Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Across the Lifespan

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
CCSD 2430
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Across the Lifespan
Classroom & Community Support
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
Not Specified
End Term
Semester Length
Flexible delivery ranging over 2 to 15 weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
60 hours: Online/Hybrid/Lecture
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Guest lecture
  • Video/DVD
  • Case studies
  • Group presentations
Course Description
This course explores Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), its possible etiology, typical characteristics, commonly related issues and co-morbid conditions. It also investigates evidence-based interventions and support strategies across the lifespan.
Course Content

The following ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:

General overview of development milestones, theories and concepts as they relate to individuals with ASD:

  • Examine development within the context of family and culture
  • Examine the development of individuals with ASD as compared to those with typical development
  • Explore cognitive development including developmental models, transitions and routines, and activities and strategies that promote cognitive development

Describe language acquisition and communication, including:

  • Joint attention, cultural learning and language acquisition
  • Social pragmatic approach to language acquisition
  • Communicative functions, expressive and receptive skills
  • Behaviour as a form of communication
  • Activities and strategies that facilitate and promote language/communication skill development
  • Verbal behaviour theory as it relates to developing language

Describe pyschosocial development in individuals with ASD including:

  • Development of self esteem and self awareness
  • Developing a sense of others including social thinking, theory of mind and central coherence
  • Social/affective signalling
  • The influence/impact of friendship and play
  • Affection

Explore biosocial development in individuals with ASD including the impact in areas such as:

  • Self care
  • Safety
  • Adaptation
  • Activities that promote the development of motor function

Examine diagnostic and treatment modalities including:

  • Co-morbid conditions
  • Mental health issues

Examine the current trends and developments in service provision for teens and adults:

  • Consider treatment modalities for teens and adults
  • Explore ongoing supports including educational opportunities, employment supports and residential options
Learning Outcomes
  1. Explore the etiology of ASD and describe the developmental differences in individuals across the lifespan) including the possible behavioural outcomes associated with those differences.
  2. Describe the range of evidence-based strategies to encourage cognitive, social/emotional, communication/ language and motor skills in individuals with ASD.
  3. Identify current trends and issues related to ASD including diagnosis, funding, education, employment, and community support including mental health and co-morbid conditions.
Means of Assessment
  • Critical research paper
  • Case study
  • Group presentation
  • Observation assignment
Textbook Materials