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Anita M Hughes BA MEd CPsychol AFBPsS is a teacher and chartered educational psychologist. She worked in social services and education services in South Wales, London and Surrey before setting up in private practice in 1999 in Guildford, Surrey. When Anita worked as a consultant in the council day nurseries of Hammersmith & Fulham in the early 1980s she met and worked with Elinor Goldschmied, collaborating in writing, teaching and film making and developing the ideas of Heuristic Play. Anita has also published three books about play and learning in the Early Years as well as collaborating with Veronica Read in a book for teachers on how to build positive relationships with parents. On moving to Surrey in 1986, Anita began working in local authority mainstream and special schools across the age range. She worked with teachers and parents to assess children's learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties and to support them through classroom advice, running groups and training courses. It was at this time that her interest in autism developed into a passion and she started to run groups for children in schools, together with teaching support staff to run their own groups. Anita set up the Friendly Group in 1999 when she began her own private practice. Her private practice has included IQ assessments, consultation advice, counselling and delivering training workshops. In recent years her focus has been on family and individual counselling. However, her overriding love is her work with ASD children, young people and their parents.