On this course, you will not only learn all about the difficulties experienced by learners with autism and the resulting impact on their learning but also about their strengths and abilities. We examine how sensory differences can be the biggest part of a person’s autism and look at their sensory sensitivities, sensory seeking behaviours and sensory processing difficulties. Recognising sensory differences can help us to understand a learner’s needs more accurately.

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Introduction and course structure

    • Course outline

    • Your expectations of this course

  • 2

    Module 1: What is Autism?

    • Module 1: What is Autism?

    • 1A. An introduction to Autism

    • 1B. A short history of Autism

    • 1C. Diagnosis of Autism: Current thinking

  • 3

    Module 2: Sensory Differences in Autism

    • Module 2: Sensory Differences in Autism

    • 2A. Sensory Sensitivity

    • 2B. Sensory Seeking Behaviour

    • 2C. Sensory processing difficulties

    • 2D. Recognising Sensory Differences

  • 4

    Module 3: Creating a Sensory Profile

    • Module 3: Creating a Sensory Profile

    • 3A. What is a sensory profile?

    • 3B. Why do I need a sensory profile?

    • 3C. Personalising a Sensory Profile

    • 3D. Sensory Checklist One

    • Sensory-Checklist Two

    • Sensory Checklist Three

  • 5

    Module 4: Using a Sensory Profile with positive and protective strategies in the classroom

    • Module 4: Using a Sensory Profile with positive and protective strategies in the classroom

    • 4A. Hearing

    • 4B. Vision

    • 4C. Touch

    • 4D. Smell

    • 4E. Movement

    • 4F. Taste

  • 6


    • Quiz

  • 7


    • Conclusion

    • Evaluation form


Hirstwood Training Associate – Autism Specialist

Chris Barson

Chris Barson founded Positive About Autism in January 2009. Prior to that, Chris was External Training Manager for the National Autistic Society. Chris has a long involvement with disability and autism. Chris first joined the National Autistic Society (NAS) in 1996 as a Project Officer in Wales on a Children in Need project reviewing short term care provision. After working with the NAS Regional Development Team promoting service development throughout the UK, Chris went to work at the Royal College of General Practitioners, in 2000, where he managed Professional Development and Quality programmes. Chris rejoined NAS in 2004. Chris has contributed to the design and delivery of courses provided by Canterbury Christ Church University, and the University of Cumbria. Chris is a contributing author to ‘The Autism Spectrum in the 21st Century: Exploring Psychology, Biology and Practice’ Jessica Kingsley Press 2010 (Highly Commended 2011 BMA Medical Book Awards).


Thank you to the staff, parents and children from the following schools for their enthusiasm and permission to let us film them in action!

Kemball School, Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom

Nelson Park School, Napier, New Zealand

Fairhaven School, Napier, New Zealand

Thank you to Glenwood School, Benfleet, United Kingdom for letting us share shots of their tremendous classrooms.