Conferences, Happy in School

Flyers at the ready

In addition to organising my thoughts, I’m getting my marketing information ready for the Autism Conference in Kingston, UK on March 20.

I’d originally made some ‘home-spun’ flyers in word (I know:) but hopped over to a well-known online marketing shop and knocked up these beauties a couple of day’s ago. They have a huge range of templates, I picked this colourful one to offset the slightly serious message.  I believe it’s useful to deliver a serious message with a touch of humour, when possible, so I used the bright colours on the borer to lift the tone. You don’t get the full glossy impact as the picture resolution isn’t very high but hopefully you get the picture.


If I see you at the conference, I will be handing them out so you can share the positive messages and empowerment of the #happyinschool project!

© Suzy Rowland

Education, SEND, Autism, ADHD, hidden disability, Suzy Rowland

Parent Testimonials


“The sessions are great and engaging”

“The graphics and clear, the sessions move at a great pace (no waffle).

“I really enjoyed the role play, it was interesting discussing different approaches of parents and teachers…”

“There are plenty of practical & positive suggestions and strategies”

“‘I’m suspicious that my 13 year old son may have Asperger’s.”

“There are plenty of helpful, realistic solutions/recommendations to try at home.”

“I enjoyed the discussions surrounding issues with play from the slides, and the questions.”

“I’ve started using some of the techniques with my son before he starts his homework, it’s really improved his anxiety”

“It was interesting to consider how the issues raised apply to my child.”

“The thoughts on ADHD behaviours was particularly interesting”


”Discussed strategies of how to help with friendships”

“Can’t think of any areas to improve, session was really good.”

” I really enjoyed how much discussion the [play] session provoked”

“It got me thinking about how our son copes with playground sessions. One for the next SENCO meeting.”

“Reframing negative labels to more positive language.”

“Lots of information, well presented, genuine warmth and insight.”

“I enjoyed talking about ADHD, I didn’t know much about that.”

“Generally just gave me a new perspective”

“I enjoyed all of it, very informative. Helps me to understand my rights as a parent.”

“I enjoyed how much discussion it provoked.”

Education, SEND, Autism, ADHD, hidden disability, Suzy Rowland, Happy in School

Express CIC Autism Conference

The Express Autism Conference takes place on March 20 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston, an event for World Autism Awareness Week.

I’m taking part in the event and looking forward to chatting to the other speakers and meeting as many guests as possible. It feels like a huge responsibility; I’m aware that my experience as an autism parent is not unique, and I cannot attempt to speak for everyone. But what I can do is speak my truth, share my learnings and trust that the words resonate and bring hope and fresh determination to other autism parents and the children they care for.

Purple Ella
Purple Ella

It is undeniably a bewildering journey, not least for the ‘hidden’ aspect of this neurological condition. Of course, it’s hidden to those who choose not to see, but for those of us with our eyes wide open, the difference, brilliance and creativity of autistic children is difficult to ‘unsee’!

happyinschool Founder, Suzy Rowland

What we are wanting is for the educational establishment to see our children and young people with a fresh eye. To navigate their differences in learning and communication style using empowering and supportive ways. We want to know there is at least one truly listening ear in our child’s place of learning, so we can pass on useful information to you about our autistic child that will help everyone in the educational and support team. We would like you to recognise that what we are discussing is not about ‘special treatment’ it’s about equal treatment in an environment that is geared towards homogeneity.

Express Conference
A community managed by Chris Bonnello

Find out more about the event here:

Looking forward to seeing you there, it should be a lively and fun event!

© Suzy Rowland

Happy in School

Autism parent empowerment

img_2128There is still so much stigma around being an autism parent, particularly in the early stages when you’re either on the road to diagnosis and just diagnosed. The two feelings I encounter most often from parents are: relief to get a diagnosis and concern about what happens next.

There are many ways a diagnosis can impact you and your family: at the beginning you will all be learning how best to manage and re-assess your life as you move forward. But with any change in life, we tend to look outwards for help, ideas, suggestions, from family members, experts, other parents, but I like to remind parents that a lot of answers and power lie within. Within yourself, your child or young person, within your family and within your community.

Using mediation and reflection is a powerful way to bring calm in what can be a turbulent life. Many parents I engage, operate within a whirlwind of appointments, meetings with professionals, teachers, work, other dependants and so on. This is a gentle reminder to meet with yourself from time to time, and turn off the noise of other people in order to listen to how you feel. You’re grappling with big decisions: home, schooling, siblings, EHCPs’ medication, a tribunal, personal finances and your head feels like it’s about to boil over. Before you reach that point, try remember to breathe and find steadiness and empowerment in your own thoughts and ability to make decisions. If possible, encourage your child or young person to do the same.  Putting some air around a situation can help you find clarity and if you’re lucky, a little bit of calm.

© Suzy Rowland


Education, SEND, Autism, ADHD, hidden disability, Suzy Rowland, Happy in School

Training is key

‘Exclusions of autistic pupils set to be halted after landmark legal ruling’

This is great news for autism parents. The charity Ambitious About Autism has highlighted that children with SEN are the group of children most likely to be excluded from school, the education system is effectively failing them.

It is precisely because of headlines like this in London’s Evening Standard, why the Happy in School Project exists. There is still a lot to do in terms of teacher training and change won’t happen overnight, but it’s certainly encouraging to see a commitment at the highest levels to improving the situation for children and young people with autism.

The education system is pressed and sadly autistic children are many still falling through the cracks. The Happy in School Project can provide you with inspiring and creative guidance on how to support your child before, during or after an autism diagnosis.

Please contact us using the form.