ONLINE COURSE: PDA and Autism: An Introduction


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The purpose of this training is to increase your understanding of PDA to assist you to recognise the profile in your child (who may now be an adult), student or client, to increase your confidence in your role with them, and to equip you with strategies to assist them in their daily life at home, school or work.


We cover the history of PDA and outline the current international definitions and understandings of this autism subtype. Recent research literature on PDA is reviewed. The participant will learn about potential measures to assist in identifying PDA. PDA-specific challenges are described. The current best-recommended approaches for PDA at school, work, home and in therapy are presented. Participants will learn how to develop and maintain a good relationship with a person with PDA, practical tips for improving communication, how to assist with their emotional understanding and growth, how to increase their positive self-identity, to manage meltdowns, and the best resources for parents, carers teachers, therapists, and adults with PDA. The content will be relevant for parents, carers, teachers, online managers, partners, adults with PDA and health professionals.

Course Details

  • 3 hours 2 mins
  • 60 days to complete course (from date of purchase). A once-off 30-day extension is available. See our FAQs for further information.
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • Certificate of completion

Who Will Benefit?

  • Teachers, teacher’s aides, Principals, Deputy Principals, HOSES.
  • Parents, carers, partners, employers, online managers, and family members.
  • Adults with PDA.
  • Health professionals, e.g. psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, social workers, mental health nurses.

Does your Child or Adolescent have NDIS Funding?

  • If you are self-managed or third party-managed and parent education is in the Plan you may be able to use your NDIS funding to attend this event.

Once you have purchased your ticket, we recommend adding as a contact in your email contact list to ensure that you do not miss anything from us.

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We describe the history of PDA and outline current international definitions and understanding of this autism subtype. Recent research literature on PDA is reviewed. The participant will learn about two potential caregiver report measures to assist them to detect PDA. PDA-specific challenges for the PDA child are described. The current best-recommended approach for PDA at school, home and in therapy is presented. Participants will learn how to develop a relationship with a person with PDA, practical tips for improving communication, how to assist with their emotional understanding and growth, how to increase their positive self-identity, to manage meltdowns, and the best resources for parents, teachers, and therapists for PDA. The content is highly relevant for parents, teachers, and health professionals.

The workshop includes a combination of talking, participant activities and Q&A.  Participants attend via link to a live presentation.  They have access to a chat room where they can ask questions at any time. There is an opportunity to learn from workshop participants, as well as the trainers.

In addition to our 3-hour course we are delighted to be able to include a 15-minute presentation by Asher Jenner. Just like the 3-hour course, you will have access for 60 days to the presentation.

Asher Jenner is 19 years old and autistic with a PDA profile. We met Asher when she was co-presenting at the same conference. We were so impressed with her story, insights and eloquence in delivery, we asked her to record her presentation to be part of this on-demand course. We are proud and delighted that she said yes, and are so happy to be able to present Asher’s lived experience to enrich your learning.

Asher shares her journey on how a lack of understanding of autism and in particular, the PDA profile, led to mental health issues including an eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, but how positive support aided her recovery.

Asher loves dancing, opera singing, Marvel Films, Star Wars, Harry Potter, her dog Roxy and Anime. She is fully recovered from anorexia nervosa, and is currently studying in England where she lives.

Event Trailer


“It was an absolute delight watching these two discussing the complexities of PDA. You could tell their information was coming from a wealth of experience but also from a place of genuine compassion.”

“I have been a psychologist for over 20 years, and I have attended many conferences, both in person and virtually. This, by far was the most interesting and informative talk I have heard in decades. I feel like I have learned so much. Thank you!”

“Love your clear, earthed, understanding and presentation and clear compassion towards children and families. We have not found it easy to find people with the understanding you have and have struggled a lot and now have a 24-year-old son who we would love to seek more advice how to address some of the very unresolved issues.”

“Very practical and informative information, I practically find the strategies useful and the background in research.”

“Thank you, I have been desperate for some understanding in this area, as my daughter has just been identified as having a PDA profile. I am euphoric, I may now be able to support her. It is helpful to understand PDA from how my daughter views the world.”


About the speakers

Prof Tony Attwood PhD With a remarkable career spanning five decades, Professor Tony Attwood is one of the world’s foremost specialists on Autism. Holding an 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, his credentials are a testament to his expertise. Currently serving as an adjunct Professor at Griffith University in Queensland, Professor Attwood’s impact has enriched the global understanding of autism.

Alongside Dr Michelle Garnett, Professor Attwood co-founded Attwood & Garnett Events in 2019, driven by the shared goal of enhancing autism awareness and understanding. Their shared vision seeks to reshape the narrative surrounding autism to create a world where autism is embraced, and the diverse strengths, talents, and perspectives of autistic individuals are celebrated. This transformative narrative fosters a more inclusive and accepting society, benefitting all its members.

Renowned for his extensive contributions to understanding Asperger’s Syndrome, now commonly referred to as autism, Professor Attwood has authored numerous publications on the subject. His seminal book, Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals debuted in 1998, resonated globally and has since found its voice in over 25 languages, making his insights accessible across cultures and continents.

With a dedicated commitment to practical application, he has run a private practice for 30 years, only recently closing his books due to a long waiting list. Beyond his clinical work, he dedicates significant time to travel, sharing insights and knowledge through workshops and seminars across national and international platforms.


Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist with more than 30 years of specialising in autism. In 2005, she founded Minds & Hearts, a clinic specialised to autism, where she served as Clinical and Managing Director for 14 years until 2019. Alongside Tony Attwood she co-founded Attwood & Garnett Events in 2019, aiming to enhance autism awareness and understanding with a vision to foster a neuro-affirming community.
In addition to her extensive private practice, Dr Garnett has significantly contributed to autism research, authored influential books, and engaged in impactful speaking engagements. Her peer-reviewed research has informed our understanding of early autism identification, the female autism profile, and the link between mental health and positive outcomes in autistic individuals. She has co-authored six respected books on autism, including the influential Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism (2018) with Barb Cook, a seminal work on the female autism experience. Her recent books, Having Fun with Feelings on the Autism Spectrum and Ten Steps to Reducing Your Child’s Anxiety on the Autism Spectrum offer invaluable guidance to parents of young autistic children.
Dr Garnett is a sought-after presence in academic circles, presenting as a Keynote Speaker at conferences and conducting workshops, seminars, and training sessions on autism across Australia, the UK, and Europe. Her influence extends to universities, autism organisations, government, and non-governmental bodies, solidifying her reputation as a prominent figure in the autism field. Dr Garnett is autistic and has ADHD, late diagnosed.

Learning Objectives

  • To be able to describe the different neurology in autism, and the nuances and differences of the PDA presentation.
  • To know what to look for to understand if PDA is present, including the use of two questionnaires.
  • To be able to list several key components to the parenting approach that is recommended for PDA.
  • To be able to describe the key components for successful inclusion and teaching of the PDA student.
  • To learn strategies for improving communication and your relationship with the PDA child or teenager.
  • To know the strategies that are more likely to engage a PDA child or teenager in the classroom and in the therapy room.
  • To be able to use strategies in the home, classroom and therapy room to increase positive self-identity, increase emotional understanding and maturity, and manage a meltdown.

What You Will Receive

  • Access to the content for 60 days from the date of purchase. A once-off 30-day extension is available. See our FAQs for further information.
  • Downloadable Handouts to complement the course
  • Certificate of Completion (upon request)
  • 5.5 hours of Continuing Professional Development or Teacher Accreditation hours. (For NSW Teachers: the course may be recorded as an elective PD with NESA.)

Within 24 hours, you will receive an email with your login credentials for the new Member Dashboard. If you haven’t received these details after 48 hours, please email

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Discounts/Cancellation/Refund Policy Australia

Discount: If you are a full time student requiring a discount please enquire about our student rate and send in a photocopy of your student ID card or if you are facing hardship please email to apply for a discount.

For refund enquiries please email