Information about the Programme of Learning

  • It is a comprehensive accredited programme of learning for all those that support autistic children, young people and adults either in the home and/or a professional setting.
  • Learners work alongside each other in the eight attended seminars but complete a different level of self-guided work to reflect their chosen level.
  • The course aims to enable a broad, balanced and in-depth understanding of individual needs and how to facilitate successful and positive interventions to ensure effective understanding, application of approaches and planning.
  • It is of relevance to all those who are interested in autism, whether from an academic, practical or personal perspective and attracts a wide range of learners including parents/carers , autistic individuals and professionals from education settings ( mainstream /special /resourced/ primary / secondary / FE) , charities working with adults and children, early years settings, therapists etc. All are welcomed and given support throughout the programme of learning which is tailored around the cohort of learners whilst following the established and accredited learning outcomes and assessment criteria.
  • The programme of learning is designed around and based upon extensive academic research and theoretical and practical knowledge and wherever possible reflects the voices and opinions of autistic individuals in line with person -centred good practice and current research. Wherever possible , autistic individuals will be involved in the sessions to be able to give their own unique viewpoint and to enhance understanding.
  • The programme is enjoyable, fulfilling, interactive and positive in its approach to the challenges that autistic people and those who support them encounter, providing proactive ways to understand and manage their needs in any setting in order that optimal outcomes can be aimed for and achieved.
  • Knowledge and professional/life experience with all age groups from birth to adulthood, is combined with that of participants’ experience and ongoing practice to tailor the content to the interests and needs of those who participate.
  • Learning is via guided learning hours, seminars with accompanying PowerPoint notes, film footage, practical activities and projects, discussion and self-guided learning.
  • The learning outcomes will enable participants to develop a thorough and detailed understanding of the condition, systematic strategies and approaches, related issues, and individually based themes.
  • Areas covered in depth include: an overview of the condition and related complex needs which may co-occur with autism, psychological theories of autism ( how autistic people may view the world and how this influences their reactions/resilience) , the defining areas of challenge for those on the autism spectrum ( and the neurotypicals around them) including social communication, social interaction , social imagination , sensory needs, mental health and well -being,  understanding and supporting positive outcomes for behaviour which may challenge or confuse us, key approaches to supporting individuals effectively in all areas and methods of assessment to plan for and review their needs, and the experiences of families.
  • By the end of the programmeof learning participants at either level will have both a theoretical and practical knowledge of the condition and many effective support strategies.
  • Because of the nature of the assignments and assessments which require practical analysis and reflection, it is necessary that participants currently have or have had access to an autistic individual or a person with social communication needs. Please use the Contact Form if you have any queries about this aspect.
  • Learners participating in the course must have access to a PC/Word processor preferably with PowerPoint and Word document facility; be able to open PDF’s , Word and Power Point documents; use the internet; have a regularly accessed personal or work email address and a printer to be able to print off assignments for marking towards a final portfolio.
  • Learners participating at Level 3 will be assessed via involvement in discussion and activities plus 9 follow-up analytical questionnaires on specific subject areas based on learning outcomes (these should take around one hour each to complete).
  • At Level 4 the course will involve the same activities for Level 3 candidates plus 10 short word-processed research/practice-based assignments which include in depth reflection and analysis after each session to measure progress and reflective practice (on average these should take take around 3 hours each to complete).
  • NB: If required a learner at Level 4 can drop to Level 3 or attendance – only, depending on personal circumstances.

Information about the difference in levels of certification for Level 3 and 4 courses

  • Prior study in any subject at or beyond Level 3 / “A” level is desirable for the Level 4 award. This is to ensure that learners are familiar with the principle of independent study, the commitment this requires, understand and are familiar with the expectations of study at or around their chosen level and in order that the quality and integrity of the programme is maintained. However , if a learner does not meet this criteria and feels strongly that they wish to complete at a Level 4 they can begin the course at Level 4 and after the first two assignments are completed an assessment of their capabilities will be made based on the work they have produced
  • There is no requirement for prior study for the Level 3 award although it is helpful, though not essential, to have studied to Level 2/GCSE standard. Please use the Contact Form if you have any queries.
  • For this programme of learning it is essential that the learner should have access to, or have had access to, an autistic individual to be able to reflect on practice and research around related subject areas.
  • The level numbers ( i.e. 3 and 4) give an idea of the relative ‘difficulty’. I hope that this information helps to guide your initial choice of course level.
  • Level 3: This level represents a range of knowledge and skills, including detailed knowledge of one or more areas. Level 3 corresponds to job/personal roles where learners are required to work independently. The course completed at this level has a credit value of three points. One credit has the notional equivalent value of around 10 hours of study and includes completion of assignments, participation in course sessions, answering of queries, marking and moderation of assignments.
  • Level 4: People working at Level 4 are considered to have advanced knowledge and skills( though not considered specialists) – Level 4 is aimed at technical or professional job roles, sometimes with supervisory or first line management elements.  The course completed at this level has a credit value of six. One credit has the notional equivalent value of around 10 hours of study and includes completion of assignments, participation in course sessions, answering of queries, marking and moderation of assignments.
  • The course is accredited and externally moderated via OCNCredit4Learning. To find out more about the organisation and how and why they accredit courses please follow this link:
  • If you wish to book onto this course please use the Contact Form .

Level 5 Understanding and Applying Good Practice with People with Autism (to be accredited in in the future)
This is a follow-on course for those who have successfully achieved a good to excellent overall level of achievement in the Level 4 in Understanding and Applying Good Practice with People with Autism. Further details to follow on this page after the pilot for this course has completed .

Other Level 3 courses
From time to time I advertise a distance learning course at Level 3 in Autism in the Early Years . If you are interested in this please contact me via the Contact Form.

Some comments from candidates on previous courses:

“The course has helped me to look at different strategies and coping mechanisms and I now understand many of the actions of the children in my care and the impact they have when perhaps I previously thought it was just part of their quirkiness.”

-Helen , TA Primary Special

“I learned more on this course than in the whole of my SEN Masters! Every day I use the ideas and techniques, they are invaluable and make a real difference. Would recommend for everyone working with those with autism, you won’t get a better grounding and practical skills anywhere.”
– Tracey, Teacher (Secondary Special)

“As a Mum of a 12-year-old with autism I can now go and use my practical knowledge combined with this qualification to make a career out of my experience”
–Leanne, Parent

“I have thoroughly enjoyed researching for the Level 4…I work with children on the spectrum and I have a child with autism so feel like I live and breathe autism. I find the subject so fascinating…every piece of information I find can only have a positive effect on the children I work with and my son”
-Cheryl, Parent and Teaching Assistant (Mainstream Primary)

” I sincerely believe that this course has helped me and my colleagues who have also completed the course to work towards higher standards of care and education for the young people in our setting”
-Melanie, Parent and Teaching Assistant (Secondary Special)