Disclaimer: This blog post is NOT sponsored. All opinions are my own.
If you follow me on social media, you may know that I’ve been looking for career opportunities within the charity sector for some time now. After applying for many different positions, attending multiple interviews and receiving the feedback that I lacked degrees in health and social care or disability training, despite I have 30 years of life experience having a disability. I concluded getting some qualifications under my belt may increase my chances of getting my dream job.
Why I wanted to do an Autism Awareness Diploma
After doing a vast amount of research on the types of courses available surrounding equality/disability/ health and social care and their price ranges, I decided that studying the ins and outs of autism may be a good place to start. Having a keen interest in adding to the knowledge I already have on Autism Spectrum Disorders definitely swayed me in that direction. It is what they say, you’ve got to enjoy what you’re learning to really retain what you’re being taught.
Why I chose the skills network
Due to my complex needs, studying from home has always been a more realistic option for me. I also needed the flexibility to do a course at my own speed due to fatigue and chronic pain. Originally, I did look into the Open University however with 2 young children at home and needing to go somewhere for the end of term exams, it felt too much to take on given my circumstances. There was a lot of paperwork for enrollment, gaining funding for grants as a disabled student and getting support in place for the times I needed to go in. The enrollment officer I spoke with also agreed that with my medical issues, I may struggle to keep up and would likely fall behind on my ‘bad days’ leading to a kick in my confidence and added frustration.
I merely wanted a course I could do at home and stop and start as needed.
Discovering The Skills Network was such a relief as at one point I felt perhaps what I was looking for didn’t exist! With The Skills Network, you pay for the course up front (they’ve always got discounts), all modules are done online via their student portal and the end of course exam leading to a successful diploma, is also done online! I could start and stop as much as I needed to with no pressures of deadlines or going somewhere to have papers marked. It was the perfect solution!
How I found working through the material
I paid the bargain fee of £29.99 for their Autism Awareness Diploma, which was advertised as one of their biggest discounted diplomas in January 2019. Can’t get any better than that, especially when the RRP was £250!
Their student portal is very user-friendly and self-explanatory. I never had to contact student support to understand how to navigate the different user areas, but it was a reassurance to know they have a team of assistants to work through any issues you may have.
I found this particular course very engaging with how it was written, using different tactics to get students thinking hard about speech and language, how our minds work, the differences and challenges autistic people have. The course helped me understand the myths surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and where they originated from which I found very interesting.
The course was a fair mix of reading material, question and answer rounds and areas for you to fill in your own answers. Each module also had additional homework sheets, which weren’t compulsory to do to complete the diploma, but essay writing and such surrounding the topic of each module does help one retain the information for use later.
Would I recommend this course?
I would definitely recommend The Skills Network for one-off courses you want to do in your spare time or if like me, need to do it at your own speed. Their frequent discounted degrees and diplomas are amazing and the variety of courses available cater to all sorts of study needs.
After completing and obtaining my Autism Awareness Diploma I feel I have a much better understanding of ASD’s as a whole that will aid me in the future when the right job does come along. If you have an interest in understanding the complexity of living with Autism, this is such a good course for beginners or to add to the knowledge you already have.
I loved studying with The Skills Network so much that I went on to get their Equality & Diversity Diploma, as well as one in Public Speaking.
Have you ever considered doing a course relating to disability?