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CH Bio

Claire Hall - Parent  / SEN Solicitor

After completing a law degree at Oxford University, Claire worked for several years as a commercial lawyer in the City of London.  She became involved in SEN law after her son was diagnosed with autism.   She has been through the process of obtaining a statement of special needs and later an EHC plan for her son, including two SEND Tribunal appeals. She therefore fully understands the pressures parents face in going through the system.  For several years, Claire ran a law firm specialising in SEN law.  She is currently a volunteer caseworker for IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice), a charity which gives parents free advice and support in relation to SEN law.  Please note that today Claire is speaking in her own capacity, and not as an IPSEA representative.  

Claire will be speaking at the SEABA conference on both Friday and Saturday

Talk outline:

An Introduction to the Law on EHC Plans –Busting the Myths and Misinformation

Claire will be talking about the law on EHC plans, with a focus on how parents can apply for and obtain an EHC plan for their child.  This is an area of law surrounded by myths and misinformation; Claire hopes her talk will equip parents to cut through all this and be confident of their and their children’s rights throughout the EHC plan process.   



Virginia was instrumental in setting up one of the first ever ABA schools here in the UK (Treehouse) and has completed fascinating work about Autism and ethics. Full bio to follow.

Virginia will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

We are so excited to have Virginia Bovell offering her informed and unique perspective on ABA and marmite... 

Essentially she will be presenting on the positives, negatives and ways ABA can do better. Full talk details to follow.


Virginia Bovell -PhD/Parent/Co-founder of TreeHouse School

PALMS is a service in Hertfordshire that uses principals and applications of applied behaviour analysis and positive behaviour support to address challenging behaviour, toileting, sleeping, and feeding difficulties for children and young people (ages 0-19) with a diagnosis of Autism and/or Learning Disability.  We currently have four Positive Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs trained in ABA and PBS) within our multi-disciplinary team.  We are a relatively new service that started two years ago and we are keen to share with other parents and professionals our way of working to not only help develop our service model but also share how ABA and PBS can be used effectively in an NHS service using a multi-disciplinary team approach.

Kelly Johnston from PALMS will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

Kelly Johnston from PALMS will be presenting about their service model and sharing about the positive impact of the interventions they offers to children, young people, and their families within Hertfordshire. Full talk outline to follow.


(PALMS - Positive behaviour, Autism,

Learning disability and

Mental health Service) 


Thanos Vostanis - 

PhD Researcher, BCBA, QTS, CABAS Teacher

"I finished my teaching degree in Athens, and I worked with typically developing students teaching them Ancient Greek, Modern Greek History and Literature.  After enrolling in a course for special education provided by the University of Athens, I secured placements at special education settings working with children and adults with diagnoses of ASD, ADHD, Cerebral-Palsy, Prader-Willi syndrome and others. After one year working in those settings, I decided to pursue further training, and that is why I joined the Tizard Centre. I finished my MSc in ABA and started working at an ABA school for children with a primary diagnosis of ASD. While I was there, I became a CABAS certified teacher as well as a BCBA. My experience is mostly with children with a diagnosis of intellectual and developmental disabilities (all age ranges) while I have also worked with adults with disabilities. I am currently conducting research for my PhD which is focusing on the application of Precision Teaching to students with disabilities."

Thanos will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

Thanos will be presenting a general overview of Precision Teaching including major findings. His talk will enable the audience to understand the basic ideas behind PT and the vast possibilities it offers. Full talk outline to follow.

Caroline Pearce -


Co-Director of the TLC

Jasmine Isani - BA (Hons) ABA Tutor

Caroline - "I am co-director of the TLC and oversee home and school based ABA programmes in and around London and the South Coast. I have been involved in co-ordinating and running the Social Detectives programme in Brighton since 2012. After studying for a degree in Psychology, I became a Board Certified assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA) in 2006 whilst working at TreeHouse school in London. I have completed a Masters Degree in ABA at Bangor University and am currently studying short-term, behaviourally based interventions for children and adolescents with anxiety and low mood at the University of Sussex."

Jasmine is an ABA tutor with the TLC. After graduating from the University of Sussex in 2010 with a degree in Philosophy she went on to work at Exratime, an inclusive afterschool club based in Brighton. Following this she worked as a trainee ABA tutor at TreeHouse School in London for two years before moving back to Brighton and joining  the TLC in 2014. Jasmine has worked as an ABA tutor on home programmes and school shadowing, as well as the Social Detectives afterschool and holiday programs, and is currently studying for a masters in ABA at Queen’s University Belfast.

Caroline and Jasmine will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday


Murder Mysteries and Mission Impossibles: Teaching Social Skills with the Social Detectives Programme 

This talk will review the principles, processes and pitfalls of teaching social skills to groups of children with autism. ABA is often misconstrued as a 1:1 educational intervention, but the principles and procedures can equally be applied to teaching groups of students.  We believe that teaching social skills in an active way and in the context that children are going to need and use them is vitally important to their success.  


Over a five-year period, we have delivered and evolved our curriculum and practices based on successes, learning opportunities and our students. The adaptation of teaching activities and how the group runs; alongside the involvement of siblings, typical peers and parents will be form the foundation of our story.  


We will look at how complex social skills are broken down and practiced in a variety of ways in order to achieve understanding and active learning - and how a points system can be effectively used to pinpoint and reinforce specific target skills.  


We will hear from our Detectives and their parents, who tell us what works, what doesn't and what they think are the most important things about our Detectives sessions. 

Andrew Swartfigure is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).

Andrew has worked with children and adults with Autism, language difficulties and ADHD for more than 17 years. He has worked as a self-employed ABA Consultant as well as working for organisations such as Childhood Autism UK (PEACH), Jigsaw CABAS School, Ambitious about Autism-(TreeHouse School, Ambitious College) and Beyond Autism. In addition he has written and delivered competency based training as well as being a ratified AET trainer.

Other exploits include working with the London Leadership Strategy group regarding SEN data in schools, Outreach services within the AFC Local authority, contributing to the SEN strategy in AFC, developing other services such as post 19 further education and local training hub pilot schemes regarding provision development in a multi- agency design.

Andrew is currently the Head of the Peartree Centre. The Centre is a mainstream inclusion unit based at Stanley Primary School. The Centre caters for primary age children with Autism and other co-occurring difficulties such as language difficulties and ADHD.

Andrew has modelled the Centre’s approach with an underpinning of Behaviour Analysis and School wide PBS. Multi agency working is a key expectation and necessity to get the best for the children at the Peartree Centre

Andrew will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

AS bio


Andrew Swartfigure -

BCBA Head of the Peartree Centre

“Establishing an effective multi- disciplinary team”- The journey of the

Peartree Centre and underpinning with Behaviour Analysis

Everybody says you should do it and the SEN code of practice promotes it, but how and why is multi- agency working so important and how do you achieve it behaviourally? Andrew will explore how you get everyone around the table and attempt to achieve a cohesive model of education for children in schools

TB bio

"I consult to families who are setting up Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) programmes or who are converting other programmes to ABA.  I work primarily, but not exclusively, for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. I design and develop programmes that use the Analysis of Verbal Behaviour (VB) to teach language and communication skills, and I help implement these programmes by training families and ABA teams.

I work in the UK, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Germany, Eastern Europe and Russia, and have lectured at conferences in the UK, USA, South Africa and elsewhere. I have consulted to teams funded by several UK Education Authorities, including Haringey, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Cambridgeshire, Hounslow, Greenwich, Waltham Forest, Newcastle-upon Tyne, Westminster, Surrey, Sutton, Hertfordshire, and Berkshire. I have been a consulting behaviour analyst and supervisor for the Hesley Group, Yorkshire and for Vision Beyond Autism, Cheshire.

I am currently leading the establishment of Early Intervention ABA services in Brno, Czech Republic, in collaboration with Masaryk University. "


Tony will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday


ACT and its applications

Tony will discuss Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in three sections.

"Firstly, I will consider how the principles and practice of ACT can inform how parents and practitioners understand ABA and the development of an ABA programme.

Secondly, I will explore the use of ACT can enhance professional relationships with parents, clients and other practitioners.

Lastly, I will give some examples of how ACT can help practitioners to generate functional and socially relevant goals in an ABA programme."


Tony Balaaz - BCBA

Independent Consultant

Susan Lewis BCaBA has worked in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis for 18 years. Susan trained as an ABA Consultant with the London Early Autism Project, which was a clinic set up in London by Dr Sallows of the Wisconsin Early Autism Project. Since the London clinic closed down in 2005, Susan has worked as an independent ABA Consultant and has set up and supervised ABA programmes in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Germany. Susan specialises in home-based ABA programmes with a focus on nursery / school integration and social skills teaching. She works primarily with individuals on the autistic spectrum and works with clients ranging from 2 – 19 years of age.

Susan will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

When it comes to school, for individuals with autistic spectrum disorder, there are more hurdles to overcome than just the content of the lessons. Learning the routines, navigating the social minefields of play-time and lunch break, paying attention to group instruction and organising work are just some of the skills needed in a typical school day. Susan Lewis will talk about her experiences in helping children with ASD to integrate into mainstream schools and how Applied Behaviour Analysis can equip students with the skills they need to succeed in school.  

Mia is an ABA Tutor with the TLC. Her first experiences of behaviour analysis came from volunteering at the TLC’s summer school, ‘Social Detectives’, in 2014.  After having thoroughly enjoyed her time at detectives she then began training with the TLC and worked with them part-time whilst finishing a degree in Psychology with Neuroscience at the University of Sussex. Mia has had a passionate interest in autism since her brother was diagnosed, and her personal experiences of the benefits of early intervention have driven her to want to expand her knowledge and help others.  She currently works in both school and home programs and is keen to further her training and learn more about ABA.  


Mia will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday


Susan Lewis - 

BCaBA/Independent Consultant

SL Bio
MR bio

Mia Ross - Clinical Associate

10 Things I hate about school

The majority of my ABA experience until recently had been based around home 1:1 programs, however in September last year I began working with a child in school, and was confronted by the many differences between this and the environment that I had been used to. This talk will be about my personal experience working with a 9 year old boy who is diagnosed with autism, epilepsy, and suffers from severe anxiety. I’ll discuss the specific challenges that we’ve both faced, and the triumphs that have been celebrated, giving an insight into one example of a school-programme.


After teaching Biology, Science and Maths for a number of years Athene decided to stay at home to look after and educate her first son. At 2 years 7 months he was diagnosed with Autism and Athene's life and career took a different path. She trained in South Africa as an ABA tutor for her son, but when her daughter was diagnosed with ASD a year later, she helped to get a team of tutors trained for her children. When her family relocated to the UK in 2007 she did her MSc and will soon sit her exam as she pursues certification to become a Behaviour Analyst. For a number of years Athene delivered Incredible Years Parenting courses for KCC through Fegans Children's Charity. She lives in Tunbridge Wells and is an independent Consultant to several families in Kent and further afield. Athene is also a Tizard Associate, occasionally undertaking work for the Tizard Centre University of Kent, and the new Student Representative for the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis.


Athene will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Friday

A day in the life of the Roivaheb family.


With too much to tell and only twenty minutes to do it, fiction based on fact is the only way to go! This fast paced action packed talk should keep you on the edge of your seats with your pens poised. Using the delightful fictional Roivaheb family, Athene will weave in explanations of the different types of behaviour and the applications of ABA. Borrowing from her own experiences at home and in her work, as well as the vast dearth of scientific literature on Behaviour Analysis- Athene's creation of the Roivaheb family's day will unfold before you. 

Athene Burdge - 

PGCE;MSc; Autism Solutions Consultant

AB Bio

David Miland is a Positive Behaviour Support Consultant, having studied and graduated from the Tizard Centre, University of Kent with a BSc (Hons) in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis.  Having experience of roles providing direct support and other management positions, David has worked as a PBS Consultant for the past eight years with people whose behaviour can be described as 'challenging' and the services they access.  The role of PBS Consultant involves conducting functional behaviour assessments, developing behaviour support plans including strategies that support the person to get their needs met without engaging in behaviour that challenges, whilst improving their quality of life.  David develops, and regularly provides training particularly on the topics of; PBS, challenging behaviour and autism.  

David will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

Using PBS/ABA to overcome behavioural challenges in public whilst maintaining community presence/participation.

The occurrence of challenging behaviour in public is a common issue and one that can have a significant impact on the opportunities and quality of life for the person engaging in it and their stakeholders.  This talk will explain the process of understanding why someone might engage in challenging behaviour in the community, and how to develop ideas to address them.  The importance of maintaining community presence and participation will be discussed as well as some of the issues concerning social validity and ethical practice. 

David Miland - 

MSc/PBS Consultant

DM Bio

Rosie began working at Snowflake School, London – a specialist ABA school for Children with Autism in 2011, after establishing a passion for improving the lives of children and young people with developmental and intellectual disabilities through her studies during her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Rosie then went on to study her MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent, whilst supervising home based ABA provision. During which time Rosie accrued all field work and coursework to be eligible to sit the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination.  Rosie graduated in 2015 and is currently working as an ABA Supervisor at Forest Bridge School, Maidenhead, a free school for Children with Autism. Rosie has 6 years experience working with children and young people with ASD from the ages of 3 - 14 years. Rosie’s special interests are around the effective use of teaching within the natural environment to ensure optimum learning opportunities and positive outcomes for children and young people as well and families. 

Susan E. Tirella is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and the Head Behaviour Analyst at Forest Bridge School in Maidenhead, UK.  Ms. Tirella has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from George Mason University.  She began providing Applied Behaviour Analysis services to individuals with Autism and Developmental Disabilities in 2000 and has since worked across home, school and interdisciplinary clinic settings throughout the United States and, most recently, in the United Kingdom.  Ms. Tirella has conducted research on the use of video modelling to teach pretend play and increase spontaneous play initiations in young children with autism.  She is passionate about mentoring others on how to best provide high quality, individualized treatment to individuals with special needs and their families.


Rosie & Susan will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

RC bio

Rosie Crathern - MSc ABA 

ABA Supervisor Forest Bridge School

& Susan E. Tirella BCBA - Head Behaviour Analyst at Forest Bridge school

SET bio

Embedding Learning Opportunities into everyday lives.


Susan Tirella (Head Behaviour Analyst at Forest Bridge School) will begin by giving a 5-minute overview of Forest Bridge School, our values, ethos and aims and will then introduce Rosie.

Rosie’s talk aims to outline the ways in which all forms of care providers can effectively embed numerous learning opportunities into the everyday lives of the children and young people in their care.  The talk will demonstrate how positive, fun and engaging learning opportunities can be developed and established within the framework of a families’ usual routine. 


Serena is currently a PhD researcher and research assistant at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent. Her work focuses on supporting children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism, and in particular those who display behaviours described as challenging. Her interest in the field began while working as a playworker and personal assistant for children and young people with learning disabilities, alongside her undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology. She has also completed placements with clinical psychologists in the NHS and worked in a residential specialist school for children with learning disabilities. She began working as a research assistant in 2012 on the Early-Positive Approaches to Support project at the Tizard Centre with Dr. Nick Gore, which involved developing a new programme for parents of children with learning disabilities. Following this, Serena undertook a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2015, and received funding from the University of Kent to undertake her PhD which focuses on the use of functional communication training for young children with learning disabilities in the UK. Serena also has a keen interest in Positive Behavioural Support and has worked on resources with the PBS Academy, and her current research assistant post involves exploring the transition process for young people leaving a residential school or college. 

Serena will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

ST Bio

Serena Tomlinson - 

PhD Researcher

at Tizard Centre


Serena's talk will focus on the use of telehealth (e.g. videoconferencing) to train individuals in Applied Behavioural Analytic techniques. This is an exciting emerging area of research and has the potential to enable more people to receive ABA support and training, even if the professionals providing such support are not based near to them. Serena has conducted a systematic review on the topic to identify current research in the area, and will be presenting the results of this alongside an overview of how she is utilising telehealth within her PhD studies to support family carers to implement FCT with their children.


"I came relatively late to ABA, only discovering Behaviour Analysis after more than a decade of work with young offenders and adolescents with special educational needs and backgrounds of challenging, violent behaviour. All of whom were to some extent disengaged with education and support services. As a qualified teacher working within ‘alternative education’, discovering ABA was a light bulb moment. I was (and still am) fascinated and inspired by the possibilities the science can offer in making a significant difference to people where so many services have failed. My particular interest is in Precision Teaching and on completing my Masters in ABA, I was fortunate enough to attend Morningside Academy’s Summer School Institute in Seattle USA (the forefront Precision Teaching school). I am currently focusing on methods of incorporating Precision Teaching into mainstream education, both in my current role of specialist autism Lecturer and independently, working with schools and training organisations."

Tracy will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday 

Tracy Mapp - MSc ABA, PGCE

Precision Teaching consultant

TM bio

Tracks of Facts - A case study for Multiplying Maths Mastery 

How can BA be applied to mainstream education? Many people struggle with core curriculum subjects such as maths, often due to of a lack fluency (a combination of accuracy and speed) of core skills.  In maths, additional tools such as multiplication reference charts or finger counting are often introduced  in a bid to aid learners who struggle. However, these require additional effort and time, distracting from the problem being tackled and making it harder to stay on track.  This can lead to frustration, low confidence and disengagement with the subject. BA can help through applying the principles of Precision Teaching (an offshoot of ABA), using behaviour analytic techniques to teach new skills and increase fluency once a skill has been acquired.  


This talk focuses briefly on the need for, and far reaching benefits of fluency, then looks at a method the speaker has developed and used with college students (including learners with autism) for rapidly learning times tables by listening to audio tracks whilst simultaneously reading and writing responses. The talk will cover how fluency of these facts was subsequently increased, the impact this had on learners, and the potential for fluency building in whole class settings and with other subject matter.


Sian is an Occupational Therapist who has worked with people with a diagnosis of ASD for more than 11 years.  Having obtained her Master's in ‘Health Through Occupation’ from the University of Brighton, she went on to achieve the status of Sensory Integration Practitioner with the University of Ulster.  She has worked for Step by Step school for children and young people with Autism for almost 10 years, initially working as an ABA tutor before training as an OT.  In a private capacity, Sian has worked with children and their families in the home as well as delivering training to parents and professionals both locally and internationally. 

Sian will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

Supporting Postural Stability in an ABA Setting: A Collaborative Approach 

Maintaining an upright posture is fundamental to gross and fine motor skill development and can heavily impact on a child’s level of attention and concentration.  Children with Autism have been found to have less stable and more varied postural control than those who are typically developing. This talk will describe the collaborative approach used through occupational therapy and ABA to support a child to improve their postural stability and the impact it has had on their skill development and independence. 

Sarah-Jane is a teacher who has worked with children and young adults with a range of Special Educational Needs, for over twenty years. For the last ten years, she has worked at Step by Step School for children and young people with autism. She is currently studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in teaching children with autism, through Birmingham University. Her role is to deliver a topic based curriculum through small group work using the principles of ABA. Sarah-Jane and has a interest in teaching Physical Education and coordinating Outdoor Adventure Activities with the local Outdoor Education Centres.

Sarah will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

Sian Kelly -

Paediatric Occupational Therapist 

Sensory Integration Practitioner

SK bio
SJ bio

Sarah Jane - 

Secondary Teacher,

Step-by-Step School

Teaching the Curriculum Through a Group Work Approach 

Social communication and interaction difficulties are a defining aspect of autism, affecting every individual onthe autism spectrum, to some degree. The impact of difficulties in these areas has an impact on all aspects of their everyday lives. For example, making friends and playing, taking part in sports and leisure activities and developing independence. This talk will look at how a carefully structured approach to teaching group work using ABA principles can contribute in supporting children in their development of social and communication skills.


Nick is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst specialising in the field of autism and learning disability, with a particular emphasis on behaviours that challenge.  He works for a not-for-profit organisation called Dimensions as its Head of Behaviour Support. 

Nick serves on the board of the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis and chairs a professionals’ group called the Applied Behaviour Analysis Forum.  He is a member of the Positive Behaviour Support Academy (PBS Academy), and is currently working with professionals and academics to promote research in Applied Behaviour Analysis in the UK. 


Nick co-authored a book with Baroness Sheila Hollins, creator of the Books Beyond Words series.  The book is called Feeling Cross and Sorting it Out, and focuses on the interactional nature of behaviours that challenge.   


Nick has a particular interest in skills-based intervention for behaviours that challenge, organisation-wide behaviour support and improving systems that support behavioural intervention. 

Nick will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

Nick Barrett - MSc

BCBA/Lead Behaviour Analyst at Dimensions

NB Bio

ABA and behaviours that challenge: The importance of interventions which 

target service-level variables

Achieving a successful outcome for people whose behaviours challenge requires us to address a number of variables, some of which relate to teaching the person and their carers new skills, others which concern modifying service delivery and organisational systems. 


The presentation describes a model which integrates research on both service- and individual-focused interventions, and provide case study examples illustrating the impact of such an approach.


Amy provides tutoring, programme supervision and consultancy to children and their families at home, in school and in the community. She has over 15 years’ experience working with children and young adults with SEN and autism from being a supply teaching assistant in schools, to working at an ABA school, and then joining the TLC to provide support to families and schools across the South Coast.  

After studying Applied Psychology and Criminology at Brighton University, she completed a Graduate Diploma in ABA at the Tizard Centre. From there she worked her way through her Teacher I and II CABAS ranks, whilst completing a Masters of Education in High Incidence Disabilities and ABA at Nicholls State University. She is currently working towards her BCBA certification and is a member of UK-SBA and SEABA. 

Laetitia Castle:

Laetitia is mum to a 12 year old boy diagnosed with ASD who attends an SEN school in Chichester, West Sussex. Laetitia is a dedicated and powerful advocate for her son and is the main tutor on his programme, always learning from the professionals around her and willing to further her ABA knowledge. She has received training from ABA consultants/supervisors, as well as working closely with a SLT on Talk Tools and collaborating with Amy Miland and school to ensure her son has the most effective intervention in place. Laetitia’s goal for her son is ‘to make sure he’s happy and learns to thrive within the community’.

Amy and Laetitia will be speaking at the SEABA conference on Saturday

AM bio
LC bio

Amy Miland - MEd ABA, GradDip ABA;

TLC Consultant

Laetitia Castle (parent)

Breaking down barriers and building relationships: home / school collaboration 

A short talk delivered by an ABA Supervisor, and a parent of a 12 year old boy diagnosed with ASD. The talk will provide a brief case study of an ABA programme that runs across home, school and community settings. It will highlight the importance of collaboration and building supportive relationships both at home and with school staff, whilst also demonstrating how a relatively low-intensity programme can make huge impacts on the quality of life of the family and their son. Several specific programmes will be described from the perspective of both the supervisor and the parent, looking at breaking down barriers to learning and social skills.

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