Autism Understanding Training

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If you are like most people, you (understandably) struggle to understand autism.

If Dr Guest (BSc, PhD, PGCHE) Aspiedent’s Director and autistic Autism Trainer, had in earlier life received the correct autism help for her particular manifestation of autism (everybody’s is different) she could have reached the stars. That is, if she had wanted to become an astronaut, which she didn’t, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, many autistic people are needlessly failed on many counts. Not by negligence or lack of support, but by forgivable misunderstandings of their underlying autistic issues.

Aspiedent is a research-based training organisation that has figured out the underlying autistic issues causing autistic symptoms and autistic behaviour for you, and how to identify them. Knowing exactly which issues underlie autistic symptoms or behaviour means you can address them safely, solving immediate problems while ensuring a better future for the autistic person. It is underpinned by a unique tool which Dr Guest has developed through extensive autism research, her work with autistic adults and her experience of being a person with autism.

Rather than Dr Guest doing autism profiles on autistic adults or children and providing recommendations, it makes much more sense for her to teach you to understand autistic people or people with aspergers syndrome. 

The aim of all our work is to bridge the gap between non-autistic and autistic people. We believe both autistic and non-autistic people need to meet each other half way.

The particular autism training courses below are designed for non-autistic people to learn how to do their bit in terms of aiding effective communication between themselves and the autistic person they know.

For autistic people, our training for autistic and neurodiverse people may be more appropriate, as it teaches you about your own autism and about non-autistic people, from the autistic perspective.

Completing the training below will equip you to identify the autistic issues behind the symptoms of an autistic individual for straightforward cases.

We can tailor training to suit your purposes which can take elements from the training below. Alternatively we can provide training specifically for other neurodiverse conditions such as ADHD and OCD, or can include these conditions in the autism training,

Autism Understanding Training Part 1

This is an introductory session that provides an introduction to topics that will be covered in depth later. However, even if you only complete this session, you will understand autistic people better.

Training Objectives:

  • Awareness of the adjustments that may have to be made when interacting with autistic people
  • Understand some of the reasons why autistic people struggle in certain areas, especially inter-personal interaction
  • Basic understanding of sensory issues and different ways of thinking
  • Awareness of issues with Executive Functioning (problem solving, coping with change, etc.)
  • Some understanding of the causes of over-the-top autistic reactions.

Training Duration: 3 hours

Max participants: 12

Autism Understanding Training Part 2 – Managing Sensory Issues

Many people with autism experiences sensory issues and sensory processing disorder. For example, being over or under sensitive to light, noise, movement and emotions etc. Addressing sensory issues can improve quality of life and aid learning for autistic people.  

Training Objectives:

  • How to identify sensory issues in autism
  • Interpret the results of a sensory checklist
  • Design appropriate interventions based on identified sensory issues
  • How sensory issues affect social interaction

Training Duration: 3 hours

Max participants: 12

Autism Understanding Part 3 - Different Ways of Thinking and Improving Executive Function

Many autistic people exhibit extreme ways of thinking. This can be both helpful or a curse depending on the activity. Autistic people can have very strong learning preferences and not be able to learn in other ways. In order to teach and interact with autistic people effectively, it is important to take how they think and learn into account. Sometimes the way an autistic individual thinks clashes with how they best take in information.

Executive functioning includes things such as organisation, planning and execution, inhibition of behaviour and shifting attention. These are essential life skills. Understanding them and improving in areas of difficulty is vital for any autistic people or people with adhd.

Training Objectives:

  • How to identify how someone thinks. 
  • How to identify learning preferences.
  • How to identify executive functioning issues in individuals
  • Which exercises can help improve executive functioning
  • What aids can be used to assist in areas of difficulty
  • Learn to promote using strengths to overcome weaknesses

Training Duration: 3 hours

Max participants: 12

Autism Understanding Part 4 - Processing Issues and Focus and Interest

Many autistic people have difficulty processing incoming information for a variety of reasons. This can make it difficult to understand and respond appropriately to verbal information. Difficulty processing what is going on around them, causes all kinds of difficulties for autistic individuals.

Some autistic people have unusual interests, which can be pursued to the exclusion of anything else. This creates gaps in their understanding of the world around them. In addition, autistic people can focus on different things to the general population, or have 'tunnel focus', which causes serious problems navigating every day life.

Training Objectives:

  • How to identify different types of processing issues.
  • How to accomodate processing issues
  • Understanding of 'tunnel interest' and its effects
  • How to broaden interests
  • Understanding of the different ways that focus can affect autistic individuals
  • Promote strengths to overcome weaknesses

Training Duration: 3 hours

Max participants: 12

Autism Understanding Part 5 – Teaching Social Skills

Teaching people with autism social skills can sometimes present a dilemma. When is it essential to have social skills and when does it become unfair to expect autistic people to conform to non-autistic styles of social interaction. This session considers this carefully and provides guidance in taking a useful and fair approach to teaching autistic people social skills.

Training Objectives:

  • Understand the difference between autism and non-autism communication
  • Identify key differences in social (and emotional) development in autism
  • Overview of goals of teaching social skills to different autistic individuals
  • Recognise barriers to social interaction for autistic people
  • Learn how best to teach autistic people social skills in a way that works for them

Training Duration: 3 hours

Max participants: 12

Interested? Contact us now for more information.



“[I liked] learning lots of new information, and putting myself in an autistic persons shoes by the tasks given. It made me more aware of the stress they have to deal with on a daily basis. I understand a lot more about autism, so as a result I know how to observe the child to see what is best suitable for him for e.g. environment, learning, clothing etc.”

Teaching Assistant (1:2:1), Crossley Hall School, Bradford.

“A very interesting training session. Delivered great and really broken down with examples. We can now discuss with other staff members our experience of today and perhaps give ideas with regard to support. [I] now have a better understanding of how an Autistic learner thinks”.

Sensory Co-ordinator for support, Calderdale College.