New Atlass Masterclass Dates

All the Dates for 2017 are set and the 2018 ones will be added shortly.

All the course details can be found here.

Atlass Masterclass dates for 2016 set

The course dates for Atlass Masterclass courses for 2016 have been set.

The new dates can be seen here.

New Atlass Website in Development

As you’ll probably have noticed, we are developing the Atlass website to make it more informative, easier to navigate and generally more responsive for the large range of devices our clients are now using to access these pages.  As is typical of these things, it is taking a little while to get through this stage so please bear with us if you are now accessing the site during work in progress.  If you get lost there is a useful sitemap of all the main content here.

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

The challenge of defining wellbeing

Dodge, R., Daly, A., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. (2012). The challenge of defining wellbeing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 222-235. doi:10.5502/ijw.v2i3.4

Abstract: Wellbeing is a growing area of research, yet the question of how it should be defined remains unanswered. This multi-disciplinary review explores past attempts to define wellbeing and provides an overview of the main theoretical perspectives, from the work of Aristotle to the present day. The article argues that many attempts at expressing its nature have focused purely on dimensions of wellbeing, rather than on definition. Among these theoretical perspectives, we highlight the pertinence of dynamic equilibrium theory of wellbeing (Headey & Wearing, 1989), the effect of life challenges on homeostasis (Cummins, 2010) and the lifespan model of development (Hendry & Kloep, 2002). Consequently, we conclude that it would be appropriate for a new definition of wellbeing to centre on a state of equilibrium or balance that can be affected by life events or challenges. The article closes by proposing this new definition, which we believe to be simple, universal in application, optimistic and a basis for measurement. This definition conveys the multi-faceted nature of wellbeing and can help individuals and policy makers move forward in their understanding of this popular term.

Manage stress NOT behaviours!

Stress is an ever present part of all of our lives. But, it is our coping strategies which make all of the difference. I work primarily with people with intellectual disabilities and  over the years I have become increasingly involved with people with autism.

In terms of so called challenging behaviours stress is ever present. Working from a stress management perspective changes our focus. The key approach is to focus on stress rather than behaviours. Reducing stress has huge behavioural benefits. In addition, focusing on the stress of carers also makes inherent sense. For my colleagues a natural extension of low arousal approaches (see is better stress management.

Remember, focussing on stress management can be a liberating experience!

Andrew  McDonnell

Greece welcomes the “Low Arousal” Approach and the “Atlass” Training Course

Greece welcomes the “Low Arousal” Approach and the “Atlass” Program

On the 1st of June “TACT HELLAS” (Training and Consultation Today in Hellas) and “Petagma” (Parent Organization for Supported Living of the Intellectually Disabled), organized a specialized workshop around stress and people with autism who live in supported living accommodation in the community.

For us, the newly founded “Low Arousal” Greek team this was our first opportunity to present the philosophy of STUDIO III, “Low arousal” and “Atlass” to care organisations as well as  new pathways to our understanding of autism, to a mixed audience of care professionals, parents, support staff and board members of non-profit organizations which specialize in support. Their participation in the workshop gives us hope that Greece is ready to embrace new ideas and methods around the care services for people with autism and leave behind an era of institutionalization and aversive methods.

We believe that such workshops will introduce the philosophy of STUDIO III to the Greek care service and establish staff training in “Low Arousal” approach as the way forward towards a more humane and non-aversive method of dealing with difficult and challenging behaviors.

We would like to thank Linda Woodcock our key note speaker,  for sharing with us both her professional knowledge around autism and her experience as a parent of a young man with ASD and challenging behaviors.  All of our thanks to Dr. Andy McDonnell, Dr. Michael McCreadie, Denise McDonnell and all the Studio III staff for supporting our learning experience.

Thank you all for your support, the Studio III Greek team:

Penny Papanikolopoulos PhD,   Giannis Zindros MSc and  Spyros Deres BSc