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Event 22: The Experiences of Neurodivergent Women & Girls

90 minutes

Friday, 22 March 2024

12:00 to 13:30 (GMT)




About the event

With Neurodiversity Celebration Week taking place the week after International Women’s Day, it is more important than ever for us to consider why there are more women and girls coming forward identifying as neurodivergent.


Until relatively recently, diagnosis of differences such as Autism and ADHD were often seen in the ‘male’ domain. More research was done relating to boys and their behaviours and screening tools often had a male bias. This results in many women and girls being underrepresented or mis-diagnosed. So, what can we do to bridge this inequality of knowledge and inequality of access?


Please join us for an exciting panel discussion where we will hear different perspectives and voices from neurodivergent women. Specifically, we will explore:


  • How neurodiversity presents differently in women and girls

  • Why women and girls are so often misdiagnosed

  • The challenges of masking, especially for Black girls and women

  • The implications of masking on mental health and well-being

  • The challenges and benefits of having a diagnosis

  • Which accommodations and support can be most beneficial

  • You will gain an awareness of how women and girls are impacted by gender stereotyping as well as strategies and resources that can help overcome some of their challenges.


This is a great opportunity to learn more about neurodiversity and how it can affect your child's development and well-being. Don't miss out on this informative and enlightening event!


This is a free online event via Zoom.

Marsha Martin | Event Chair

Black SEN Mamas founder & CEO

Marsha Martin is a former Behavioural Therapist, Neurodivergent Awareness Consultant and the Founder and CEO of Black SEN Mamas. BSM is a national support group and informational hub, which aids mothers of special educational needs and disabled (SEND) children, in sourcing adequate mental health support for themselves and SEND resources and provision, for their children. They are currently at 2,000 mums and growing fast!

They hold regular support group sessions, informative discussions and panelled talks; surrounding Black mental health, Black motherhood and Black Neurodivergence; psychotherapist lead workshops, mental health courses, counselling programmes, therapeutic interventions, various SEND activities/SEND advocacy.

Ellie Thompson

Communications Coordinator

Ellie is Communications Lead at Diversity and Ability where she crafts and manages all communications, advocating for accessible and inclusive messaging. Ellie’s perspective as a disabled, neurodiverse, queer woman ensures her work is informed by personal experiences navigating disabling barriers in education and the workplace. Ellie is a prolific contributor to journals and global online publications, sharing valuable insights on inclusive communication. She has also hosted and facilitated panel discussions at prominent inclusion events, including D&A’s inaugural conference and discussions at the House of Commons.

Lola Kneller

Community Engagement Coordinator

I am Lola Kneller, an advocate and educator specializing in supporting children and
families with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with a particular focus
on autism. After my own late diagnosis of autism at 34 and recognizing the educational
gaps for my two autistic children, I redirected my career towards enhancing support for
community groups and CICs, filling a vital need for outdoor programs. My approach
prioritizes child-led learning and autonomy, underpinning my current retraining as a
Forest School leader. This path reflects my commitment to leveraging outdoor education
to bolster the wellbeing of disabled children. As a home educator, I also provide
guidance to families on navigating SEND-related issues, advocating for inclusive,
equitable, and alternative educational frameworks.

Cathy Wassell

CEO

Cathy is CEO of Autistic Girls Network, a neurodivergent-led charity supporting autistic girls and women, and author of the book Nurturing Your Autistic Young Person. She is neurodivergent herself with a neurodivergent family, and is passionate about improving mental health for autistic people.

Ione Georgakis

Therapies and Advocacy Manager Tourettes Action
Occupational Therapist

Ione is an Occupational Therapist who works part-time for Tourettes Action. Using her professional and lived experience, Ione develops and leads our evidence-based CPD-accredited, online and face to face training programmes and workshops. Ione provides advocacy and clinical consultations to healthcare professionals, employers, and individuals with TS.

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