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Coram IAC Launch Conference & Black History Month

Monday 2 October 2023, 10am – 4.30pm
Online via zoom

Neurodiversity in adopted, looked after and kinship care children from the global majority: An intersectional approach

Coram IAC is celebrating our joining of the Coram Group of charities in conjunction with honouring Black History Month through this groundbreaking conference. With an incredible line up of speakers, our conference will create a space for reflecting on diversity, inclusion and identity in neurodiverse adopted, looked after and kinship care children from the global majority. Join us for this one day conference where we can listen, learn and work towards change.

In meeting the needs of neurodivergent adopted and looked after children from the global majority, it is essential to adopt an intersectional approach that recognises and addresses the complex interplay between developmental trauma, race, and neurodiversity. By doing so, we can accurately identify and diagnose early challenges, enabling the establishment of robust support structures throughout their educational and emotional health journey.

Objectives of the day:

  1. Recognise and address the intersection of developmental trauma, race, and neurodiversity in order to ensure accurate early identification, diagnosis and early support;
  2. Uncovering barriers to learning and growth. Understanding the unique challenges that developmentally traumatized children from the global majority may encounter;
  3. Education on what neurodiversity is and what different terminology means; Navigating systems and processes to advocate for vulnerable children;
  4. Recognising Amplified Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through Neurodiversity and Race;
  5. Education in the Overlap between Neurodivergence and Mental Health.


By embracing an intersectional approach, we can pave the way for accurate identification, effective diagnosis, and the establishment of comprehensive support systems that cater to the diverse needs of neurodiverse adopted and looked after children. Together, we can empower children to thrive throughout their educational and emotional health journey.

Book your place here

 Keynote Speaker:  Dr Shungu M'gadzah

Director & Lead Consultant Psychologist Inclusion Psychologists Ltd

Author: Understanding & Dealing with Everyday Racism - The Six Stages Framework

Dr Shungu M’gadzah has more than 30 years of experience since qualifying as an educational psychologist in 1990.  She is a Psychology, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant and has a Doctorate in Emotional Intelligence. Her career includes working for 8 years in higher education teaching Post-graduate MSc Educational Psychology Students. She has over 30 years of experience working with young people and adults with learning disabilities, communication disorders and mental health problems.  Dr Shungu has university degrees from Tavistock Clinic, Goldsmiths-London, University of East London and Westminster University. She has worked as a psychologist within health, education and independent special schools. Dr Shungu has been appointed to a number of consultant posts, including Head of Special Educational Needs and Disability.  She has board level experience and is the co- founder of Psychologists on Boards.

She offers psychological assessments, therapeutic services and is an expert witness in medico-legal and educational appeals. She also offers diversity and inclusion coaching and consultancy for organisations. 

Dr Shungu has created the Six Stages Conceptual Framework for Understanding and Dealing with Racism designed for individuals and organisations. She has Chaired a number of Committees including the British Psychological Society's Division for Education and Child Psychologists.

 Professor Amanda Kirby MBBS MRCGP PhD 

Professor Amanda Kirby is an academic, professor, author, medical practitioner, and the CEO/ co-founder of Do-IT Solutions. Do-IT is an innovative tech for good company providing web-based screening and assessment tools relating to neurodiversity for all ages. She has an international reputation in the field of Neurodiversity. She is the current chair of the ADHD Foundation, works closely with the BDA, Dyspraxia Foundation and several Autism charities. Having authored ten books and published over one-hundred academic research papers, Professor Kirby is a leading expert in the field of neurodiversity. Amanda has been voted one of the top UK HR Thinkers in 2022 and won the lifetime achievement awards at the National Diversity Awards as well as being voted in the top 50 Diversity power list. In 2023, she has been named one of Think Women’s ‘40 outstanding global women’; Top ‘33 UK Business Influencers’. Amanda has co-authored the first Neurodiversity Index Report with City and Guilds Foundation published in March 2023. She is one of the LinkedIn Top Voices and has a weekly Neurodiversity 101 newsletter with more than 93,000 followers.

Amanda has lived experience of neurodiversity firsthand, as she sees herself as neurodivergent, as well as being a parent of neurodivergent children and grandchildren. Amanda’s passion to make changes in society and increase the chances of showcasing talents for neurodivergent children and adults especially in work settings remains as strong as it was 30 years ago.

Frances Akinde BA (Hons), NASENco, MA. Ed, NPQH

francesakinde | Twitter, Instagram | Linktree 

Frances Akinde is a former headteacher of a Secondary Special School (11-19) for learners with Autism and associated difficulties and a qualified SENCO. Over the last 20 years, she has worked in a variety of roles across primary, secondary, special/Alternative Provision and local authority, from Art/Design Technology teacher to an SLCN advisory teacher liaising with speech and language therapists across a local authority. She has now returned to local authority work as a SEND inspector and advisor, a role she does part time whilst managing her own consultancy service.

Last year, after discovering that she was neurodivergent and had a hearing impairment, Frances left headship and now uses her lived experiences to offer training and support to ensure that our schools and workplaces are truly inclusive.

In January 2023, Frances co-launched BAMEed SEND hub as part of the BAMEed Network, a diverse network for Educators which aims to ensure diversity and address racial inequities in Education.

As a neurodivergent educator, Frances uses her experiences to support and mentor people who may be struggling in the workplace and in education. She is also an anti-racist schools award coach.

Eva Loth, PhD and Dr Sebastian Shaw

Eva is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. She is the Deputy Lead of AIMS-2-TRIALS, the largest consortium aimed at developing precision medicine for autism in the world, and Principle Investigator of RESPECT4Neurodevelopment, a UKRI Plus network that brings together bioengineers, psychologists/ psychiatrists and neurodivergent people with lived experience to co-develop neurotechnologies for neurodivergent children. She is passionate about  including the voices of neurodivergent people from the outset to guide the direction of autism research and enhancing its quality.

Eva is also an adoptee and adoptive parent herself and will be joined for her presentation at this conference by Dr Sebastian Shaw (BM BS, MSc, PhD, DRCOG, PGCert, SFHEA, FAcadMEd) who is a lecturer at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. He identifies as autistic and multiple neurodivergent and is the co-author of the SPACE framework. Dr Sebastian Shaw’s research areas include: Neurodivergence in medical education and practice; The experiences of neurodivergent people accessing healthcare; Other matters of social justice or epistemic empowerment in relation to neurodivergent people.

Aniesa Blore

Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Founder of, Author of and Podcaster of the The Sensational Kids Show

Aniesa completed her degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Stellenbosch, in South Africa. She has since been focusing on paediatrics and sensory processing and integration. She has worked across a range of paediatric fields and has extensive experience in autism, specific learning difficulties, as well as anxiety and emotional regulation.

Aniesa has one teenage son with autism, and one with sensory difficulties. She herself was diagnosed at a late age as having ADHD and has found that understanding her neurodivergence has led to a greater connection with children and their parents. 

 A member of

Special Needs Jungle’s Intersectionality Panel will also be joining us for the day.

Book your place here