Online ExpertTrack in Healthcare & Medicine

Autism: Developing Knowledge of Autistic Experiences

Increase your understanding of autistic people through an exploration of autistic experiences in key areas.

Created by

The University of KentThe University of Kent

Learn more

Learn from autistic people’s experiences

This ExpertTrack will help you gain a deeper understanding of autistic people and how best to advocate for autistic voices as you learn directly from their experiences.

You’ll explore key areas to understand how to provide better care, access to facilities, and how to improve the overall wellbeing of autistic people.

Explore the barriers to an autism diagnosis

You’ll build a strong foundational knowledge of what autism is, and what it is not. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to identify the barriers to an autism diagnosis, and what can be done to overcome these obstacles.

Exploring the latest developments in psychological theories, you’ll reflect on the experiences of autistic women, girls, and other marginalised gender identities to ensure your knowledge of autism is inclusive.

As you explore the benefits of social inclusion for autistic people, you’ll understand how factors such as legislation and employment affect the success of this.

You’ll develop knowledge on ways of improving social care and also learn from the experiences of autistic people within the criminal justice system, both as a victim and offender.

Understand the need for improving access to healthcare for autistic people

Autistic people can face many difficulties when trying to access healthcare. On the ExpertTrack, you’ll work to think of ways to improve this which will have a direct impact on quality of life.

You’ll also look at the common co-existing conditions found with autistic people and how this affects wellbeing. Within this, you’ll delve into mental health, including masking and trauma, and understand the role of intersectionality.

Explore autism in the classroom

You’ll develop your knowledge of autistic people’s experiences in education, including common issues such as bullying and school refusal.

Delving deep into autistic learners’ needs, you’ll also look at the adjustments that can be made to create enabling and supportive learning environments.

By the end of this ExpertTrack, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to help break down boundaries and amplify the autistic voice.

Learning from the experts at The Tizard Centre, whose leading research into autism has been highly influential, you’ll gain specialist insights and a deeper understanding of how to improve the lives of autistic people in key areas.

Key skills you will learn

  • Applying good practice to improve the lives of autistic people
  • Identifying legislation relevant to autistic people
  • Recognising barriers to access for autistic people in healthcare, education and other areas
  • Appreciating the importance of autistic social identity

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Explore the process of, and barriers to, autism diagnosis
  • Reflect on the experiences of autistic women, girls and other marginalised gender identities
  • Apply what you have learned about good practice to improve the lives of autistic people
  • Identify legislation relevent to different aspects of autistic people's lives
  • Describe the importance of autistic social identity
  • Discuss autistic mental health and how masking and trauma affect access to healthcare

Experience required

This ExpertTrack is designed for anyone interested in the experiences of autistic people, and some understanding of autism is expected.

The ‘Understanding Autism’ short course can help you build this prior knowledge.

You should also have a good understanding of the English language (equivalent to CEFR B2 or IELTS 5.5).

Getting started

This ExpertTrack is intended for autistic people, families of autistic people, and staff in education, social care, and other relevant areas.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    Develop your knowledge of the experiences of autistic people of different genders, barriers to diagnosis and the latest research.

    4 weeks

    3 hours per week

    • Week 1

      An introduction to autistic differences
      • Welcome and introduction
      • Neurodiversity and social communication
      • Similarities and differences
    • Week 2

      Diagnosis
      • Diagnostic pathways
      • Current criteria
      • Responses to diagnosis
    • Week 3

      Gender and diversity
      • The role of gender and diversity
      • Barriers to diagnosis
      • Support
    • Week 4

      Theories
      • Theories
      • Practical impact of theories
      • Conclusion
  • Course 2

    Learn about legislation affecting the rights of autistic people within social care, employment and the criminal justice system.

    4 weeks

    3 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Advocacy
      • The Autistic Voice
      • Autistic perspectives
      • Stakeholders
    • Week 2

      Legislation, social inclusion, and employment
      • Social care legislation
      • Employment and social inclusion
      • Case study
    • Week 3

      Autistic offenders
      • Autistic people and crime
      • The Criminal Justice System
      • Improving the system
    • Week 4

      Autistic victims of crime
      • Issues affecting autistic victims of crime
      • Lived experiences
      • Looking forward
  • Course 3

    Learn how to improve quality of life for autistic people and overcome the barriers they face in accessing healthcare.

    4 weeks

    3 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Physical health
      • Introduction to physical health issues
      • Case studies in autism and physical health
      • Support for physical health
    • Week 2

      Mental health
      • Autistic mental health
      • Mental health and intersectionality case studies
      • Intersectionality
    • Week 3

      Barriers to healthcare
      • What barriers do autistic people face?
      • Exploring barriers to healthcare
      • Responding to healthcare barriers
    • Week 4

      Well-being and quality of life
      • The quality of life of autistic people
      • Assessing autistic quality of life
      • Autistic joy
  • Course 4

    Explore the experiences of autistic students and learn how to create inclusive and enabling educational environments.

    4 weeks

    3 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Education legislation
      • Welcome
      • Legislation
      • Legislation in practice
    • Week 2

      Experiences and issues in education
      • Experiences of education
      • Issues in education
      • Social identity
    • Week 3

      Learning environments
      • Sensory differences
      • Enabling learning environments
      • Good practice
    • Week 4

      Supporting autistic students
      • Support in practice
      • Approaches to support
      • Reflections

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

How ExpertTracks work

Join an ExpertTrack to master new skills in your chosen specialist area. Work through a series of topic-focused courses at your own pace, and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate award which proves your expertise.

Join a free 2-day trial

Decide if the ExpertTrack is right for you with free access to the full suite of courses and assessments for a week.

Keep learning for $39/month

Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

Earn digital certificates

Receive a certificate for every completed course and pass the final assessment to earn a digital certificate.

Become an expert

Use your specialist training to progress further in your career or build expertise in areas you’re passionate about.

World-class learning with The University of Kent

The University of Kent, the UK’s European university, is one of the country’s most dynamic universities. Established in 1965, it now has 19,850 students studying at its various campuses.

Meet your instructor

Dr Jill Bradshaw is a Senior Lecturer in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and a Speech/Language Therapist -Tizard Centre, University of Kent. She has been working in this field for 25 year

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

What are our learners saying?

Add a new skill or forge a new path

"I recommend Futurelearn to anyone looking to learn and upskill...If you are in the job market, you might want to add a new skill or forge a new path."

They bring the classroom right to you

"FutureLearn courses are always interesting and informative. They bring the classroom right to you and send you on a journey to explore new ideas and offer interesting topics."

Start learning today - free 2-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

FAQ

ExpertTracks are a series of online courses designed to help you master new skills in specialist areas. You pay a monthly subscription fee which includes access to all courses within the ExpertTrack, as well as assessments and the final digital certificate.

Each ExpertTrack comes with a 2-day free trial period. You may cancel your subscription at any time and your subscription will automatically cancel when you finish the courses and assessments in your chosen ExpertTrack.

Yes. All of our ExpertTracks come with a 2-day free trial. You may claim one free trial period per ExpertTrack.

You have two days before you will be charged your first monthly subscription fee. When you join an ExpertTrack you automatically receive a 2-day free trial period. You can cancel at any time during the trial period and no payment will be taken from your account.

Please see our full refund policy here.

No, all of our ExpertTracks consist of fully online courses. This means you can take an ExpertTrack from anywhere in the world.

No. ExpertTracks are designed for you to master new skills in a specialist area. You will earn a digital certificate that proves your learning, but it does not carry accreditation.

If you’re looking for certified or accredited courses, many of our microcredentials offer university credit or professional certification.

Have more questions about ExpertTracks? Read the ExpertTracks FAQs, or contact us.