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Autism, PDA and Challenging Behaviour Conference

  • St Giles Church Hall Park Lane Ashtead, KT21 1EJ United Kingdom (map)


PAST are very excited to be hosting this event for parents, carers and profesionals. This event will be suitable for anyone who parents, works with or has an interest in autism, PDA and challenging behaviour.

Our guest speakers include:

Harry Thompson - Author of The PDA Paradox, speaker and Youtuber.

Yvonne Newbold - Best selling author of "The Special Needs Handbook", parent and speaker

Chris Bonello - Award Winning Writer and founder of "Autistic not Weird"


As well as these excellent speakers both Laura Kerbey (Founder of PAST, Healthy Happy Me and KITE) and Angela Kelly (Counsellor and Psychotherapist for PAST and Healthy Happy Me) will be speaking.

Laura will be speaking on Anxiety and Behaviour Management.

Angela will be speaking about Reslience - Understanding Your Child's Reactions and Building Strategies

*Tickets to this event are £65 before July 31st and £70 thereafter. Fee includes refreshments and lunch*

Harry Thompson was born in Edgeware and grew up in Barnet (North London). He currently divides his time between Brighton & London. An avid reader & researcher, Harry speaks publicly and is heavily involved in projects & research on all topics around neurodiversity and Autism, namely, Pathological Demand Avoidance, a behaviour profile within the Autism Spectrum. He launched his YouTube channel in March of 2017 which has since amassed a strong following.

Harry began to write the first draft of his book in 2015. After connecting with many Autistic & PDA families, he pivoted his direction and completed his book in about 6 weeks, a memoir entitled the PDA Paradox: The Highs and Lows of My Life on a Little-Known Part of the Autism Spectrum, published in February 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Harry’s aim is simply to make the lives of neurodivergent individuals and their families, a little easier and enjoyable, and a little less chaotic and miserable. People are all too quick to label the neurodivergent child as broken, when really the neurodivergent child has buckled under the weight of a system that does not currently accommodate them, thus their gifts, merits and attributes are often obscured and their flaws are pronounced.

Chris Bonnello is an award-winning writer and international speaker with Asperger Syndrome, also a novelist and special needs tutor (formerly a primary school teacher). In 2015 he launched Autistic Not Weird to share his insights from both a personal and professional perspective, a venture which has seen him attract 104,000 Facebook followers and over two million page hits on his website (, as well as speaking engagements as far away as India and Sydney Opera House. His talk will focus on life lessons he wished he learned growing up on the autism spectrum, and advice he frequently gives to young autistic people.

Yvonne Newbold is a writer, speaker and trainer who is also the mother to three children, including Toby who is multiply disabled with profound learning disabilities. She is passionate about doing whatever it takes to make things better for children and adults who have a neurodevelopmental condition or disability, as well as for their families.

Yvonne Newbold is the author of  The Special Parent’s Handbook, covering every aspect of Special Needs Parenting and sharing all that she learnt about making life easier. The book is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and she has since won three awards; HSJ Top 50 Inspirational Women in Healthcare 2014, Learning Disability Today Parent/Carer Advocate Champion Award 2015, and The PENNA Award 2016 for Outstanding Contribution in Patient Experience

Yvonne continues to write extensively on issues relating to special needs parenting, learning disability, autism and other related topics. She is also very active on social media, supporting over 12,000 parents on her Facebook Page, also called Special Parent’s Handbook. On Twitter and Linkedin Yvonne engages with healthcare professionals, teaching staff and others who work with families like her own, gently challenging them to think differently about their own work practices by speaking at conferences and delivering workshops.

Yvonne has been living with cancer since 2012, and in 2013, after intensive cancer treatment, it was discovered that her cancer had progressed to Stage 4, with secondaries in her spine. Her prognosis is not good, and initially she was told that she was unlikely to survive much more that two years or so. Although she is currently responding very well to on-going treatment her future remains extremely uncertain. It was her diagnosis which was the catalyst for writing her book, and instead of a “bucket list”, she is determined to spend whatever time she had left doing whatever she could to improve the lives of the next generation of families like her own.