AutWave brings together autistic people and their supporters, researchers, policymakers, NGO workers and volunteers.
Topics covered on November 1st
The event is organized by Autistic Spectrum Finland, an association run by autistic people. This year, we are working in collaboration with Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare.
There have been events in Finland by and for autistic people every year since 1998. The name, style and size have varied over the years, but they have all contributed to our community’s understanding of how to support each other to participate.
This year, as before, the needs and priorities of autistic people determine the style and content of AutWave. Participation is free of charge.
AutWave is funded by Veikkaus, the Finnish lottery and game company, as part of the Stability in Peer Support (Vakautta Vertaistoimintaan) project run by Autistic Spectrum Finland.
Additional support comes from: PAUT, the Helsinki region network of autism associations; Aisti ry, a local autism & ADHD association in the Turku region; Autismiliitto, the national umbrella organization for Finnish autism associations, and Källkod, a software development and consulting company.
The schedule and programme are available in the pdf files that you can upload from the links below. New versions of the files will be posted weekly in September and October, as we receive more detailed descriptions of the presentations and translate them.
Puhuja 1, esittelyä
Yo is a legal and autism trainer and consultant based in the UK. She develops and delivers training on legal and autism topics for local government staff. She is autistic and relies on support workers to manage aspects of her daily life and work. She is also a parent of autistic children. Yo is currently legal and policy consultant to the National Autistic Taskforce and recently led the development and publication of ‘An independent guide to quality care for autistic people.
Yo is a trainer and consultant who works across the public sector (primarily in social care and education) with specialisms in autism and law. She is experienced in working closely with professionals in local government, care providers and in schools. She creates and delivers high level training on law and specialist autism training for professional staff in the public sector (e.g. social workers, teachers, health professionals). Yo provides training for many English local authorities and other government, care provider and professional bodies. Yo specialises in areas of public law, including: legal duties around the provision of health, social care and education; the law relevant to adult protection (Safeguarding); and the law around mental capacity, deprivation of liberty and guardianship. She has a thorough and up to date working knowledge of English public law and professional practice issues in both adult and children’s services and a multi-faceted perspective on a range of issues affecting autistics both with and without intellectual disabilities. Recently legal and policy consultant to the National Autism Project, she is now legal and policy consultant to the National Autistic Taskforce and recently led the development and publication of ‘An independent guide to quality care for autistic people’.
A published author in law, education and social work, Yo’s academic background is in social policy analysis and her doctorate is in educational research. She now writes primarily on legal and policy topics (mostly in areas affecting Autistic people), including regular case law reports and legal commentary. The producer of The St.Clement’s Practical Autism videos, she is an experienced and well-reviewed public speaker known for her ability to make ‘dry’ topics engaging and accessible.
Yo is autistic, a parent of autistic children and was formerly company secretary of Autscape for many years.
Antti Kääriälä has recently conducted his doctoral research at the University of Helsinki,, and he is now starting at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, working with cohort data. He will talk about the situations of autistic people in Finland in the light of such data, and the future potential of cohort-based research in finding out more about various under-researched aspects of this population.
Kosma Moczek does electronics engineering, and he is an old-school photographer, eccentric fiddler, social activist, and an autistic self-advocate. An autism professional in the making, defender of human rights, an incurable extrovert. Tools of trade: empathy, drama, and science – in that order.
Read more below about Kosma’s photo exhibition on AutWave’s second day, November 2.
I like to watch; I’m afraid to watch
On November 2nd at Oodi library we will have a small exhibition featuring ten of Kosma’s photographs.
This is how Kosma describes the meaning of photography in his life.
Photography lets me remember things I wouldn’t remember otherwise. It reminds me of the happy times when I’m sad; it reminds me of the sad times when I’m happy. It lets me relive moments that I hold dear and bad memories I shouldn’t forget.
Photography lets me see things I wouldn’t see otherwise. It lets me watch from behind the lens. It’s an excuse to be somewhere without people expecting me to interact. The camera is like a shield; it keeps me safe.
Photography lets me show emotions I couldn’t show otherwise. It lets me capture emotions and look at them later. It lets me show how I feel when I don’t have the words to express it. It lets me understand what I feel; why I feel, how I feel.
Photography lets me survive things I wouldn’t survive otherwise.
More about Kosma on the internet:
Photography, casual despair, rambling: https://kosma.pl/diaries/
Henri Pesonen works as an autism researcher at the University of Helsinki. People who have support needs linked to their autistic characteristics are the focus of his research interest. He is currently studying the employability of autistic higher education students in the EU-funded project Improving Employability of Autistic Graduates in Europe (IMAGE).
Henri completed his BA in Primary Education in the UK, majoring in special education. He worked as a teacher and continued his studies at Pace University, New York, graduating in 2010 with an M.Sc. in Childhood Education. He now works in the EU -funded project Improving Employability of Autistic Graduates in Europe (IMAGE), which runs from October 2018 to August 2021.
Too many autistic students drop out or remain unemployed after they graduate from higher education. In the IMAGE project, partners from Finland, UK, Netherlands, Germany and France seek to change this. Henri leads the collection and analysis of qualitative data in the project. IMAGE adheres to a participaory approach, carrying out co-design and keeping the target group closely involved in the planning and execution of research.
Diederik Weve is a safety engineer at Shell in the Netherlands, so his daily work is about saving lives. His daily leisure time he packs with initiatives that improve the quality of autistic lives. He is chairman of the PAS, the Dutch society of adult autistics, he organises the yearly Autminds conferences, and he has trained many autistics for Autism Ambassador roles in their employing companies. He would like to do more though.
Heta Pukki is the Chair of Autistic Spectrum Finland and member of the national committee that coordinates the implementation of the UN CRPD in Finland. For the past three years, Heta has been an active figure in a European network of autistic-led groups and organisations. Recently, some of the members of this network have founded the umbrella organisation European Council of Autistic People (EUCAP), nominating Heta as its first President.
Since the late 1990s, Heta has had many roles in connection with autism, both voluntary and professional. She has worked in projects, lectured, translated professional literature, and assisted minimally verbal children and adolescents. She is also secretary of the Autscape Organisation, which runs an annual residential conference in the UK.
Heta has Master’s degrees in two fields, in biology and in special education, the latter with emphasis on autistic adults.
Orjo Pättiniemi has promoted autistic people’s rights and positive visibility of autistic strengths for several years, lecturing as an experience-based expert and organizing autism film festivals.
Emmi Varis is a project worker at the Stability in Peer Support project, collecting and analyzing information about about what autistic people want form peer support, and how it could be developed further.
Riikka Lämsä is a researcher at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and a lecturer on healthcare research and management at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine. She will talk about the situations of young people excluded from both studying and employment, many of whom are autistic or otherwise neurodivergent.
Anna-Reeta Pakarinen is an energetic care work professional from northern Finland. She is a nursing assistant, and an adult on the autism spectrum, with the additional diagnoses of ADHD and bipolar disorder. She is passionate about experience-based expertise and helping others. One of her guiding principles in life is a humane approach in her work and advocacy, being there for her fellow human beings.
Anna-Reeta works at a residential service unit for people with developmental disabilities. She engages in many forms of voluntary work, as well, taking her dog buddy Diana to visit homes for the elderly, families with disabled children and people with mental health issues. She participates in a Red Cross first aid group and contributes to the running of a Red Cross children’s club.
Anna-Reeta lives 100 km from the nearest city, Oulu. She is a nature lover to the core and enjoys living right next to a river, being able to casually stop by for some pole-fishing. Her creative instincts and joyful spirit are expressed in her colourful crafts and photography.
Leneh Buckle is involved in autistic community and research in various capacities, with Autistica, the National Autistic Taskforce, autism@Manchester, the Autscape Organisation, and as a PhD student.
Leneh suffers from severe ’inertia’ that may be related to catatonia. She is currently studying autistic inertia for her PhD. This began by looking at everything that has already been written about it, which was easy because nothing has. She did, however, find some possibilities for what may be leading to ’difficulty doing stuff’.
Leneh lives in the English countryside with an assortment of children and pets, some of whom are also autistic.
Maija Oksanen has been running popular peer activities in Helsinki for several years. She is a prolific amateur artist with a distinctive style. Maija’s drawings of strange and fantastic female characters come with detailed, humorous background stories.
Jani Rikhard describes himself as a modern Renaissance man inevitably approaching middle age, at least thinking he has a bit of skill in all kinds of things. In addition to doing the dark, intense visual art displayed at the event, he is a social media personality with a wicked sense of humor writing a popular blog.
Janne Fredriksson is one of three people who run ASY’s popular Societal Affairs discussion group for people on the autism spectrum. He is also board member of the Finnish Association for Autism, the national umbrella organisation.
If you need further information, feel free to email us.
Registration is open until October 23rd. You can use the registration form (in Finnish only), or email Emmi Varis, email@example.com.
Everyone with an interest in the topics and willingness to respect the needs of autistic participants is welcome. Places will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Participation is free of charge. Lunch and coffee can be bought at or near the venues.