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Professional learning for teachers and educators

Creating autism friendly schools helps create more inclusive learning environments in which all students succeed and flourish. Our professional programs and modules are designed to assist educators to create real change in their school settings and establish learning environments that will reach all learners.

What teachers and educators will learn

Our autism programs are designed to help educators increase their understanding of autism and improve their skills and expertise when working with students on the spectrum. They also provide strategies and resources for strengthening relationships between home and school.

The professional learning programs focus on:

  • the most up-to-date information about autism and its impact on student learning
  • working in partnership with parents and carers
  • developing learning profiles and effective teaching strategies for autistic students
  • making curriculum adjustments in accordance with the needs of the student
  • working with education assistants and other support personnel
  • understanding the mental health issues students on the autism spectrum may face
  • developing strategies to help students strengthen social relationships
  • understanding how to support students during change and other significant events
  • planning autism friendly cultures in schools and developing productive partnerships with the wider community
  • creating a professional network where additional information, resources and knowledge can be accessed and shared

Eligibility and involvement criteria

Teachers and school leaders in government, non-government, primary and secondary schools throughout Australia are eligible to participate in our programs.

We work closely with key education sector personnel to ensure we provide a balanced schedule of workshops across the country. We invite you to make contact with the Positive Partnerships coordinator from your state or territory to find out more about how to get involved in any of our programs. You can do this through the ‘click to learn more’ link under each program type.

Program Formats

Schools and Families Together program

This program provides a unique opportunity for teachers and parents/carers to come together to strengthen partnerships, share knowledge and build collaborative strategies that support their young people on the autism spectrum.

Teachers are required to attend a one-day professional learning workshop, ideally with a leadership representative. They return a few weeks later for another day of professional learning, this time accompanied by the parent/carer of the student.

Click here to learn more.

Two Day Professional Learning program

This program is open to teachers that work with students on the autism spectrum and aims to increase knowledge and skills in supporting young people on the autism spectrum. It consists of pre-workshop and post-workshop online learning activities and two face to face workshop days. A personal survey completed by participants prior to engaging in the program helps inform shifts in knowledge, skills and understanding.

Click here to learn more.

Please note: the Whole School Program for 2024 is full.

Whole School Professional Learning program

Our Whole School Professional Learning program is designed to support whole school, sustainable change. It provides practical ways to strengthen partnerships between families and school staff and promote improved learning outcomes for students on the autism spectrum.

This program requires the establishment of a School Action Team (4-5 staff) that will be responsible for supporting the implementation of collaborative plans developed by staff as part of the professional learning days. All members of staff participate in this program.

Click here to learn more.

Take a look at our video interview with Anna, a school teacher, and Loraine, a parent of a child on the autism spectrum. They discuss a teacher and parent workshop they participated in together, their expectations of the workshop beforehand and the journey they then went through together as they learned more about how to foster positive partnerships between home and school.