There are changes at The Autism Centre as we say farewell to Sue Chantler who retires from Sheffield Hallam on Thursday 27th September. As teacher, headteacher, academic, colleague and friend Sue has been active in autism in Sheffield for many years. Sue’s dedication to her students is widely acknowledged and her skill and expertise will be much missed. I know that her support for the autism community will continue but I would like to mark Sue’s transition into retirement with the biggest thank you possible for the dedication, commitment, talent and expertise that Sue has brought to The Autism Centre. We are devastated by her going but of course celebrate with Sue all the exciting new opportunities that will be coming her way.
I know that Sue ‘s concerns over leaving The Autism Centre have been greatly eased by our good fortune in being able to welcome Dr. Mitzi Waltz to The Autism Centre to take over from Sue the leadership of the Undergraduate and MA (Autism) programmes. Previously Mitzi was a Lecturer in Autism Studies with the Autism Centre for Education and Research at the University of Birmingham, having moved to the UK in 2001 to work with the Autism Research Unit at Sunderland.
In 2006, Mitzi earned her PhD in the history of autism, and she has authored nine books on the autism spectrum and other health topics during a long career as a freelance journalist.
Mitzi describes herself as an “autism activist,” and she has been involved in education advocacy, healthcare action, and looking at the ethical concerns raised by some autism research directions and interventions.
Mitzi identifies as most important in her autism history the fact that she is the parent of a terrific young man who has autism. Mitzi is often heard to say “been there, did that, got the army boots to prove it.” Welcome to SHU Mitzi.