Katie completes Plymouth half marathon

Katie Bohannan

Katie and Miles Bohannan

On Sunday 15th April, Katie Bohannan completed a personal challenge by finishing the Plymouth Half Marathon.

Katie decided to take the opportunity to raise money for Cerebra as a thank you for the support she has received from us for her youngest son who has been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. In Katie’s own words, she “wanted to give something back”.

The Plymouth Half marathon marked Katie’s first ever attempt at running 13 miles and she managed to complete the course in an impressive 2 hours and 26 minutes.

She was joined by her eldest son, eight year old Miles who was completing the “Schools Challenge” – a half marathon distance run over several weeks during school time with the final mile being part of the half marathon event.

Katie has managed to raise a fantastic £375 for Cerebra which is greatly appreciated and her achievements have encouraged her to continue running in the future.

“I am hoping to enter future half marathons and maybe one day a marathon, so there will be more fundraising ahead!”

Mental health in children with intellectual disabilities and/or autism conference

conference coverOn Thursday 4th June Cerebra held a one day conference in conjunction with the University of Warwick. The purpose of the conference was to disseminate the findings of recent research in key areas relating to the mental health of children with intellectual disabilities and/or autism and discuss recent national developments in the field, including the implications of the new Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans. It was also an opportunity to consider future research priorities and launched the Learning disability and Autism Research Network West Midlands (LeARN-WM).

We’d like to thank everyone who attended and our excellent speakers for making the day a success.

Speaker slides that are available from speakers from the day can be accessed by clicking on the speakers names below.

Key speakers included:       

  • Dr Vaso Totsika – Prevalence of mental health problems in children with learning disability and/or autism
  • Dr Caroline Richards – Introduction to the Learning disability and Autism Research Network (LeARN) – A new research partnership in the West Midlands
  • Professor Richard Hastings – Research priorities: results of pre-conference survey
  • Dr Pru Allington-Smith – Update on national developments relating to Learning Disability focussed Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), including some implications for applied research
  • Dr Ashley Liew and Dr Dawn Simons – Addressing the mental health needs of children and young people with learning disabilities and/or autism in practice
  • Professor Chris Oliver – Translating research into practice at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Dr Caroline Richards – Sleep disorders in children with intellectual disability and autism spectrum conditions
  • Dr Debbie Allen – Development and preliminary evaluation of a clinical assessment protocol for self-injurious behaviour in non-verbal children with autism spectrum disorder


Understanding and managing co-morbid conditions event for parents

On the 27th April 2015 the first Cerebra Forum to be held in South Liverpool looked at understanding and managing co-morbid conditions.

We had three brilliant presentations looking at some of the co-morbid conditions and how best to manage them.   Sandra Scott, Director of SEN Services for the Liverpool ADHD Foundation provided an overview on Tourettes and how they can impact daily life.

Jude Seaward, Learning Disability Nurse/Behaviour specialist from “Simply Misunderstood” spoke about looking at the functions of behaviour and types of challenging behaviour.

The final presentation was by Dr Tony Lloyd, CEO of the Liverpool ADHD Foundation who provided a presentation on anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation in children with neurodisabilities. Each professional gave examples of strategies to deal with comorbidities.

The event was a huge success with forty parents and carers attending. There was plenty of interaction from the parents with opportunities for questions and discussions.

Feedback about the day has been good so far with many people commenting on the quality of information provided by the speakers.

Jenny Lowe, a parent who was there provided some such feedback: “I have a child with an ABI and this is the first Cerebra Forum I have attended. The information was fantastic and the speakers all provided their emails/contact details for further information to be sent. The speakers were very passionate about what they do and gave me lots of ideas to work with.”

Lisa Rudge, another attendee added: “I thought Tony Lloyd from Liverpool ADHD Foundation was fabulous and made his talk very relevant to everyday life.”

Two of the presentations from the day by Dr Tony Lloyd and Jude Seaward can be downloaded below.

Cerebra holds many different family forums covering different subjects throughout the year. To find out when the next one near you is, keep an eye on our What’s on pages.

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