Learn how to create an supportive autism learning environment

With Richard Hirstwood and Chris Barson

4 March 2021 9am – 12pm

Why should I attend?

Sensory differences can be the biggest part of a person’s autism and recognising them can help us to understand a learner’s needs more accurately. This practical course will help you to discover more about the sensory needs associated with the autism spectrum and how you can create safe sensory spaces for learners to recuperate from the social and sensory demands of the classroom.


From November 2020 – ‘What was the best thing about this course?’


‘It has been one of the best courses I have attended recently! Loved the enthusiasm’ – D Watson-Goode


‘It was very informative and has given me lots of further avenues to explore.’ – L Badocha


‘The trainers are able to engage the listeners in an amusing way. Questions were answered promptly and links or resources are shared immediately.’ – S Fawzi


‘Practical ideas and a renewed understanding of sensory differences’ – S Krasner


‘Learning about creating the learning environment and expanding use of sensory resources’ – G Davies


9.00 am Admissions and virtual tea/coffee to start the session

9.05 am Welcome & introduction to agenda and outline of Zoom routines and protocol. 

To cover:

  • Use of microphone; when to mute/unmute

  • Use of Video especially in breakout rooms
  • What happens when we breakout

  • Using chat

  • How to ask a question

  • Use of hands up/clapping symbols

9.15 am Warm-up session – Go Noodle

9.25 am Session 1: How come autism is so sensory

What are the sensory needs associated with the autism spectrum? 

9.45 am Follow-up Task 

Sensory needs questionnaire. Groups/individuals/pairs to think of a student with autism and complete the questionnaire.  If time allows, do two students.  Compare and contrast their sensory needs profile.

10.00 am Session 2: Safe and Sensory Spaces That Soothe? 

All learners with autism need an escape route to somewhere safe where they can recuperate from the social and sensory demands of the classroom.

Available, accessible, appropriate – creating individualised safe sensory spaces in and out of the classroom

10.25 am Follow-up Practical Task 

Carry out an environmental audit of an area in your school/setting.

10.40 am COFFEE BREAK and mini online learning course 

11.00 am Discussion of key points from online learning course/ or environmental audit task

11.10 am Session 3: ‘Apps for Autism’ in Action

For fun and focus, for the curriculum and equilibrium

What’s in it for our learners with autism? Good and bad apps. Identifying and managing the risks. Which bits of autism are a good fit for iPads?

The top ten apps for individuals with autism

11.35 am Questions and Answers 

Delegates to put questions in chat so that any unanswered live can be followed up after the session.

11.45 am Reflective Practice

Delegates to list 3 things they will followup/action/share/ as a result of this course – can be put in chat or resource of your choice.

11.55 am Plenary

Reminder of continuing CPD activities/ future collaboration/ reflective practice/ further resources/ contact details.

12 noon Thank you and end of session

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for classroom practitioners from special schools and colleges, mainstream settings with specialist SEN provision and early years settings, who are working with pupils with Autism.



Any resources shared/signposted during the session (i.e. during Zoom chat) will be emailed to delegates as a pdf after the session.



If you wish to make a group booking for this course – we can do this quickly and easily for you!  Please email a spreadsheet with the first name/surname/email addresses of the delegates you wish to book for.  This should go to lois@hirstwood.com.  We will then create access to this course for your colleagues.  A Purchase Order Number will secure your booking and we can send you an invoice.

Important information before you book


The ‘Book now!’ button will take you to a new page where you can book and pay for this course.  Please note: if you are booking for someone else, please create the account using their name and email address.  You will still be able to pay by credit card (even it has a different name/school name on it.)

Cost: £45 plus VAT per place

(£54 including VAT)