SACS-R+PR Online Training

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Social, Attention and Communication Surveillance-Revised and Pre-School

A comprehensive training course on conducting developmental surveillance for social attention and communication signs in children aged from 11 to 60 months.

This course, presented by Assoc. Professor Barbaro was recorded during a recent training. The course includes additional resources to support your knowledge and practice.


The Social, Attention and Communication Surveillance (SACS) Tool

The Olga Tennison Autism Research Centres' Principal Research Fellow, Associate Professor Josephine Barbaro, has been working on the early signs of autism in babies and toddlers for more than two decades. The SACS method identifies a set of behaviours or 'early signs' that are characteristic of children with autism, from as young as 12 months old.

Originally implemented in Maternal and Child Health services in Victoria, the SACS method and the ASDetect App (for parents) are now used across 16 countries with that number growing all the time. SACS is also used by professionals in all states and territories of Australia from metropolitan to very remote areas.

SACS-R+PR training equips professionals working with children under 60 months of age with the necessary skills to effectively identify children with autism, discuss their findings with families as part of routine care and provide a streamlined referral pathway for families.

Who is SACS-R+PR training suitable for?

SACS can be used by anyone who has completed the course and who sees children in their professional setting and can run through the screening checklist with the child and their parents/caregivers.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care Workers
  • Allied Health Professionals:
    • Audiologists
    • Genetic Counsellor
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Social Workers
    • Speech Therapists
  • Early Childhood educators
    • Daycare
    • Kindergarten / Preschool
  • General Practitioners
  • Genetic Counsellor
  • Maternal and Child Health Nurses
  • Neonatologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Psychologists/Psychiatrists

When can I begin to administer SACS checklists with families?

As soon as you have completed your online course modules you can begin to run through the SACS checklists with your clients.

You will be issued a certificate of completion for the coursework, but as long as you have completed all modules and signed the training acknowledgment with La Trobe University you can begin immediately.

Meet Associate Professor Josephine Barbaro

Associate Professor Josephine Barbaro, OTARC Principal Research Fellow, is the developer of the Monitoring of Social Attention, Interaction and Communication (MoSAIC) screening tool. Assoc Prof. Barbaro has been working on the early signs of autism in babies and toddlers for more than 18 years. 

The SACS method identifies a set of behaviours or 'early markers' that are characteristic of children on the autism spectrum, from as young as 12 months old.

Throughout the course, Assoc. Prof. Barbaro will guide you through the training and explain important knowledge and practice in all of the workshop videos.

SACS-R+PR training is delivered as a self-paced online course. 

Availabe 24/7 to suit your needs, the course consists of 10 comprehensive modules:

Module 1: Neurodiversity
Module 2: Introduction
Module 3: Foundation
Module 4: Part 1: Social Attention and Communication Study (SACS)
Module 5: Part 2: Social Attention and Communication Study (SACS)
Module 6: Videos Examining the Signs of autism in Preschoolers
Module 7: Videos Showing Typically Developing Child on the SACS Items
Module 8: How to use the SACS Checklists
Module 9: Discussing SACS with Parents and Caregivers
Module 10: Referral Pathways

The course covers topics including:

  • Using correct terminology when discussing autism.
  • How to complete autism screening during routine checks in children aged 11 to 60 months using the ‘key' signs of autism from the evidence-based SACS tool.
  • Documenting SACS screening information in an application or on the paper-based checklist.
  • How to effectively raise developmental concerns with parents/caregivers.
  • Information on referral pathways for autism.
  • Referring families for diagnosis using the appropriate pathways and the ‘Request for Autism Diagnosis Referral’ form for families to give to their General Practitioner for pediatrician referral.
    Information on resources for families.

Contact Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre

If you have any questions about this course, or are curious about our other courses and workshops, please get in touch at, thank you.

You can browse our list of professional development courses and workshops here.

We are Australia's first centre dedicated to Autism research.

Frequently Asked Questions

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