Meet the Team


Welcome to the
“Axia Team”

Due to the expansion of Axia ASD Ltd Dr Linda Buchan reviews every referral received to match the skills of our clinicians with the patient’s experiences and requirements. 

For children assessed by our service, all appointments are multidisciplinary in accordance with NICE Guidelines.

Please Note: We try to keep photos on our meet the team page current, although hairstyles, facial hair, glasses, makeup and the like, may possibly change.


Dr Linda Buchan
Consultant Clinical Psychologist,
Clinical Governance Lead,
Founder and Director of Axia ASD Ltd.

My name is Dr Linda Buchan. I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, qualified since 1978.

Axia-ASD Ltd is one of the top providers of services for adults and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We use a model of partnership to ensure that individuals and families lead the process, and therefore obtain the most accurate diagnosis and the most appropriate individual support. I am a member of the Axia Collective

 

Calvin
Calvin Atkinson
Director of Axia ASD Ltd.
Self-proclaimed Nerd Consultant
and Head of Axia’s Film Society.

Calvin Atkinson is co-director of Axia, along with Dr Buchan. He is a member of our Senior Management Team, supported by our PA and Facilities Manager, Beverley Lonergan.

He is also a member of the Axia Collective. This is a subgroup of the Axia team, made up of members representing Psychology, IT/Website, Senior Management and the Anime Amigos (detailed below). The Axia Collective includes neurodiverse individuals and acts as a focus group when discussing changes such as updated resources or new ways of working.

Calvin is our Self-Proclaimed Nerd Consultant, adopting the title to stress the importance of valuing interests. One interest is reflected in the first book that he has written: The Nerd Consultant’s Guide to Anime. Anime is also celebrated via our Anime Amigos who vlog every month, posting the vlogs to our website and Calvin’s YouTube channel.

We connect with individuals post-diagnostically in a number of ways, including our Post Diagnostic Support Group, which both directors regularly attend, and also fortnightly game streaming on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a fun way to connect informally with us.

Calvin is head of the Film Society and regularly posts film reviews and, along with the Anime Amigos, also posts regular game reviews covering a range of genres.

Calvin’s other passions include cooking and heavy metal music.


Ebony Bowers
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician
 
Hi! My name is Ebony. I’m a qualified Occupational Therapist who graduated with a First Class Honours Degree from the University of Liverpool. I love Occupational Therapy because I feel it puts emphasis on a person’s strengths and how we can use these to adapt activities or environments to encourage engagement and enable people to do what they value. I have experience working in an inpatient mental health team as an OT and prior to this supporting adults with learning disabilities in their home.

I am autistic and feel that this gives me a unique perspective to understand the experience of neurodivergent people, especially those who are seeking a diagnosis later in life, like myself. My special interests are reading, learning Korean (I am not a linguist so this is a very slow process!) and spending time with my dog, Smudge.


Jacqui Brett
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician
 
My name is Jacqui Brett, I am a specialist occupational therapist with my most recent NHS experience in inpatient Children and Adolescent Mental Health and Adult Mental Health Community teams.
 
Having gained my first degree in Law I was inspired to retrain as an occupational therapist when I suspected my daughter was autistic. I decided then that I wanted to give neurodiverse individuals a voice; to allow their story to be told authentically and support them to live according to their values and aspirations. 
 
Occupational therapy provides a unique lens with which to view functional challenges and environmental adaptations across the lifespan, within this: autism, sensory differences, and mental health are my professional passions and I have focused much of my additional research and training around these core areas. I am certified in the administration of the ADOS-2, I have completed the ARI-R diagnostic training and have spent time working with the National Autistic Society.  I have also completed the UK  ADHD network ADHD assessment and diagnosis training and postgraduate modules in Sensory Integration including Foundations in Neuroscience and Clinical Reasoning. 

I have chosen to work with Axia as I find their values and strengths-based approach is congruent with my own. Their friendly, knowledgeable team ensures that there is a range of clinicians available to support the diagnostic process and beyond. 


Renwick Bromiley
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician and Anime Amigo

Hi, I’m Renwick (silent ‘w’), but please just call me Ren!

I have been a part of Axia since 2017 fulfilling various roles, first within the administration team, then engaging with special interests as part of the Anime Amigos, and in my current role as a Diagnostician, I lead Neurodevelopmental assessments as part of the Multidisciplinary Team. I am one of the nominated deputies for Safeguarding Adults. I completed Safeguarding Children and Safeguarding Adults training, Level 3.

I completed my Mental Health Nursing degree at Bangor University in 2021 while continuing to gain experience at Axia during my studies, subsequently working in an acute mental health setting and building a broad base of knowledge within Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental settings.

My interests are wholly nerdy in scope, comprising of Magic: The Gathering, anime, manga, fantasy and fiction settings, as well as a host of tabletop and role-playing games. I also have a diagnosis of Irlen Syndrome and, as a member of the Neurodivergent community, feel accepted and understood at Axia. I am a member of the Axia Collective


Amy-Louise Buchan
Assistant to General Manager

I have worked for Axia since 2017, starting as an Admin Assistant. I now assist Evie our General Manager. I work from home as I live in Peterborough and have a young son to look after and ‘taxi’ around to all his activities. I am a member of the Axia Collective. In my spare time (when I have some), I go to watch Arsenal, attend Karate where I am a brown and white belt, and play The Sims. I am Dyspraxic, having been diagnosed as a teenager. I attend the PDSG, so hopefully will get to see some of you there.


Joe Buchan
On-site IT technician and Maintenance Engineer
Nominated Deputy for Safeguarding Children

Hi, I’m Joe. I work at Axia as the on-site IT Technician and Maintenance Engineer. I ensure the premises is “up to scratch” and provides our guests with the best and safest experience possible while visiting our Brookside premises. I also support logistics and technical assistance including social media for the Anime Amigos. I hold qualifications in Engineering (CAD/CAM) and have previously worked in the agricultural and construction sector as well as lorry driving. My interests include Farming, Motorsport, Music and Arsenal F.C. I also speak Russian and Estonian.


Elliot Chapman
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

I started going to the Post Diagnostic Support Groups at 18 after dropping out of college due to anxiety. After over a year of attending I joined the Anime Amigos as a regular co-host.

Since then, I remain the glorious yet mildly annoying jokester of the Anime Amigos, and I’ve also started working on a number of game reviews and have been bringing my nerdy insight to other projects that our Nerd Consultant works on. 

Aside from anime and video games, I have a very unhealthy obsession with Dungeons and Dragons, card games (most notably Cardfight Vanguard and Magic the Gathering), metal music and fantasy books, to the point where I’m writing one but am barely anywhere in it. I also have a little dog named Ripley that everyone loves. I am a member of the Axia Collective.


Evie Connor
General Manager
 
My name is Evie and I have worked at Axia since 2019. I am Axia’s General Manager which means I oversee day-to-day activity and assist with long-term strategic planning for the company. I am Axia’s Caldicott Guardian and a member of the Axia Collective.

Outside of work I love to spend time with my friends and family (usually round a table of good food!), and take my two dogs for lovely walks.


Sian Davies
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

Hi I’m Siân! I am a Chartered Psychologist and have recently joined Axia as a Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician, and member of the Axia Collective. I truly believe there is nowhere quite like Axia, it is somewhere I instantly felt accepted and comfortable, full of the most wonderful people.

During the last 7 years I have gained a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology, an MSc in Research Methods with Distinction, and am currently in the final months of a PhD in Psychology. Throughout my education I have gained extensive experience as a researcher working for a number of universities and additionally voluntary work for Childline as an email counsellor.

My research experience includes, perinatal mental health, infant bonding and temperament, mental health from infancy through to adolescence, psychometric development, and digital mental health interventions. Due to lived experience I have become increasingly interested in neurodevelopment in terms of research, practice, and advocacy.

I am autistic and have ADHD, and I believe this provides me with an additional lens to be able to understand neurodiversity and as someone late diagnosed, the impact of living for so long in a world that is designed and continues to operate based off neurotypical evidence, perspectives, and norms. I am a mother of 2 incredible small humans whom I spend the majority of my time caring for and spending time with. My special interests aside from my children are strength and conditioning training and listening to metal and industrial music. 


Dr Michelle Hacking
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

Hello! My name is Michelle, and I’m a Clinical Psychologist with Axia. I have worked with children and young people with Autism and Learning Disabilities since 2007, and graduated from the University of Liverpool Clinical Psychology Doctorate in 2018. My passion is working with Autistic people, and I work three days a week for the NHS in a specialist Autism and LD service within CAMHS.

My approach is always person-centred, and I aim to work alongside adults, young people, and families around meeting their individual needs, and working collaboratively on what is important in their lives. I enjoy a variety of activities within my work, including assessment, therapeutic interventions, teaching and training, systemic family work, and behavioural approaches. Within my NHS role, I provide post-diagnostic support for children and families receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, courses for parents based around Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), and a rolling training programme for professionals who would like to learn more about Autism. I am currently training in Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is a therapy used to alleviate distress caused by trauma, or adverse life experiences.


Dr Anna Haigh
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician
 
My name is Anna and I qualified as a Clinical Psychologist in 2011. Alongside my professional training I also draw from my personal experiences of growing up in a neurodiverse family to inform my work. I strongly believe that any assessment should focus on the strengths and resources of an individual, whilst also hearing and acknowledging the challenges and difficulties that a person faces.
 
Prior to qualifying as a Psychologist I worked as a researcher and teacher for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, as well as people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions. Since qualifying I have worked in a range of areas including mental and physical health and learning disability services. I offer specialist legal assessments and reports for court hearings as well as actively working with families to complete and implement Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). I am thrilled to be a part of Axia-ASD and look forward to offering assessments, follow-up appointments and therapy. I draw from a range of psychological models including CBT and am a trained Cognitive Analytic Therapist (CAT).
 

Jess Hendrickx
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

I started as a diagnostician with Axia in 2023. My career in the autism field started as a mentor to autistic adults, helping them to manage all aspects of their lives. This evolved into delivering training on autism and speaking about my own personal experiences as a late diagnosed autistic woman. I have delivered training to both the public and private sectors and presented internationally. I love educating people on all thing autism!

I was diagnosed as dyslexic in 2003, autistic in 2018, and am currently on the waiting list for an ADHD diagnosis.

I have a PgCert in Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, with a focus on eating disorders. The cross over of autism and eating is something that really interests me and is an area that I would like to study further, in the future. As of January 2024, I will be a published author, having contributed a chapter on eating and autism to Sarah Hendrickx’s second edition of Women and Girls on the Autism Spectrum.


Sarah Hendrickx
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

Sarah is autistic. She has provided diagnostic Autism assessments via Skype/Zoom at Axia since 2017, being clinically supervised by Dr. Linda Buchan. She is highly experienced in the assessment of autistic females and those with co-morbid profiles of Autism/ADHD. Sarah has carried out more than 1000 assessments over 13+years – both with Axia, for the MoD and independently. She is author of the best-selling book: Women and Girls with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which has sold more than 35,000 copies. Sarah has also trained psychiatrists in the diagnosis of female Autism. She has a Postgraduate Certificate in Asperger Syndrome and an MA in Autism.

Sarah has delivered over 1000 Autism training workshops and conference presentations internationally to all types of professionals from educators and care providers to counsellors and lawyers. Many of her presentations can be found on YouTube. The following link is a presentation by Sarah at a National Autistic Society event, speaking about Autism in women and girls: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKzWbDPisNk



Sarah has spoken openly about her wide and varied life experiences in her talks as an autism speaker, including 40+ failed jobs, life-long mental health difficulties and numerous disastrous relationships – all of which she shares with humour and brutal honesty. Sarah’s partner, daughter, son, and various other members of her family also have Autism diagnoses.

Sarah has written 5 other books on Autism – employment, sex and relationships, alcoholism, the adult neuro-diversity spectrum. She has been involved in the development of training materials for the Dept of Education funded AET National Autism Training Programme and also spent three years working for the Ministry of Defence supporting autistic employees in science and technology. She was also involved in Scottish Autism’s Right Click Programme for Women and Girls and the National Autistic Society Professional Module for Clinicians diagnosing women and girls. She was Project Leader for ASpire autism mentoring project and has worked in residential care and educational settings.


Abigial Hodgson
Audio Typist for Axia

I’m Abi, I joined Axia in 2023 as their Typist and am absolutely loving it so far. It’s great to feel like I’m contributing to helping people understand themselves one quotation at a time!

Outside of work I absolutely love Drag Queens, rock music, travelling, baking, playing games and of course, my little old man cat, Pancake.


Reece Imiolek
Anime Amigo and Nerd Consultant

After first being referred to Axia in July 2015, I was diagnosed by Dr Linda Buchan with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Dyspraxia when I was 21.

Since my diagnosis I joined the Post Diagnosis Support Group run by Axia and got to meet the wonderful staff as well as “The Nerd Consultant” Calvin Atkinson, where after we discovered we were both passionate about Anime.

After much deliberation on how we could use our shared interest to benefit Axia, Calvin and I decided to found the Anime Amigos in March 2017 with myself as the co-founder and Calvin as the leader of our sect. Then on an almost monthly basis we have been creating and uploading podcasts based on various topics e.g. Seasonal anime, films and recently Video game conferences with e3. To Calvin’s YouTube channel (Since our separate channel we created was not performing on par with the main channel)

Another part of what I do for Axia is create reviews for new and existing video games (Mainly focusing on Nintendo Switch and Sony PlayStation5). Although most of my reviews tend to go into way too much depth on said games (See my Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart review for details as it’s nearly 3,500 words long)

Apart from the Anime Amigos and video game reviews, I am a member of the Axia Collective, which evolved out of Axia’s “Journal Club” where we reviewed the latest in academic literature relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder and other related topics so we could create our own research.


Steph Jones
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

Hi! I’m Steph and a new member to the Axia team delivering neurodevelopmental assessments clinically supervised by Dr Linda Buchan.

My background is in psychotherapy and have been working in private practice since 2016 after obtaining my postgraduate diploma from The University of Salford. Working holistically I have always favoured a person-centred approach, and like Axia’s partnership model, I strongly believe that the person is the expert on their lives. Since my own autism diagnosis I have specialised in providing neuro-affirming therapy, coaching and post-diagnosis support, and written a book (‘The Autistic Survival Guide to Therapy’ with forewords by Sarah Hendrickx and Professor Tony Attwood) due out in 2024.

I’m passionate about raising awareness around neurodiversity and have had my campaign work featured in The Guardian, Metro newspaper, Therapy Today (BACP) and Psychotherapy and Politics International (Wiley). I am beyond excited to be part of the Axia team and help others find their ‘Eureka!’ moment so they can go on to recognise their unique strengths and talents.

In my spare time I am all about the MUSIC! (I was a journalist, radio presenter and punk rock drummer in a former life). I’ve been teaching myself to sing funk and soul for the past three years, love gigs and festivals, and am usually found in my garden with my animal soulmate Ziggy.


Bev Lonergan
PA to Directors & Guest Welfare and Service Coordinator
 
Hi Everyone, I’m Bev, Facilities Manager and PA to both of our Directors, Linda and Calvin.
 
My role at Axia is variable daily, from Health and Safety at our premises to ensuring the directors needs are met daily. I love being part of the Axia family, we have an amazing, passionate, caring team.
 
I have two grown up children and five grandchildren, I am also a full-time carer for my brother, Martin. I enjoy, horse riding, swimming and gardening in my spare time. I am a member of the Axia Collective. 

David Reiser
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

David qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 1985 but got the computer bug in the final year of the degree and started a career in IT for the next 18 years! However, memories of the fascination he held with his original degree subject drew him back into the profession in 2004 when he joined Cheshire NHS Trust as a Therapist. Over the next 8 years he worked in the paediatric department running clinics, working in schools, special schools and nurseries during which time he developed a particular interest in Early Years and the presentation of neurodevelopmental difficulties such as autism and ADHD.

On leaving the NHS in 2012, he started his own practise being engaged by educational settings and individual clients and also focusing on identification, support and training in the area of autism spectrum conditions often working in partnership with other professionals in the field. He is a member of the National Autistic Society and accredited by The Society (Lorna Wing Centre) to use the DISCO autism diagnostic methodology. In addition, he is qualified in use of the ADOS-2 and the ADI-R diagnostic instruments. He is a founding Trustee and now volunteer for Autism Inclusive. He is an ELKLAN, ICAN and Hanen tutor and regularly provides training in the areas of autism, speech, language and communication, in educational settings and for parents.


Lucy Ridley
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician, Safeguarding Lead and Therapy Coordinator

Hello, I’m Lucy Ridley. I first met Linda Buchan when she and her partner were training me for my first support work role, back in 1993 in Liverpool. Partnership training was key and formed the crux of all my work thereafter. I studied for a Diploma in Social Work and worked in mental health and learning  disabilities; my main focus was on advocacy work. I can’t bear people being treated unfairly! My passion for autism began in the mid 90’s when supporting an autistic person for whom I advocated, which opened my mind to a whole new world of delectable detail and fascinating conversation. Over the years, I have been particularly interested and engaged with post-diagnostic support for individuals on a one to one basis. I am also a mother of three and grandmother of two heavenly chaos warriors! Two out of three of my children were formally identified as autistic through Axia. I have a lot of personal experience in dealing with education services, which I can politely describe as an exasperating experience (though worth the effort in the long run!).

My favourite thing apart from my family is live music, I LOVE going to gigs and festivals! I also have a bit of a penchant for gnomes and rainbows.

I am very chuffed to be working with Linda again, all of my colleagues are so lovely and I am super excited about my new role.


Clare Saunders
Administrative Assistant

Hi, I’m Clare! I do some typing from home for Calvin’s film and gaming reviews. When I’m not typing, I’m either drawing or watching sitcoms! I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration and I hope to create a sci-fi graphic novel one day.


Dr Catriona Stewart OBE
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

I started researching autism over 20 years ago, completing an MSc on diagnostic issues and theories in 2004. My PhD was funded by Edinburgh Napier University and completed in 2011, and focussed on the lived experiences of autistic girls, and anxiety. I founded charity, SWAN: Scottish Women’s Autism Network 10 years ago, to provide peer support, build on the knowledge-base and raise levels of understanding.

I’ve been an advisor to a number of high level national enquiries and campaigns, including the Scottish Government Improving Understanding of Autism #DifferentMinds campaign for which I’m an Ambassador. I’ve delivered many academic papers and conference plenary presentations, internationally, and run numerous training sessions and workshops.

As a professional firmly embedded in the community, I have worked, over the years, with many hundreds of autistic people, women, girls, men, non-binary and trans people and families too.

I’m mother to 2 wonderful adult daughters.


Alex Teece-Millington
Receptionist and Housekeeper

Hi!! My Name is Alex and I’m The receptionist here at Axia. I love that every day is different and all the new people I get to meet when they arrive for their assessments. Outside of work I’m mum to a stroppy ten-year-old and a greedy Pug. My hobbies include Walking, Music, Films and Trips to Scotland with my other half.


Halil Varli
Administrative Assistant

Hi, my name is Halil and I am part of the administration team joining from June 2022. Prior to me working for Axia I used to work for a Law firm for 4 years as an Administrator Assistant. Everyone at Axia has made me feel welcome and everyday at Axia is different!

In my spare time I like to spend time with my family and go out with friends. I do have an obsession with video games and collecting memorabilia. My favourite game being World of Warcraft!


Cath Williams
Administrative Assistant

My name is Cath. I started working at Axia as an Administrative Assistant in December. Until I joined Axia I worked in the legal sector as a legal secretary for 20 years so working at Axia is very different to what I’ve been used to! Everyone at Axia is really nice and has made me feel welcome. The work is interesting and I’m settling in really well.

I have a young family at home (and a hamster called Marshmello) and I love spending time with them when I’m not at work. I enjoy reading and try to swim at least twice a week to keep me fit. I also enjoy any activities that are outdoors as I love the fresh air.

I’m looking forward to working with everyone at Axia for the foreseeable future.


Dr Hannah Williamson
Neurodevelopmental Diagnostician

I’m Hannah and I qualified from the University of Liverpool Clinical Psychology Doctorate in 2018. Prior to training I worked in hospital and community settings in Middlesbrough and Cumbria, supporting Autistic people and people with a learning disability with their mental health and wellbeing. During training I gained invaluable experiences working psychologically within a variety of services including learning disability, university student health, paediatric physical health, and older adult mental health. I then chose a specialist placement at Axia due to my passion for working with and celebrating neurodiversity. I was struck immediately by the values of partnership, candour, empowerment, and strengths-based thinking here. I loved the ethos and approach within Axia so much, I had to come back to work here when I qualified!

At Axia my works includes diagnostic assessments, post-diagnostic support and psychological therapy. I always endeavour to work in partnership with people, to arrive at a shared and meaningful understanding of their strengths and difficulties. When working therapeutically, I work collaboratively and draw from a range of models and approaches, to ensure the work is person-centred and supports people to reach their own goals. I am passionate about adapting psychological therapy to suit the individual, and about supporting people to explore the links between their neurodiversity, mental health, and physical wellbeing.


Dream
“Philosopher, Truth Seeker and Questioner”
Author of “Mental Models of Reality –
A Diatribe by Dream”

Voluntary Helper to the Axia Team and member of the Axia Collective as
“Guest ‘IT’ Consultant” –
(whatever “IT” actually IS?!?)


The Next Axia6th March 2024
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm

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