Sheila Payne

Occupational Therapist and Autism Specialist

Sheila is an Occupational Therapist who holds over 30 years of experience supporting individuals with special educational needs, autism, and neurodevelopmental differences, including PDA. Her services
extend to children, young adults up to 25 years old, parents, and educational settings. Having worked in diverse environments like residential homes, schools, and the community, Sheila has also provided advisory services for local authorities in 'Children and Families' Services. 

Her genuine passion lies in understanding and addressing the challenges associated with additional needs and neurodiversity, with a particular interest on working with neurodiverse girls and women. Sheila adopts a person-centered approach, prioritising the establishment of trusting therapeutic relationships to facilitate collaborative work. She aims to understand individuals' interests, skills, and challenges to deliver bespoke services that empower clients to progress positively. Sheila ensures
that sessions are conducted in the most suitable setting for each individual, whether online or face-to-face. 

Her services are available in and around Northamptonshire.


BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy

Certificate of Higher Education in Health and Social

 CareBTEC National Certificate in Childhood Studies (Nursery Nursing)

Foundation Award in Curriculum Studies

Professional Registrations & Memberships

Health and Care Professions Council (OT089142)

The Royal College of Occupational Therapy (BT0826025)

National Autistic Society

Core Therapeutic Modalities

Occupational Therapy

TEACCH Method (using visual cues, structure and routine to support individuals with neurodiverse needs)

CBT principles for children and young people


Autism, Other neurodiverse areas - ADHD, dyslexia, PDA

Implementing practical and environmental structure

Transition - school, university, workplace, etc

Sensory sensitivities

Conflict resolution


Looked after children (LAC)


Communication aids and skills

Social skills

Attachment difficulties

Parent focused Support

Emotional-based School Avoidance

Protective behaviours

Understanding and managing emotions

Understanding a diagnosis, pre and post diagnosis support


Real Life Experiences
  • "It was wonderful working with Lauren, she was professional and supportive, she showed such care towards our client, going above and beyond to meet the client’s needs. Lauren was approachable at all times and her experience and insight was invaluable."
    Social Worker - Inpatient setting
  • "Lauren’s input has been absolutely essential and critical to a young person’s recovery and improvement’'
  • "I have worked closely with Lauren for a number of months on a very complex case, she has shown superior abilities in her interactions with the young person and different members of the multidisciplinary team."
    Psychiatrist - Inpatient setting
  • "The work Lauren did with our young person was invaluable. Every step of our journey Lauren guided us, professionally and at times emotionally. Our education was enhanced greatly with the DBT skills and guidance from Lauren as she became part of our team"
    Nurse Manager - Inpatient setting
  • "Lauren supported us in our work with a young person with particularly complex needs. She was insightful, supportive and really stuck with the young person. The skills she taught the team were really helpful in the approach with the young person and will continue to be of benefit in our work with other young people in the future."
    Director of Child and Family Residential Services 
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