Creatovators was set up after our founder’s son received a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. When seeking out help and advice, June Grindley discovered there was very little available and set out on a quest to change this. She re-trained and, with encouragement from other families who had children on he spectrum, whilst studying for an MSc in Autism she established the Social Enterprise.
On paper, our amazing team includes 5 directors, 22 volunteers and 1 high school apprentice. Realistically, those who use our services are also an integral part of this great team as we all help, support, encourage and learn from each other.
June Grindley MSc
Founder, Director and Autism Practitioner
June Grindley began working with people on the Autistic Spectrum in 1998 and her son has a diagnosis of Asperger’s Syndrome. With a background in Listening, Business and Training she added to her skills by completing an MSc in Autism in 2013, during which she extensively studied Lego®-based Therapy. June was one of the first people to introduce this therapy to Scotland. With her blend of personal experience, professional experience and training, June has a unique insight into supporting those on the spectrum and their families. With her business and training background she is able to educate professionals in all walks of life in supporting people on the spectrum.
Alan Rutherford is a business professional with a wide range of experience in key senior management roles. He has significant sales and marketing skills together with a track record of achievement in competitive markets. His personal strengths include leadership qualities, strategic thinking and implementation skills, determination, attention to detail and a desire to make a real contribution to bottom line performance both operationally and financially.
Dr David Simmons
Dr. David Simmons is a lecturer in Psychology at the University of Glasgow. Having originally trained in physics and physiology he made the study of human visual perception his main focus until about 15 years ago when a series of events drew him to become interested in autism. Since then he has become a leading world authority on sensory and perceptual aspects of autism, publishing some highly cited papers in the field, acting as an adviser to the Scottish Government (and other organisations such as the charity Scottish Autism and the Adult Autism Spectrum Cohort project at Newcastle University). He frequently presents his research, and that of his many students, to both academic and other audiences. He also teaches a popular course on autism at the University of Glasgow and is a supporter of other local organisations like The Sporting Aces (https://thetennisaces.co.uk). You can find more detail of his biography on https://www.gla.ac.uk/schools/psychology/staff/davidsimmons/#/ or follow him on twitter @DrDavidRSimmons.
Director and Activities Support Worker
Susanna studies primary education at the University of Glasgow and was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at sixteen. She has multiple types of synaesthesia, and her special interests include Doctor Who and birds – specifically waterfowl and parrots. After her diagnosis, Susanna became interested in the academic side of autism. She has contributed to a Scottish Autism article on the sensory and perceptual aspects of autism and synaesthesia, and talked at an Edinburgh University panel on ‘disability, discrimination, and success’. Susanna’s previous work with children and lived experience as an autistic person gives her a unique perspective when working with Creatovators.
Karen has a child on the autistic spectrum, previously worked as a volunteer for Carer’s Link in East Dunbartonshire and now works for West Dunbartonshire’s Carer’s Centre. She has worked with groups of Carer’s and been a volunteer on a carer’s helpline. She has completed a Partners in Policymaking Course and spoken to Scottish Government policymakers regarding the course and the effect it had on her family. She has experience in the social network arena on Twitter and Facebook and has set up a page for “Differently Abled” people on Facebook. She has links with the local autism community and a wealth of experience relating to her son.
From Humble Beginnings...
Starting small June began to help individual clients by using their interests to teach them social skills. She found that tailoring each programme to their interests and needs enabled them to make significant progress.
Parents expressed a desperate need for a safe, inclusive environment where their children could play and they could receive support. With help and backing from one of the local churches, along with the parents, a Play Scheme was formed for the whole family to attend.
During her MSc in Autism, June studied an, at that time, new therapeutic intervention using Lego®, now known as Lego®-based Therapy. She undertook in-depth research into this technique and began to use it within the organisation, thereby being one of the first people to use it in this country.
... To Where We Are Now
Having worked with many people through our services, we are seeing the fruit of our labour. Some of our participants have moved on to being volunteers, supporting new participants, particularly within our Playscheme and Lego®-based Therapy Sessions.
With the wealth of experience and knowledge gained, we now offer training workshops. Autism Awareness Training, focusing on the positives, is undertaken with organisations and companies. Some of those we have worked in partnership with are Developing the Young Workforce, Tesco and a local archery club, “Clyde Arrows”.
We organise Lego®-based Therapy Training for schools, education authorities, professionals, groups and parents. For example, we have run a workshop for East Dunbartonshire during a Festival of Celebration organised by their Local Area Coordinators.
We have links with other organisations in the field including Scottish Autism and the Department of Psychology in Glasgow University. This enables us to keep up-to-date with relevant discoveries which we feed into our services.
Built on a foundation of listening to those on the autistic spectrum and their parents, we continue to adapt and all the feedback we have received so far has been helpful and positive.