Organised by The National Autistic Society (NAS) – an NAS Masterclass is a short training session that is focused on a specialist topic, delivered for practitioners within the autism field. The facilitator is someone who has developed expertise in the topic, demonstrated by their research output and/or practice.

Most of these sessions are two or three hours, either as a morning or afternoon session.

What to expect from an NAS Masterclass

  • a theoretical overview of the topic which will help you develop or increase your knowledge in the topic
  • an opportunity to take part in focused discussions and ask practice based questions
  • it is strategy-focused, so you will leave the session better equipped to support people on the autism spectrum.

Who should I expect to meet at an NAS Masterclass?

The session will be attended by a variety of practitioners who are working with people on the autism spectrum.
Some sessions may be specifically targeted at people supporting children and/or adults in specific settings.

What topics will be offered in NAS Masterclasses?

Some upcoming topics include:

  • diagnosis of women and girls
  • cybercrime
  • sleep
  • catatonia
  • drugs and alcohol
  • gender dysphoria
  • complex needs and behaviour support.

Upcoming Masterclasses

Cybercrime and autism – unpicking the web of intrigue 
14 June 2016 – Birmingham

The three hour Masterclass will be delivered by Dr Juli Crocombe and Dr Lorraine Higham from St Andrew’s Healthcare. The session will focus on what is meant by ‘Cybercrime’, how this differs from traditional crime, why might a person with autism be more prone to committing cybercrime and what do we actually know about the links between cybercrime and autism.

Autism – self-harm and self-injury
12 July 2016 – Nottingham

Delivered by Dr Khalid Karim and Sarah Baines from Leicestershire NHS Partnership Trust, this Masterclass will explore self-harm and self-injury in autistic individuals. The session will focus on the underlying reasons why these behaviours may be occurring and look at strategies which may be useful in helping.

Autism and intimate relationships
15 September 2016 - Edinburgh

Dr Peter Vermeulen, who has published more than 15 books and several articles on autism,
will explore the challenges people on the autism spectrum face when building relationships, and outline principles for helping to understand and build relationships. This session will be relevant for those working with teenagers and adults on the autism spectrum.

Autism and gender dysphoria
22 September 2016 – Birmingham

During this Masterclass, Dr Wenn Lawson will explore autism and gender dysphoria, referencing both academic knowledge and understanding, along with his own personal story and anecdotal accounts. 

Autism and alcohol
7 October 2016 - London

Sarah Hendrickx and Matthew Tinsley will look at autism and alcohol addiction; an area that hasn’t received enough academic interest yet, and as a result, leads to a lot of misunderstanding. The session will focus on understanding the reasons why alcohol can easily become a difficulty for people on the autism spectrum and what are the ways forward in terms of support.