My name is John Simpson. I am 32 years old, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. For the past 12 years I have delivered inspirational training to staff, parents/carers and autistic people at over 200 events and conferences, at schools, colleges, universities, parent groups, hospitaals, social care settings and private sector organisations. These sessions are based on autism theory, my own life experiences, and the strategies I have used to support other autistic people during my extensive career.
Though I found school extremely difficult to manage, my condition went undiagnosed, until at the age of 16 I was admitted to a residential psychiatric unit after a massive emotional breakdown. I felt lost, alone and confused. My parents felt powerless, many of my teachers struggled to help and I felt that even people within the mental health system didn’t really understand me. Whilst in residential care I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.
For four years after being diagnosed I struggled to accept my diagnosis. At times I became extremely depressed and there were many occasions when I felt things were hopeless, and I had given up believing that I could ever achieve success in my life. This was probably the most painful part of my my life, both for me and those who love and care for me.
It wasn’t until I reached 20 that my life began to change. I was fortunate enough to start working with people who understood autism. Through a process lasting years they slowly helped me regain my confidence. They discovered the talents I had in public speaking, and in a caring and compassionate way encouraged me to overcome my anxiety and self doubt and helped me to develop as a speaker and trainer. At the age of 21 I was also able to gain part time employment in an autism specific residential care home. Both of these jobs helped me gain an insight not only into my own condition, but also of how autism affects others. During this period I also worked as an Independent Listener for students at an Autism specific residential school in Birmingham, and served a five year term as a Self-Advocate on the Department of Health's National Autism Programme Board. I am fully aware of how lucky I was, and I know very well that this level of holistic support and care is not available to most autistic individuals in Britain today. I appreciate the vital role that parents, teachers and care professionals play in the success that we autistic individuals enjoy. I also now understand that is vastly more difficult to achieve a successful outcome if those around us do not understand autism.
In 2013 I started an Access to Higher Education course at my local college. Unlike my unhappy experience at school, I was able to enjoy considerable success both socially and academically on this course. I went on to study a BA in Political Science at the University of Birmingham. I graduated with a 2:1 in December 2018 This was only possible because I understand myself and particularly how my autism affects me. I now know how to ask for help, and how to explain my autism both to tutors, to potential employers, and to my peer group. During this time I have also found the confidence to form friendships with people my own age, something I was never able to do at school, and I now have a fantastic circle of friends.
My central aim is to provide insight, and to innovate, inform, and inspire parents, carers, professionals and teachers to be able to provide the support so that more autistic people can achieve the successes I have enjoyed. Training should not be about simply being told what to do, it should be a process that alters how a person thinks and feels and gives them confidence and belief to empower those they care for to have better and more productive lives. Above all else, this is what I want to achieve.
Please follow this link to find out more about What I can offer
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.