Autistic People (EUCAP).

Leneh Buckle (a.k.a. Kalen)

Presenting: Herding cats, sloths and butterflies: Working with groups of autistic people

bio TBA

Kabie Brook

Presenting: Understanding Autistic Play: Challenging the Neuronormative Lens

Kabie, currently studying for an MRes looking at autistic play, has over 30 years experience working with and for Autistic people of all ages and is cofounder and current chairperson of ARGH, a collective advocacy, lobbying and campaigning group run by and for Autistic adults, is part of the Scottish Government Influential Allies group and is involved with national and local organisations, including as a Director of the National Autistic Taskforce.

Kabie has experience of organising and speaking at events, including workshops for parents and practitioners and is particularly interested in pan-disability engagement, intersectionality and 'Autistic' as political identity.

Laura Sommer

Presenting: DIY Communication Cards

This is Laura's fifth Autscape. They live in Germany and travel far to find sanctuary in Autistic spaces. Their special interests include:

... and anything that attracts nerds.

Marianthi Kourti

Presenting: Autism, Race, Ethnicity and the Whiteness of the neurodiversity movement

Marianthi is an autistic soon-to-be University of Birmingham PhD graduate, studying autism and gender. They also work as a research associate for Manchester Metropolitan University. They are Greek by background, but reside in the UK since 2013. They are passionate about intersectionality in autistic activism.

Saffron Baldoza

Presenting: Interdependence at Work: Self Advocacy and Balance

Both Vera and Saffron are Youth Patrons with Ambitious About Autism, which has involved co-producing and delivering webinars and representing the Autistic community as experts by experience. They are passionate about improving support for the community and ensuring people are aware of their rights.

Vera works for the Environment Agency and is passionate about nature, maps, and dogs. Her illustrations are on Instagram @happy_nd_lady.

Saffron works as an accountant. She is also a SLAMbassadors regional champion, in recognition of her spoken word poetry. While at university, Saffron set up NOVIS, a society for people with autism.

Sue McCowan & Mary Doherty

Presenting: Autistic doctors: changing healthcare from the inside

Dr Sue McCowan is an autistic associate specialist doctor in older people’s psychiatry. As psychiatry lead for Autistic Doctors International she sits on the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Autism group, promoting the daily importance of autism for all psychiatrists, with an editorial published on autistic psychiatrists and co-authoring other pieces.

Dr Mary Doherty is an autistic consultant anaesthetist based in Ireland. She is founder of peer support and advocacy groups "Autistic Doctors International" and "Autistic Med Students". She is widely published on autism and recognised internationally as an expert on neurodiversity and autism in healthcare and medical education.

Thilde Louise Dalager

Presenting: Connecting through drawing

Thilde Louise Dalager is an illustrator and a Ph.D. fellow at the University of Bergen, the faculty of Art, music, and design. Her Ph.D. is funded by the Norwegian Artistic Research program. For her Ph.D., she is investigating how the tool of illustration can challenge the stereotype of autistic people lacking empathy and not needing close human relationships. Part of her research is making an interactive book with her brother, who is a neurodivergent. Participatory workshops with neurodiverse people are a core element in her research.

Tom Marchant

Presenting: Finding Employment as an Autistic Jobseeker - Employers Need You!

After receiving autism and ADHD diagnoses in 2019, Tom spent the subsequent months researching neurodiversity and was stunned when he encountered the autism employment gap.

As a result, Tom now leads a neurodiversity employment programme called Neurodiversity Novus that launches careers for neurodivergent jobseekers in Business Analysis, Data & Analytics, Project Management, and Software Development.

He is also on the management team of a new charity, Neurodiversity in Business, leading the corporate membership function.

Tom also leverages his 10 years of experience in technology sales and recruitment by mentoring autistic jobseekers in his spare time.