The intent of this course is to develop an understanding of the impact an autism spectrum disorder has throughout an individuals’ educational, employment and independent living environments. Emphasis will be on the characteristics, issues, and essential elements for effective transition involved in the education and support of adolescents and young adults across the spectrum.

This course is required for students pursuing the ASD license (meets required competencies). It is one of two choices for an assessment class in the ASD certificate program, providing educators with an overview of the communication characteristics of individuals with ASD and exploring current assessment tools and strategies related to communication. The following areas will be addressed:

  • Development of social communication and its relevance in ASD
  • Communicative characteristics across the autism spectrum
  • Formal and informal assessment tools and strategies currently used to evaluate communication, including the use of informal tests to evaluate communicative functions, social communication, non-verbal language and play skills.
  • Use of assessment results to identify needs and develop intervention plans
  • Principles guiding language intervention in ASD

The incidence of autism spectrum disorders has increased significantly, and schools are charged with meeting the needs of learners with ASDs. This course examines the range autism spectrum disorders, core challenge areas, Minnesota educational criteria, identification and assessment, personal perspectives, family issues and how autism impacts the family dynamics. Evidence-based practices, research related to autism, educational practices and programs will be explored.