Special Friends training

This training is aimed at school teachers (mainstream and special), SENCOs, speech and language therapists, clinical or educational psychologists, school and community nurses or mental health practitioners.

Those attending a Special FRIENDS training day should have a knowledge of autism and some experience of working with young people with an autistic spectrum disorder and/or learning difficulties/learning disabilities.

Outcomes of the day

Attendees will:

  • be recognised as Special FRIENDS Group Leaders, licensed by the FRIENDS Foundation (Brisbane, Australia) to deliver Special FRIENDS directly to children and young people
  • gain the latest information on using the FRIENDS materials with children and young people with substantial learning disabilities.


  • Dr Gemma Slack and Dr Orlaith Donnelly from The Psychology Tree are educational psychologists who are licensed trainers of the FRIENDS programmes.
  • Dr Rowena Rossiter is a clinical psychologist working with children and young people with learning disabilities.

Please note: Special FRIENDS materials are subject to licence and are only available to those attending a Special FRIENDS Group Leader’s training day delivered by a licensed trainer.

Find out more about the FRIENDS for Life programme