The aim of this module is to teach the basic facts about the nature and origins of autism, including definitions, epidemiology, biological, social and environmental causes. In addition, characteristics and needs of people with autism will be considered (including cognitive and social characteristics). All of this information will be set within the wider context of intellectual and developmental disabilities and students, although focusing primarily on autism, will be required to learn and know about these issues more widely. Over 50% of people with autism have a co-morbid condition and therefore this is an essential approach.
Total contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 80
Total study hours: 100
Autism studies MA
Autism studies Postgraduate Diploma
Autism studies Postgraduate Certificate
Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) MSc
Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) Postgraduate Diploma
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
Examination (1 hour) – 100%.
Reassessment instrument - Like-for-like.
For both pathway 1 (Autism programmes) and pathway 2 [Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)]:
Grandin, T (2006) Thinking in pictures: My life with autism (second edition) Vintage Books
Tantam, D. (2012). Autism spectrum disorders through the lifespan. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
For Pathway 1 (Autism programmes):
Attwood, T. (2007) The complete guide to Asperger's syndrome Jessica Kingsley publishers
Fein, D.A. (2011). The neuropsychology of autism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Frith, U. (2003) Autism: Explaining the Enigma (second edition) Basil Blackwell.
Frith, U. (2008). Autism: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hobson, P.R. (2012) Autism and the Development of the Mind (second edition) Lawrence Erlbaum.
Kutscher, M.L. (2005) Kids in the Syndrome Mix of ADHD, LD, Asperger's, Tourette's, Bipolar, and More! : The one stop guide for parents, teachers, and other professionals. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Schopler, E. (2001). Treatment for Autism: From science to pseudo-science or anti-science. The Research Basis for Autism Intervention. E. Schopler, N. Yirmiya, C. Shulman and L. M. Marcus. New York, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.
For Pathway 2 [Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)]:
Bailey, J. S., & Burch, M. R. (2011). Ethics for behaviour analysts (2nd ed.). Hover: Taylor & Francis.
Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2014). Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. Retrieved from http://bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/160321-compliance-code-english.pdf
Foxx, R. M., & Mulick, J. A. (Eds.) (2015). Controversial therapies for autism and intellectual disabilities: Fad, fashion and science in professional practice (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Schreibman, L. (2007). The science and fiction of autism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Silberman, S. (2016). Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and how to think smarter about people who think differently. Camden: Atlantic Books.
Waltz, M. (2013). Autism: A social and medical history. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
8.1 Know, in depth, the epidemiology and definition of autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities in the UK, other Western countries
and the developing world.
8.2 Distinguish similarities and differences between the needs and characteristics of people with autism and those with other forms of
intellectual and developmental disabilities, and appreciate critically their impact on quality of life and intervention.
8.3 Be aware of different approaches to understanding autism, and be able to critically evaluate evidence to support these approaches.
8.4 Understand, in-depth, laws and policies relating to mental capacity and capacity to consent when conducting clinical work (or research)
with people with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities
Specific learning outcomes for students taking Pathway 1 (autism programmes) only:
8.5 Know the range of approaches most commonly used to support and educate people with autism.
8.6 Develop an in-depth understanding of the core features of autism and associated conditions.
8.7 Develop an advanced understanding of different perspectives within the autism field.
8.8 Critically appreciate the impact of autism on the family.
8.9 Understand conditions that commonly co-occur with autism (including physical and mental health difficulties). Understand, in-depth, how
these can impact on quality of life.
8.10 Know at an advanced level the cognitive and social characteristics of people with autism and those with intellectual and developmental
Specific learning outcomes for students taking Pathway 2 [Applied Behaviour Analysis (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)] only:
8.11 Know the range of approaches most commonly used to support and educate people with autism and be able to critically evaluate the
evidence base for these approaches.
8.12 Develop an in-depth understanding of the core features of autism and associated conditions, and how to consider these when conducting
assessments and developing behavioural interventions.
8.13 Develop an advanced understanding of different perspectives within the autism field, and an awareness of how to communicate effectively
with other professionals when working within a multidisciplinary team.
8.14 Critically appreciate the impact of autism on the family and the challenges that may present when providing behavioural services.
8.15 Understand conditions that commonly co-occur with autism (including physical and mental health difficulties). Understand, in-depth, how
these can impact on quality of life and behavioural assessment and intervention, and the need to make appropriate referrals to other
8.16 Critically appreciate the ways in which you may need to adapt communication with clients who have intellectual and developmental
disabilities (particularly autism) when delivering behavioural services.
8.17 Be aware of the broader context of autism, and how provision of behavioural services fits within this context in the UK and further afield.
8.18 Show an advanced understanding of the differences between scientific, pseudoscientific, and antiscientific approaches.
The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Effectively integrate complex knowledge from different sources, including published work and personal experience.
9.2 Demonstrate the ability to understand, and communicate in writing, complex, abstract concepts.
9.3 Show a capacity to effectively prioritise the demands of work and study.
9.4 Organise and manage their studying independently with support from tutors.
9.5 Use information technology to a high level (word processing, email, the University's VLE, e-journals and other online resources)
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Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
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