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Attention and Autism

Develop your insight and skills to better understand how attention works in autistic people.

16 hours

Created by Lila Kossyvaki, offered on FutureLearn


Build strategies to meet the needs of children with autism

As more people are diagnosed with autism, it is very likely that a teacher will have to teach an autistic child at some point in their career. Research has shown that adapting strategies to meet the needs of autistic children can benefit all children in a classroom.

On this four-week course from the University of Birmingham, you’ll explore the concept of attention and its impact on autistic people. Given the potential benefits of attention on broader academic attainment and inclusion, this course will help you develop tools to assess and teach attention in autistic children at school.

Explore attention control and sustained attention on the autism spectrum

Attention control is comprised of several relatively high-level cognitive mechanisms, all of which are critical for learning.

This course will guide you through the ideas of attention and its links to neurodivergence such as autism and ADHD. You’ll look at studies showing the different ways that attention can be improved in students with poorer sustained attention.

Discover techniques and technologies to support attention training

Technology seems so appealing for many individuals with autism and can significantly help with attention and learning. Technology can be a useful educational tool in a teacher’s toolbox to use based on pedagogical decisions, especially for children with autism.

You’ll explore the various technologies used to support autistic children’s learning, as well as the research studies and evidence on the topic.

Dive into Computerized Progressive Attentional Training program

Throughout the final week of this course, you’ll focus on the Computerized Progressive Attentional Training (CPAT) program and how you can use CPAT to support attention training in autism.

This course is designed for teaching staff as well as anyone working with individuals with autism.

What you will learn

  • Investigate key areas of difficulties for autistic people and the uniqueness of each individual
  • Explore the different attention functions
  • Develop your understanding of why attention is a key factor in learning
  • Identify the unique ways attention is presented in autistic people
  • Explore how attention can be taught
  • Reflect on the main reasons technology can be an effective tool to teach autistic individuals
  • Investigate an evidence-based app and how it improves attention in autistic children


  • This course is designed for teaching staff as well as anyone working with individuals with autism.
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FutureLearn is a British digital education platform founded in December 2012. It offers everything from regular online courses to full online degrees, offered in partnership with dozens of universities globally. With close to 5 million monthly visitors, it’s a popular choice for many.

Frequently asked questions

  • Price: $null
  • Platform: FutureLearn
  • Language: English
  • 16 hours
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