By Sonia Riyait
The Understanding Autism distance learning course at Leicester College is a three-part qualification which aims to develop students’ knowledge around autism and working with individuals who have autism. I have just completed the course and it has provided me with a fascinating and informative insight into the condition and how it can affect individuals of all ages. I started the qualification because, in my job role, I meet many people who have been diagnosed with autism, are waiting to be diagnosed, or the condition has yet to be identified. I wanted to gain a better understanding of how autism can affect an individual and the strategies which can be used to implement a more meaningful and effective interaction.
The course covers the following units:
- Introduction to Autism
- Using a person-centred approach to support individuals with autism
- Communication and social interaction in individuals with autism
- Sensory processing, perception and cognition in individuals with autism
- Supporting positive behaviour in individuals with autism
- Supporting individuals with autism to live healthy and fulfilled lives
The Understanding Autism course has enabled me to understand the condition much more fully; I have learned that autism is a spectrum condition which affects people differently, and I have become aware of sensory processing disorders which I had little knowledge about before starting the course. It has been particularly useful in learning about how to support positive behaviour which can be implemented within my own role as a Careers Advisor, as well as encouraging it in individuals with autism. For example, I am more aware that some individuals with autism have difficulties with communication and social interaction which can make it a challenge for them to process the information being given to them during a careers appointment. Learning about the various communication strategies which can be used to aid understanding such as symbol support, has been of great help and can potentially be incorporated into career appointments.
Studying the course has also helped me to be more patient and empathetic when meeting with individuals who have autism, and importantly, I am now aware that all individuals with autism have a unique set of skills and abilities which should be recognised and appreciated.
As with any distance learning course, it takes time and effort to conduct the necessary research to complete each unit, but the learning is extremely rewarding and the knowledge gained can be applied accordingly.
If you would like to discuss the distance learning courses available at the college and which course might best suit your requirements, you can see a Careers Advisor at the college who can support you in your decision-making. Give it a go!
Thinking of studying a distance learning course? Click here to see the range of courses Leicester College offer.