The Ministry of Equality has announced the third seminar under the Government’s National Autism Strategy; Understanding Autism series of seminars.

This seminar follows on from the latest seminar titled “What is Autism?” which was held from the 19th of September to 22nd September 2017.

Adolescence and Puberty: the emotional difficulties experienced during this transition

The seminars under the Understanding Autism series are primarily aimed at parents of children and adults on the autism spectrum and also at volunteers who work with people with autism. The overall objective of these seminars is to provide up to date information on how to improve the daily lives of people who are on the autism spectrum. These seminars are run in parallel to training that is offered to professional management and frontline staff who work in the public sector with people who are on the spectrum.

The speaker will once again be Ms Linda Woodcock, who delivered the previous two seminars in the series March 2017 and September 2017. Linda is a Director at AT-Autism, a training and consultancy company in the UK. She has a BA (Hons) Applied Social Sciences and PG Diploma in adults with Intellectual disability and severe and complex needs. She has been instrumental in devising and delivering innovative person-centred training courses for parents and families in understanding autism and managing challenging behaviours, she also delivers training to professionals within health, social care, education and criminal justice systems. Linda is the co-author of the book ‘Managing Family Meltdown, the low arousal approach and autism’ and numerous journal articles. Ms Woodcock also manages a person centred service for her adult son who has autism and severe learning disabilities needs.

The topic of this third seminar has been widely requested by previous participants and will centre on the neurotypical experiences of change during adolescence and puberty, sexuality/relationships, body changes, social media influences and strategies in managing this difficult period.

The Ministry of Equality has again organised sessions in the morning and afternoon specifically for parents and volunteers so as to facilitate their attendance at different times.

Participation is free and given the interest and demand already expressed, available seating will be on a first come, first served basis to individuals who register with the Ministry of Equality.

Minister Samantha Sacramento said “The upcoming seminar which will focus on the transition of an autistic child into adulthood is a subject matter that is of much interest to attendees of previous seminars. The Ministry of Equality has a planned schedule for its training programme on this subject which is developed very much in consultation with professionals and parents as stakeholders. This training was requested by many parents and has therefore been made a reality. We therefore anticipate a good response to the upcoming seminar sessions. It is also important that this session is being run in parallel with training for professionals so that everyone has a consistent approach. The continued high attendance at every seminar session is not only reflective of the need for such awareness and training seminars but also of the hard work undertaken by my team at the Ministry of Equality. I would therefore like to thank the Ministry of Equality for organising these seminars and for everyone who helps in making it a success by attending”.