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A Closer Look into the “Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching” Module

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By Prateesha Gupta / Institute of Child Education and Psychology (ICEP) Europe

As Autism Awareness Month concludes, we continue to emphasise the importance of creating an inclusive education ecosystem. Today, we’re spotlighting the “Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching” module from our Masters/Postgraduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education programme, developed jointly by Hibernia College and the Institute of Child Education and Psychology (ICEP) Europe. This module serves as a foundation for educators seeking to deepen their understanding of autism and refine their teaching practices in inclusive settings.

Insights from the Lead Tutor

According to Alison Doyle, the module’s Lead Tutor, “Autistic pupils may face significant barriers to learning in education settings that can be overcome by creating and maintaining supportive teaching environments that are structured, consistent and respectful of differences. The module Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching supports practitioners to address these barriers by exploring approaches, methods, and resources to enhance the school experience for this cohort of learners. By embracing a neurodiversity perspective, we respect social interaction and communication differences, recognise that processing and integration of sensory input may be impacted by the physical environment, and acknowledge uneven learning profiles that have variances in challenges, needs and strengths in areas such as verbal or visual processing, and within academic subject areas. Students who elect to study this module bring a wealth of personal and professional experiences that are shared through learning activities and discussion.”

Student Experience & Key Takeaways

Ann-Marie Whelan

“On reflection, the key experiences of the Autism Module were an in-depth understanding of observed behaviours of autism. Prior to the module, I was aware of some of the behaviours of children with autism. I was unaware of the complexity and diversity of these behaviours. There are high-functioning pupils who were undiagnosed in my classes in the past, who I now feel I didn’t fully understand. Now, more informed, I would be keenly aware that these pupils do present with autistic behaviours. I have more insight into the sensory behaviours of learners with Autism and would be more mindful of how to adapt the environment so all learners can be included.

I have learned ways to collaborate with parents and would be able to guide them towards information and support. I now have in-depth knowledge on the theories that aim to explain autism and on the shift towards neurodiversity and a neuro-affirmative attitude. Most importantly, I have a range of approaches and strategies that I can draw on to suit individual needs of pupils in my class. I now would put my name forward to work in the Autism Unit in our school and do so with competence and confidence.”

Caitriona Rooney 

“I recently finished the module on Autism, led by our amazing tutor, Alison. She really knew her stuff and her passion for the subject was contagious. Alison helped us see how we could make environments more welcoming and supportive for students with autism. The resources for the course are very comprehensive, which made tackling the assignments a lot easier. It was very beneficial to have clear guides to follow as we learned about such a complex topic. The open forum discussions we had were eye-opening too. It was interesting to hear from other students on the course about the challenges they faced and what strategies were working for their students with autism. These forums gave us all a chance to learn from each other and see that, while we might be in different places, we’re all aiming to do the best for our students. Alison was really approachable and supportive throughout the course. Whenever we had questions, she was there to answer them during our sessions or via email. I remember one time I was stuck on some part of an assignment, and she helped me figure it out. Her advice not only helped me solve the problem but also encouraged me to think deeper about the issue, which improved my assignment. All in all, this module didn’t just teach me about autism—it also boosted my confidence as an educator. Thanks to Alison’s guidance and the solid course content, I feel better equipped to help foster a learning environment that supports all students.”

Tshepang Mahasha 

“I’ve had a remarkable experience learning from the lecturer, Dr Alison Doyle. She is an educator who has indeed opened my eyes to learning more about Autism. She has been so supportive and active in response to any questions I had. She’s so proactive and diligent in educating about subject it’s incredible.

I’ve been drawn to this course due to having two brothers with Autism and my world in growth from being a teenager was shaped around understanding their needs and helping them in any way I could. I went to sibling workshops to learn about Autism and that for me was the start of inclusion being brought into the community and to the understanding of families in my situation. Now, I’m on my journey to be a Special Needs Teacher in a Secondary School setting and I’m so grateful to God to have been led into this course. I have completed this module truly edified and thanks and appreciations goes to the phenomenal teaching of Alison Doyle.”


The “Understanding Autism: Effective Management and Teaching” module is a pivotal component of the Masters/Postgraduate Diploma in Inclusive and Special Education programme. By combining theory with practical strategies, it equips participants with the tools to excel in supporting autistic learners. As we continue to spread Autism awareness, we invite you to consider this transformative module and join a community dedicated to shaping inclusive educational environments.

Interested in applying for our next intake? Start your application now!

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