About Autistic Girls Network

Our Aim

Autistic Girls Network was 5 years old in December 2022. Our mission is two-fold. To campaign for better recognition and diagnosis of autistic girls and non-binary young people and to support them in finding their identity and feeling understood.

We can sign post you to support networks, organisations and resources and provide a safe space to ask questions, raise concerns and share experiences in our private Facebook group.

We run face to face groups, and would like to open more when we can get funding for them. If you’d be interested in helping to open a group in your area get in touch at hello@autisticgirlsnetwork.org

We also offer training to schools, health and social care professionals and parent carer forums as well as sessions for parents and mentoring for autistic pupils (arranged via school).

Our Team

AGN’s team is a mix of neurodiverse parents and autistic adults with experience and passion.Our ethos is about celebrating autistic girls’ many gifts and talents – not to change them but to support them. We want the world to recognise our amazing girls!

Cathy Wassell, CEO

Cathy took over the helm of Autistic Girls Network in late 2019. She is neurodivergent, runs a digital marketing agency from home and is mum to 2 autistic and otherwise neurodivergent young people, both late diagnosed.Cathy has written a book for families called Nurturing Your Autistic Young Person: A Parent’s Handbook to Supporting Newly Diagnosed Teens and Pre-Teens, to help them support and nurture their late diagnosed or suspected autistic children and young people, published in 2022 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She is also a Masters student at the University of Birmingham on their MEd in Autism (Children) course.

The Trustees

Vicky May

I’m a parent of 2 teens, and our youngest was diagnosed aged 13 having flown under the radar throughout school. My involvement with AGN began at the group’s inception back at the start of 2018. I’m astonished that so many autistic girls are missed or misdiagnosed, and angry at the devastation which occurs when a lack of understanding of autistic of presentation goes unchallenged. I’ve also realised that my own neurology is likely to include ADHD – I may pursue a diagnosis at some point. In real life, I work in data/systems at a University.

Emily Katy

I am an autistic woman with ADHD and OCD. I am a blogger, author and advocate, and work with neurodivergent children and young people. I was diagnosed with autism when I was 16 after struggling with my mental health, so I am very passionate about fighting for autistic people to be recognised. I would like to see a world where all autistic people are supported and accepted.

Clare McDonald

I’m Clare McDonald, web designer and mother of a teenage autistic girl. Having seen my daughter’s experience of two different secondary schools I am certain that it is possible to make school a safe and comfortable environment for all, giving all students the same opportunities while supporting a wide range of different needs and abilities.

Jim McDonald

My name is Jim McDonald and I feel privileged to work with the Autistic Girls Network. I am a Head of School at Key Stage 2 so I have experienced the way that girls struggle in mainstream education. I live and work in South London and am a father of two teenagers.

Warda Farah

I’m Warda a Social Entrepreneur, Speech and Language Therapist and author. I set up my company Language Waves to address the barriers that “minority” families face when accessing SLT services. My approach subverts from the traditional medical model of Speech & Language Therapy by centering language as a multimodal emancipatory tool that resists standard language ideologies imposed on minorities. Whilst wearing many hats ultimately my work aim’s to centre Black Joy.