Atlass course objectives

The Atlass programme has a number of specific aims towards assisting course participants in understanding the role of stress in within the context of cognition, environment and relationships. Our primary concern is to train  participants to recognise how this contributes to what may be viewed as challenging behaviour.

Specifically, course participants will learn:

  • Development within the context of Inter-subjective experience and how this should be applied to children who present with challenging behaviours.

  • The underlying cognitive processes of human development and experience

  • The construct of self, the first person account and qualia

  • Low arousal approaches as a conceptual framework, with a strong emphasis on creating reflective practitioners

  • Sensory perceptual differences, how we organise sensory information and its role in emotional distress and stress management

  • Stress and coping, and the role of environment and relationships within the stress transaction

  • The neurophysiology of a stressful encounter

  • The role of appraisal mechanisms in coping

  • Being mindful and encouraging mindfulness within support staff

  • Developing the mindful organization


There are several assessment measurements for course participants, two key requirements are:

  • Candidates will have to produce a written stress management plan for an individual

  • Candidates will produce a brief report about their work (maximum 3000 words)

Atlass Accredited Stress Management and Wellbeing Programmes

Studio 3 has designed this practical applied training course and, working with Birmingham City University, will be offering programmes throughout the year. Participants attend a five day induction training course; this will be followed by  one two-day follow up session over the following year. In these sessions, participants will demonstrate the application of their skills to specific individuals. Atlass is suitable as a way of working to provide services for a wide range of complex and vulnerable people.

Day 1: Introduction to Atlass
  • Who are we?

  • The Atlass programme and approach

  • Human development

  • What is typical human development?

  • What is atypical human development?

  • What is developmental delay?

  • What is developmental disorder?

  • The development of Agency and the Self

  • Implications for support and management

  • The importance of mirroring in human development

Day 2: The Autism Spectrum: Our Perspective
  • How do we conceptualise autism?

  • The problem of categorisation

  • Autism as a Neurodevelopmental disorder

  • Neural subgroups and autism

  • Difficulties with executive processes

  • Do people with autism lack empathy?

  • Implications for support and management

  • How do we motivate people who lack motivation?

Programme Duration (7 Days)

Participants attend a five day induction training course led by two facilitators. The five day induction focusses on the general understanding of stress and wellbeing. Participants leave with ‘tailor made’ goals.


This will be followed by one 2-day follow up period over the subsequent 3 months. In this session, participants will demonstrate the application of their skills to specific individuals.The follow up days have a strong “clinical focus”; the purpose is to help participants develop personalised stress management plans both for themselves and the people they support.

Day 3: Sensory Differences and Movement Disturbances
  • Perception and the senses

  • Making sense of the world

  • Organising the senses

  • How do people with autism experience the world?

  • The measurement problem

  • Agency revisited & the relationship to movement differences

  • Implications for support and management

Day 4: Stress, Coping and Distress
  • What is stress?

  • What coping style should we use and in which context?

  • A transactional model of stress

  • The impact of stress on our physical and psychological arousal

  • What do we mean by arousal?

  • What moderates and mediates within a stress response

  • Implications for support and management

  • The case of trauma informed Behaviour Support


Prior to the course, participants will be given relevant journal articles and materials which they are expected to read, as on-going reviews will cover the content of these articles.

There are several assessment measures for course participants:

  • Candidates will have to produce a written stress management plan for an individual

  • Candidates will produce a brief report about their work (maximum 3000 words)

As a result of completing the course, participants will receive a BCU accredited certificate of their training. 

Day 5: Low Arousal Approaches in Context
  • Developing a low arousal framework

  • Conceptualising behaviour in context

  • Staff confidence and stress, creating a supportive work environment

  • The role of reflective practice

  • Supporting and working with families


The training programme can cater for 12 staff that will be required to work in pairs and focus their work on one service user throughout the programme. 

Minerva Mill Innovation Centre

Station Road


B49 5ET