The latest rounds of a cross-Atlantic partnership delivering specialist autism training at Prior’s Court have taken place.

Continuing a near 15-year-long working relationship, Prior’s Court recently welcomed two specialists from the University of North Carolina to deliver two training programmes for SEN professionals, both from within Prior’s Court and external organisations providing SEN provision.

The TEACCH Autism Training Programme is special in that Prior’s Court’s young people help deliver it, working with our highly-trained members of staff to demonstrate how young people affected by autism can learn and become more independent through the TEACCH system.

Jannette Wellman and Betsy McCormick from the TEACCH Autism Programme at the University of North Carolina, where the specialist training was pioneered, led a five-day TEACCH course from October 21 to October 25 and a three-day ‘Beyond the Basics’ programme the week previously.

Kirsty Dawson, Prior’s Court Learning & Development Manager, said: “A large number of our staff are TEACCH trained including teachers, Autism Practitioners and home managers, plus two staff are TEACCH Certified Practitioners and three are TEACCH Certified Advanced Consultants which is a very significant achievement. 

“This gives us the platform to train up other staff members in the TEACCH approach and techniques to improve outcomes for our young people.

“But we also want to share our experience and expertise with other professionals, parents and anyone wanting to learn as we are keen to enhance the life opportunities for all young people with severe autism. This is why our specialist training courses are available to all our staff members as well as parents and other professionals in the autism and SEN community.”

Feedback from the five-day TEACCH course included:

  • “I enjoyed the structure behind the TEACCH ideas and the focus there is on skills. It was very easy and engaging to understand, with friendly trainers.”
  • “There were a lot of useful lectures where I leant new things and also consolidated what I had learned elsewhere. It was good to then see it in practice with the students.
  • “I thought the structure of the week was great. The initial classroom based learning is really important but then being able to take that learning and work with the young people, then discuss with the group and the trainers again makes it much more functional and meaningful.”

The five-day TEACCH and Beyond the Basics courses are currently held at Prior’s Court once a year, while a three-day TEACCH Course is put on twice a year.

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For more information about the TEACCH Autism Training Programme, go to