Hello, my name is Alison Garner and I am very excited to be part of the CHP team.
My background is in Education, having taught in a variety of mainstream and specialised settings for seventeen years. I have a specialism in SEN so during my teaching career I supported lots of young people with ASD. I regularly attended Autism-specific training sessions but always came away from them feeling ‘in the dark’ about what my pupils needed in order to achieve. I made it my mission to develop strategies to enable these gifted and often overlooked individuals to achieve their full potential. Being a keen equestrian, this led me to train in Autism-specific Equine therapy, working with Monty Roberts approved UK trainers. The links between people with ASD and horses are widely acknowledged by not only Monty Roberts but Temple Grandin as well. Monty discovered that: ‘the autistic, like the horse, thinks spatially, or in pictures’ and I believe that a lot of approaches used to reduce stress in horses can likewise be successful for people with ASD. We just need to re-think our over linguistic approach to teaching and think in pictures instead, something which CHP does really well.
I now teach at a specialist provision for young people with ASD and my students inspire me every day. Discovering CHP was like finding a ‘light’ in the darkness of Autism as, at last, here was a training system which really helped to support not only individuals with ASD but their families too. My motto is: ‘there is no disability, only ability’ and I hope that, through delivering CHP workshops, I can help to support the holistic achievement of individuals with ASD.