Rakshita Shekhar - India

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Rakshita Shekhar - India

Rakshita Shekhar is an inclusion consultant for disability rights organisations and schools. She has a masters in intellectual and developmental disabilities from the University of Kent, UK and has presented papers at acclaimed national and international conferences. She has extensive experience as a general education teacher and a special educator. She is also a member of two international advocacy organisations: neuroclastic.inc and universal design for learning: special interest group.

She is passionate about pedagogy, autism and inclusion. Her approach is centered around developing good mental health in disabled children. She herself is on the autism spectrum. She advocates for autistic children and adults through her poetry, essays, talks, and training programs. She hopes to teach the society that they can and must rely on disabled people to solve the world’s biggest problems. She dreams of a world where all live and let live.

Aastha Chaudhry - India

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Aastha Chaudhry - India

A registered psychotherapist and counsellor (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy,) Aastha works primarily with neurodivergent children, families and young adults. Through an unshakeable ethical framework, supervision and self-work, her approach is eclectic – majorly informed by psychodynamic psychotherapy. Her ideology and practice are rooted in cultural competency; fighting for spaces that deserve to be rightfully claimed by populations discriminated against, and developing a practice that is trauma sensitive. Reliant heavily on former and ongoing training, other modalities that continue to be imperative in her work include Arts Based Therapy Practice, Play Therapy, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Couple and Family Therapy. Her work with autistic individuals has been elaborately psychodynamic, body-based and focussed in identity and the idea of a self. Although practices in India are organisationally-mandated behavioural in nature with autistic individuals, Aastha continues to work in a relational framework. Under intensive psychodynamic supervision and training, the journey helped in arriving at a personal psychoanalytic understanding of the autistic self, based on long-term intervention. She has presented these thoughts at multiple international conferences such as the MSP’21, ReAttach’20 and IAC’19, corporate workshops and training. She aspires to systemically extend mental health support to neurodivergent individuals; through supervisory support, community work and direct client support as an ally as well as the member of the community.

Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez - USA

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Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez - USA

Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez is an autistic author, educator, occupational therapist, and international speaker. She was also the first openly autistic person elected to serve in a government position in the United States. Sarah is passionate about occupational science, sensory processing, and autistic identity. Her vision remains centered on the creation of identity-affirming autistic contexts to support neurodivergent development. Sarah also runs the popular social media site The Autistic OT.

Emily lees - UK

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Emily lees - UK

Emily Lees is an autistic Speech and Language Therapist working in the UK. Emily supports autistic children and teenagers in a specialist school. Emily strives for autism acceptance and pro-neurodiversity in her workplace. She understands the struggle of living in a neurotypical world and doesn’t support social skills training that encourages autistic people to ‘look less autistic’. She encourages stimming, echolalia and special interests. Her practice is informed by her own lived experience of being autistic, contemporary research, and respectful approaches

Akansha Mishra

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Akansha Mishra

Akanksha Mishra is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist (ADTA) and a Founding Member of the Indian Association of Dance/Movement Therapy. With a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Dance/Movement Therapy & Counselling; Akanksha has been working as a Dance/Movement Therapist and Counsellor by combining her skills of movement observation and analysis with verbal counseling techniques.

Currently, Akanksha works in an educational setting along with her private practice with children, adolescents, and young adults. She also trains students, teachers, and professionals on various topics related to mental health, facilitates Dance/Movement therapy awareness workshops in various settings, and also facilitates therapeutic movement groups for various populations.

She hopes that through movement, she can touch the lives of others like the movement has touched hers.