Working with Autism Spectrum Conditions in the CJS

IfJ CPD Courses

Event details


30 May 2024


Thursday 09:30-16:00
Registration: 09:15


Zoom Online
United Kingdom

Event Fees

Subsidised one-day course £ 50.00

Booking info

Max participants: 20

Course facilitator(s): Caroline Finlayson, Dr Ian Groeber and Professor Lucy Henry

Course facilitator(s) bio:

Caroline Finlayson

Caroline is a Trainee Advanced Practitioner in Autism Spectrum Conditions in the NHS as well as having been an Intermediary for 7 years. As an Intermediary, she works only with adults with complex communication needs related to autism, learning disabilities and mental health.

Dr Ian Groeber

Consultant Psychiatrist, with a Certificate of Completed Training and background in Psychiatry of Learning Disability, and currently working with Psychiatry-UK assessing for neurodevelopmental disorders. 

Professor Lucy Henry

Professor Lucy Henry teaches at City, University of London and has research interests in use of intermediaries at interview and in supporting recall for vulnerable witnesses.

Course requirements: IfJ Member

Who is this course for: Intermediaries who would like to understand more about the criminal court processes to enhance their work with vulnerable witnesses, with a particular focus on autism. At any level of experience, from newly registered onwards.


This course aims to bring an understanding of communication needs associated with autism and mental health needs.

There is an update from Professor Lucy Henry on current research relating to autism and the Intermediary role as well as a discussion around information provided by someone with lived experience of our role in the Justice System.

We would like this day to be collaborative and ask attendees to bring examples of cases and questions they have edited, with which they may need advice and support, as well as examples of good practice.

There will be regular breaks throughout the day to allow for rest and recharging from Zoom fatigue.

Course content:

09.30 - 10.30 | Dr Ian Groeber

  • Provide a background knowledge of mental health disorders to provide context for the discussions. 
  • Consider how these disorders may impact the work of intermediaries. 
  • Provide a space for real life case discussions and a space to explore thoughts and conundrums

10.30 - 11.30 | Caroline Finlayson

  • This session will cover an explanation of the terminology around autism/neurodivergence, as well as highlighting communication and sensory differences associated with autism, and useful tips on recommendations we can make for Special Measures.

12.00 - 13.00 | Dr Ian Groeber & Caroline Finlayson

  • This will be a problem-solving session that will    involve breakout rooms.

The workshop is run in the form of a small group training of up to 20 intermediaries. The speakers will present information and will invite high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas.  Prepared slides/handouts guide the process rather than impart information.

13.00 - 14.00 | LUNCH

14.00 - 15.00 | Professor Lucy Henry 

  • Overview of a large research project on intermediaries and vulnerable child witnesses
  • A focus on the findings in relation to autistic child witnesses
  • A discussion of challenges around research on autistic child witnesses and important future directions

15.00 - 15.30 | Caroline Finlayson & Dr Ian Groeber: Information provided by Mr J Rackham

  • Lived Experience Discussion

15.30 - 16.00 I Dr Ian Groeber &  Caroline Finlayson 

  • Q&A and Summing up

Course aims/objectives:

Caroline Finlayson and Dr Ian Groeber

1. Caroline Finlayson: Autism Spectrum Conditions, Neurodivergence and Communication Needs for Intermediaries.

This session aims to bring:

  • clarity to current vocabulary around autism. 
  • an understanding of the communication differences we can expect. 
  • practical strategies we can offer as Special Measures.

2. Caroline Finlayson and Ian Groeber: Application to the Intermediary Role: Assessment/Recommendations Formulation of Questions/ Support at Trial.

This session is:

  • a collaborative session. Attendees are asked to submit complex cases where they have struggled to know what to recommend, situations where recommendations have not been followed and examples of questions where there has been ambiguity as to how to edit.

3. Caroline Finlayson and Ian Groeber: Q & A and summing up session.

  • This will be the final session for any further questions and a summing up of the day.

Professor Lucy Henry

  • Improve understanding and knowledge about research into autistic witnesses
  • Improve understanding and knowledge about research into intermediaries working with vulnerable witnesses
  • Raise awareness of the need for more research in these areas

Course method:

The workshop is run in the form of a small group training. The presenters will present information and will invite high levels of participation and sharing of knowledge and ideas.  Prepared slides/handouts guide the process rather than impart information.
The following materials are provided:

  • Timetable
  • Glossary of terms
  • Power point presentations
  • Guidance for further reading-Bibliography

- Participants to log on 15 minutes prior to start of each session.

- It is required that all participants keep their cameras on throughout the workshop.

- Participants to complete online feedback form post workshop.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel your booking with 14 or more days notice, you will receive a full refund minus a £5 admin charge. If you cancel your booking with less than 48 hours' notice, we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. However, you may substitute another delegate or transfer to another course by giving IfJ at least 24 hours’ notice.

In exceptional circumstances IfJ reserve the right to issue a full refund. Please inform us at the time of cancellation of your particular reason for cancelling. If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please do so by emailing:

We will endeavour to respond to all cancellation requests within two working days. Refunds will be made using the same method of payment as you used for the purchase and will be paid within seven days of refund confirmation.

Places are limited to a maximum of 20 participants. There is a minimum requirement of 12 participants. If the minimum number is not met, IfJ reserve the right to cancel the course with at least two weeks' notice and a full refund will be issued.