Professional Development: Using Neurodiversity to Support Autistic Children and Their Families


Are you an Allied Health, Psychology or Educational professional? Join Dr Melanie Heyworth in this online workshop, as we redefine Autism from an Autistic perspective, examine the ways in which neurodiversity can help you to reframe your thinking about Autism, and discuss how this new understanding can inform the way you approach and support the Autistic children in your care. 

The online on-demand PD is grouped around 3 elements – reframing Autism, neurodiversity and implications for practice.  

Using the theoretical underpinnings of double empathy and radical acceptance, we explore what Autism is from an Autistic perspective, so that professionals have the requisite knowledge to understand how to foster Autistic authenticity. Part of the learning is focused on some basic neuroscience, so that professionals can understand some of the complexity of the Autistic brain, to be able to work with Autistic neurology. Understanding the Autistic neurotype is key for professionals engaging with their Autistic clients with compassion and empathy.  

We also explore the neurodiversity paradigm in more depth, and examine some traditional approaches to Autism (like thinking of the spectrum as linear) from a neurodiversity perspective. From a neurodiversity perspective, we thus explore Autism as an identity, and reframe Autistic communication, body language, stimming, sensory processing and social skills.  

In terms of practical information, we also explore the need for relational connections over external motivators, and give some more information about what a strengths-based and person-centred approach looks like when engaging with Autistic children therapeutically. 

 Learning objectives are thus: 

  1. To understand Autism within a double empathy and radical acceptance framework that fosters Autistic authenticity 
  2. To develop a basic understanding of Autism from a neurological perspective 
  3. To interrogate traditional, reductive approaches to Autism and offer new ways to view Autistic traits and behaviours 
  4. To scope ways of interacting with Autistic individuals which are respectful and successful 

You will also receive:

  • A fillable workbook, including further reading and references 
  • A professional development certificate will be issued upon completion of the workshop and feedback survey. 

Delivery: Online on-demand 

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes 

Price: $110 



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Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

The Reframing Autism team would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we have the privilege to learn, work, and grow. Whilst we gather on many different parts of this Country, the RA team walk on the land of the Amangu, Awabakal, Bindjareb, Birpai, Whadjak, Wiradjuri and Yugambeh peoples.

We are committed to honouring the rich culture of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of this Country, and the diversity and learning opportunities with which they provide us. We extend our gratitude and respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and to all Elders past and present, for their wisdom, their resilience, and for helping this Country to heal.

Join us on the journey to reframe how society understands Autism