GAP: Autism, happiness and wellbeing book

New Good Autism Practice Book on “Autism, happiness and wellbeing” has been published.
Click here for an order form.

Atlass Masterclass dates for 2015 now set

All the dates for the Atlass Masterclass courses in 2015 are now set.

They can all be seen on the Atlass Masterclass page.

Atlass Masterclass

Places are still available for our December Masterclass.

Our programme consists of a five day induction which focusses on stress and apply knowledge of stress management to carers and staff.

The Masterclass caters for practitioners with experience of working with people with autism from a variety of backgrounds. The programme is designed to develop lead facilitators in participant organisations.

A five day induction course on 9-13 December 2013

And follow up days on 13th, 14th February and 10th, 11th April 2014

Venue:  Alcester, Warwickshire

With Dr Andrew McDonnell and Dr Michael McCreadie

More details can be downloaded here Atlass Masterclass A PDF

For further information and a booking form please contact

Atlass Masterclass June 2013

Atlass Masterclass June 2013


This programme was shared between Michael McCreadie and Andy McDonnell. The groups consisted of contingents from the North and West of Ireland and Sweden.

It was really interesting to compare and contrast the different cultures views of autism. It was again refreshing that people really got the idea that stress is a core feature of autism and that stress management is important for these individuals and their supporters.

We would also like to stress that the wealth of experience of these individuals has as usual contributed to the quality of this training.

We have also focussed a great deal on the PERMA model promoted by Seligman (2011).

Wellbeing is related to:

Positive Experiences

The group will be applying their knowledge to individuals and we look forward to seeing them in September to monitor their progress.

World Autism Day is marked by a Studio 3 Event.

Improving the lives of those with autism and those who live and support them is a key part of the work that Studio three carries out in this country and abroad.  World Autism Awareness day was a fitting time to share current insights on stress and autism that Studio 3 have made central to their training and staff development programmes.  To do this as a fund raising event for the residents and staff of the Hand in Hand Community in Nkoranza, Ghana , West Africa made it a very special occasion.

From Studio 3 we were able to hear from Dr Andy McDonnell to give the overview and back drop to the theories around the impact of stress for those with autism and those who live and work with them. From Linda Woodcock we gained new insight into the impact of stress on the family and from John Simpson and Alex Calver we learnt about their own very personal experience of living with Autism and Stress on a daily basis.  This was a day of real learning for all who participated and as one person said at the close of the day,

“it has been so good to hear perspectives from such a range of people and to really learn, I have learnt many new things today that will support me in my work – thank you Studio3”

Sue Hatton concluded the day with some information about the charity and exactly what the money raised would be paying for when she revisits the community this summer to continue training on autism for the care givers who work there.

Do visit the website and find out more

World Autism Day

What is world autism awareness day and why have one?

Having a day set aside to focus on raising awareness about a particular topic happens for many different reasons,  from encouraging people to  quit smoking, to the vast sums raised for “children in need” on their special day.  To have a special day set aside in the year to raise awareness of autism began in 1989 and in 2007 the State of Qatar put forward a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly to declare April the 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day. It was a resolution supported by all member states of the United Nations.  “Autism is not limited to a single region or country, it is a worldwide challenge that requires global action” said Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon when the four part resolution was passed.  The four parts consisted of,

  1. The establishment of April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day
  2. To encourage involvement from all member states of the United Nations, NGO’s and all private and public organisations.
  3. To raise awareness of autism at all levels in society.
  4. For the Secretary General to deliver this message.

Each year autism organisations across the UK have been doing their part to respond to this United Nations declaration and take the opportunity to raise awareness of what autism is and the impact it has upon individuals and families.

The work Studio3 does in the field of autism has grown and grown and therefore this year Studio3 have decided to have their own autism awareness event.

this can be found at

The intention is to join in the overall campaign of awareness raising but also to bring to peoples attention the need to understand the particular role stress plays for people with autism and their families.  Studio3  has now developed links in many parts of the world and one of the most recent places is Ghana in West Africa.  As well as raising awareness Studio3 hope to raise much needed funds for this particular NGO in central Ghana that works with children and adults who have a disability, many of whom have autism.  One of the staff team (Sue Hatton) has visited this project several times and run a range of training workshops for the care givers as well as spending time with the individuals with autism working alongside those who support them.  In August 2013 Sue will be returning to Ghana to offer further training and support to this very worthwhile project.

So why not come along to this unique event for world autism day where you will discover some new and innovative information in relation to autism and make a contribution to raising money for the Hand in Hand Project in Ghana.

First Atlass Masterclass

participants on an Atlass Workshop

The Atlass programme has been delivered in a number of different countries and is gaining momentum as people have begun to realise that there is something innovative and crucial about this new style of training for staff working with individuals who have autism.
The first train the trainer – or Atlass Master class has now taken place in Alcester, the office base for Atlass.  Professionals who attended came from Greece, Germany, Denmark, Ireland and the UK.  Dr Andrew McDonnell and Dr Michael McCreadie led the delivery supported but Sue Hatton and Linda Woodcock.

The wide-ranging discussions in different languages both challenged and enhanced the learning experience and on two of the days even more value was added when the group were joined by John Simpson who himself has autism.

participants on an Atlass Workshop

John was willing to share something of his own life experience as an individual living with autism and the way he experiences stress and seeks to cope with that stress to be able to  live his life and engage in his community.

Evaluation comments from participants included:

“It has really been a great week and I have learnt so much more – I feel more humble about how much I still don’t know about autism.”

“it has felt like being back at University soaking up the knowledge from such excellent speakers”

“Real life experiences, real life examples that have been shared have been so helpful – thank you”

participants on an Atlass Workshop

The Low Arousal Approach for Families

Autism and Challenging Behaviour.

A one day workshop to explore the low arousal approach

with children and young people on the autism spectrum.

This is an innovative approach that offers families a way

to manage challenging behaviour.

Facialitated by:

Linda Woodcock – National lead for Family and Parent Training.

Sue Hatton – Senior Practitioner

The Low Arousal Approach has been pioneered by Atlass and Studio 3 for a number of years and there will now be a series of workshops across England to continue to share this way of working with families.

Date and time Venue Registration Link
Thursday 13th September 2012
10 – 3pm
St Luke’s Hall, Hilmarton Rd, West Holloway, London N7 9RE registration closed
Tuesday 9th October 2012
10 – 3pm
Solihull Methodist Church, Blossomfield Rd, Solihull.
B91 1LG
registration closed

Costs: £50.00 per person

Bring a packed lunch – tea / coffee and cold drinks provided.

Atlass at the Autism Show

For two full days at the Autism Show in London staff stood on the Atlass stand and shared ideas and issues around autism with the hundreds of people who stopped to talk.  Parents were keen to discuss the current issues they were experiencing with their son or daughter and see what the Atlass approach had to offer them. It was good to be able to inform family members of the forth coming Atlass workshops specifically designed for parents (link here aoon).   Teachers came to discuss classroom management challenges and also a number wanted advice around sexuality and relationship education, a topic that we will be covering in the near future in our schools workshops.

In the afternoon Sue Hatton took to the central stage at the Autism show to share something of the work we do and why in so much training around autism there is something missing.  Often there is such a focus on the autism that the high level of stress an individual may be experiencing are not addressed.  It is so often stress that impedes their lives and ability to fulfil potential.

Central to the work done through the Atlass programme is an understanding of stress in autism, the impact it has , the variety of coping mechanisms people employ and how to go about reducing stress for individuals in order that they and those around them might have a more tranquil life.   Talking in the busy environment of the autism show with people wondering around was a challenge but one Sue Hatton rose to as she spoke with passion about what can be achieved if we look more closely at stress in the lives of individuals with autism.something of the work we do and why in so much training around autism there is something missing.  Often there is such a focus on the autism that the high level of stress an individual may be experiencing are not addressed.  It is so often stress that impedes their lives and ability to fulfil potential.

Photos show conversations on the stand and Sue speaking.