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Parents Talking Asperger's (PTA)CIC | Parents Talking Asperger's (PTA) CIC | Banbury, UK
Community Organisation (Disability)

Parents Talking Asperger’s CIC (PTA) was founded in 2012, by autism mum Karen Irvani, to provide advice and mutual support to families with children and young people on the autism spectrum. Over the ensuing seven years PTA has offered both face-to-face and extensive online support to over 2,500 children and families in Oxfordshire and online, elsewhere in the UK. Our vision and expertise have been recognised by the National Autistic Society, with PTA twice reaching the finals of the body’s Autism Professional Awards for “Outstanding Family Support”.

PTA is incorporated at Companies House under the Companies Act 2006 as a Community Interest Company (CIC), Registered Company No. 11764278.

Key features of our service for children and young people include:
• Promoting wellbeing and resilience through teaching and coaching in skills of self-awareness and emotional management
• Teaching of skills and strategies for independence in daily life
• Liaison, advice and mediation with school and further/higher education
• Enabling access to healthcare and legal services
• Facilitating successful transition from education into work through ‘PTA@work’; a bespoke provision encompassing all aspects of finding and applying for suitable employment, support and mentoring while in the workplace, and ongoing advice and training to employers
• Organisation of conferences and speaker events in the local community to promote debate and awareness of key themes and issues related to autism.

In addition to the above, PTA runs highly successful weekly social groups tailored for different ages - PTA Youth (aged 10+ years) and PTA Junior (up to 10 years) - in Oxfordshire (Banbury and Witney); where children and young people with autism (and pre-diagnosis) can learn about and enjoy social interaction with their peers in a structured and supported environment. PTA’s social groups are also highly valuable to parents and carers, who have opportunity to meet, develop links and share experiences. PTA also runs a support group for siblings of children and young people on the autism spectrum (Siblings Talking Asperger’s).

Karen Irvani – Univ. Cert. (Autism); Undergrad. Adv. Cert. Autism (University of Birmingham). Founder of Parents Talking Asperger’s and autism parent. Strong business mind and corporate PR/marketing communications skills. Has already achieved the ‘Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders’ at the University of Birmingham and is studying for the Advanced Certificate. Leads PTA’s Family Support service.

Lisa Bhanu – BA. (Hons). (University of Portsmouth)., Dip. DM. (Institute of Direct Marketing)
Youth support worker, autism parent and strategic marketing specialist. Lisa has worked as an educational professional in both school and further education, providing individual support and mentorship to children and young people with autism and other SEND.

Reverend John R Jeffs is the minister of The Baptist Church, Middleton Cheney, near Banbury - the Activities Centre for PTA - and is a vitally active member of Parents Talking Asperger’s.John was previously a company director and travelled extensively in that role and also in more recent times, as a Baptist minister.

Peter Cour-Palais – M.A. (Oxon), Adv.Dip. SEN (Open Univ.), PGDip. Autism (University of Birmingham) - Peter is an Educational Consultant and teacher. Over a twenty-seven-year career he has taught in both special and mainstream schools, has led two inclusive mainstream school autism bases, and has worked for Oxfordshire County Council as a Specialist Advisory Teacher for Autism / Communication and Interaction.

Dr Jo Harrison – D.Clin. Psychol., BSc. Psychol., NNEB.
Dr Harrison is an experienced Chartered Clinical Psychologist of 16 years. Previously worked for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Worcestershire; currently providing autism-specialist advice and implementing 1:1 therapy and support strategies for children and young people with autism in specialist schools and psychological services to children and young people in the community. She has worked closely with PTA over the past two years developing emotional ‘toolkit’ strategies in order to help children and young people experiencing severe anxiety.

Carol Milligan - Autism mum and Activities Manager for PTA Girls and PTA Girls. Carol is such an experienced "crafter" and creates some interesting and purposeful activities for PTA's children and young people during social group sessions.

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