MEET THE TEAM
Owner and Founder
Shadia is the proud owner, and founder of Autism Actually, and enjoys presenting and consultancy. Shadia is committed to empowering fellow Autistic and Neurodivergent individuals and helping them reach their true potential.
Shadia is currently studying Bachelor of Speech Pathology with the hope of providing client centred animal assisted therapy for Neurodivergent individuals.
Shadia was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder at the age of 14. Shadia came out as non-binary in early 2018 and loves talking about Autism and gender issues.
Shadia benefited from numerous early supports such as speech therapy and occupational therapy. Shadia is very passionate about sharing information about what being Autistic is like.
Jane is one of our experienced presenters and advocates at Autism Actually. In addition to being a trained Secondary Mathematics/Science teacher, Jane also has a Master’s degree of Inclusive Education for Autistic students.
From 2008 to 2012, Jane was a member of the Victorian team for the Positive Partnerships project; a Federal-government initiative aimed at supporting school aged Autistic students.
Jane works in the Learning Support Department at Whitefriars College teaching mathematics.
Jane is the parent of Shadia, and is passionate about sharing her professional and personal understanding of Autism in order to inform other teachers. Jane was also identified as Autistic in 2020.
Speaker and support worker
Brittany is currently studying a Certificate IV in Youth Social Work and is one of our presenters and mentors. Brittany has a passion for helping children and engaging on all levels with them. She is a strong believer in leading a child the right way to ensure that all their needs are met physically and emotionally.
Brittany was diagnosed with Anxiety and Depression at the age of 8, and later on Autism at the age of 14. She greatly benefitted from Occupational Therapy from a young age. Brittany’s Autism diagnosis gave her a sense of belonging, and allowed her to get the support she needed to be able to function effectively day to day.
Based on her personal experiences and unique insights being on the spectrum, Brittany feels dedicated in raising awareness and helping children develop strategies to be able to cope with day to day life.
Assistance dog trainee
Freya is an enthusiastic and dedicated team member of Autism Actually, providing daily support and assistance to her handler Shadia.
Freya entered Shadia's life in February 2020, and was accepted as a MindDog assistance dog trainee in August 2020.
Freya helps Shadia manage their sensory issues, anxiety, and access to public places by accompanying them in cafes, supermarkets, and eventually university and public transport.
She also provides Shadia with unconditional love and acceptance and even joins in with Shadia's stim dancing moments!
Freya enjoys accompanying Shadia on their various adventures, playing fetch, long walks in the bush, and having ample cuddle time on the couch.