About this course

The programme aims to train staff to Trainer level and support them to embed our approach and train staff in their own settings. There are four components to achieving autism Trainer recognition: 

  • During the training, you are required to attend a four-day online training (9am - 5pm) on the same day of the week, over four weeks. The training is co-produced by renowned experts and experienced Trainers from Anna Freud and AT-Autism and delivered by autistic and non-autistic experts in the field. Trainers will facilitate safe spaces for reflective discussions and meaningful engagement via a range of slides, videos and case studies/vignettes for small cohorts of up to 18 delegates. You should expect to be actively engaged in each session.
  • Post-training, you will join a Community of Practice, led by our Community of Practice Lead. Monthly shared learning seminars will offer a safe space for you to meet with other Trainers, share your experiences and develop your training practice to benefit your NHS co-workers. You will also hear from internationally renowned autistic and non autistic experts, to extend and consolidate your knowledge.
  • You will be supported to co-deliver the training with autistic Experts by Experience and embed our approach in your own settings.
Who can take part in the training?

The training is suitable for all NHS England mental health professionals who currently work or may work with diagnosed or undiagnosed autistic children and young people in child and adolescent community mental health settings. No specialist or high-level skills are required to attend this course.

This training course is suitable for staff including, but not limited to: 

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Neuropsychiatrist
  • Counsellor
  • Doctor
  • Family Therapist
  • Mental Health Practitioner
  • Psychiatrist
  • Psychologist
  • Psychotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Key worker
  • Admission officer
  • Team manager
  • Support staff
  • Therapist

Applicants must:

  • be working with a team of mental health professionals in a children and young people community mental health setting;
  • have the availability and commitment to complete four training days (9.00 – 17.00) and, following training, train other staff in their setting;
  • have a desire to understand autistic children and young people’s experiences and facilitate training designed by autistic content developers in their NHS facility, to improve outcomes for autistic children and young people;
  • complete a pre-training questionnaire to gauge your knowledge and understanding of autistic mental health;
  • actively engage in all four training days and complete all reflection questionnaires throughout.
What will I learn?

You will discuss examples of existing good practice and innovative approaches of working with autistic children and young people, rather than on or for them. You will gain an understanding of the value of modelling collaborative, relational and person-centred values, with your colleagues and with the autistic people you support, and of promoting a balanced narrative about neurodiversity.  

You will practise how to facilitate delivery of slides and animations in your service with the support of an autistic Expert by Experience co-Trainer. 

The training covers key approaches, including:

  • a trauma informed approach when working with autistic children, young people and their families
  • applications of an experience sensitive approach in everyday practice
  • the SPELL framework 
  • adapting talking therapies
  • working with parents and schools

You will be supported continuously with the practicalities of arranging the delivery of training and growing your skills as a Trainer.

What is expected of delegates post-training?

#NATPmentalhealth is a model that you can take back to your NHS Trust to facilitate training, with our support. You will deliver a three-day training at least once a year, to help other staff reflect on their practice, enhance their understanding of the needs of autistic and neurodivergent patients and carry out their work more effectively. You will be supported to co-deliver the training with an Expert by Experience, who can be contacted from the programme's pool of Experts by Experience. 

You must attend all four training days to qualify as a Trainer and gain access to the full multimedia e-library of educational material.


Places on this course have been commissioned by NHS England, you are eligible to attend this training at no cost to yourself.

  • 4 Days, 22, 29 June, 6, and 13 July

The Anna Freud Centre brings together those with a stake in the mental health of children and young people. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter and occasional updates about the Centre's training and events. 

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