About Paper Lifeboat


Hello! I’m Emma. I’m really pleased that you’ve found me. Hop aboard a moment while I tell you what’s going on.

I’m guessing that you’ve washed up here because, like me, you’ve always felt a little different. You might have days when you feel everything is going just fine; then, days when you feel utterly disabled by this… something. Perhaps you’ve had treatment for mental illness, or maybe you’ve struggled unsupported for years, thinking that it’s just you. Maybe you’ve lost hope of things ever making sense.

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone.

Every single person on this planet struggles with life at times, wears masks in order to socialise, and can feel disconnected from others. Every single one of us relies on our own, wonky senses and cognition with which to perceive and make sense of the world; every single one of us has our individual sensitivities and blind spots. But for some of us, these themes can be so all-pervasive that however much you try, they feel insurmountable. On the surface you might be getting by, but underneath, you feel like the waves could close over your head at any moment.

I’m here to help you consider whether autism might be a part of your picture – especially if you’ve never considered the possibility before.

I’ve been lucky enough to see autism through many different lenses; as a healthcare professional, a service designer, a parent, and now as an “actually autistic” individual.

Everyone who hears a little bit of my story asks for my advice. I’m forever standing in kitchens and corridors with those one or two people who have heard me speak about autism, and who recognise themselves in it, or someone they are close to. They ask me – How can I know for sure? Why does the label matter? What difference does knowing make? How can I find support?

There are no “right” answers to these questions, and I certainly don’t pretend to have them. However, I do have decades of experience supporting myself, my children, and working with autistic people – sometimes as their supporter or mentor, sometimes as their client, sometimes as simply their colleague or friend. They told me it was time to make a space to share my learnings, and after thinking it over for a mere three years, here it is.

I wish I’d had someone to walk me through this journey. It’s been long and lonely at times, but it’s changed my life for the better. If I can help you on your own path of self-discovery in some small way, I’d love to.

To your best life,


Who I work with

I’m a campaigner, writer, adviser, and trainer, working with a number of enlightened organisations in the fields of autism, mental health, recovery, and suicide prevention:

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