ONLINE COURSE: Masterclass – Diagnosis for Autistic Adults (Part 1)



  • 5 hours 32 mins
  • 60 days from the date of purchase to complete course – Extend anytime
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion
  • Suitable for professionals


​​We present a two day Masterclass for health and educational professionals who are interested in broadening their understanding and skill to assist their verbal autistic adolescent and adult clients. On Day 1 we present information from the latest research and our combined over 80 years experience specialising in autism to inform the diagnostic assessment to determine if the client is autistic. On Day 2 participants will learn how to modify therapy and support for autistic older adolescents and adults, for many common clinical presentations including comorbid depressive and anxiety disorders, eating and sleep disorders, problems in relationships, sexuality and forensic issues and addiction.

Course materials are presented, using a combination of didactic teaching, case studies, and question time. Each day is a stand-alone workshop, and participants may choose to choose either one or both workshops.


Professionals who see autistic adults and/or older adolescents as part of their work, including:

  • Psychologists
  • GPs
  • Psychiatrists
  • Employment agencies
  • Social workers
  • Counsellors
  • High school teachers
  • Teachers assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Speech pathologists
  • Staff in clinics for mental health problems – eating disorders, substance use issues, gender identity issues, and forensic issues


This workshop will add to discipline-specific knowledge on diagnostic assessment with a focus on what data to collect in the assessment of an older autistic adolescent or adult who may have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to discover whether or not the person has autism, and to understand the differential and comorbid diagnoses.

On Day 2 participants will learn the common clinical presentations of autistic adults, the reasons for the challenges, and interventions to assist the client and their families, and teachers.

See trailers below for more information on each day’s content. (Please note that the topics for the live webcast and the online pre-recorded course are the same.)

See also:
Masterclass – Therapy for Autistic Adults

About the speakers

Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is considered to be one of the world’s foremost experts on Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has Honour’s degree in Psychology from the University of Hull, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey and a PhD from the University of London. He is currently an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland. Tony has written many publications on Asperger’s Syndrome. His original book, titled Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals was published in 1998 and has been translated into over 25 languages.

Tony operates a diagnostic and psychological support clinic two days a week for children and adults. He also spends considerable time travelling nationally and internationally to present workshops and seminars.


Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist who has specialised in autism for nearly three decades. Her peer-reviewed research has informed understanding of early detection, the female profile and the importance of good mental health for autistic individuals. She has co-authored six highly regarded books on autism, five with Prof Tony Attwood. Her 2018 book with Barb Cook is a seminal work on the female presentation, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. Her most recent books Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum and Ten Steps to Reducing Your Child Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum provide guidance to parents of young children on the autism spectrum.  She regularly provides training to four Australian Universities.


Additional information

Ticket Types

Professionals, Adults with Autism or their Parents

Learning Objectives

Overall objective of workshops:

Day 1:  To increase the participant’s discipline-specific knowledge about diagnostic assessment to include current best practice for assessing an older adolescent or adult who may have autism

(NB: the training describes many different assessment tools, for eg the ADI-R, ADOS2 and the CARS but is not a training in one specific tool).

Day 2:  To learn the common clinical presentations of adults with autism, the reasons for the challenges, and strategies to assist.

Day 1 – Learning Objectives:

  • What to assess during a diagnostic assessment for an adult or older adolescent who may have autism
  • Recommended screening and diagnostic instruments for autism and additional assessment procedures based on extensive clinical experience
  • How to identify and assess comorbid and differential diagnoses
  • Report preparation and composition
  • To use the diagnostic information to plan support and therapy at home and work
  • How to share the diagnostic assessment results with family

What will I be able to do as a result of taking this course?

The participant will be able to incorporate into their own discipline-specific knowledge about diagnostic assessment specific procedures and activities to collect the data needed to determine the presence or absence of autism with an adult or older adolescent. The participant will be introduced to a range of instruments they can utilise. The course adds to the discipline knowledge and experience the participant brings to the course, and is not an accreditation for being able to provide diagnostic assessments for autism.

Module Breakdown

Module 1 – Prevalence and gender ratio in ASD, use of DSM-5 criteria, assessing for co-morbidity and latest research, importance of alexithymia, psychological reactions to being different and screening for depression.

Module 2 – Initial screening and diagnostic tools – review and recommendations. Discussion of camouflage and personality types in autism. Guidelines for the pre-diagnostic interview and the interview process.

Module 3 – How to assess the areas of catatonia, sensory sensitivity and clinical impairment in autism. A live diagnostic assessment with an adult conducted by Tony. Questions and answers.

Module 4 – Differential and co morbid diagnoses, including PTSD and complex PTSD, BPD, eating disorders, gender identity, addiction and schizophrenia. How to explain the diagnosis, reactions to the diagnosis and prognosis

Day 2:

Learning Objectives:

  • To understand the reasons for problems with emotion perception, expression, and regulation for autistic adults
  • To know how to adapt therapy to maximise therapeutic effectiveness for autistic adults
  • To be able to deliver a new mindfulness based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy program for treating depression in autistic adults
  • To teach anxiety reduction strategies
  • To learn strategies to assist autistic adults to develop a positive self-identity
  • To gain an understanding of the pitfalls for autistic adults in achieving and maintaining meaningful employment
  • To increase awareness of the issues of substance use, forensic issues, personality disorders, sexuality, psychosis, and gender identity in autistic adults

What will I be able to do as a result of taking this course?

The participant will be able to assess for and understand common clinical issues for autistic adults, understand how these can be magnified and maintained because of autism, and to design an intervention considering these predisposing and maintaining factors. The course builds on and extends practitioner’s discipline knowledge to allow the participant to be able to adapt therapy to an adult with autism. The participant will be able to incorporate strategies specifically designed for autistic adults into their therapeutic programmes.

Module Breakdown

Module 1 – Reasons for the challenges experienced by autistic adults in expressing and managing their emotions are described including genes, learning history and selective memory, alexithymia, different neurology, and difficulties with cognitive empathy (1 hour)

Module 2 – How to adapt therapeutic and teaching methods to the profile of learning associated with autism. Research outcomes on the experience of depression for autistic adults. How autistic adults cope with anxiety including trauma, and resources to help.  (1 hour 45 minutes)

Module 3 – The Exploring Depression Programme for mild to moderate depression, but also for stress, anger and anxiety. Increasing self-awareness and sense of identity, developing a positive sense of self, Energy Accounting as a strategy, tools to combat depression and anxiety (1 hour 20 min).

Module 4 – Continuing Exploring Depression Programme for mild to moderate depression, but also for stress, anger and anxiety, including more strategies for managing these emotions as a autistic adult (1 hour 20 min).

Who Will Benefit

  • The Live Training runs for 5.5 hours
  • There is opportunity for Q&A with Michelle and Tony at specific times throughout the day
  • Downloadable Handouts to complement the course
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • You may count 5.5 hours toward your CPD hours
  • If attending live, morning tea and lunch are provided
  • All attendees will be given access to the recording for 60 days after the event (accessed via the Member Dashboard)


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