“Why we are all weird, but nobody is ill” – a short course

Become an Autistic Ally – complete the following neurodiversity and autism training provided by Chloe from SYA? and gain Autistic Ally status

If your organisation does a minimum of 4 hours training with us you will receive Autistic Ally status for 18-months, and we will provide a glossy poster; window vinyl; and JPG/PNG badge you can use on your website/s; materials etc.
VOID received training from SYA autistic ally badge.png

Autism, mental illness, and neuro-diversity: Why we are all weird, but nobody is ill – A short course

Chloe Farahar | MBPsS

On this short, three session course Chloe Farahar (University of Kent PhD student) demonstrates a critical perspective about what are presently called “mental illnesses” and the subject of “mental health”, as well as what is presently called Autism Spectrum “Disorder”, in a way that makes these topics accessible for any audience. 

While the first two sessions focus on mental health stigma, they also provide an insight into how to consider and apply a critical perspective, in this instance, one at odds with the dominant medical-model discourse surrounding neuro-diversity. 

Please note that this course contains real-life narratives about mental health (contains a short video that mentions abuse, aggression, and suicide – not in detail).  We will also be discussing the negative language and portrayals of mental health, so please be aware that negative language will be used, but as a means to discuss and break-down stigma.

SESSION ONE – STIGMA AND MENTAL HEALTH AS PATHOLOGY/ILLNESS

  1. Task – mentally-ill vs. mentally-well
  2. The problem – mental illness stigma
  3. Pathology paradigm
  4. Language shaping stigma attitudes and behaviour
    • Muffin time!
  5. What’s “normal” anyway

SESSION TWO – PATHOLOGY/ILLNESS vs. NEURODIVERSITY

  1. Debunking the pathology paradigm
  2. Normalcy of “psychosis”/hallucinating
  3. Neuro-diversity paradigm
    • Why we need different minds – the banana problem
  4. A life in labels – illness or neuro-divergence?
  5. What can we do?
    • Language of neuro-diversity
  6. Overview

SESSION THREE – AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER

In this session Chloe demonstrates a critical perspective on what is presently called Autism Spectrum “Disorder”, and helps provide practical advice on how to approach and support neuro-divergent people. 

Please note that this session contains real-life narratives about being autistic.

  1. What is autism – what it is not (myths and misconceptions)
  2. What psychology is catching up with:
    • Autism is more than an “extreme male brain”
    • Autistic people are also:
      • Men, women, non-binary, trans people who do not experience autism as an “extreme male brain” – external vs. internal phenotype/expression
  3. Why autism is not a disorder
    • How different psychological disciplines can approach a phenomenon differently (theoretically, methodologically etc.)

What past attendees of the course had to say:

“I genuinely think the course is fascinating and Chloe is a fantastic teacher. I am very impressed by how inclusive her style is and how her enthusiasm for the topic comes over. This feeling [is] definitely shared by others.” – Porchlight Charitable Organisation, March 2019

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Time requirements: Each session suits a two hour (plus) timeframe to incorporate interaction, reflection, and discussion.

Attendees: There are no limits as to the number who can attend, and the sessions have been delivered to both small (e.g. 10) and large groups (80). The sessions are appropriate for all age groups and backgrounds (upwards of age 14 years+), and has been carried out with: teenage school children; foundation degree students; degree students; charitable organisation staff/volunteers; support and well-being staff etc. An estimate of participant numbers nearer the day is appreciated.

Course delivery requirements: PLEASE NOTE: Chloe has her own projector, stand, and screen – but please inform her if you have your own she can use.  Ideally, the sessions require a room with speakers/audio capability for a video with sound; and a wipe board (if time for a two-hour workshop then flip-chart paper and pens for attendees would be appreciated).  This short-course has been carried out in lecture theatres; smaller group-work rooms; school halls etc. – all rooms can be used for the delivery of this course, and it is down to your room availability/attendee size.

To discuss Chloe delivering this short course please contact us here:

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