Empowering Parents to realise the full potential of children and young people on the Autism Spectrum


This self-paced online masterclass course is designed to provide parents with the knowledge and skills required to support and address the social, emotional & educational needs of their children on the autism spectrum who do NOT have learning disabilities in order to achieve their full potential.

Empowering Parents to realise the full potential of children and young people on the Autism Spectrum consists of five modules. Each module has a specific aim and learning targets and concludes with further reading or resources which the learner may find helpful. Each module builds on what was learnt in the previous module. This results to a broad and in-depth knowledge & understanding of a series of important aspects and challenges faced by students on the autism spectrum in an education setting.

More specifically, the course places emphasis on providing parents with a thorough understanding of Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) and specifically on autism causation and possible co-occurring conditions. To this extent, there is a dedicated module on ‘the key impacted areas in development’, with further analysis on impacts in communication, social imagination and imaginative thinking, among others. There are plenty of ‘tips’ for parents on how to practically support people on the autism spectrum.

Moreover, the course provides abundance information to parents related to the assessment and diagnostic process as well as how parents can interpret IQ, SPLD’s and educational skills tests from formal and informal diagnosis of autism spectrum condition. Equally important the course covers comprehensively how parents can work together with the school and the teachers in order that they all contribute to the development of appropriate social & educational strategies that suit an individual on ASC.

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) often deal with a variety of social & emotional challenges and difficulties. It is for this reason that this masterclass course aims to increase the knowledge and understanding of parents with regards to the social and emotional difficulties of their children on the autism spectrum and how to support them efficiently & effectively. It is worth mentioning that the course makes detailed reference and analysis on issues related to anxiety and mental health for children on the ASC. Equally important, the course provides a detailed analysis on  specialist interventions and ways of developing social understanding as well as how to prepare their children for the most important transition of all, that is, adulthood.

Finally, the course provides detailed analysis for parents to understand the infrastructure underpinning Inclusive Education and the role and importance of school/educational setting in the world of autism. The parents are also benefited from a detailed reference on the importance of a Person Centered Planning approach as well as on various important aspects related to Autism and Culture.

Empowering Parents to realise the full potential of children and young people on the Autism Spectrum is an indispensable tool for parents to acquire the necessary in-depth knowledge to support the educational, social & emotional needs of their children on the Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

All presentations in this course are both visual and audio. The course is being developed by highly experienced tutors with vast expertise in the area of Special Educational Needs (SEN).

This course is part of the Special Educational Needs (SEN) online academy of ShipCon.


  • Recognize the early signs and symptoms of the autism spectrum and co-occurring conditions
  • Respond to the impact of the autism spectrum condition on a child’s overall functioning
  • Acquire awareness of how Autism specific strategies can be shaped by testing and diagnosis
  • Understand the key areas of difficulty with day-to-day-life
  • Using structured approaches for orientation and communication
  • Understand the impact of a lack of diagnosis on emotional wellbeing
  • Acquire knowledge & expertise in shaping strategies to support emotional wellbeing
  • Understand issues faced by Autistic individuals with regards to mental health
  • Prepare children on Autism Spectrum for adulthood
  • Understand the concept of Inclusive education and how parents can cooperate with teachers
  • Comprehend the importance of Transition planning for an individual on ASC
  • Acquire knowledge on how to implement a Person Centered Planning approach
  • Understand important aspects related to Autism and Culture
  • Mitigate the Autism impacts on the family

WHY this course?

Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees.

According to a 2018 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the prevalence of autism had risen to 1 in every 59 – twice as great as the 2004 rate of 1 in 125.  

Although autism impacts people regardless of race or ethnicity, there are racial and ethnic disparities in diagnosis. According to the CDC, ADDM reports have consistently noted that more white children are identified with ASD than black or Hispanic children. Previous studies have shown that stigma, lack of access to healthcare services due to non-citizenship or low-income, and non-English primary language are potential barriers to the identification of children with ASD, especially among Hispanic children. A difference in identifying black and Hispanic children with ASD relative to white children means these children may not be getting the services they need to reach their full potential.

Currently, boys are also approximately 4.5 times more likely to have an autism diagnosis than girls of the same age. However, recent research suggests that girls may not show autism in the same way as boys and might go undiagnosed because of that. 

Autism is characterized by persistent differences in communication, interpersonal relationships, and social interaction across different environments. When it comes to education, individuals on Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) are confronted with ‘learning difficulties’ or ‘learning disabilities’.

A ‘learning disability’ is a reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday activities which affects someone throughout their life (Mencap) It can be mild, moderate, severe or profound and children. A ‘learning ‘disability’ is linked to overall cognitive impairment. On the other hand, a ‘learning difficulty’ refers to conditions that affect the person’s ability to learn. A ‘learning ‘difficulty’ does not affect a person’s general intelligence. Specific learning difficulties include Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

Empowering Parenrs to realise the full potential of children and young people on the Autism Spectrum focuses on children on Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC) with ‘learning difficulties’ due to their condition and the learning environment they experience. These children do not have an intellectual ‘impairment’.

Therefore, the overall goal of this masterclass course is to provide parents with the knowledge and skills required to support the educational and social needs of their children on the autism spectrum who do NOT have learning disabilities in order to achieve their full potential.


  • Parents
  • Guardians


Empowering Parenrs to realise the full potential of children and young people on the Autism Spectrum is an online self-paced (asynchronous) course. All presentations are both visual and audio.

It consists of xxx hours of video covering five (5) distinct modules. Highly experienced tutor goes through the whole course, providing ample explanation – in an easy-to-follow manner – to all the areas & concepts covered by the course. Moreover, the tutor will provide a significant amount of useful background information and explanations throughout the course and in a way which is easy to follow and understand.

Each module has a specific area to cover and consists of various learning Units. Each Unit has its own distinct objective (Unit Learning Objective). Finally, each Unit has its own topics, each one with a specific objective (Topic Learning Objective). 

Therefore, each Module has its own distinct aim/outcome, which is being served by distinct Units and Topics.

In this way, the attendee can easily follow the tutor as he/she goes through the whole material of the course.

The attendees of the course will be hugely benefited from the fact that they can have a 3-month online support by the responsible tutor of the course. This is very important to all those with busy working or personal schedule who need to go through the material at their own pace. 

The methodology of the course is based on a combination of three important elements:

  • Provision of knowledge required
  • Use of training tools, such as case studies, videos, games, animations & exercises (practice – hands on experience)
  • Feedback/reflection (review)


  • Certificate of attendance/competence (skills & competences acquired) by ShipCon with CPD units


Module I: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Condition

                  Unit I: Autism Spectrum Conditions

                             Topic I:    Background to Autism and the spectrum

                             Topic II:  Autism causation

                             Topic III:  Possible co-occurring conditions

                  Unit II: Understanding the Autism Spectrum

                             Topic I:     How the ‘autistic brain’ functions

                             Topic II:  The signs and symptoms of an autistic spectrum condition

                             Topic III: Key impacted areas in development

                 Unit III: The Main areas of difficulty

                             Topic I:     Impacts on Communication

                             Topic II:   Impacts on Social Imagination

                             Topic III:  Impacts on Imaginative thinking

                             Topic IV:  Supporting people on the autism spectrum

Module II: Support and diagnosis

                  Unit I: The definition of an autism spectrum condition

                             Topic I:    The importance of a definition

                             Topic II:   The main components of the definition and diagnosis

                            Topic III: Routes to identification and diagnosis of the autism spectrum

                  Unit II: The assessment and diagnostic process

                                     Topic I:   The diagnosis of an autism spectrum condition

                          Topic II:  Issues with the diagnosis of ‘the autisms’ or an autism spectrum condition

                                    Topic III: Understanding IQ, SPLD’s and educational skills tests

                   Unit III: Diagnostic signposts

                          Topic I:  The autism spectrum as a continuum & co-occurring conditions 

                                       Topic II:   Working together with school

                                       Topic III:  How tests can shape strategies

Module III: Strategies for support

                  Unit I: Key Factors on Autism for Parents

                                       Topic I:  Key areas of difficulty with day-to-day life

                                       Topic II: Formal support programmes

                                      Topic III: Key areas for parents to grab on to when supporting at home


       Unit II: Visual Communication

                             Topic I:   The importance of visual communication

                              Topic II:  Introducing visual structure

                              Topic III: Using visual support systems

      Unit III: Structured approaches – using structure for orientation and communication

                              Topic I:     Structure in the environment 

                              Topic II:    Adaptations which make a difference

                              Topic III:   Using structure and visuals ‘on the go’

                              Topic IV:   Supporting Change

                              Topic V:   Using work systems

                              Topic VI:   Increasing motivation

                              Topic VII:  Toward independence

Module IV: Social support: Understanding self and others

                  Unit I: Autism and socio-emotional difficulties

                             Topic I:   What it feels like to be on the autism spectrum

                             Topic II:  The impact of a lack of diagnosis on emotional wellbeing

                             Topic III: Behaviour commonly seen and simple strategies

                  Unit II: Autism and emotions

                             Topic I:   Anxiety and the autism spectrum

                             Topic II:  Autism, mental health and emotional wellbeing

                             Topic III: Strategies to support emotional wellbeing

             Unit III: The importance of social understanding,  friendship and self esteem in fostering emotional wellbeing

                     Topic I: The autism spectrum and ways of developing social understanding

                     Topic II:  The autisms – specialist interventions geared towards subgroups   

                     Topic III:  Preparation for adulthood: relationships, sex education, leisure & recreation

Module V: Education and family support                              

                 Unit I: Understanding the infrastructure underpinning Inclusive education

                             Topic I:    Inclusive education and SEN provision

                             Topic II: What really gets in the way of achievement and attainment?

                             Topic III: The catalytic teacher in the world of autism

       Unit II: Routes to inclusion

                             Topic I:   Autism specific good practice

                              Topic II:  The importance of Transition planning

                              Topic III: Transition to Adulthood

      Unit III: Living with Autism – Life and beyond

                             Topic I:     Person Centered Planning

                              Topic II:    Autism and Culture

                              Topic III:   Autism impacts on the family


Angela Winstanley is a highly experienced Trainer/Consultant in Operations Management and Care Services with particular specialism in Autism.

Qualified in Social Work and a degree level qualified Operations Manager, with a background predominantly in care services. For a period of 24 years Angela managed teams and Operations, including all aspects of business development, Strategic Planning and implementation, and Operational Management, at Senior level.

Angela has worked with UK Investors in People as an Assessor, and trained as a Health and Safety/Risk Manager, – she is highly experienced in Quality Audit including Care Quality Commission (CQC) UK, for whom she was Registered as a Service Manager. During her long career Angela has worked within UK Social Services, Health Service, Education and the Voluntary Sector – she has also been seconded to the UK the Prison Service.

In her work for a UK National Charity Angela was trained in ‘Facing the Media’ and undertook numerous TV and Radio interviews, also being published in journals, and National Press.

Since relocating full time to Cyprus in 2012 Angela has delivered both Management and Autism training as a freelance trainer, in UK. Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates. Angela is currently involved in the development of specific Training Within a 3 year ERASMUS project and will be delivering training in Cyprus, Croatia and FYR Macedonia.


  • ShipCon Head Trainer, 2016 – Present

Responsible for developing and delivering a range of Education based training across Europe. Involvement in Project development.

  • Freelance Consultant / Trainer – ACCREDO Support Services (Mental Health / Learning disability / Autism).  United Kingdom    – 2011 – 2016
  • Freelance Trainer – Focus – Abu Dhabi – UAE – Delivering Management training to Abu Dhabi Police force. – 2012 – 2016
  • Freelance Consultant / Trainer – ASSP (Autism Assessment Support Practise) Centre Limassol, Cyprus

Responsible for Assessments, responsive programme setting, supporting key staff in interventions, training.  –   2011 – 2017

  • Area Manager, National Autistic Society, UK. 2003 – April 2011
    • Responsible for Operational and Strategic Management of Autism Specific Services across the midlands / East Midlands area
  • Locality Manager – National Autistic Society UK. 1998 –2003

              Responsible for Management of Adult Autism services across 4 UK countries, including

              Residential Homes, Outreach and Supported Living Services, University Support Services,

              Day Services

  • Registered Manager – National Autistic Society UK. March 1996 –1998

Responsible for start – up and Management of first Residential and Day Services for Adults with Autism, Northamptonshire. Registered as Manager with UK Care Quality Commission.

Supported development of NAS Hayes Special Hospital, Bristol UK

  • Team Leader – Northamptonshire Social Services. UK. 1988 – 1996

Responsible for Management of Service for Young adults with disabilities, Co- ordination of Social Work, Nursing and Education Teams and project lead on relocation from Hospital campus to community services. 

Change Management in Northamptonshire Day Services. – as part of a specifically recruited management team to identify the need for and implement change processes within Social Services Departments.

Internal Trainer

Management of Generic Unit for adults with Special Care needs and Challenging Behaviour.


  • Qualified Social Worker,- Selly Oak Colleges, United Kingdom.
  • Applied Psychology,- Selly Oak Colleges, United Kingdom United Kingdom
  • Degree in Operational and Strategic Management – United Kingdom
  • Certificate in Management Studies. United Kingdom
  • Investors in People Assessor – United Kingdom
  • A range of CPD certificates pertinent to the field of autism, Asperger syndrome.
  • Training the Trainer

Achievements & awards:

  • Part of the team who developed the National Autistic Society SPELL framework.
  • Part of the team who conducted the Autism Accreditation assessments and panel member.
  • Investors in People Assessor
  • EarlyBird Trainer (Autism Parent Training, NAS)
  • SocialEyes facilitator (Social programmes for Asperger individuals, NAS)
  • PCP (Person Centered Planning) facilitator
  • Autism Support Counsellor (NAS PROJECT) to RELATE – marriage guidance council
  • Regulation 26 (CQC standards UK) -Appointed Visitor

Publications and Media:

  • Daily Telegraph – Supporting Parents with transition to residential Services. Article May 1998
  • Community Care Magazine – Parents of autistic children urged to use support schemes August 2002
  • Observer / Guardian – Asperger Syndrome- May 19, 2001 – ‘Angela Finne, a social worker who specialises in autism, notes that her clients have difficulty understanding surreal humour’
  • Daily Mail – Starting up Residential Services for Autism – Article – 1999
  • Contributor -The process of Ageing and Autism – .2003
  • Contributor – Ignored and Ineligible? The reality for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders- 2001 (Angela Finne)
  • BBC Channel 5 TV – Gloria Hunniford Show – Interview on Diet and Autism
  • BBC Radio – You and Yours – Interview on the impacts of Autism on families
  • ITV Breakfast TV – A look behind the doors of Residential Autism Services
  • Cyprus Radio – Phone in Q & A for Autism parents
  • UK House of Commons – Presentation to MP’s on Autism and Mental Capacity.

Training delivered:

United Kingdom:

  • National Autistic Society:
    • Delivered a range of training in autism, Asperger syndrome, behaviour, social understanding, mental health, transition planning, Person Centered Planning, Leadership and management,
    • NAS accredited SPELL trainer
    • Training the trainer.
  • ACCREDO Support & Development:
    • Staff training in Autism, Mental Health approaches and Management
  • Sussex Autism Society
    • Staff training on a range of Autism specific themes
  • Northamptonshire Social Services
    • Delivered a range of courses on Learning Difficulties, including Sexuality and Relationships


  • Abu Dhabi – UAE – Management and Soft Skills Training to Abu Dhabi Police Force
  • CyprusAASP – Introduction to Autism, Using visual Structures, Communication in Autism

Famagusta Autism Society – a range of Autism specific courses, Supervisory Management, Person Centered Planning

  • ESIPP – (Equity and Social Inclusion through Positive Parenting)

Autism 5 day training delivered to professionals and parents in North Macedonia, Croatia and Cyprus. Included Training Trainers

  • ShipCon – Cyprus
    • Special Educational Needs
    • Autism
    • Soft Skills
    • Management

Conference presentations:

United Kingdom:

  • Presented at a range of conferences including:
    • Partnership working between Local Authorities and Autism Providers- National Autistic Society conferences
    • Leicester University Diversity Conference – ‘All about Autism’
    • United Kingdom – ESIPP – Working with Structure in Autism


  • North Macedonia – ESIPP Conference – Sensory Impacts in Autism
  • Croatia – ESIPP – Sensory Impacts in Autism
  • Cyprus – ESIPP – Joint working with Parents in Autism
  • Cyprus – SENPower – The impacts of Special Educational Needs on Development and overview of the programme
  • Portugal- SENPower – The impacts of SENPower on young people with Special Educational Needs on Development and overview of the programme

Research programmes and collaborative work:

  • ESIPP Project – Partners – UK, Cyprus, North Macedonia, Croatia – Developing Autism research- based training for Parents and training trainers in each partner country
  • SENPower – Partners from Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy. Developing tools to support young adults with Specific Learning Difficulties and Entrepreneurship.
  • PCP Autism – Partners – Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, North Macedonia Cyprus, Greece – Developing Person Centered Planning tools and training with relation to children and adults with Autism
  • Ageing in Autism Project – National Autistic Society
  • Grendon Underwood Prison, UK. – Therapeutic approaches with Cat A. B prisoners (Selly Oak Colleges and the Prison Services)
  • Cyprus Ministry for Education – Environment and Practise Assessments in Paphos Area Special Needs provision in schools – comprehensive reports.

Memberships & Collorations:

  • Autism Accreditation- Panel member: 100 – 2007– 2011.
  • Famagusta Autism Support Group – Board Member – 2017 – Present.

What is included?

Life time access 28:03:00 hours of video 5 Modules,

15 Units,

50 Topics

Three months online support Certificate/CPD