Dr Elizabeth Guest (BSc, PhD, PGCHE) – Director of Aspiedent
Hi, my name is Elizabeth and I have spent most of my life being told that what I want to achieve is impossible.
I have also spent most of my life achieving the so-called impossible.
But that’s just part of the story. The truth is, things that most people find straightforward, like catching a train or going shopping, are near impossible for me.
Not to mention, I don’t like wearing shoes for very long because it makes it harder to interact with people.
I am autistic.
After graduating in 1989 with a 1st class Honours degree in Maths, I completed my PhD in Artificial Intelligence. My PhD project was state of the art for at least 20 years.
I speak 4 different languages and have a University level teaching qualification. Once, I went and pretended to be a Linguist in Sudan for 18 months; (when I owned up after 6 months and told them I was not really a linguist but actually a mathematician and computer scientist, they didn't believe me). I worked on analysing 7 languages, when most people on that programme normally work on just one language. Spending many years as a senior researcher, I worked on highly complex projects such as designing technology to detect whether somebody is carrying weapons in the street.
Now I have turned my attention to bridging the gap between autistic and non-autistic people.
I run my own Community Interest Company and use expertise to helping autistic people move forward in life. This means using my autistic savant skills to help you understand your own autism, or the autism of somebody you support in order to enable people to be the best autistic people they can be. It also means giving you the tools you need to lead a happier and less stressful life despite having autism or supporting somebody with autism in a non-autistic world.
I develop and deliver excellent, influential and interesting training to autistic adults and young people all underpinned by my innovative Autism Profiling tool. This is a priceless, unique tool which is used to find out and describe how different individuals think and perceive the world.
Training for autistic adults includes, Social Skills Training and Employment Preparation sessions. I also help Teachers, Parents, Carers and anyone else who has a personal interest to understand autism through Autism Understanding Training.
All Aspiedent training and services are autism-led informed by my pioneering research and my experience as a practitioner providing services to autistic people.
Jen Blacow (BA Hons, MA, Assoc CIPD) – Director
Hi, my name is Jen. I support Elizabeth with achieving the impossible.
Many people ask me how I ended up working with Dr Elizabeth Guest at Aspiedent. My answer is usually something along the lines of ‘falling into it’ or not being sure what I wanted to do after I completed my university degree.
Digging deeper, I have always had an innate drive to help everybody and make a positive impression on people. I am also fascinated by people in the sense that I want to understand them and know how they tick. When working with us at Aspiedent you should know that you are working with people who genuinely care about you.
What I can do for you
As a person with severe OCD, I understand and relate to how hard it is for some people to fit in or to cope with everyday things such as going to work. I am not autistic, so I can help other non-autistic people to understand autism. I can also share insight into the non-autistic mind with autistic people.
I am a fully qualified HR Professional. I am keen to use my personal and professional knowledge to help employees and managers make the right decisions when it comes to workplace diversity and inclusion. In turn, helping workplaces become more inclusive for people with autism and other neurodiverse conditions
I know how frustrating it is to be misunderstood. I am keen to move towards a world where everybody has a fair chance to gain and maintain meaningful employment.