Improving learner outcomes

Understanding Autism
Supported learning for teaching professionals
Flexible self-paced learning
Flexible licensing options

About understanding autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder, which is on a spectrum that can range from exceptional abilities through to severe intellectual disability. Student with an autism spectrum disorder can:

Thank you for creating the first stepping stone in my teaching training for working with ASD children.

Mainstream Teacher

  • have difficulty communicating with and relating to others
  • have restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours
  • appear distressed when routines are changed
  • be over sensitive to some sounds, movements, smells and tastes
  • show a lack of awareness or insensitivity to other peoples’ feelings
Designed for professionals

The online content was delivered in a interactive way. The use of slides, videos and face to face sessions kept it very engaging and easy to keep motivated.

Education Officer

Course outline

In many classrooms there are students who may:

  • have difficulty communicating and relating to others
  • have behaviours and interests that are restricted and repetitive
  • appear distressed over changes in routine
  • be overly sensitive to some sounds, movements, smells and tastes
  • appear to be unaware or insensitive to the feelings of others

These students may have autism and may present with a range of abilities and strengths.

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. Students may need support and adjustments in the school and classroom environments. This course aims to support teachers to make their classrooms more inclusive for all students by providing an understanding of the impact of autism on learning. It offers practical and achievable assessment ideas and intervention strategies to address a range of specific, identified needs.

This course is divided into sections.

  • Understanding
    Learn about autism spectrum disorder, the history of autism research, including its prevalence and diagnostic pathways. Explore the distinguishing characteristics of autism including sensory anomalies, restricted flexibility in behaviour and thinking, communication difficulties and other behaviours that may arise.
  • Assessment for Learning
    Understand the need for teachers to make assessments of communication, social interaction, sensory processing, environmental triggers and behaviours. Learn how to assess individual needs arising from an autistic spectrum disorder. Use the wide range of informal assessments that can be carried out in schools and create your own three SMART goals specific to your student.
  • Interventions
    Explore a range of adjustments to meet the needs of students with autism spectrum disorder, including communication and relationship skills. Discover ideas for developing an ASD friendly learning environment in your class and school and how to prepare students for transitions. Devise interventions to support your SMART goals.
  • Case Studies
    View real video examples that illustrate the needs of the individual, the interventions implemented and their resulting progress.

Providing professional learning in disability and inclusion since 2008

Thanks for a great course, it was very valuable indeed!

School learning support officer (SLSO)

Who is the course for?

Our Understanding Autism course is perfect for those who work in schools with students on the spectrum, such as learning and support teachers, school executives, teachers, and learning and support staff.

The target age range is compulsory education but the course may also be useful in early childhood settings. Our course will also be of benefit to parents of children with autism looking for support and more information.

Over 179,000 participants worldwide

Why join the course?

Participants’ pre and post-course evaluations demonstrate significantly increased confidence in identifying, assessing and supporting students with autism.

How would you rate your current skills in planning and implementing interventions for students with ASD?

  • Not confident
  • Somewhat confident
  • Fairly confident
  • Very confident


Pre chart
  • 5.5%
  • 57.4%
  • 34.3%
  • 2.7%


Post chart
  • 2.6%
  • 33.7%
  • 63.7%

As of December 2019

This course looks at the impact autism can have on a student’s life and shows how you can make your classroom and practice more inclusive for these students. You will learn how to further understand the needs of students with autism and develop a range of strategies to improve learning outcomes.

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Created by experts

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • describe the distinguishing features of autism spectrum disorder
  • explain the restricted flexibility in behaviour and thinking
  • identify potential atypical sensory responses to environment stimuli
  • explain the purpose and process of individual education assessments
  • carry out assessments of communication, social integration and sensory processing abilities
  • evaluate particular behaviours and their implications for learning
  • choose appropriate assessment tools to determine the level of adjustments required
  • design and plan strategies to reinforce desirable behaviour
  • devise interventions to develop communication and social skills
  • create an action plan to practise course application skills in the classroom

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