CANDDID Conference 2019

170 health professionals from all over the UK came to Chester to take part in the first inaugural conference for the Centre for Autism, Neuro-Developmental Disorders and Intellectual Disability (CANDDID) earlier this month.

CANDDID, based in Chester, and hosted by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) brings together, education, training and research in the fields of neuro-developmental disorders and intellectual disabilities.

National thought leaders discussed autism spectrum conditions and encouraged a wider conversation about how people of all ages live with autism and how it can affect their lives on a daily basis.

It was pleasure to welcome all the delegates to the conference and it's been great to see an overwhelmingly positive response to the day. 

This is just the beginning of the CANDDID journey and we will continue to work towards delivering academic excellence through various activities of CANDDID.

Dr Ken Courtenay, Consultant Psychiatrist in London and Chair of the Faculty of Psychiatry of Intellectual Disabilities in the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: 

“I was delighted to be part of the launch of CANDDID. Such initiatives by colleagues in CWP leads the way in developing and delivering high-quality care to people with Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. I look forward to CANDDID growing from a local group to one with a national impact. Well done.”

Conference resources

Discussion topics covered a wide range of areas including:

  • Neurodevelopmental co-morbidities in Autism
  • Suicide and Autism Specturm Conditions
  • Using Mindfulness in Therapeutic Situations
  • Working with Families in Supporting Children with Autism
  • Engaging service users and carers in Research
  • Sensory Reactivity

If you missed the event you can see out full list of speakers, including their biographies in the delegate pack. 

We've also compiled some of the presentations from throughout the day, including a special video from Gordon Cairns. 


Dr Ken Courtenay FRCPsych MRCGP, Consultant Psychiatrist in Intellectual Disabilities
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust. 

Presentation: Autism and Transforming Care: what does the future hold?

Dr Ceri Woodrow, Clinical Psychologist 
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Presentation: Using Mindfulness in Therapeutic Situations

Caron Coxon, Occupational Therapist and Nicky Ng
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Presentation: Sensory Processing in people with Autism: Making Therapeutic Sense

Jane Forrest, Autism Support Coordinator with special guests:
Mark Simpson and James Muirhead, Autism Peer Mentors
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Presentation: Support for autistic adults living in Trafford

Dr Lorcan Kenny, Discover Lead 

Presentation: Involving autistic people and their families in research

Clair Haydon, Occupational Therapist and Consultant in Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust with special guest Gordon Cairns. 

Presentation: Autism and Vulnerability 
Read a transcript of Gordon's speech from the day here. 

WATCH: Gordon's story