Assert Courses

Assert currently run 3 free courses and 2 short courses

Our courses aim to provide service users with opportunities to explore their strengths, get more involved and confident in the wider community and the services that Assert offer. With the ultimate goal in people experiencing an increase in their well-being. It’s also an opportunity to explore areas of difficulty and address a range of problems that some people may face. Enabling service users to identify tools and strategies that work for them as individuals helps people to take control and increase independence

Life Skills 1

This course focuses on social and communication skills (Conversation skills, body language, communication styles , types of relationships building and managing positive relationships, friendships, dealing with conflict)

Life skills 2

This course focuses on independent living and self-management skills (Managing stress, organisational skills, household management, managing finances, staying safe, using public transport and health and well-being)

About our Life Skills courses

Group sessions are based around discussions and activities designed to empower students to use their own knowledge and discover answers for themselves. In a relaxed and nurturing environment, students are encouraged to contribute as little or as much as they feel able to. 

Before the course, students are asked to come for an informal interview to get to know the tutor, environment and more about the course. This enables the tutor and student to know if it is the right course for them. 

There will be a maximum of 5 students in the group. Each session is three hours split into three sections with two short breaks. The courses run over 20 weeks, meeting every other week.

Every student on the Life Skills course are offered ten 1:1’s sessions. These sessions are optional and need to be driven by the students desires. (Identifying anxiety triggers, dealing with conflict, relationships, role playing conversations.) 

Reviews from 2018 from 2 students who have completed our Life Skills course

“Assert have offered clients on the autistic spectrum the opportunity to participate in one or both of their ‘Life Skills’ courses. There are two of these, one covering general living skills, and one covering ‘Aspie Aspects’ of life. I was fortunate enough to benefit greatly from the second course a couple of years ago, and believed that the first course may have less relevance to my own circumstances. However, on reflection, I realised that the first course would also offer much to help me, as an ‘Aspie’, and so last year I was able to attend that course too.

The format of six clients and one facilitator from Assert worked very well. It was relaxed, flexible, adaptable and instructive, providing many opportunities for clients to share their experiences and strategies, mixed with wide-ranging tools and information provided in the course handouts. One-to-one sessions were also offered to participating clients where they could address specific issues, revisit areas of the course if needed (or if they had missed a session), and ask for Assert’s help with anything playing on their minds or affecting them at the time.

Assert’s Life Skills Course which I did last year into this year certainly helped me to deal with life’s issues far better than I would have been able to manage on my own. The facilitator (Julia) consistently showed how her wide knowledge, empathy, experience with helping others, and adaptability with approaching understanding and then addressing issues, could help me with a range of tricky matters. Often the most overwhelming problem took on a new look after a one-to-one session to discuss it, and I would leave the meeting feeling energised, invigorated and able to tackle the problem much more straightforwardly, thus lifting a huge weight of worry and stress, with their energy-draining effects, off my shoulders. Sometimes Assert would offer a little direct help to take the edge of the stress dealing with an issue, but it also seemed to me that they were ‘training’ the client in how to reduce issues to far more manageable proportions, so ways could be sought by the client to deal with issue in their lives.

Trips out, a little social skills practice, some distracting fun activities, and some general ‘bonding’ chat time, were all included, small items in themselves, but over the course these helped build-up confidence and capability in a wide range of skills needed in life – just like it ‘said on the tin’ to coin a common phrase. I will never forget competing with others to build the tallest tower in the room – using only raw spaghetti sticks and marshmallow dollops – now that’s an engineering challenge! Assert’s ‘Life Skills’ courses are directly credited for showing me, and other clients, how to achieve a much more balanced lifestyle, with less stress, less worry and even lowered ‘Aspie Anxiety’, while replacing these with positive outlooks, examples of sorting minor problems, ability to face and deal with bigger issues, and to do so in a friendly, supportive and adaptable form. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to benefit from Assert’s two courses and have no hesitation recommending both Life Skills courses to other clients. Try them, you will feel transformed sharing your path in life with Assert’s facilitators, and I know these courses are highly beneficial to all involved. Thank you Assert, and please continue to provide your excellent courses and support. Makes a huge difference!”

Will Joyce

“My experience of Life Skills has been positive. The group has been one of the highlights of my week, a place where I feel at home and can talk openly about the things I struggle with. 

I’ve found the course beneficial, although perhaps not primarily for the intended reason. I’m new to the autistic community and in retrospect I didn’t need help in some of the areas covered, but it’s been a great benefit to my mood and mental health in general to share common experiences with the other attendees and I feel less alone as a result. 

My favourite element of the course has been the welcoming and friendly nature of the group. I feel at ease here, which has been wonderful because whilst I crave human contact I often find it very stressful”

Exploring Autism  Course

Exploring Autism is a 7- week course to help adults who have been newly diagnosed with High Functioning Autism to understand their diagnosis. 

Group participants will be encouraged and supported in their self-discovery journey and will increase awareness of their unique ‘lived experience’ of autism and gain strategies for coping with the particular stressors of living with Autism. 

It aims to provide group participants with an accurate understanding of Autism and develop stress management skills to cope with everyday life and use local resources. 

Group participants will also hear about the experiences of others with Autism Spectrum Conditions

Resilience short course

Service users are invited to come for a one hour course on a 1:1 basis to explore the Resilience Model. By breaking down the concept of resilience into smaller domains, we’ll explore the individual’s strengths and challenges in each area. Service users will then choose the areas which they want to focus on and together we’ll work on putting into practice a selection of strategies.

Self Management short course

Service Users are invited to come for a one hour course on a 1:1 basis and explore two practical strategies which can be useful to help manage stress levels (‘Spoon Theory’) and energy levels (‘Tap and Glass Stress Model’).