USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

EDU8338 Autism

Semester 3, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Rahul Ganguly
Moderator: Mark Oliver

Other requisites

State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional
experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland are required
to possess a current suitability card (Blue Card). (See "Other Requirements" for further information.)
Also see:


Students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are found in all schools. The unique and heterogeneous expression of the condition requires knowledge and understanding, on the part of teachers, to design and implement effective support within an inclusive setting, which will meet the needs of all students. This requires the ability to apply this knowledge and understanding to the critical evaluation of the research and evidence base of the ever growing number of treatments, strategies and interventions developed for this group of students. The voices of adults with ASD are now available to guide us with an ‘insider’s’ view, allowing for greater insight into the world of the child with ASD.


This course examines the conceptual frameworks, in the field of autism spectrum disorder, of the triad of impairment/difference (socialisation, communication and restricted interests/repetitive behaviours) and beyond, and the three cognitive theories: theory of mind, central coherence and executive function. Child, parent and school perspectives are presented, as well as personal accounts from adults with ASD. The process of evaluating the evidence base of practices in the field to inform support design is a critical course element. Teachers will learn how to determine needs, and the impact they have on access and participation, as well as how to formulate effective support plans. Responding to behaviour and catering for the unique learning styles of these students is highlighted within a respectful and child-centred framework.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On successful completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. knowledge and critical understanding of the key concepts, theories, perspectives and issues in the field of ASD (Assignment 1)
  2. the ability to select, critically evaluate and implement evidence based interventions for students with ASD (Assignments 1 and 2)
  3. the ability to work with other professionals in the assessment and support of students with ASD. (Assignment 2)
  4. critical reflection upon and evaluation of own practice and educational philosophy. (Assignment 2)
  5. competence in information literacy skills, including critical and reflective thinking. (Assignments 1 and 2)
  6. competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (Assignments 1 and 2)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Module 1 : An overview of autism spectrum disorder: Definition, diagnosis, perspectives, evidence base. 20.00
2. Module 2: Inclusive practice and the role of the teacher 20.00
3. Module 3: Communication and socialisation 20.00
4. Module 4: Behaviour 20.00
5. Module 5: Academics, planning and strategies 20.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Ruth Aspy and Barry Grossman, Ph.D 2011, Designing Comprehensive Interventions for High-Functioning Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, The Ziggurat Model-Release, AAPC publishing, USA.
  • Evidence based practices with Autism in Schools from National Autism Centre. Free download.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 80.00
Directed Study 60.00
Private Study 25.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 19 Dec 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 23 Jan 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    Not applicable

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of
    the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner
    then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply
    for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero can be

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total
    weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of
    the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments must be submitted through EASE. In rare and exceptional circumstances a hard copy may be accepted, in which case the following applies. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within twenty-four(24) hours of receipt of request being made by the examiner. The student must retain this copy until the grade for this course has been finalised.

  3. In accordance with the University's assignment extension policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  5. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non-directed personal study.

  6. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination); IDM (Incomplete - Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  7. When there is more than one marker for a single item of assessment, the distributed patterns and means for the different markers will be compared and marks adjusted if necessary.

  8. Marking criteria are provided in course material as mark sheets/guides or as part of assignment specifications.

  9. Summative assessment items will receive a numerical score. Any ungraded assessment requirement will receive a Pass, Fail or Incomplete.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and Internet access to USQConnect for this course.

  2. Students are to use a recognised referencing system as specified by the examiner.

  3. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the State of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc.) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT
    'BLUE CARD'. For further information:
    If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.