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

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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

      • 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
      • 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

      • 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.

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How ExpertTracks work

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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

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