More than 1% of the population is estimated to be on the autism spectrum and we know that underdiagnosis is a big issue, particularly due to the gender bias in the diagnostic tools used. Teachers and other professionals may not have had specialist training or personal experience of autism, yet they will encounter autistic children and young people in stressful settings such as schools, designed with neurotypical people in mind. It is therefore vitally important that professionals undertake autism training in order to improve the support they provide.
The Understanding Autism course covers the basics for professionals and families, looking at some of the general strengths and difficulties autism can involve while encouraging respect for individuals.
The course is intended for teachers and other professionals supporting autistic children. It highlights the many skills, strengths and qualities which children on the autistic spectrum have whilst providing an understanding of some of the challenges they might face.
This year the Scottish Government became the first government in the world to fly the Autistic Pride flag on Monday 18th June. While many people are now aware of autism, they often lack the understanding that #AutisticPride tries to generate, an understanding that would lead to the creation of a more inclusive society and an openness to the innovative thinking and creativity of autistic people. This distinction between awareness and understanding is highlighted by Manar Matusiak, Managing Director of Living Autism and author of our introductory CPD course, Understanding Autism.