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Navigating Neurodiversity: Insights from our Neuro-Affirmative SNA Course

Our Neuro-Affirmative SNA Course, a unique and empowering experience designed and delivered by Autistics themselves. Unlike many traditional autism courses, this distinctive program offers insights and perspectives that only Autistic people can provide. The course isn’t just about understanding neurodiversity; it’s about immersing yourself in the authentic experiences and wisdom of those who navigate this world as Autistic adults. This key distinction is our driving force and the unparalleled strength that sets our course apart.


This key distinction, rooted in the fact that our Neuro-Affirmative SNA Course is designed and delivered by Autistics, serves as our driving force and the unparalleled strength that sets our course apart. Unlike conventional autism courses often created without direct input from Autistic individuals, our program offers an authentic and firsthand perspective. The lived experiences, nuanced insights, and unique approaches that Autistics bring to the course are transformative. It’s not just about theoretical knowledge; it’s about tapping into the deep understanding that comes from Autistic trainers, well-versed in our own experiences and up to date research and understanding. This distinctive feature infuses the course with a richness that goes beyond textbook teachings, providing participants with a genuine connection to the diverse world of neurodiversity. In essence, this distinction represents a commitment to learning from those who truly understand, making our course a beacon of authenticity and inclusivity in the realm of education.

Neuro-affirmative SNA course 


The unique design of this online course ensures its relevance and applicability across a broad range of ages, making it accessible to Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) working with students ranging from preschool to secondary school. Whether you’re supporting the early developmental stages of young learners or assisting in the complexities of secondary education, our Neuro-Affirmative SNA Course is crafted to empower SNAs across all age groups. The insights and strategies gained from the course are tailored to meet the diverse needs of students at different educational stages, fostering a comprehensive understanding of neurodiversity that can be applied effectively in various settings. This inclusive approach underscores our commitment to providing valuable resources for SNAs working across the entire educational spectrum.



In the world of Special Needs Assistance (SNA), understanding and embracing neurodiversity is a crucial aspect of providing effective support for Autistic students. Our SNA course delves deep into these topics, fostering a community of learning and sharing among SNAs. Let’s explore the ongoing insights as participants engage in the four-week journey.

Autistic-led course for SNAs

In the first week, participants are introduced to each other in an online setting, laying the foundation for shared experiences. Exploring different perspectives on the terminology of Autism, including models like the medical, social, minority stress, and human rights models, sets the stage for comprehensive understanding. The emphasis on using person-first language, such as “autistic child” instead of “child with autism,” aims to reshape how we perceive and discuss Autistic people.


The second week focuses on unveiling the social and sensory dimensions of neurodiversity. Participants reframe “restricted and repetitive behaviour patterns” as human behaviour, fostering a more empathetic approach. Understanding stimming and recognising it as common to everyone brings a new level of awareness. The introduction of the concept of “double empathy” emphasises the importance of decoding communication signals from Autistic students. Real-life stories from SNAs underscore the significance of reading students’ needs in creating a supportive environment.


Applying knowledge to real-life situations is the theme of the third week. Reflecting on a case involving a student resistant to entering school prompts discussions on introducing novel approaches to support non-speaking students. Valuable resources like Fiachra Ryan’s “Speechless” are recommended, and participants view a thought-provoking video, “Reframing Severe Autism” by Damon Krisebom.”


Week Four delves into fostering an inclusive environment. Acknowledging the potential negative attention SNAs might unintentionally bring to students emphasises the need for discretion and support for everyone in the class. Recognising individual needs, understanding and respecting stimming, and exploring the concept of masking are central themes. Open discussions on neurodiversity and advocating for less demanding expectations, breaking activities into simple steps, and promoting biological needs round out the week.

In conclusion, the SNA course provides a dynamic platform for SNAs to deepen their understanding of neurodiversity, share practical insights, and enhance their skills. The ongoing exchange of examples and the collaborative nature of the course foster an enriching learning environment. SNAs are continually better equipped to contribute to creating inclusive and supportive settings for students with diverse needs. For participants, this course is not only interesting but also a valuable resource that SNAs are  eager to share with their schools and colleagues.

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