Autism Training for Professionals

“Once you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism”

This is a quote we are all familiar with, and helps us to understand that each autistic child and young person is unique.

Auspicious is a company that recognises this individuality, and our training enables professionals to understand autistic differences and develop appropriate advice and support in response to this. 

 

 

auspicious autism logo

Auspicious was founded by Jo Manikiza, former National Autism Lead for Wales, previous advisor to the Welsh Government and author of numerous autism publications and training programmes. Jo’s experience includes clinical autism specialism along with implementation of National autism strategies.

(You can find out more about Jo here…)

Throughout her career Jo questioned the effectiveness of common autism training approaches.

As a result, our Aurum Core Autism Training has been created – looking at autism from a wider perspective and enabling a more practical, in depth knowledge of autism. Our training has been rated 5/5 by 97% of attendees.

“After 7 years in practice I thought I knew autism, I learned so much and now have a different perspective. I will certainly be changing the way I approach my work”
HARVEST FIELD PICTURE
Sarah H
Teacher
autistic boy on kerb

What's Different?

Most autism training is based on explaining autism core characteristics. This simply isn’t enough to enable professionals to provide appropriate advice and support. Whereas other training programmes focus on difficulties in social interaction, communication and sensory issues, our programme considers the broader differences and how they affect individuals. Our Aurum Autism Training Programme takes a person centred approach to understanding and supporting autistic children and young people, including girls and those with a PDAS type profile. It is aimed at those who want to deliver high quality, effective support.

A brief outline of what participants can expect:

Autism in Context

Our training starts with a brief overview of autism in context; the history of autism, diagnosis, co-occurring conditions, cause and theories of autism.

Inhibitory control and attention

The next section our programme looks at the executive function of inhibitory control. Touching on autistic inertia, self regulation and self control we move to focus on attention. The programme explores attention selection, shifting, mono processing and central coherence. The focus is on adapting practice and advice to take these issues into account.

Sensory Differences

The programme covers the more well known sensory modulation differences experienced by autistic children and young people, and provides a behaviour checklist in relation to these. Most programmes stop at the vestibular and proprioceptive sensory systems; we also consider interoception and how this impacts on emotional understanding, potty training and eating difficulties. Sensory filtering and overwhelm form part of the content as does the impact of sensory differences on attention focus. The programme also includes stimming behaviours here.

Routines, Pattern Thinking, Special Interests

In this section our programme explores the strengths of autistic children, for it is understanding a particular child’s strengths that help us to support them. As well as the characteristic preference for routines, the programme includes pattern thinking, more rigid thinking styles and the benefits of special interests.

Spontaneous Flexible Thinking

We consider varying differences in cognitive processing in relation to object permanency, symbolic representation, play and fiction. The focus is less on impact and more on how professionals and parents can change their approach to take these differences into account. 

Social Interaction

Difficulties in social interaction are a core characteristic of autism, but do we always take them into account when providing or directing support? As part of this section we explore first, second and higher order theory of mind and consider how we make assumptions based on our own non-autistic thinking. Have you ever wondered why star charts are often ineffective for autistic children? The programme explains why, and how to implement better approaches.

Communication

Your staff will already be aware of autistic differences in verbal and non verbal communication. We overview what this means in practice, and common mistakes made by parents and professionals in relation to communication.

Intentional Flexible Thinking

Finally we explore how we can use the strengths of an autistic child or young person to support difficulties in other areas. We look at aspects of executive function (working memory, flexible thinking, attention shift) when exploring difficulties with planning and sequencing, problem solving and counterfactual thinking amongst other areas. Using our autism understanding we will explore ways of adapting interventions to provide support and develop knowledge and skill.

Autistic differences can be complex and multi facetted. Our Aurum Matrix provides a framework for understanding autism and is used throughout our training programme to make content easily understandable. The Matrix can be used to plan and prepare and trouble shoot difficulties. 

Every participant on our training receives handouts overviewing each section and an Aurum Matrix to help them in their future work.

England’s Autism Strategy directs services to ensure that staff have appropriate autism training, and whilst currently focussed on adults, the extended children’s coverage within the updated strategy is likely to replicate this. In Wales, the Refreshed Autism Strategy and the draft Autism Code of practice for Wales directs organisations to ensure staff have appropriate autism training.

Autism training should not be about meeting policy requirements alone. 

Take a look at an example of the difference effective autism training makes here.

Effective autism training empowers staff and in turn empowers parents. 

Skilled, knowledgable practitioners mean more effective services, and more effective services mean more efficient services. 

Skilled, knowledgeable parents mean better outcomes for children and less reliance on services – which in turn means more efficient services.

We help professionals deliver high quality, effective advice and support. Contact us to discuss your training needs.