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About Viv Dawes


I am Viv Dawes, a late-identified and diagnosed autistic and ADHD lived experience advocate, writer and trainer. I am also the parent of a ND teenager. I have over 25 years experience of working with vulnerable young people and adults. I have been an NHS Senior Practitioner managing teams of forensic drug workers in women's prisons and started and ran my own community addiction recovery programme. Most of those I worked with were neurodivergent.

I have many years experience of working with people experiencing challenging and crisis situations and as an autistic person I have lived experience of many of the challenges that I help others to navigate.

I have a great deal of experience in delivering training, online and face-to-face workshops, management of programmes and have vast experience and understanding of how to work with vulnerable young people and adults. I am an engaging and dynamic public speaker with a good sense of humour too.

I am trained in various talking therapies, including Solution Focussed Brief Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Relapse Prevention Therapy and CBT.

Feedback from professionals and parents regarding my books, training and consults

"I just thought you’d like to hear that your book has already helped us in under a week of having it. My daughter completed the autistic burnout checklist and this afternoon I showed it to the SENCO.  I believe it was this that convinced her so quickly to reduce the school timetable...... This was after the school had said that we could only have a part-time timetable for 2 weeks and no more after that. I am feeling such immense relief this evening - I feel like someone understands, and that we have space to breathe. 

There is also plenty of other practical stuff in the book that we’re going to find ever so useful as a family".  (from a parent and school teacher)

“Saw you today at the Behind the Mask event. Thought your speech was so informative but also wonderfully personal and emotive. So I came home and looked you up on Facebook! I am genuinely inspired after today and will bring a whole new level of understanding to my practice and parenting!” (SENCo)


"The book is super helpful! We had never heard of autistic burnout before stumbling on the term and have spent two years looking for answers and doing all the wrong things. Now we’re having to explain it to doctors and the school etc. One professional said they are learning from it. Thank you so much!" (Parent)

“So worthwhile. Well presented, to the point, but also nurturing. Viv managed to hold a safe space for all there” (Parent)

"I recently booked a 1:1 with Viv Dawes as my son has been presenting with signs of burnout and I had become aware of Viv’s resources on this topic which resonated highly with our situation.  Having previous trauma from professionals misattributing the signs of autism to neglectful parenting, I am always slightly on edge around explaining my son’s presentation to anyone at all, but I knew immediately that I was in safe hands.  Viv has a very calming presence and this coupled with the knowledge that she has so much experience; both professional and personal, made it a  very safe space for me to be able to have frank and honest discussion without feeling judged.  Viv listened carefully and was able to feedback astute observations despite my disjointed attempt at explaining my child’s long, complicated history.   The session gave me the confidence to know that I was on the right track and I was able to gain a deeper understanding of the salient issues, as well as feeling validated which as SEN parents we often don’t!!  The ideas and feedback I received during the 1:1 session enabled me to explore the topic with other professionals in my son’s Multidisciplinary team.  Having a child with trauma and an Extreme PDA profile, I am aware that I always need very strong advocates to bring our situation into the correct ‘Arena’, given that PDA and burnout are often misjudged.  Viv is not only a strong advocate but also an effective listener and passionate about these topics.  I am delighted to have met her, engaged with the resources and I would value her input highly going forward." (Parent)

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