Post-Diagnostic Support Mentoring

*This programme is over-subscribed and closed to new applications*

We’re delighted to now be able to offer a neuro-affirmative mentoring service for those that have recently been diagnosed/recognised as autistic.

This service is aimed at those aged 13-25. The sessions will create a safe space for the mentees to explore their feelings re: being diagnosed and their future hopes. It will move away from a pathologising medical model of autism that does not present a positive future for young people. We want mentees to have a renewed sense of self-compassion and self-esteem after being mentored. The mentor will support the young person’s journey by being able to answer any questions about their diagnosis and what it means to be autistic including exploring co-occurrences such as with ADHD and Alexithymia. The sessions will allow the mentees to learn about their mentor’s experiences of being neuro-divergent and build an important sense of community.

There are limited funded places for this service and we expect them to fill quickly.

Details are as follows:

  • Open to girls, women and non-binary young people aged 13-25 living in England or Wales who have a recent medical or self diagnosis of autism
  • Sessions will be virtual over Zoom (there will be no requirement to have the camera turned on or to speak if the young person would prefer to type in the chat, and mentors can turn off their cameras if preferred and just share screens.)
  • There will be 6 sessions of one hour each for the mentee, who will then have the option to join a moderated online group of other mentees. There will be a monthly group ZOOM call with all mentees to further build a supportive community which will be maintained after their formal sessions end.
  • All of our mentors are neurodivergent themselves and will bring their own relatable experience of being diagnosed as an adult to the sessions.
  • Each mentor is DBS-checked, has had safeguarding training and has previous experience of mentoring or working with autistic young people.
Nurturing Your Autistic Young Person

As this service is virtual, while we will make every effort to accommodate preferences during the video call, it won’t work if the young person themselves feels unable to access virtual meetings, so please only apply if your young person is relatively comfortable with virtual services and will be happy to speak/type during sessions.

The mentor programme has been specifically designed by an autistic autism specialist teacher and will focus on pertinent themes such as mental health, it will also be personalised according to the mentee’s circumstances and their age. The mentor process will ensure mentees gain an appreciation of their own unique strengths and will be better able to self-advocate. Through the service we aim to save and change lives creating healthy dignified futures for young autistic people.

Before applying please check that you or your child is eligible on the criteria above and read our Admissions Policy along with our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

To apply for the service, please complete the form

Those who are unsuccessful in obtaining one of our limited number of funded places will be put on a waiting list while we pursue more funding.

This service has been made possible thanks to funding from the Boshier Grant Scheme.

Testimonials

K found it difficult to fully engage in the mentoring sessions due to anxiety. The mentor Olivia was great at adapting the sessions to take this into account. I was also able to attend and act as a voice for K and to help her to stick with it. Olivia used Jamboard really effectively to engage K in the sessions. This allowed K to go at her own pace and to respond in writing, verbally or through drawings. Olivia talked about her own experiences which was very helpful and made her relatable to K. Despite K not being in a position to fully engage in the process, this has been a most valuable experience and one we would wholeheartedly recommend to others.

Parent to K

I think this mentoring has been exactly what our daughter needs.

My daughter has had 2 sessions with her mentor and has already found it extremely helpful.

Thank you so much for the mentoring. I think it’s so important to have something like this which is affirming and validating, as opposed to the ‘deficits’ approach of diagnosis. This feels like the beginning of the journey but having suggestions like reasonable adjustments to ask for at school and energy accounting has been really useful and practical-and not something that I have been able to access elsewhere.

Just a quick note to say thanks so much for the mentoring sessions – they were so helpful and great for starting more of a conversation with B around autism.
You have been so kind and patient, thoughtful and knowledgeable – we really appreciate you.

Claire, mum to autistic young person