Autism Awareness Practitioner Guidelines

Autism / Autism Awareness / Professional Practice

The Positive Psychology Guild (PPG) is dedicated to the development of occupational standards for Autism Awareness in Practice. Our professional guidelines provide a minimum standard of ethical conduct before, during, and after client engagement for PPG members and professionals on the PPG register.

Key Terms

What is Strengths-Based Autism Awareness and Autism Acceptance?

Strengths-Based Autism Awareness is an approach to wellbeing for people living with autism. It encourages people with autism and those who support them to connect with their personal strengths, and cultivate happiness and better relationships. Autism Awareness outreach and activities educate people, organisations, and communities on the autism spectrum, and promote the acceptance of people with autism in all aspects of life and work (Coker 2019).

Who is an Autism Awareness Student?

An Autism Awareness student is an individual who is enrolled within a structured piece of Autism training, such as a course, training session, or workshop, whether taught or online. The student may be enrolled in one of PPG’s courses on Autism or in an external course that is in alignment with a strengths-based approach.

What is an Autism Awareness Practitioner?

An Autism Awareness Practitioner is someone who raises awareness on living and/or working with autism in a professional practice such as coaching, training, facilitation, mentoring, teaching, research, counselling, and psychotherapy. An Autism Awareness Practitioner should hold at least a UK level 5 qualification in Autism or Special Educational Needs (or the equivalent) and posses the research skills required to draw on evidence-based approaches when working with their clients. They should also hold a recognised and reputable qualification in their area/s of Special Educational Needs Practice (e.g. certificate, degree or diploma) and be working in line with current UK national standards and strategies.

Who is an Autism Awareness Client?

An Autism Awareness client is an individual or organisation who engages in Autism Awareness Education with a qualified practitioner whether paid or otherwise. Interventions may include coaching, training, facilitation, mentoring, therapeutic, or psycho-educational skills and approaches.

Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct

As an Autism Awareness Practitioner, I hereby commit to:

  • Honestly presenting my skills, experience, and qualifications in Autism Awareness to my clients and potential clients, and to any other audience engaging in my work;
  • Agreeing on a contract outlining service costs and expectations, and the nature of a professional relationship with my clients in advance of any service delivery;
  • Disclosing any existing conflict or known potential for conflict with my clients in advance of any service delivery, or as soon as the knowledge of this arises;
  • Providing knowledge to my clients on aspects of Autism Awareness that are relevant to their personal and/or professional growth so that they may develop an awareness and basic understanding of this field;
  • Supporting my clients in developing a resilient and positive outlook while allowing space for processing of negative situations and emotions that can accompany the reality and challenges of living and working with autism;
  • Supporting my clients in the development of Autism Awareness life skills such as positive communications, managing anxiety and stress, and identifying support needs and strategies as part of a life-long process;
  • Working with respect for UK national standards and strategies on Autism (or the equivalent overseas), for example Fulfilling and Rewarding Lives (2010) and Think Autism (2014), and contributing where possible to their development;
  • Respecting client confidentiality at all times unless I believe a client is an immediate threat to themselves, or to other people, in which case I will report the situation in an appropriate manner to the relevant authorities;
  • Respecting client neurodiversity and any cultural differences;
  • Respecting client boundaries and avoid using my clients for any kind of personal gain, sexual gratification, or other exploitation;
  • Respecting my own professional boundaries and cultivating a practice that includes care for myself as well as care for my clients;
  • Maintaining clear, correct, and confidential records of my client work;
  • Referring clients to appropriate service providers should I be unable or unwilling to offer my professional support;
  • Running a strengths-based practice and correctly referencing any sources I use in my research and/or to support the promotion or visibility of my work;
  • Committing to my ongoing professional development in Autism Awareness and other related fields.

If you would like to receive a PDF copy of these guidelines for your practice, or you wish to become an Autism Awareness Practitioner or Student Member of the Positive Psychology Guild, please contact us at: info@ppnetwork.org