Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Assessment – EDUC 626

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

Course Description

This course provides an overview of autism across the lifespan and examines characteristics, definitions, eligibility criteria, incidence rates, and etiology.  Assessment, diagnostic and identification criteria are described, and methods for monitoring the impact of interventions in a variety of service delivery models will be explored.

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


As the autism prevalence continues to steadily increase, it is imperative that all classroom teachers and administrators understand the special needs of students with autism spectrum disorder. 

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define the characteristics and diagnosis of autism as defined by the most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
  2. Describe the evidence-based and promising practice interventions that have been identified as best practices based on the needs of the individual and his or her response to the intervention.
  3. Examine the implications of ‘dual’ diagnoses (autism and any other diagnosis from the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) and comorbidity.
  4. Design an individualized program using evidence-based and promising practices based on an assessment of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Plan for transition needs of individuals.
  6. Communicate with family and professionals on accommodations and modifications needed to access home, educational, work, and community environments.
  7. Implement intervention activities to support the individual’s goals and objectives.

Course Assignment

Textbook Readings and lecture presentations


Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (7)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate will complete 7 Discussions in this course. For each forum, the thread must be at least 400 words and 3–5 paragraphs. The thread must be supported with at least 2 scholarly sources in current APA format. The candidate will also respond to the thread of at least 1 classmate for each forum. Each reply must be 200–250 words and cite at least 2 scholarly sources in current APA format. (MLO: B, C, D, E, F, G).

Journal Article Reviews (6)

The candidate will complete 6 Journal Article Reviews in this course. Each article must be current (within the last 5 years), related to students with autism, and on the assigned topic for each review. Each review must include a title and reference page and must be at least 1 page. The title and reference page are not included in the page count.

Each review must consist of at least 3 paragraphs: (a) an introductory paragraph that includes a summary of the article, (b) an analysis of the author’s key points, and (c) a personal response/reflection that includes a summary statement on the overall effectiveness of the article. Each review must follow current APA format. (MLO: A, C, D, E)

Assessment Assignment

The candidate will complete an assessment assignment consisting of a variety of essay questions. This assessment will be open-book/open-notes and the candidate may use scholarly research resources to assist with answering the essay questions. (MLO: A, C, F, G)

Teacher Training Presentation

The candidate will create a Teacher Training Presentation. This presentation will educate teachers on how to recognize when a person at different stages of development may have ASD and need to be referred for assessment.  The presentation may be a Power Point presentation (minimum 15 slides) or a video presentation (minimum of 7 minutes).  (MLO: A)

Final Assessment

The candidate will complete a final assessment consisting of a variety of essay questions. This assessment will be open-book/open-notes and will cover content found in the readings, discussions, presentations, and research related to this course. (MLO: A-G)

Quizzes (7)

The candidate will complete 7 chapter quizzes in this course. Each quiz will cover the textbook readings for the corresponding module: week. All quizzes will be open-book/open-notes and contain 15 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The candidate will have 1 hour to complete each quiz.