Understanding Autism- A Parent Programme Oct 27th


A four week programme to support parents to understand the unique needs of autistic individuals.

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This four week programme beginning on October 27th has been specifically designed to provide parents with an understanding of the autism spectrum, current research, and best practice approaches and provide evidence-based strategies to meet the needs of autistic children and young people.

The programme will cover the following topics

  • Autism- a spectrum of alternative neurology
  • Autistic anxiety- cause, identification and management
  • Understanding Sensory Profiling
  • Sensory Seeking and Sensory Avoidance
  • The Sensory Environment
  • To identify behaviours that might challenge
  • Understand why the behaviours are happening and what is driving them
  • Strategies to prevent, reduce or eliminate behaviours that might challenge
  • How to build skills that promote positive behaviour

Each session will also have opportunity for questions and also allow time for parents to connect. This programme serves to empower parents with not only knowledge but the safety of a supportive community of fellow parents to learn from also.

Dates –

27th Oct 7.30pm-9pm

3rd Nov 7.30pm-9pm

10th Nov 7.30pm-9pm

17th Nov 7.30pm-9pm

Venue- Shine Centre, Carrigaline

Additional Info

This course will be presented by:

Laura Crowley


Over 22 years experience working with children, teens and adults on the ASD spectrum.
Laura has held the role of Director of Educational Support Services in the Shine Centre for the past 15 years. Previously, Laura has worked in a variety of settings from early intervention, autism specific school, respite care settings and home tuition. Founder and Co-ordinator of the PALS (personal & life skills) Programme, intensive social skills, anxiety management, self esteem, pragmatic language and emotional recognition and management programme for 11-14 year olds with a diagnosis of Autism Level 1. This has more recently been developed into an app format. The app “Mission Rescue Kloog: Social Skills For Autism” is now available on the App Store and Google Play.The second and third instalments of this series are also available, Mission Rescue Kloog 2: Return to Zugopolis and Universe-city..
Laura has been lecturing on the Diploma in Autism Studies in UCC for the past 8 years, both online and in the classroom and also launched Connect Autism Consultancy Services in September 2014. This service specialises in providing individualised social skills training programmes for tweens and teens on the Autism Spectrum and provides general autism consultancy.
Laura launched The Social Connect Series in March 2021. A series of educational resources for children to enable them to overcome barriers and connect socially and emotionally. Laura is also autistic herself and brings a personal perspective to her professional knowledge.

Alma Carroll

Alma is a Behavioural Specialist at the Shine Centre and has been working with autistic children for more than 20 years. She previously held the position of Deputy Manager in the Shine Early Intervention Unit. Alma holds an MSC in Personal and Management Coaching and a Higher Diploma in Coaching and Coaching Psychology from UCC. She also has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from UCC and a Post Graduate Certificate in Social Science from Open University. She has also completed Courses in PECs, Lámh, autism studies and Occupational Therapy. Alma has a particular interest in understanding behaviour and has lectured on both Early Intervention and Understanding Behaviour on the Autism Studies course in the College of Commerce. She also delivers workshops on Autism and Behaviour for parents and educators and Autism Awareness workshops for companies and organisations in Cork.

Elena Simon

Elena Simón, obtained her Occupational Therapy Degree (Honours) from the University of Madrid, Spain, after which she completed a Master’s in Early Intervention at Santiago de Compostela University and also a Diploma in Psychomotor Therapy. Additionally, she studied Clinical Psychology in order to broaden her knowledge about the emotional, psychological and social functioning of the human being. Elena specialised as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist from 1997 to present, with expertise in the area of Early Childhood Development. She has more than 20 years of experience working with young children with a wide range of diagnosis such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Rett Syndrome, Duchene Disease, Congenital Malformations, etc.

Kieran McAuliffe

Kieran has been working as a parent coach since 2017 and has a particular interest in parent wellbeing and resilience. He studied in University College Cork and holds a Masters in Coaching, a H-Dip in Coaching Psychology and PG-Dip in Personal & Management Coaching. He is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the International Association for Coaching (AC). Kieran is also RQTU registered with the British Psychological Society.

Ellu Cooney

Ellu is a Family Support Officer at the Shine Centre and has extensive experience of working with autistic children and their parents. Ellu is passionate about the wellbeing of parents and the ongoing development of their strengths and coping skills to create the best possible outcome for the family unit. Ellu holds a BSc in Psychology and a Masters in Positive Psychology & Coaching from University College Cork and is a member of the Association for Coaching (AC).