Barb Cook M.Aut.(Edu), Dip.HSc.(Nut)
Director, Founder, Developmental Educator and Integrative Nutritionist
Barb is a registered Developmental Educator, Deputy Chair of the Developmental Educators Australia Incorporated (DEAI), and an Autism and Neurodiversity Employment Consultant and Life Coach for neurodivergent adults (ADHD, autism and dyslexia). Barb holds a Master of Autism (education) degree with focus on employment from the University of Wollongong, where she is also a researcher and co-project lead in the area of self-determination and self-advocacy for adults on the autism spectrum.
Barb has extensive experience in working with adults on the autism spectrum and ADHD, in creating pathways in attaining life goals in the areas of self-determination and self-advocacy, education, employment, health and interpersonal relationships.
Barb is founder of the Neurodiversity Hub in Gympie Queensland, a space providing allied health services for neurodivergent people, including one-on-one support, therapeutic groups, workshops and presentations and an informal space to meet.
Barb is Director and Founder of NeuroEmploy Pty Ltd, a company providing a variety of neurodiversity specific educational and training programs for neurodivergent individuals, workplace staff, management and businesses.
Barb is founder of Spectrum Women Magazine and editor and co-author of the internationally acclaimed book, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Barb is a prolific writer on neurodivergence and employment and is published in academic research.
Barb is a highly sought after international speaker and presents on a variety of topics related to autism, ADHD and Neurodiversity. Barb spoke at the World Autism Organisation Congress 2018 in Houston Texas and 2019, keynoted for a special event “A Woman’s Voice: Understanding Autistic Needs” for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIHM) in Washington DC, USA.
Barb was recently awarded the “A Different Brilliant” award at the Aspect National Recognition Awards in Sydney and the Leadership Support Award from the Neurodiversity Academy. In 2017 she received a Special Commendation from Queensland’s Governor, his Excellency, Paul De Jersey for the Autism Queensland Creative Futures Awards.
Barb identifies as neurodivergent, being formally diagnosed mid-life with ADHD, Autism and dyslexia in 2009, and promotes a strength-based and person-centred approach in her life and work.
Barb is a passionate motorcyclist, and enjoys riding the love of her life, Ron Strom Burgundy, a Suzuki VStrom DL1000, who assists her with good self-care and an effective anxiety reducing and depression busting practice.
For more information on Barb and her extensive work click HERE.
As a Developmental Educator, Barb focuses on developing individualised learning strategies, tools and supports with positive outcomes for neurodivergent individuals across the lifespan, including but not limited to:
- Goal and vision planning
- Facilitating self-determination and self-advocacy
- Establishing effective communication skills
- Cultivating positive interpersonal skills
- Employment/Workplace Support – workplace social skills, executive functioning, sensory management
- Workplace mediation
- Staff/workplace training – autism, neurodiversity
- Transition Support – e.g. school to higher education, education to employment
- Developing independent living skills
- Enhancing Quality of Life (QoL) and community participation
- Environmental audits/assessments
- Comprehensive Adaptive Behaviour & Functional Assessments & Reports
- Assessments & Reports for NDIS (Vineland 3, WHODAS 2.0, LSP-16)
- Person Centred Positive Behaviour Support
- Sensory profiling
- Developing informative individual profiles
- Individualised support plans (person-centred approach)
Barb embraces a collaborative approach by working with health and educational professionals, support staff, employers, employees, families and caregivers to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a person-centred approach in fostering positive support and enhancement of life outcomes.