The connection between nature and autism

The connection between nature and autism

Dr Helen Jeffries says, “I’m autistic and happy to talk about it” which is why we (Haith's) invited her to feature on an episode of Naturespace with Haith’s because we, too, believe that watching and feeding wildlife can help our well-being and mental health.

Helen is brave, determined and unafraid to share her backstory.

When Helen was diagnosed autistic five years ago, she found the diagnosis liberating, illuminating, and depressing. “I thought then that being autistic was a total barrier to career progression as I couldn’t see any openly autistic senior civil servants." 

However, Helen decided to turn the diagnosis into a positive opportunity to share her story and become the open autistic role model she lacked herself.

Helen is an advocate of the benefits of nature connection for people with autism and the podcast discusses how even a simple bird feeder, nest box and bird table might help improve a child’s emotional state plus increase cognitive ability. Helen is a natural history enthusiast and a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health and Social Care. Before that, she worked in the Cabinet Office Covid Task Force.

Helen is now an active campaigner in the public sector for more understanding of autism and acceptance of autistic colleagues and writes about her experiences via her blog at: https://helenjeffries.wordpress.com/ on Twitter you can find Helen happy to talk about autism, nature and music at @HelenEva8 and LinkedIn and linkedin.com/in/helen-jeffries-b0969413 Helen Jeffries - "I'm autistic and happy to talk about it."  - https://helenjeffries.wordpress.com/

On this podcast we discussed:

  • The connection between nature and autism
  • How a simple bird feeder, nest box and bird table could help many people with autism
  • Beneficial activities for people with autism
  • Sensory stimulation
  • Talking about autism
  • Pushing back against don't ask, don't tell
  • About autism being a communication issue, chiefly
  • Chris Packham
  • Autism diagnosis
  • Autistic role models
  • Department of Health and Social Care
  • Cabinet Office Covid Task Force
  • Autistic colleagues
  • Autumnwatch

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