Merseyside charity gains national accreditation to deliver autism training

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Autism Together training

A Merseyside charity specialising in autism support has gained national accreditation for its bespoke staff training programme.

Wirral-based Autism Together has seen its new course, titled the Autism Together Model (ATM), receive approval from the British Institute for Learning Disabilities (BILD).

BILD certifies that the needs of people with learning disabilities are properly understood and met, while ensuring the quality of related services are maintained to exacting standards.

This recognition means Autism Together’s course is now a viable alternative to existing training courses for staff working in care, offering a specific slant towards autism support.

The course does this by marrying the organisation’s existing methodology, known as the Together Approach, with a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) philosophy to help understand how a person’s autism diagnosis and their environment can jointly impact on their behaviour.

Bromborough-based Autism Together was founded in 1968 and the charity currently employs around 800 staff, supporting over 400 autistic adults and many more autistic children and their families, through services across Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales.

Stuart Lyons is Autism Together’s Senior Behavioural Specialist and, alongside Autism Training & Advisory Service Manager Michelle Walklett, has pioneered this course and brought it to successful national accreditation in just two years.

Stuart says: “Our ATM course teaches staff that when an autistic person displays behaviours that challenge others, this is a valid attempt to get a need met when environmental barriers, skill deficits or communication issues are blocking the way.

“The benefit of the ATM course curriculum is that it enables staff to ‘join the dots’ of all the different aspects of autism and behavioural support, while promoting quality of life for people they support and gaining important approaches to use in their jobs each day.”

Autism Together believes there are further benefits in developing its own training model, in terms of increased organisational reputation, sustainability and growth.

The course and its accreditation should help further raise the organisation’s profile as a leading specialist autism support organisation with commissioners, inspectors, local authorities and peer organisations.

Michelle explains: “ATM will save the organisation over £13,000 a year in costs of external training resources and licensing, as we are now able to deliver everything in-house.

“What’s more, we will now have the opportunity to deliver to and licence other organisations to use the Autism Together Model, by accessing training directly from our charity.

“This training will take the form of 1 to 4 day courses, annual refreshers, train the trainers, trainer relicensing and course workbooks, enabling Autism Together to access a new funding stream to invest in future projects with few overheads, as the workforce and resources required are already available to us.”

Autism Together plans to begin rolling out ATM training to other organisations from autumn 2023.

To find out more about the Autism Together Model, get the latest news or express interest in the training course, visit the dedicated ATM website:

From the archives: Merseyside autism charity appoints new CEO.

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