Speaker biographies

Fergus Finlay

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Dr. Stephen Shore

Diagnosed with “Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies” and “too sick” for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalisation. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism.

In addition to working with children and talking about life on the autism spectrum, Stephen is internationally renowned for presentations, consultations and writings on lifespan issues pertinent to education, relationships, employment, advocacy, and disclosure. His most recent book College for Students with Disabilities combines personal stories and research for promoting success in higher education.



Dr Peter Vermeulen

Dr Peter Vermeulen trained as a counsellor and educationalist and has worked for many years with people with ASD. He worked for the Flemish Autism Association, where he was the Director of the Flemish Home Training Services. At present, he is Autism Consultant and Lecturer at Autisme Centraal, where he edits the bi-monthly magazine “Autisme”. He is the author of 15 books and many articles on ASD. Some of his books have been translated into a variety of different languages.





 Davida Hartman

Davida Hartman is a Senior Educational Psychologist, co-founder of The Children’s Clinic and author of a number of bestselling books published by Jessica Kingsley which aim to support children and teenagers on the autism spectrum to reach their potential and live happy and fulfilled lives.
She attained her undergraduate psychology degree from Trinity College Dublin and graduated from her Masters in Educational Psychology from University College Dublin with a first class honours. She also holds a further professional certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy from Waterford Institute of Technology.


Dr Olive Healy

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Professor Louise Gallagher

Professor Louise Gallagher (MB MRCPsych PhD) is Chair in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trinity College Dublin and a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in the HSE/ National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght. She completed her medical training in University College Dublin in 1994 and trained in Psychiatry in the Dublin University Training Scheme at St. Patrick’s and St. James’s Hospital.





Peter & Darragh Byrne

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Dr. Alison Doyle

Dr. Alison Doyle has more than 30 years of experience in assessing and supporting people with disabilities and Special Educational Needs in schools, colleges, universities and the workplace. Alison is a member of the British Psychological Society and the Psychological Society of Ireland.