Jos Valkenborg
Directeur
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Annemie Mertens
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Stefanie Rober
Ergotherapeut
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Veerle Berghmans
Logopediste
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Chantal Boone
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Ingrid De Brabandt
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Myriam Crommelinck
Boekhouding
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Esther Ham
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Rianne Jansen
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Gijs Tabak
Certified Autisme Centraal trainer
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Delphine Callewaert
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Thomas Fondelli
Vormingsmedewerker
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Jessica Léonard
Freelance medewerker
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Jef Suyckerbuyk
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Els Ronsse
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Miriam Perrone
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Veronique Diliën
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Jos Valkenborg
Directeur

“Autism has always been a focal point in my life”
Autism has been Jos Valkenborg‘s passion for 35 years now. When he became the director of Autisme Centraal after a long practice and teaching career, he was proud and fearful at the same time. Today, he is very happy with his international TOP team and particularly proud of our jointly developed Autisme Centraal Methodology.
Autism takes central stage in his work and life. Yet enjoying a nice glass, good food, Netflix, Spotify, good company and time with his family and Jules are also always high on his list.

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Annemie Mertens

“It is always an enriching experience to interact with people with autism and their environment”
To Annemie Mertens, interacting with people with autism and their environment is always an enriching experience. She shares her many years of teaching experience in her training sessions and her publication “Autisme in het onderwijs” (translated: “Autism in education”).
She also puts her heart and soul into the project “Eerste Hulp Bij Autisme” (translated: “First Aid for Autism”), which offers individuals with autism and the people around them a tool kit to get help more quickly without this having a financial impact.
Annemie is also the driving force behind Autisme Centraal’s programme and the Postgraduate training in Autism. Autiscoop and the collaboration in the context of Masterclass.

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Stefanie Rober
Ergotherapeut

“Moving towards greater awareness and independence together”
Stefanie Rober started her career in mental health care as an occupational therapist 8 years ago. Pretty soon she discovered her passion for children, adolescents and adults with autism. In recent years, she has started working as a reference worker in the area of autism spectrum disorders at a department for young adults with autism within the mental health care sector and has developed her passion even further working as a self-employed autism coach in a group practice for children and adolescents.
Stefanie always seeks to promote quality of life and therefore attaches great importance to the ‘double track’ approach, in which the guiding principle is not to take over, but to adjust in order to build the most autonomous life possible together. Sharing knowledge and putting it into practice is therefore a goal that she constantly pursues.
Furthermore, she wants to break the taboo surrounding mental health care. We all have our burdens to bear, our backpacks to carry. That is what makes us unique. “A backpack brings adventure into our lives. Let that challenge us to explore unbeaten paths.”
Besides her passion for autism, Stefanie likes to go out and explore the world in search of adventure and challenges. You can find her in faraway countries, on clay pigeon shooting grounds, jogging rounds or even putting on boxing gloves.

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Veerle Berghmans
Logopediste

“If you are willing to put on the ‘auti glasses’, you really get to see the person with autism”
Veerle Berghmans is a speech therapist. She worked with children with intellectual disabilities and autism in a special-needs preschool and primary school for 15 years. Today, she guides people with autism and their environment in a practice on a self-employed basis.

“I am fascinated by all aspects of autism, but perhaps most of all by the communication. I find it very enriching and fascinating to sit down with the person with autism and his or her environment and look for the ‘language’ that is most understandable. If you are willing to put on the ‘auti glasses’, you really get to see the person with autism.”

Besides immersing herself in autism, she likes to take time out to go on excursions with her family or to join friends for a cup of coffee.

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Chantal Boone

“Autism does not define a human being, it is merely a part of his personality”
Chantal Boone is usually the first person you get in contact with at Autisme Centraal. She conscientiously answers all emails and is happy to answer your calls. She has a wide range of tasks, which includes invoicing orders, confirming training requests and ensuring our French training sessions run perfectly. When Chantal is not working, she likes to spend time volunteering at Autisme Centraal and Brugactiviteiten. Or she listens to different kinds of music, mainly pop and rock.

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Ingrid De Brabandt

Ingrid De Brabandt is the all-rounder of our team. She does a lot of things. She makes sure our course participants have everything they need while they are here. The perfect opportunity for her to put her passion for food and catering to work! And last but not least, if you order from our webshop, Ingrid will send the parcel to you with great care and attention.

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Myriam Crommelinck
Boekhouding

Myriam Crommelinck keeps track of the figures, pays the invoices, files the tax returns, prepares the financial statements, manages the payroll and personnel administration, etc. In short, she does so much more than mere bookkeeping and that reflects on the entire organisation.
As a kind of counterbalance to all the analytical thinking, she gets creative behind her sewing machine and devotes her time and energy to the rewarding Kivuvu project, which supports orphans in Popo (Congo).

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Esther Ham

“Investing in training in autism must be worth the effort in every respect”
Esther Ham is the point of contact for people in search of (in-company) training.
Esther got intrigued by autism in her very first job as an educational staff member at a medical child day-care centre. She decided to take training courses to expand and broaden her knowledge of autism.
In addition, she provided outpatient guidance to children, adolescents and adults with autism for many years. Eager to share the knowledge and experience she had acquired, Esther started working as a team leader. This work experience has taught her just how important it is to pay attention to a person’s growth on both a professional and a personal level. She combined this wealth of expertise in her role as training counsellor.
Esther likes to examine which training courses best suit the needs of the client, whether that is an individual or an organisation. She feels it is important that a training course or training programme is spot on from A to Z. Investing in training must be worth the effort in every respect.
Esther enjoys spending quality time with her two children, going out into nature or travelling to France. In her spare time, Esther likes to go to the theatre, a concert or a museum.

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Rianne Jansen

“Because meaningful coaching is a learning experience”
Rianne Jansen is a Certified Trainer at Autisme Centraal and combines this with providing training and coaching in her private practice in Veenendaal.
In her life and work she adheres to the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which she researches as part of her study “Zorgethiek en Beleid” (translated: “Ethics of Care and Policy”) at the University of Human Studies in Utrecht.
She also chairs the foundation ‘Op Eigen Tenen’ – which promotes the empowerment of people with autism – and is a member of the Autism and Women Expert Group (‘EVA’) of the Dutch Association for Autism (‘NVA’).
She sees her own diagnosis as an added value in her work.
Rianne is a true epicurean and loves to share her love for philosophy, art, literature, theatre, nature and good food with friends and family.

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Gijs Tabak
Certified Autisme Centraal trainer

Een doel zonder plan is slechts een wens 

Als opleider deelt Gijs graag voorbeelden uit de praktijk om de deelnemers meer handvaten te geven over het autisme en zo de wereld stapje voor stapje autisme vriendelijker te maken. Het zien van de mogelijkheden en iemand helpen bij het zetten van de eerste stap is wat Gijs blijft uitdagen in zijn werk als ambulant begeleider.
Gijs heeft sociaal pedagogische hulpverlening gestudeerd in Amsterdam en werkt sinds 2014 met mensen met ASS. Hij heeft ervaring op woongroepen en is nog steeds werkzaam als ambulant begeleider. 

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Delphine Callewaert

“The longing and search for basic comfort”
People’s strengths and abilities are the main focus of Delphine Callewaert’s work.

In recent years, Delphine has given various training courses in Belgium and abroad.
Observations and consultations in a wide range of care facilities are also part of her responsibilities. Throughout these observations, her expertise in the target group of people with intellectual disabilities has grown considerably.
Since a couple of years, she has been broadening her experience in guiding people with autism and a normal intellectual ability at her private therapy practice.
Regardless of the setting, there is one need that constantly resurfaces: the longing and search for basic comfort.

Personally, Delphine finds this basic comfort in travelling, in discovering new places, camera in hand.

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Thomas Fondelli
Vormingsmedewerker

Thomas Fondelli is a freelance educational staff member of Autisme Centraal in Belgium and abroad. Thomas works as a psychologist at the medical paediatric centre Zeepreventorium supporting the communities of babies, toddlers and preschoolers with chronic medical conditions. He also works as a psychotherapist in his private practice.
He is the author of several books: “Autisme Ver-beeld-en” (translated: “Autism and the use of metaphors”), “Autisme en eetproblemen” (translated: “Autism and eating disorders”) and co-author of the book “Syndroom van Asperger, een antwoord op 101 vragen” (translated: “Asperger’s Syndrome, an answer to 101 questions”).

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Jessica Léonard
Freelance medewerker

Jessica Léonard is GZ-psycholoog, supervisor en opleider bij ROUTE Z11. Elke cliënt verdient zijn eigen therapie, want iedereen is uniek en weet zelf wat hem het beste past. Deze werkwijze pas ik na mijn studie als orthopedagoge in 2000 met veel plezier toe bij mensen met autisme, gezinnen en koppels. De ondergesneeuwde kwaliteiten naar boven halen zie ik als een missie in mijn werk. Teveel mensen met autisme hebben de wereld iets te bieden, als ze maar de kansen krijgen en benutten. Daarnaast inspireer ik graag professionals als opleider. Zorg, onderwijs en ook bedrijven, help ik om beter aan te sluiten bij wat mensen met autisme nodig hebben en kwaliteiten te benutten.

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Jef Suyckerbuyk

Jef Suykerbuyk studied remedial education and works for Autisme Centraal as a freelancer. He helps to provide practical training on the use of games when interacting with people with autism.
He also works at the centre Het Anker (non-profit organisation De Kade) supervising young adults with autism. Furthermore, he is in charge of Het Anker’s games library and a co-worker of the games lab Vives Spellenarchief.

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Els Ronsse
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Miriam Perrone

Miriam Perrone was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in 2011, at the age of 31. People with Asperger’s have an autism spectrum profile.
Through self-tuition and professional guidance, she learned what autism can be and gained insight into how an autistic brain works, and how it does not work. Since 2014 she has been giving lectures and training on autism all across Flanders. She further specialised in autism spectrum disorders and earned a professional bachelor’s degree.

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Veronique Diliën

Veronique Diliën is a teacher in special-needs education and an integrative psychotherapist. As a therapist, she has specialised in grief and loss counselling and in guiding people with autism spectrum disorders.
Veronique also has a passion for animals and has taken additional training to be able to use her horses during therapeutic sessions.

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