Autism: Educational and Theoretical Approaches – EDSP 377

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the different educational approaches and therapies available for children and adults on the autism spectrum. The educational and theoretical approaches discussed within this course will help teacher candidates and professionals in the field of autism alike.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course will be required in the Special Education Cognate of the Bachelor of Science in Special Education Interdisciplinary Studies. This course will also be required in the 18 credit hour certificate program in autism spectrum disorders for undergraduate candidates. This certification program is recognized by the Virginia Autism Council.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand transition needs of individuals (ex: early intervention to preschool, preschool to elementary school, elementary to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to post-secondary activities). (PRE-A1; PRE-B2)
  2. Develop goals that address core deficit areas related to autism (ex: social skills communication, attention, imitation, play/leisure, sensory-motor, and self-regulation). (PRE-A1; PRE-B2; PRE- B; PRE-B4)
  3. Develop goals designed to target generalization and maintenance of skills across programs, community and school settings, and in the home. (PRE-A1; PRE-B2; PRE-B3; PRE-B4)
  4. Select intervention strategies based on the abilities, learning style, and interests of the individual. (PRE-A1; PRE-B2; PRE-B3; PRE-B4)
  5. Develop an intervention plan for all settings that targets functional and life skills related to caring for self, caring for the home, participating in the community, and working with the team that directly targets individual needs. (PRE-A1; PRE-B2; PRE-B3; PRE-B4; PRE-C5)

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, case videos and lecture presentations/notes.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion Boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be a minimum of 250 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 other classmate’s thread. Each reply must be a minimum of 150 words. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Scenarios (4)

Through scenario assignments, the candidate will apply content knowledge to a real-world situation involving a student with ASD. Through specified scenarios, the candidate will develop individualized plans and evaluate plan effectiveness. Scenarios vary in length and requirements based upon module-specific content. Rubrics and scenario specific content requirements will be provided. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Autism Intervention Review

The candidate will select 1 autism intervention from a provided list as the focus for the review paper. The candidate will write a critical review of the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention and its generalized value to children or adolescents with ASD. The paper must be 5–8 pages and in current APA format. The paper must include 3 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources in addition to the textbook and the Bible. (MLO: B, C, D, E)

Chapter Quizzes (5)

Specified quizzes will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module(s)/week(s) and contain 10 questions per quiz. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain true/false and multiple-choice questions. There is no time limits for each; however, candidates are only provided one attempt per quiz. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)