Autism Dialogue

AD20 Programme: Booking now open

Bringing all members of the Autism and Aspergers communities together in Dialogue, for safe collective understanding, generating new knowledge, lasting change and positive action together.  Read some of our outcomes here.

photo of graphic illustration in coloured pen showing dialogue practices

AD20 Programme (Mar-Oct): Booking here.

circle of 12 empty comfy chairs

We wish to thank everyone for attending a very succesful and unique 2nd conference on 29th November 2019.

“I’ve never seen an event of this kind for and with Autistic people that was so calm and inclusive.”

Ian Dale, Head of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation.
National Autistic Society.

AD20 Programme: booking now open click here

(details of 2019 conference preserved below)

the world needs dialogue book cover

New book:

The World Needs Dialogue!: One: Gathering the Field

Read the ‘Autism Dialogue’ chapter (Jonathan Drury) and 24 other accounts of Professional Dialogue in various settings including healthcare, society, criminal justice and organisations.  Borrow our copy (if you’re in Sheffield) or buy one to support our work from Amazon UK


The Second Autism Dialogue Conference – Nov 29th, 2019.

Quaker Meeting House, St.James St, Sheffield S1 2EW.

Building on two years of Autism Dialogues and last year’s succesful conference, together we will develop our understanding and articulacy about the value of Professional Dialogue and engage with Autism Dialogue participants and a wide range of individuals, organisations and communities in the field of Autism, in order to embed the work into society.

Dialogue leaders, autism researchers, clinicians, practitioners, educators and those affected by autism are encouraged to contribute to in a space where multiple perspectives are held and to learn experientially about the benefits of Professional Dialogue, to address the crises we face.

We aim to narrow the research to practice gap, dispel some of the myths and hasten the focus on strengths-based approaches, away from deficit models of autism, using Professional Dialogue.

Hear from autistic and non-autistic members of Autism Dialogue in a professionally safe, ethical and participatory space.

Partner with our organisation, contribute to the vision and become involved in the creation of powerful and empowering autism communities.

Hosted by Jonathan Drury, founder of Autism Dialogue and Jane Ball, co-founder of Academy of Professional Dialogue & Dialogue Associates.

Systemic approaches consider the role that different parts (or fragments) of the system, and how they inter-relate, play in what happens. This begs the question: what fragments make up the ‘autism system’, and what are their beliefs, assumptions and behaviours that affect how autism manifests? This might raise political questions about beliefs, assumptions and behaviours of different groups of people…” – Jane Ball, Academy of Professional Dialogue

Please note, on the previous day (28th) there will be a private event for Autism Dialogue participants and Academy of Professional Dialogue members only, who will then support our work at this event on the 29th.

Fri 29th Nov Itinerary:


  • Welcome, introductions and Check-in
  • Why Dialogue? Why Autism Dialogue?

12.30pm- 1.30pm:

  • Vegetarian lunch.


  • Skills for Autism Dialogue.
  • Dialogue integration in our lives, families, organisations and autism communities.
  • Systemic Change – What is a Dialogic Organisation and what impact would a Dialogic organisation have on Autistic people
  • Interested? What next?

4.30pm check-out and close

Limited tickets on sale now

  • New book! The first volume from Dialogue Publications has just been launched. It is called ‘The World Needs Dialogue’ and is a collection of 19 essays including Autism Dialogue by Jonathan Drury. Copies will be on sale on the day.

Sign up to our mailing list here to receive updates.

Quaker Meeting House – video of entering the venue here.

Audio and video from 2018 conference here


“It is both epistemologically, as well as ethically, problematic if the autistic voice is not heard in relation to social scientific research seeking to further develop knowledge of autism. Ever since autism first emerged, it has remained medicalised and almost exclusively the preserve of non-autistic researchers.” (Chown, Robinson, Beardon et al 2017).


About our organisation:

“Professional Standards, a Code of Ethics and a Core Curriculum of knowledge and skills are central to the stature of the Academy of Professional Dialogue.  They provide the assurance that Professional Dialogue Practitioners recognised by the Academy are capable, and that they have the skills and know-how to align fragmented organisational and social situations through proven methods.” –

Autism Dialogue has been in active development since 2017, with a wide range of peers, practitioners and professionals, regularly coming together and formulating a brand new range of practices and an ethical approach, with explicit support from the Academy of Professional Dialogue.  We are now drafting our own set of guiding principles for our organisation, which will shortly be available for public view.  Meanwhile, if you have any concerns or questions regarding the use of the term ‘Autism Dialogue’ and ‘Neurodiversity Dialogue’, or our logo, please get in touch.

Thank you.

AD20 Programme begins 20.3.20

Are you autistic? Do you identify as autistic? Are you a family-carer or work or research in autism and over 18?  If you are, you are welcome to join us and be part of a growing community, whose aims are ultimately to improve life for all autistic people.  We believe that a holistic approach, involving a wide range of people, is the best way to do this and of course you will hopefully benefit in many ways.

Private enquiries to:

Dialogue is easy to learn because it has its roots in ancestral story sharing, which we all used to do!

Read more about our approach here.

Quaker Friends Meeting House Sheffield The Autism Dialogue meeting room
The Autism Dialogue meeting room (Sheffield Quaker Centre)

Our public dialogue sessions are held in Sheffield, UK in a comfortable, autism-friendly room at the Quaker Centre (pictured). For refuge, there is a quiet area just outside of the room and Sheffield’s lovely and peaceful cathedral is very nearby.

Sessions are generally found to be enjoyable and engaging, sometimes emotional and frustrating – this is part of the work we do, supporting each other through the process.  Our work has delegates coming from a wide range of interesting backgrounds and places, autistic and non-autistic, not usually found together.

Please subscribe to get latest updates via email here.

Dialogue is a specific methodology, which requires some basic understanding. Please read about Autism Dialogue here.  There is also a page of frequently asked questions here.

Some points to read.

  • Places on Autism Dialogue programmes are strictly limited so if you are unsure about taking part in, please do not book a place or get in touch.
  • If you are new to Dialogue but nervous about attending, we encourage you to attend the first session of a series, to see if you like it, then continue.
  • Some basic material will be sent to you via email beforehand and will be repeated verbally at the start of the sessions. Some FAQ are here and the four Dialogic Practices are here.
  • You must have ability and willingness to support the group’s aims, which is made up of about twenty adults (including the facilitators), many of whom are autistic.  Some of the attendees will have attended previous sessions, some will have not.
  • Please be aware this is a safe, community, peer-support method and not a research or therapy environment.  We comply with safeguarding policy of the Sheffield Autistic Society.
two people smiling listening
© Copyright 2017-2018 Academy of Professional Dialogue

Quotes from delegates:

“What a wonderful group of people. I can’t really adequately describe the combination of compassion, respect, affinity and engagement with others that I’ve had – it seems somewhat unique.” 

“Attending Autism Dialogue for the first time was a wonderful experience and I would enthusiastically recommend it to other autistic adults who would like to have an open and compassionate discussion about autism, their own experiences and lives, and the ways that autism can be approached, shared, and even celebrated.”

More quotes here.

Further information and booking will be announced.

Anyone who has any personal concerns about autism, please go to: (National Autistic Society are not connected to us).

DISCLAIMER: Autism Dialogue is the name for a peer-led community discussion exercise and the organisers make no claim to be experts – they act in an independent capacity and are not responsible for any matters arising (whether personal, mental or physical, including loss or damage of property) as a consequence of anyone attending the meetings described.  View our safeguarding policy here.  The Quaker Meeting House has its own building rules and regulations, which you can obtain from their office. We are members of the Academy of Professional Dialogue and Sheffield Autistic Society.