"John recently spoke to students on the Autism Children Masters courses at the University of Birmingham. He presented a fascinating insight into his experience of being on the autism spectrum from childhood through to completing a University degree. This reflected both the positives and challenges of his condition and was done with great humour and honesty. John addressed wider issues relating to autism education, society, sexuality and adulthood and was fantastic at engaging with the students questions and discussions. The feedback from the students was incredibly positive and I would highly recommend John as a speaker for similar courses or events."
Dr Ryan Bradley
University of Birmingham
"I have no hesitation in recommending John as a speaker with the insight, passion, professionalism and skill to share his experience with your audience. What you might expect is his punctuality and inside knowledge, but you will also be delighted by the humour he uses to shares his sometimes painful and definitely difficult experiences. I have booked him on a number of occasions over many years and always found him to be a delight to work with and an inspiration to the audience."
Sarah-Jane Critchley – Former Programme Manager for the Autism Education Trust and author of ‘A Different Joy: The Parents’ Guide to Living Better with Autism, Dyslexia, ADHD and more...
"John has delivered training for me on several occasions, mostly to a range of suppprt staff and managers who work with adults with autism. He is prompt to respond in all his communication and he is good at adapting his delivery for different audiences. I can not emphasise enough the profound impact John's presentations have on the staff and managers. Learning how John's own autism has shaped his life and experiences is invaluable and staff leave enthused with a deeper understanding. Evaluations of training where John has presented consistently rate him as the highlight of the day."
"In his contribution to Autism Education Trust courses and conferences John has always made a positive impact and been incredibly well received by delegates. John skilfully blends reflection on his personal experiences with very practical strategies for improving our engagement with and support to autistic children and young people. All delivered with great warmth and humour"
Autism Education Trust
"Following a recommendation from an Autism Outreach Team who had heard John speak, we arranged to do some filming with John to use on the Teen Life parent programme. John's insights into how his autism impacts him were an excellent addition to our programme; he speaks really well and gives examples that parents of autistic teenagers can identify with. I would highly recommend John to anyone who is looking to learn more about autism."
Autism Training Consultant
National Autistic Society
"In my role as a Project Worker for Barnardo’s, I have heard John speak multiple times and each time I have thoroughly enjoyed his presentations, which have been relevant and well planned. He talks very openly and honestly about his personal situation with Autism, which can be thought provoking for how we perceive children and adults with this condition.
Feedback about his presentations, from other attendees, has always been positive."
North Western Baptist Association
"I recently had the enormous privilege of listening to John present to our staff on the topic of Autism. As the Associate Head of Holland Park, a highly successful West London School, I hear many professionals speak on a range of topics. Most do so with authority but few capture the hearts and minds of their audiences.
John, speaking from first hand experience, of his time at secondary school, managing his autism, was an inspiration and a joy for our staff to listen to. Insightful, witty, his presentation spoke directly to them and resonated with their individual experiences and behaviours in their own classrooms.
We learnt so much; we felt humbled; and a little embarrassed by our naivety.
Better than any book written on the subject of Autism, John, first-hand, is an absolute pleasure and comes with the unanimous recommendation of all our staff. "
Holland Park School
Kensington and Chelsea
"I have had the pleasure of listening to John more than once. As a Headteacher of a school for children and young people with autism as well as an outreach services which works with mainstream schools, I am always on the look out for speakers who can bring the validity of experience to the lecture hall and training room.
John and I recently worked together in training the staff of a large mainstream secondary school. Once I had dealt with some of the theory and the dismissal of many of those myths about autism that are out there, John talked easily and with a good deal of humour about his experiences at school.
For me, John’s way of presenting hits just the right note. He is not angry with teachers, he does not berate them for the difficulties he suffered at school due to lack of knowledge and understanding of those who taught him. He just tells it how it was for him, his horror of group work, his social misunderstandings, and rather gently but very clearly outlines what would have helped.
His story is compelling and his delivery engaging. Teachers can make small adjustments that will make the lives of students with autism so much better at school, and they are very much more likely to do so having heard it described so clearly, illustrated as graphically as John does in his presentations."
"John is the best speaker we have had on the topic of Aspergers. In fact, many staff commented that he was the best speaker they have ever had on any INSET day! John gives good practical tips on how to ensure Aspergers students make progress and feel happier at school. He gives a genuine, warm and funny insight into Aspergers and describes the condition in ways that are accessible to all staff. It made our staff view Aspergers students in a more sympathetic way and altered some of the approaches we use with our Aspergers students. I cannot recommend him enough!"
Head of Learning Support
The Latymer School
"John is an inspiring conference presenter who talks fluently and with apparent ease about his life experiences. He is in the unique position of being able to reflect on his life as a person with autism and also as a professional working in a care setting for adults with learning difficulties. This enables him to present a balanced, insightful and enjoyable session. John is able to tailor-make his presentation to the requirements of the audience and feedback from course attendees has been unanimously positive".
Enfield CAMHS and EPS
"John came to join us for a session which was part of our staff ASD training programme. John’s session was certainly the highlight of the day. His presentation gave us a very good insight into his own experiences and a very genuine account of challenges he has had to manage throughout his life. We were delighted to have found a speaker who was able to provide us with such a rich account of his own experiences whilst at the same time educating us about autism spectrum disorders. John’s presentation style was very engaging and informative and we very much enjoyed his humorous anecdotes… which were also very informative in themselves!
After our session with John, the feedback from staff was that this session had really helped to raise their awareness of how ASD impacts individuals differently. Staff commented that this had helped them to reflect on how they work with young people. Many of the staff who were present have subsequently reported that they have used what they learnt from John to modify some of their ways of working with young people to help them overcome their individual challenges. They also commented that this had a positive impact on their own day to day practice".
John O’ Brien
Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist,
Ardenleigh Forensic CAMHS’.
"He provides an insightful and thought-provoking perspective on living with an ASC and has the ability to engage his audience, whether they are younger students, parents or professionals.
Both students and staff have gained a greater understanding of autism and its effect on everyday life, and John’s positivity helps our young people understand that there is much they can achieve. John is able to reflect on his past experiences, including his school career in a disarming and entertaining way. John recently presented to 150 education professionals at our Joint Special Schools’ Conference and his talk made a tremendous impact on the audience, with requests for him to return again.
For a first–hand perspective on living with an ASC, look no further than John".
Hazel Oak School
"I have been in the fortunate position to have delivered autism training sessions with John Simpson. Due to John’s reputation in Solihull as an excellent speaker and autism consultant, I was able to name John in a successful application for funding to deliver autism training throughout Solihull during 2011. These sessions were delivered within the Children’s Mental Health Team, Solihull MBC, Connexions as well as the voluntary sector.
John provides first hand experiences and informative strategies in support of people with autism and is an asset to any autism training. I have already booked John for training sessions throughout 2012".
"John Simpson has spoken twice at our international conference in Birmingham. He is both an articulate and engaging speaker, providing excellent
insight into the autism experience. His honest, personal story illustrates some of the struggles of being on the spectrum and provides those of us living and working with this population better
insight and tools on how we can best help. I frequently refer to John in my own talks in Canada and when trying to help other young adults on the spectrum.
John’s sense of humour will have you laughing one minute, and his poignant stories crying in the next. He has received the highest praise for his talks at our conferences. He has the ability to bring meaning to a conference by sharing his compelling life journey and demonstating what it is that makes people with ASD so vulnerable. I hope to bring him to Canada one day to tell his story here".
Autism Awareness Centre Canada
Sutherland House School is a specialist school for pupils with autism. John spoke to our staff at the beginning of the school year and made a huge impact.
He really inspired us to revisit our core values - listening to pupils, personalising our approach, taking on board the importence of special interests, seeing the world from our pupils' points of view and meeting them more than half way.
Staff are still talking about the effect John's talk had on them and are keen to listen to him again. They are also keen for him to talk to some of our students. We recommend him without reservation
Sutherland House Children and Young People's Services
Sutherland House School
Testimonial from The Milton Keynes Behaviour Partnership
John is the best speaker we have had in a very long time. He was able to answer all questions even though our student population is not all on the ASD spectrum. He was extremely accurate in what he felt were some of the specific issues for our students and was also able to give suggested strategies for supporting these young people to manage their difficulties.
He refreshingly says it ‘ like it is’ and pretty much every day since we have found ourselves asking ‘what would John say about that’ which demonstrates how much we valued his opinion and that we are sharing the language of ASD and recognising which battles are worth the fight and which areas we need to work on.
He will have helped a lot of young people through challenging us as a staff team to stop and consider a situation through their eyes.
He is inspirational, challenging and the ASD speaker circuit are lucky to have him We could not recommend him highly enough.
Head of The Bridge
Hertford Place, Bletchley,
!John Simpson tells a both personal and a professional account which is invaluable for parents to hear and helps them to understand what their child encounters on a daily basis. He is articulate and sincere and the messages he sends are positive – if you can understand, you can help and this is empowering from a parent’s perspective. We have received the highest number of feedback forms for a guest speaker and 100% positive and that is amazing, considering the broad audience of teachers, commissioners, practitioners, individuals on the spectrum and parents. We are really grateful for John sharing his experience and expertise – we think he is fantastic!!"
"As the largest single site special school in the UK, Selly Oak has ensured John has been an integral part of staff development over the last three years and continues to be one of the most talked about visitors we have had in school. John delivers his story with great passion and offers great advice to teachers and parents alike. His humorous approach relaxes the audience and enables him to talk openly about his struggles with living in a neuro-typical world! I would wholeheartedly recommend John to share his experiences with any school as all students will benefit from greater insight into SEN."
Selly Oak Trust School
"John is a young man who was not identified as having Asperger syndrome until the age of 16. He is academically very able and outwardly appeared fine and so was not recognized as a pupil with any particular educational needs. However, as GCSEs, revision and sixth form options came under discussion, anxieties about these vastly increased to such an extent that he had a breakdown and left school before taking any exams. The diagnosis of Asperger syndrome was made following this. Since that time, John has developed his knowledge about Asperger syndrome and worked extremely hard to build back his confidence and taken up an increasing number of invitations to speak about his experiences. He also has the ability to go beyond his personal experiences to give advice on how others with autism and Asperger syndrome might be enabled to reduce their anxiety and to succeed.
As other testimonials on this site illustrate, John has real insight into the reasons why he acts as he does and what he finds challenging and why he struggled with some aspects of school. One of his key messages is the importance of finding out from the individual him or herself what they enjoy, what their special interests are and what they find hard or anxiety-provoking. John played a key role in making the online resource designed for primary and secondary schools known as the IDP (Inclusion Development Programme). This can be accessed at www.aet-idp.org.uk. Within the IDP are short video clips where John talks about his life at school focusing on his sensory issues in particular lessons, the importance of his special interests and his uneven profile. He is an articulate and confident speaker and was a very effective co-chair of the Good Autism Practice Journal Conference held in November 2014."
Dr Glenys Jones
Chartered Psychologist and Honorary Lecturer
Autism Centre for Education and Research
University of Birmingham
"I have used John as a speaker three times so far. He has a remarkable ability to understand the difficulties that neurotypical people encounter when trying to live in an autistic world! Our course delegates have rated him very highly in his ability to help them understand the difficulties experienced by the people they work with".
Consultant Psychiatrist in Learning Disabilities (Child and Adolescent)
Coventry and Warwickshire
“John Simpson has spoken for us on two separate occasions, once at our own conference and also as a speaker for us at The Autism Show. At both events John’s presentations have provided insightful, personal and honest accounts of his experiences of living with autism. The way in which John delivers his presentations allows delegates to really engage with what he is saying and by relaying his own personal experiences John is able to share practical, real life examples of how he copes living with autism. Inspirational is word that most of our delegates have used to describe John’s presentations and when you have listened to John speak that is the first word that springs to mind. We would have no hesitation in working with John in the future and would thoroughly recommend his services.”
Inspirational Autism Training
Phone: 07415 607 442
+44 7415 607 442
You are welcome to contact me at any time you like, but please be aware that I do not employ staff. Whilst I will endeavour to answer your email promptly, please do not be offended if I don't get back to you straight away.
Please also bear in mind that due to time constraints I am unable to comment on individual cases.