ABCS of Autism

Mobilising diverse approaches to training ASD professionals


Autism spectrum disorder(ASD) is a complex neuro-developmental disorder that typically appears in the first three years of life; it is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, affecting development in the areas of social interaction and communication (Dunn & Leitschuh, 2006). People with autism have difficulty with social interactions, communicating, and using sensory information. An increasing need for education and support to that population is evident for making physical, social and attitudinal environments more accessible, inclusive and supportive for them and for developing their social and life skills in order to be integrated into society and live independently. There are numerous therapies dedicated to improve communication, cognitive and motor skills of children with autism.

Not all of them though are proven to be as effective or evidence-based. Apart from that, every child or adult with autism has unique strengths and challenges, so there is no one size fits all approach to autism treatment and intervention. Each autism intervention or treatment plan should be tailored to address the person’s specific needs. ( It is, therefore, of paramount importance, for ASD professionals (i.e Occupational therapists (OTs), Speech and Language Therapists (SaLTs), Physical Therapists (PTs), Behaviour Support Professionals (BCBAs, RBTs, Behaviour Analysts), Counsellors, Psychologists etc.) to be trained in various treatments and interventions. With our project, we aim to deliver a series of trainings about various evidence-based interventions for autism. More specifically, we plan to deliver trainings with a focus on 1. Social skills, 2. Functional Communication and 3. Communicating with parents Therefore, the objectives of this proposal are: – To take the gaps identified among the professionals and map current good practices related to interventions for autism. -To deliver training courses to directly train the ASD professionals, in evidence-based approaches they can incorporate into their work. -to create a network of ASD professionals, who can exchange good practices, at European level As a result, we expect: -an increase in autism awareness among the professionals, partner organisations and their local community -to guide best practice in supporting individuals with autism -professionals to make positive changes in their practice as a result of the program. -the professional development of the ASD professionals to contribute to creating inclusive environments, promote social inclusion and improve the outreach of people with ASD -the development of a continuing vocational training program for ASD professionals -the project to contribute to closing existing gaps in the access to training for professionals working with autism -the project to contribute to enhancing the communication and collaboration between professionals working with individuals with autism and their families