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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 autism learning programs.

Workshop locations are arranged in consultation with education sectors.

Program Formats

Concurrent program

This program provides a unique opportunity for a school team (a teacher and school leader) to come together with their parents/carers to strengthen partnerships, share knowledge, and build collaborative strategies that support their young people on the autism spectrum. It consists of two online learning modules and one face to face workshop day.

Co-located program

This program brings together school teams (a teacher and school leader) from a number of schools to increase and share knowledge, skills and expertise in supporting young people on the autism spectrum. It consists of pre- and post- online learning activities and two face to face workshop days. It uses data from a whole school survey to guide the implementation of a school action plan. This program equates to 33 hours of professional learning. Parent/Carer workshops are offered in the same location shortly after the professional learning program.

Whole School program

This program is planned collaboratively with the school’s leadership team and is guided by the school’s strategic direction. All members of staff participate in this program. It consists of pre- and post- online learning activities, the equivalent of two face to face workshop days and a school survey which guides the implementation of a school action plan. A team from the school is trained to plan and facilitate Parent/Carer workshop sessions within their school community. This program equates to 33 hours of professional learning.

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.