Training for Professionals

Autism Berkshire offers a comprehensive range of training workshops for professionals who support autistic children, young people and adults.

The workshops aim to give participants an understanding of what autism is and how it can affect autistic people’s social and communication skills, sensory processing and behaviour.

Sessions share strategies to help professionals support autistic people and address issues including food refusal and sleep difficulties.

Courses can be delivered at a workplace or another venue – subject to current coronavirus social distancing and public health guidance – or online.

While the workshops are designed for groups of staff from the same organisation, if there is sufficient interest in a particular workshop, we will set up sessions bringing together individual professionals or small groups of staff from different bodies.

All those attending will receive a training pack and a certificate.

Our training teams include autistic adults and parents of autistic children and young people.

The workshops available are as follows:

An Overview of Autism

A one-hour introduction to autism

What is covered?

  • Features of Autism
  • Overview of effective communication
  • Why behaviours happen.

Who should attend?

  • Those with no previous knowledge, or only a basic understanding of autism
  • Those looking for a quick refresher
  • Those who want to find out the basics before choosing more in-depth training.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • A basic understanding of how autism is diagnosed
  • Some awareness of things they can do to support those with autism.

Cost: Negotiable

Autism Update

A one-hour information session to expand and update understanding of autism

What is covered?

  • Masking
  • Executive functioning
  • Processing time
  • Anxiety
  • Autism in Girls.

Who should attend?

  • Those with a basic knowledge of autism
  • Those looking for an update on more recent research into autism
  • Those who want to better understand how autism affects girls and women.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • Updated knowledge of autism
  • An understanding of useful support strategies for school and home.

Cost: Negotiable.

Understanding Communication and Sensory Processing Differences in Autistic Children and Young People

A Half-Day Workshop (3 hours)

What is covered?

  • Features of Autism and how this might present in individuals
  • An introduction to sensory processing differences
  • Strategies for effective communication
  • An introduction to why certain behaviours happen.

Who should attend?

  • Those working directly with autistic adults and children
  • Those with no previous knowledge, or only a basic understanding of autism
  • Those who need practical strategies to use with individuals.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • An understanding of how autism is diagnosed and how it may present in different individuals
  • An understanding of how to use strategies to support communication
  • An understanding of how to change the environment to support sensory processing differences.

Cost: £250 for up to 20 people. Excludes venue costs.

Understanding and Supporting Distressed Behaviour in Autistic Children and Young People

A One-Day Workshop (up to 6 hours).

What is covered?

  • Features of Autism and how this might present in individuals
  • Sensory processing differences and how these affect behaviours
  • Effective communication strategies to support behaviour and emotional regulation
  • Understanding why frustration and anger occurs and how to support the individual to understand their own behaviour (emotional self-regulation).

Who should attend?

  • Those working directly with autistic adults and children
  • Those with some previous knowledge of autism
  • Those who need practical strategies to use with individuals.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • An understanding of how autism is diagnosed and how it may present in different individuals
  • An understanding of sensory processing differences and changes to the environment that may limit the impact this has
  • How to develop individual behaviour support plans
  • Ways to help individuals regulate their own emotions
  • An understanding of how to use communication strategies to support behaviour.

Cost: £500 for up to 20 people. Excludes venue costs.

Food Refusal in Autistic Children and Young People

A Half-Day Workshop (3 hours).

What is covered?

  • Development of food preferences in neurotypical children
  • Reasons for food refusal in people with autism
  • Avoidant and Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
  • Strategies to support food consumption
  • Strategies to support increasing the variety of accepted foods.

Who should attend?

  • Those supporting families with autistic children and young people
  • Those working with autistic children and young people in residential settings
  • Those with at least a basic understanding of autism
  • Those who need practical strategies to use with individuals.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • An understanding of how food preferences usually develop and why this may be different for autistic individuals
  • How to use strategies to support difficulties at mealtimes
  • How to develop plans to increase food choices.

Cost: £250 for up to 20 people. Excludes venue costs.

Sleep Difficulties in Autistic Children and Young People

A Half-Day Workshop (3 hours).

What is covered?

  • Why do we sleep and why is it important?
  • What is a normal sleep pattern and why might autistic people have a different profile
  • Changing the environment to promote sleep
  • Bedtime routines
  • Making a plan to improve sleep difficulties.

Who should attend?

  • Those supporting families with autistic children and young people
  • Those working with autistic children and young people in residential settings
  • Those with at least a basic understanding of autism
  • Those who need practical strategies to use with individuals.

What will participants gain by attending?

  • An understanding of the importance of sleep and typical sleep patterns, and why this might be different in those with autism
  • An understanding of how to promote sleep using changes to the environment and bedtime routines
  • How to develop individual sleep support plans.

Cost: £250 for up to 20 people. Excludes venue costs.

For more information about any of these workshops and to arrange a booking, email admin@autismberkshire.org.uk or call 01189 594 594 (option 3).

  • Also use these contact details if you would like to discuss organising a bespoke training workshop, tailored to meet specific requirements.

Among organisations that have recently benefited from visits by our trainers are Reading Buses, Thames Valley Police and Wexham Park Hospital in Slough.

Staff at Reading Museum and the Museum of English Rural Life (part of the University of Reading) attended a tailored training workshop to help them prepare to launch autism-friendly relaxed opening sessions.

Among their comments afterwards were:

“Extremely helpful information, not just for interactions in the workplace but all aspects of life. Thank you for your time and expertise.”

“Very friendly staff, good introduction and directly relevant to all aspects of museums.”

“It was very useful to have presenters who had personal experience of the difficulties that autistic people experience, rather than a purely ‘academic’ presenter.”

“Really helped me to understand the needs of autistic people.”