Our person-specific Autism Spectrum Disorder training supports our services to improve the quality of support offered to individuals with Autism.

The training is practice-based so that staff can be supported to apply the knowledge and learning in a practical way. We use small training groups in order to allow detailed focus on real-life situations and examples.

The sessions involve key staff within services being given specific, in-depth input in autism, centred on the individuals they are supporting. These sessions are practice-based workshops and include planned work activities to be carried out between sessions; there is a workbook for participants to complete and bring to each session.

The training consists of five sessions (20 hours in total), delivered over several weeks:

  • Session 1 – Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Session 2 – Autistic functioning
  • Session 3 – Autism and sensory difference
  • Session 4 – Autism and behaviour
  • Session 5 – Autism and support planning

Following this training staff report a significant increase in their understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder and how it affected the person they support.

They also report that they are better able to prepare appropriate support plans and use new and existing person centred planning and communication tools. All the services that have undertaken this training have identified positive changes that could be made in a range of areas such as sensory sensitivity, environmental factors, organisation of service, staff consistency/awareness and effective communication.

For the people with Autism Spectrum Disorder themselves, their support staff and family members reported a range of positive improvements in their quality of life, these included:

  • Greater tolerance /patience undertaking an activity and therefore able to extend time on it
  • Remaining calm in previously stress inducing situations (e.g. queues)
  • Greater levels of participation in everyday daily activities (e.g. house work, shopping)
  • More proactive in communication (e.g. using picture boards or talking mats)
  • Learning new skills (e.g. hand-washing, self-organising, using money)
  • Increased ability to tolerate changes and doing new activities because of better communication and staff consistency, reduced challenging behaviour

If you would like any more information, please email Anne MacDonald (Behaviour Support Team Manager) or call 0845 013 6374.