“He is very hands-on and can-do, totally supportive and very non-judgemental – the sort of professional the others should aspire to be like!”
Yvonne, mother of Adam
Mark has worked with people with neurodiverse issues since 1982. Since then he has worked in long stay homes, including managing a home for adults with behavioural difficulties, as well as in direct work with parents and families. Mark founded Special Help 4 Special Needs in 2010 and in his role as Special Needs Consultant, Mark works with a range of individuals with various neurodiverse issues, including those who have been diagnosed with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome and many other conditions. Although the aim of this work is to assist the parents and families in supporting their child with their difficulties in order to improve the situation, the most prominent issues have been:
- Toileting issues
- Sexuality and Puberty including sexualised behaviour
The approaches used are person centred as well as family centred to ensure greater success, and utilise various approaches including one to one sessions with the individual exploring their emotions, etc. As part of Mark’s work and his PhD, Mark led research into the SRE programmes being provided in schools for autistic pupils which has assisted toward the development of an enhanced sex education course for autistic teenagers. This includes socio-sexual aspects of relationships and issues relating to the display of sexually harmful behaviour.
In addition to Mark’s everyday work, he was a regular contributor for The LIME Magazine in which Mark was also the resident “Agony Uncle” in his Ask Mark column. Although The LIME Magazine is no longer in circulation, Mark has continued to provide such input via regular drop in sessions in the London Borough of Sutton, as well as other areas throughout the year. Mark has also written chapters for a number of books, including:
- Claire Bates (2018) Sexuality and Learning Disabilities (2nd edition) – Practical approaches to providing positive support
- Renee Francis et al (2018) Learning Disability Today (4th Edition) – The essential guide for support staff, service providers, families and students
Away from his work, Mark also runs a social club for adults with learning disabilities aimed at developing their social skills and confidence in using them.
Dr Mark Brown – Special Needs Consultant
RNLD, PhD, MA Autism, Dip App Psych, Dip Prof Prac