This upper-level undergraduate course explores Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from a lifespan perspective applying behavioural, social, and cognitive theories. Topics include diagnostic characteristics and the diagnostic process in British Columbia, the etiology, history, and co-morbid conditions associated with ASD. Special emphasis will be given to evidence-based interventions and support strategies within early intervention, school, and employment settings.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- The best place for children to thrive, grow, and learn is with a family.
- ASD is a life-long developmental disorder.
- Funding options are available for assessment and intervention.
- Assessments and intervention methods are to be based on contemporary best practices.
- Best practices are those that are (a) evidence-based, (b) individualized, (c) fit individuals’ and families’ needs, and (d) ethical.
- The capacity of an individual with ASD is best supported through teaching language and other social skills.
- Language and other social skills are best analyzed and taught using a functional approach.
- Autism intervention is not static, but rather, is dynamic—a process readily apparent when examined within an historical context.
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Describe the etiology, assessment, diagnosis, and funding for ASD within the BC context.
- Consider the historical treatment of individuals with ASD and their families
- Summarize the diagnostic indicators of ASD and explain developmental differences in individuals across the lifespan.
- Explore contemporary assessment tools and funding options available to individuals diagnosed as a child or adult.
Evaluate evidence based methodologies and interventions with individuals on the autism spectrum.
- Compare pseudo and anti-scientific models with evidence based methodologies.
- Examine behavior, social, and cognitive theories of autisms and their impact on practice.
- Examine behavioural outcomes associated with different intervention models.
- Summarize significant peer-reviewed research on intervention practices.
Analyze a range of lifespan issues regarding social/emotional, communication/language, and behavioural domains.
- Evaluate behavioral interpretations of complex social behavior impacting relationships in preschool, school, community and employment settings.
- Review common mental and physical health conditions associated with autism, such as seizures, anxiety, and depression.
- Examine tensions regarding autism between cure, treatment, acceptance and celebration perspectives.