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Winter 2019 registration begins in mid-November.  Login to myAccount to check your registration date and time.

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Characteristics of Exceptionalities

Course Code: DACS 1170
Faculty: Child, Family & Community Studies
Department: Disability & Community Studies
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 2 to 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Online, Partially Online
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this survey course students will investigate a range of developmental disability characteristics and their classification systems, in particular, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A variety of disabilities and concurrent disorders will be examined as they relate to the etiology, diagnosis, and lifelong impact on people living with the disability.

Course Content

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

  • Human service practitioners provide support to people with disabilities. Although not the main focus, having some background information regarding the diagnosis contributes to optimal practice.
  • Many people with disabilities also have concurrent disorders that can complicate multiple aspects of a person’s life. Again, having some background information regarding these additional factors will enhance the quality of support.
  • Human service practitioners who have an appreciation of the potential diagnostic, funding and treatment trajectories across the lifespan of someone who has a disability are in a better position to anticipate and advocate for optimal support.
  • Quality, evidence based practice is informed by research into disability characteristics and treatment approaches

Methods of Instruction

F2F: Lecture, video, guest speaker, case studies, readings

Hybrid: Lecture, video, guest speaker, case studies, readings, video lectures

Online: video lectures, online readings, case studies, discussion boards, video conferencing, guest speakers

Means of Assessment

This course will conform to Douglas College policy regarding the number and weighting of evaluations. Typical means of evaluation would include a combination of:

Quiz, case study, group project, investigative projects

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain various disability classifications systems as they related to disability definitions, assessment and diagnosis

  • Compare and contrast the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) with the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) and other disability classification systems
  • Explain common terminology used when discussing disability classifications, e.g. etiology, incidence, prevalence, diagnostic overshadowing, etc.
  • Consider the historical international progression of disability classifications
  • Describe the current assessment and diagnostic process for ASD, mental illness and a variety of other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, etc.

2. Describe characteristics of a variety of disability labels

  • Identify the biopsychosocial domains that may be affected in someone who has a disability.
  • Investigate the potential developmental trajectory of those living with ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, etc.
  • Identify common concurrent disorders that may accompany a disability, such as Anxiety Disorders, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Mood Disorders, etc.
  • Explore current research related to etiology, characteristics and context specific to ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, etc.

3. Explore treatment and support options for a variety of mental and physical disability labels including ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities

  • Describe the range of interventions available to treat and support those living with ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, etc.
  • Discuss the role and importance of early intervention and naturalized supports
  • Investigate the process for voluntary and involuntary treatments under the Mental Health Act
  • Explore current research related to treatment modalities and support approaches specific to ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities, such as Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, FASD, etc.
  • Investigate the eligibility and process for accessing treatment funding for a variety of disability labels including ASD and mental illness
  • Explore support options available to families, caregivers, and those close to individuals living with ASD, mental illness, and a variety of other disabilities

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.

assessments

If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.