Therapist Neurodiversity Collective


Therapist Neurodiversity Collective Inc.
– a trailblazer in neurodiversity-affirming therapy, education, and advocacy since January 2018!


Our innovative lecture topics and classes are aligned with a Neurodiversity-Affirming Paradigm, interconnecting cutting-edge contemporary research, autistic lived experiences, and ethical guidance with meaningful, practical applications that prioritize mental health and self-determined quality of life for autistic and other neurodivergent people.


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Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world, with  Dr. Gemma L. Williams, PhD., MA. 

Register: $15 USD

Topic: Autistic social communication, the ‘double empathy problem‘ and ‘relevance theory;’ countering the ‘Theory of Mind-deficit’ theory of autism.

Course Description: A central diagnostic and anecdotal feature of autism is difficulty with social communication. Traditionally, these difficulties have been regarded as autistic “impairments”, related to proposed cognitive and social “deficits”. This neurodiversity-affirming educational session presents a reframing of these difficulties as a two-way, ‘double empathy problem’, from the perspective of cognitive linguistics. This session will share findings from high-quality research into cross-neurotype communication and explore what that means for autism service provisions.

At the end of the session, attendees will be able to:

  • Understand and describe the difference between the traditional theory-of-mind (deficit-based) framings of autistic communication, and more recent (neurodiversity-affirming) ‘double empathy problem’ framings.
  • Have a greater understanding of how breakdowns in communication between autistic and non-autistic people might be explained from the perspective of cognitive science and linguistics, including how sensory differences may play a part.
  • Critically reflect on the ethical implications of the theory-of-mind theories that underpin autism service provisions, including diagnostic autism assessments.

Audience: This neurodiversity-affirming educational session is geared toward psychiatrists, psychologists, practicing therapists, educators, and autistic individuals (formally and self-identified), and parents and caregivers of autistic people.

Course Includes: Professional Development Certificate and Slide Handout

Presenter Bio: Dr Gemma Williams is an autistic academic from the UK, with a research focus on linguistics, social and healthcare policy, and social justice. Having recently completed a ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Social Policy at the Centre for Resilience and Social Justice at the University of Brighton, Gemma is now a Research Officer in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Science at the University of Swansea where she’s working on the ‘Autism: from menstruation to menopause’ project. Gemma is also an Associate with the National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi), with whom she has worked on several projects commissioned by NHS England or local government authorities.
Gemma completed her PhD in Linguistics PhD in 2021 at University of Brighton, where she investigated communication between autistic and non-autistic speakers from the perspective of cognitive linguistics: largely influenced by ‘relevance theory’.


Theory of (other) mind: (mis)understanding ‘others’ in a neurodiverse world