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SPHS/EDUC 400: Autism in Our Communities: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

3 semester hours, Fall semester, APPLES Service-Learning, EE Credit

This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the diverse topics related to autism spectrum disorder. The Center for Disease Control reports that autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 people. Further, the prevalence of ASD is higher in North Carolina with a rate of 1 in 58. The majority of children and youth with autism are provided services and supports in inclusive classroom and community based settings. Considering the life course perspective of development and the rise in prevalence rate for autism over the past several years, it is critical that students learn about inclusion of individuals with autism in schools and communities. Topics covered will include: diagnostic criteria, early indicators of ASD, evidence-based treatment methods, issues affecting parents and siblings in school and community settings, multi-cultural issues, and transition to adulthood. The goal of this course is to promote acceptance of individuals with autism by undergraduate students who will disseminate this understanding in their future professional and personal communities.


SPHS 802: Problems in Speech and Hearing Sciences (Section 009) Autism Seminar
3 semester hours. Spring semester.
Cara McComish, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Speech & Hearing Sciences

This graduate level MS/SLP elective course is an introduction to issues related to autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and is intended to prepare future clinicians to understand and serve this unique population. Critical issues related to serving ASD populations will be covered, including diagnostic criteria, intervention options, multicultural considerations, collaboration with family and other professionals, and evidence-based practice. Specific strategies and guidelines will be discussed and illustrated using problem-based learning strategies (e.g., case studies). A significant component of this course will be class discussion and ongoing assessment of teaching and learning.


SPHS 897: Autism Research Seminar
3 semester hours, Spring semester, odd numbered years.
This graduate seminar focuses on research in autism, and is directed to doctoral students who plan careers in behavioral or biobehavioral research in autism. The first part of the course focuses on readings and discussions related to theories of autism and some of the common methodological challenges in autism research as well as approaches to addressing those challenges. The content of the latter part of the course is driven by the participants’ specific interests related to autism research, and participants rotate in assigning readings, presenting, and leading discussions. The participants also work in small teams to plan and complete an autism research project using extant data The instructors, participants, and guest discussants/mentors provide input to assist in the conceptual and methodological development of the autism research projects undertaken as part of the course.