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Special Education 401

EDSP 401: Approaches for Supporting and Teaching Individuals with ASD

Prerequisites: EDSP 400

Credit Hours: (3)

Addresses a wide variety of approaches for teaching and supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Included are relationship-based approaches, approaches based on the theories of applied behavioral analysis, biological or physiological interventions, and other therapeutic interventions (e.g. art, dance, music, auditory integration, discrete trial teaching).


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Students in this course will learn:
• The valuation of “treatment” approaches for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) weighing cost versus benefit, risk versus benefit, and empirical and anecdotal evidence of effectiveness.
• Common features of effective interventions, which include environmental accommodations, intensive interventions that build upon interests and strengths, uses home and community settings, utilizes typically developing peers, and holds a belief in a person’s competence and enjoyment of their company.
• Basics of relationship-based approaches (e.g., Developmental Individualized Relationship-based (DIR™) Approach, Son-Rise Program, SCERTS Model)
• Basics of approaches based on the theories of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) including Discrete Trial Teaching and TEACCH (the Treatment and Education of Autistic Children and related Communication Handicapped children)
• Basics of biological/physiological approaches (e.g., Sensory Integration Therapy, Auditory Integration Training (AIT), Massage Therapy, Chiropractic Care, Special Diets, Dietary supplements, Pharmacological interventions, Chelation therapy, Vision Therapy)
• Basics of other miscellaneous programs often marketed for autism (e.g., Pet Therapy, Equine Therapy, Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Movement or Dance Therapy, Fast ForWord and  Earobics, and Auditory Discrimination In-depth).

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course is conducted through lecture, discussion, cooperative group learning, demonstrations, case study examples, textbook and journal article reading, and video examples.

Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:
• Evaluate various approaches weighing the risks versus the benefits and evidence of effectiveness of the approaches.
• Describe common features of approaches and means of determining effectiveness for particular students.
• Identify learning styles observed in students with ASD and develop, implement , and assess effectiveness of a program utilizing evidence-based practices and strategies for teaching and supporting students with ASD.


Assessment Measures

• Complete reading assignments and participate in class discussions and activities.
• Complete quizzes and/or exams at the discretion of the instructor
• Develop and present on an ASD Approaches Guide that provides in-depth information regarding one of the approaches shared in class. Information must include an evaluation of risks, costs, benefits, and evidence of effectiveness.
• Observe two, one-hour teaching sessions for a student with autism and compose a reflection paper.


Other Course Information

This class may be co-listed with EDSP 501. Student performance will be evaluated through differentiated assignments depending on EDSP 401 versus EDSP 501 level of the course.


Review and Approval

2004            Course Proposed            Alice Anderson
Syllabus Revision; Name Change        Leslie S. Daniel

March, 2010