Creating opportunities to help people in East Kent to live happier and healthier lives

Joyce CoomberSewell

Joyce is a mentor and trainer in her work life, and a woman of integrity in every aspect of her life. She has a BA in Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring, a MSc in the history of autism, and is currently undertaking a PhD on older women’s experience of autism and their relationship with diagnosis. Being diagnosed as autistic as a mature woman came as no surprise to Joyce and cemented her view that getting a diagnosis is important in helping to understand that autistic people are part of ‘The A Team’ rather than somehow broken or disabled. Joyce has worked formally in mentoring roles for 8 years, but looking back on it, she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t mentoring someone.

Joyce is one of a small minority of mentors and trainers who are themselves autistic. You won’t find Joyce referring to ASD or ASC, as she believes that autism is simply a neurology.

Joyce works with what society calls ‘High-functioning’ autistics and their families to understand what autism means, though recently she has found a new term that she considers more accurate – ‘cognisantly capable’. Working on a one to one basis, and on one issue at a time, Joyce acts as both a sounding board and a ‘wise or experienced advisor’ (the original meaning of the word mentor) to help autistic people, their families, allies, and businesses find solutions to real world challenges. Joyce usually works via online platforms, in one hour sessions, but can be very flexible about format and timings based on client need and comfort.

Joyce now also offers CPD-accredited courses on autism awareness as part of a new CIC, CoomberSewell Training CIC, with surplus profits being used to benefit the autistic community and those who seek to work with them.

The major benefit to Joyce’s clients is that she is uniquely placed to understand your needs as an autistic person, a family member, or a professional working with autistic people, as she has experience in all three areas. Joyce’s clients report that they benefit particularly from her understanding of masking, stimming and how to use these ‘traits’ as strengths. Joyce’s non-autistic family clients benefit most from her ability to increase understanding of avoiding triggering lockdowns/meltdowns and the relationship between autism, displays of affection and touch. Professionals report a greater understanding of communication skills and sensory issues, leading to better result with their clients.

Autism without severe learning difficulties.
Seeking diagnosis.
Coming to terms with diagnosis.
Understanding your autistic partner/child.
Professionals working with autistic clients.