World Health Innovation Summit Ambassador for Learning Disabilities, Autism & Families

LTD Learning Disability Champion 2015

HSJ Top 50 Inspirational Women in Heathcare 2014

Yvonne Newbold is a writer, speaker and trainer who is also the mother to three children, including Toby who is multiply disabled with profound learning disabilities. She is passionate about doing whatever it takes to make things better for children and adults who have a learning disability or autism, as well as for their families. In 2013 she was diagnosed with incurable cancer, but it came as no surprise. She knew that the stress she had been under for nearly 20 years of battling to get her son the equipment, support and care that they needed had been crushing. Her body was simply worn out. On the same day she was told about her poor prognosis, she determined to spend whatever time she had left doing whatever she could to improve the lives of the next generation of families like her own.

Since then, she has written The Special Parent’s Handbook, covering every aspect of Special Needs Parenting and sharing all that she learnt about making life easier. The book is an Amazon #1 Best Seller, and she has since won two awards; HSJ Top 50 Inspirational Women in Healthcare 2014 and Learning Disability Today Parent/Carer Advocate Champion Award 2015.

Yvonne continues to write extensively on issues relating to special needs parenting, learning disability, autism and other related topics. She is also very active on social media, supporting over 6,000 parents on her Facebook Page, also called The Special Parent's Handbook. On Twitter and LinkedinYvonne engages with healthcare professionals and others who work with families like her own, gently challenging them to think differently about their own work practices. She also speaks at conferences about how it's the little things that make all the difference in healthcare - things like kindness, patience and acceptance of everyone. 

Yvonne has developed a series of workshops for parents of special needs children on many of the issues that parents struggle with such as advocating effectively for their child in Multidisciplinary Meetings, ensuring that the siblings aren’t left out and looking after yourself too. 

Yvonne has also developed a series of ground-breaking Workshops for Healthcare Professionals covering areas of her own experience such as the difference that kindness and compassion can make within a therapeutic relationship, how to adapt working practice to meet the needs of patients with a learning disability or autism, and how to manage successful co-production projects. 

When people hear Yvonne speak or attend one of her workshops they generally leave feeling more positive, empowered and with a will to become even better at what they do. Yvonne’s passion is contagious, and if her key message could be distilled into one simple phrase is would be that “Kindness works wonders”.

Yvonne also writes about cancer on her blog Coke Floats & Chemo and she also has a second Facebook page which offers support to people affected by the disease, and shares the same name.  Meanwhile she continues to receive on-going active oncology treatment which for the moment seems to be slowing down the progression of her cancer. She has already surpassed her 26-month prognosis, and she is determined to keep going and making a difference for as long as possible.

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