• The latest advice, articles, hints and tips from the Gina Davies Autism Centre
    Gina Davies Autism Centre Blog The latest advice, articles, hints and tips from the Gina Davies Autism Centre

    The Home of Attention Autism

One Day Workshop

The Curiosity Programme

Previously known as Masterclass workshop Day 4 .

This is a standalone day of training on the Curiosity programme for those children not yet ready for the Attention Autism Programme.

Getting started, making connections and nurturing communication 1:1

Target audience:

Parents, Carers, Health Visitors, Speech and Language Therapists, Portage Teams, Autism Outreach Teams, Teachers, Welfare Assistants, Support Assistants, Early Years pre-school and Nursery Staff

This programme is designed to support children

  • who need to work 1:1 before starting the main Attention Autism 4 stage programme,
  • are too young to be working in a group e.g. younger than 2 years old,
  • have additional severe learning difficulties and flourish in the earliest stages of attention development work,
  • do not yet have tolerances for group working.

This one day workshop is also for those working with or supporting very young children considered at risk in terms of autism spectrum disorders or showing some early difficulties with communication and social interaction. Many of the children in this group have a sibling on the autism spectrum and parents are understandably anxious about the younger sibling’s development.

This programme can work as an excellent preparation for children who might go on and work through the Attention Autism 4 stage programme but need a more individualised start.

Parents and carers need interventions that build confidence and expertise in applying techniques until they colour and enhance every interaction and so build communication and social interaction throughout the day. We need to nurture parents’ indefatigable motivation and focus it in ways that build relationships and skills that will lead their child’s development forward within the family.

We need to inspire persistence in carers and education staff involved with children who have severe autism and learning difficulties and then recognise the processes of engagement with the child being the target. This is so that linear progression objectives do not build feelings of disappointment around learners that flourish at the very early levels and perhaps do them in the long term.
It is going to be different but communication and social interaction flourish when activities are shared and interaction is reciprocal and motivating for all involved.

This might not be the kind of speech and language therapy that is expected, and let’s face it, when autism is in the mix a lot of things do not go according to plan. However, it is practical and meets the needs of children with autism in working towards functional communication skills. It may not be what was expected but it is based on a thorough understanding of the earliest stages in communication, of interaction and the impact of autism…and it works! “Different” is OK if we can make it understandable, doable, fun and easy to make part of everyday life

Create curiosity about the world, nurture communication and foster interaction through shared joyful times together – the best way for everyone to get started and keep going.

One-day Training in the Curiosity Programme

  • Introduction to a 4 stage framework that creates great foundations where successful communication, interaction and relationships can flourish
  • The practicalities of an intervention that is motivating for both adult and child
  • The methodology and practice that underpins the intervention
  • Demonstration of the techniques in action
  • Using film footage, examples of the programme in action with children
  • Ideas for activities that allow for lots of practice within the 4 stage framework without getting boring!
  • Practical hands-on-experience and coaching with activities
  • Problem solving
  • Strategies for individualising the intervention


  • An understanding of how a child in the earliest stages of interaction and communication engages with others and how autism may change this
  • An understanding of the problems maintaining natural good quality interaction and communication when a child has autism or where concern about autism is making everyone anxious
  • How to help parents and carers adapt their communication to encourage a two way reciprocal interaction with the child within playful and enjoyable activities
  • How to help parents and carers find a way forward that feels successful and productive
  • How to create a framework that specifically helps parents use modified language that feels natural
  • How to help parents and carers become fluent and persistent in the use of strategies when typical development has gone off the rails
  • How to establish successful intervention that is mutually enjoyable for the child and parent/carer
  • How to enable parents and carers overcome the fear of failure and anxieties around using new techniques using enjoyable shared activities
  • How to teach to shared attention
  • An understanding of how to teach, encourage and support the earliest stages in communication
  • An understanding of how to plant early social interaction skills in shared engaging activities
  • How to modify and adapt levels of stimulation/distraction in a 1:1 setting
  • How to use 1:1 shared good times with highly engaging activities to build relationships and trust
  • A framework that encourages breadth and depth in learning for those who find linear progression challenging
  • To provide activities with a high density of learning opportunities that create a good environment in which communication can flourish
  • Simple, practical, doable and fun intervention

Benefits to the staff team

Confident and fluent use of:

  • The early stages of visually supported communication skills
  • Adapted and modified language to increase understanding and spontaneous expressive communication
  • Engagement as a fundamental technique for developing interaction
  • Demonstration and modelling as core intervention strategies
  • Delivery of activities that inspire a child’s attention and motivate communication
  • Techniques and activities which target individual and learning goals

List of Events