Spokesperson Network

Marie Van Herteryck

Self-advocate and Co-Founder of NDSA (Neuro Diverse Self Advocacy) voluntary organisation.



Marie entered the autism space by advocating and dealing with her children’s diagnosis and SEN provisions at school. However soon she realised that autism, or then Asperger, was the name for what was happening to her all her life. Marie is a MBA qualified chemical engineer by training and worked in blue chip companies in new product development and marketing. She has 12 years’ experience of advocacy and 8 years’ experience of advising people on a popular forum for parents. Watching her girls, she knows building positive autism identity is hugely important. Marie came across some demeaning and dehumanising conversations about autistic people and realised that equality is not a forgone conclusion. We need to work for it for us and for the sake of our children. So she joined with others to start the NDSA (Neuro Diverse Self Advocacy) voluntary organisation.

"Autism has historically been described from outside by its appearance and not based on how it is experienced from within. As a result many interventions fall short of addressing the needs and priorities of autistic people. It is important to let the voices of actually autistic people to flip and reframe the autism narrative based on strengths and the neurodiversity paradigm."

In the Media

  • Marie Van Herteryck wrote ‘While my daughter was being diagnosed as autistic, her doctor told me I am too’ for Metro.co.uk on being diagnosed with Autism at 45 and the importance of Autistic-led organisations.

  • Marie Van Herteryck spoke to BBC Radio Three Counties on her late diagnosis of Autism.

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