Clinical Team

people iconDr Sarah Lister Brook

people iconDr Judith Gould

people iconDr Sue Smith

people iconDr Tanya Mellor

people iconDr Laura Cockburn

Business Support Team

people iconJo Parker

people iconSue Keech

people iconCathy Roobottom

people iconKate Langford

people iconJosie Volckman


Clinical Team

Dr Sarah Lister Brook - BSc MAppSci PhD CPsychol AFBPsS 
Clinical Director
Consultant Clinical Psychologist

headshot photo of Dr Sarah Lister Brook, autism professional

Sarah was appointed as Clinical Director for the National Autistic Society, UK, in April 2017 but has been an Associate Consultant with the National Autistic Society for over 25 years. She is responsible for the strategic development of the National Autistic Society clinical services.This includes diagnostic and assessment services across the life-span and therapeutic services for children and young people within the National Autistic Society independent and free schools. She oversees the clinical governance for these services and is the Clinical Lead for the diagnostic services provided through the Lorna Wing Centres for Autism which are internationally recognised centres of excellence.

Together with Dr Judith Gould, Lead Consultant with the Lorna Wing Centre and the training team she delivers the accredited training programme for the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders.

Read more about Sarah

Dr Judith Gould
BSc MPhil PhD AFBPsS CPsychol
Lead Associate Consultant / Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Judith Gould

Judith Gould is the Lead Associate Consultant at the National Autistic Society Lorna Wing Centre for Autism and retired as Director of the Centre in 2015. She is a Chartered Consultant Clinical Psychologist, with over 40 years experience, specialising in autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities.

Before being the Director of The Lorna Wing Centre she worked as a member of the scientific staff of the Medical Research Council Social Psychiatry Unit and was a Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. She has also worked as a Clinical Psychologist within both health and social services. She has published widely in the field of autism spectrum disorders. Her current interest is the diagnosis of women and girls on the spectrum.

Lorna Wing and Judith Gould’s early work in the 1970s on the epidemiology of autism and related conditions, led to the concept of a spectrum of autistic conditions.

Judith Gould, together with Lorna Wing, set up The Centre for Social and Communication Disorders (now The NAS Lorna Wing Centre for Autism) which was the first service in the UK to provide a complete diagnostic, assessment and advice service for children, adolescents and adults with social and communication disorders.

The Centre’s team also offers training to professionals in their methods of diagnosis and assessment of needs. Lorna Wing and Judith Gould developed an interview schedule called the Diagnostic Interview for Social and Communication Disorders (DISCO) to be used as part of the diagnostic process. This schedule enables the professional to use a dimensional approach when making a diagnosis which is more helpful than diagnostic sub-grouping when planning treatment, education and care. This approach bests fits the new DSM 5 Diagnostic Classification System. DISCO is widely used throughout the UK and overseas, and training in its use is carried out both at the Centre and internationally.

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Dr Sue Smith
Head of Lorna Wing Centre Kent 
Principal Speech and Language Therapist 

Dr Sue Smith, autism professional

Sue is Head of the Lorna Wing Centre in Kent. This involves both clinical assessment and responsibility for the management and supervision of staff working within the centre. Sue has worked with adults and children with ASD throughout her 25 year career. Sue has worked as a specialist clinician but also as a manager of specialist learning disability and ASD services and been responsible for developing and managing award winning autism diagnostic services. Sue’s academic work has focused on better understanding of the quality of life of people with ASD.

Dr Tanya Mellor - BSc (Hons) PG Cert D.ClinPsy
Specialist Clinical Psychologist

Dr Tanya Mellor, autism professional

Tanya is a Clinical Psychologist. She has been employed within the NHS since 2011 and has been at the Lorna Wing Centre since 2018. She has worked extensively with children, adolescents and adults with learning disabilities, complex mental health presentations and ASD.

She is trained in using the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and has carried out specialist multidisciplinary developmental and diagnostic assessments.

Tanya has delivered lectures on Developmental Disability and Autism to Trainee Clinical Psychologists and has supervised other Clinical Psychologists, Trainee Clinical Psychologists and Assistant Psychologists.

Dr Laura Cockburn - CPsychol. AFBPsS
Principal Educational Psychologist

Dr Laura Cockburn, autism professional

Laura Cockburn is currently Head of the Lorna Wing Centre for Autism, Essex. Her work involves in-depth specialist diagnostic assessments in Autism Spectrum Disorders with children and young people, in addition to managing the centre. Laura has worked at the Lorna Wing Centre for over five years.

Laura’s initial involvement in the field of autism started in the 1980s when she was teaching autistic children and young people and those with a range of special needs. She then qualified as an Educational Psychologist and worked in number of London Boroughs including Greenwich and Haringey.

Laura worked in Singapore for 10 years where she worked for the Singapore government services. She supported the development of Autism Services and other specialist services for children and young people in Singapore and other countries in South East Asia. Following this, she set up her own private practice specialising in diagnostic and intervention work in ASD.

Read more about Laura

Business Support Team

Jo Parker
Business and Finance Manager, Lorna Wing Centres

Jo Parker, Business and Finance Manager for the Lorna Wing Centres

Jo is the Business & Finance Manager for the Lorna Wing Centres (LWC), supporting the management and development of the LWC. This includes all aspects of business and operations. She is also responsible for the business support management of the service, including financial, HR, and ancillary management. She has worked with the National Autistic Society Lorna Wing Centre for 9 years based in Bromley, Kent initially and was involved in setting up the new Centre in Chigwell Essex. Jo is very passionate about her job and the service which is provided by the LWC.

The aim of the Business Support team is to ensure that we provide an efficient service to everyone who contacts and attends LWC, from initial enquiries to diagnosis.

She started as a part-time administrator and dealt with the administration of DISCO training. Her role has developed over the years. Jo worked for a local autistic trust as Office Manager for two and a half years and in the NHS for around 12 years in various departments as an administrator. Her last role was working on the Agenda for Change project as an HR coordinator.

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Sue Keech

Administrative Assistant, Lorna Wing Centre, Kent

Sue Keech

Sue supports the administration at the Lorna Wing Centre, assisting with the day-to-day administration, diagnostic assessments and DISCO training.

Sue has worked with the National Autistic Society for 3 years in the capacity of administrator. In her previous role (of 18 years), Sue helped project manage the day-to-day running of an extra care supported housing scheme for 34 residents, making sure that essential support for the residents’ individual needs was in place.

Sue went for an interview in a school for autistic children and after researching the subject, became very interested and wished to be more involved. At the Lorna Wing Centre the staff are passionate and dedicated, creating a pleasant environment to work in.

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Cathy Roobottom

Clinic Administrator, Lorna Wing Centre, Kent

Cathy Roobottom, Clinic Administrator at the Lorna Wing Centre

Cathy’s role at the Lorna Wing centre consists of answering calls and emails regarding the smooth running of the diagnostic clinics, from first contact all the way through to meeting the child/young person or adult on the day of assessment. This involves lots of communication with families as well as consultants, GPs, Schools etc. The role can be quite complex by its very nature. Cathy’s aim is to make the journey to assessment as easy and seamless as possible for all of those involved.

Cathy has previously worked in educational environments. Her last role was attendance and pastoral care at Bromley College. She has very much enjoyed the transition to the National Autistic Society at the Lorna Wing Centre.

Kate Langford

Administrative Assistant, Lorna Wing Centre, Essex

Kate Langford, Administrative Assistant at the Lorna Wing Centre

Kate’s role is to support the Clinic Admin and the Lead Admin in their daily administrative duties in the office, on a part-time basis. Her duties include answering general enquiries to the centre via email and telephone. She also meets and greets parents and children on assessment days, deals with post coming into the centre and sends information as requested.

Kate was a civil servant for many years, working in the busy payroll department and Children’s Centres. She is really enjoying her change of career in the LWC. Kate is currently working her way through the Ask Autism Modules and is enjoying learning about autism.

Josie Volckman

Clinic & Lead Administrator, Lorna Wing Centre, Essex

Josie Volckman, Clinic and Lead Administrator at the Lorna Wing Centre

Josie’s role includes day to day administration duties in the office and dealing with general enquiries which come in via email or phone. With this she is involved with referrals throughout their screening process. A large part of Josie’s role is arranging clinics and matching appropriate consultants with the child/young person or adult, as well as greeting families on clinic days and occasionally sitting with the child in the afternoon before the end of the assessment. She also liaises with consultants after clinic days in regards to reports to make sure they are sent out on time.

Having worked in retail and catering, working for a charity is a completely new experience for Josie. She plans to stay with the National Autistic Society for the foreseeable future and hopes to move her way up and gain more and more knowledge along the way.