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EDU8709 Autism - Managing Emotions

Semester 2, 2019 Online
Short Description: Autism - Managing Emotions
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Rahul Ganguly


Pre-requisite: EDU8338 or Equivalent
Co-requisite: EDU5321 or Equivalent


Over 70 percent of the Australian students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) receive educational services in mainstream settings in Government, and Non-Government schools (ABS, 2016b), however, a significant number of these students in mainstream settings experience anxiety problems that affect the quality of their schooling experiences, unrelated to their academic ability. The extant database is replete with studies that show that anxiety is one of the most common problems experienced by school-age individuals with ASD (Ghaziuddin, 2002, van Steensel, Bogels, & Perrin, 2011). Among the former categories of Autism Disorders, such as High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome, estimates of anxiety disorders have been as high as 84 percent (Kim et al., 2000). Further, Saggers et al. (2016) reported that the highest percentage of teachers in their study expressed the need for further training in managing anxiety and social-communication needs of students with ASD. This course is designed to equip educators with the skills needed to promote social-emotional self-regulation among school-age students with ASD. This course will enable teachers to develop and implement strategies that address two fundamental issues that are sources of anxiety-provoking behaviours among 85 percent of the students with ASD;(a) fitting in socially and (b) communication difficulties.


The purpose of this course is to develop and broaden teacher competencies to evaluate and identify needs, as well as design and implement effective evidence based strategies for supporting sensory and social-emotional needs of school going individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Specifically, course participants will examine the theoretical and practical issues of understanding and responding to the emotional needs, and the resulting distress that having autism can cause and the stress it places on the individual. Emphasis will be given to designing a variety of support tools and practical strategies for learning, social/emotional and behavioural/sensory regulation for use in school and community sites, particularly in inclusive settings.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. categorise autism related factors/characteristics that impede social-emotional regulation in school age children with ASD (Assessment 1)
  2. examine school-wide and community risk factors that cause anxiety and emotional meltdowns in school age individuals with ASD (Assessment 1)
  3. summarize the evidence- and research-based practices that focus on management of routines, transition, reinforcement, sensory issues, executive functioning, and self-management of behaviour for school age individuals with ASD (Assessment 2)
  4. design a plan to implement an appropriate evidence- or research-based classroom level intervention to meet the social-emotional needs of a school-age individual with ASD (Assessment 2)
  5. effectively utilise advanced academic communication skills to portray theoretical concepts and their use in professional practice (Assessment 1, 2).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Emotional Regulation – Concepts 10.00
2. ASD Related Factors and Emotional Regulation 20.00
3. ASD and Manifestations of Anxiety 20.00
4. Evidence – and Research Based Interventions in Sensory Issues 25.00
5. Evidence – and Research Based Interventions in routines, transition, reinforcement, executive functioning, and self-management. 25.00

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. (

Garland, Teresa 2014, Self-regulation interventions and strategies: keeping the body, mind and emotions on task in children with autism, ADHD or sensory disorders, PESI Publishing & Media, Wisconsin.

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.
Davis, Thompson E. (Thompson Elder), III, (editor.) & White, Susan Williams, (editor.) & Ollendick, Thomas H, (editor.) 2014, Handbook of autism and anxiety, Springer International Publishing, Berlin.
Kerns, Connor M., (editor.) & Renno, Patricia, (editor.) & Storch, Eric A., (editor.) & Kendall, Philip C, (editor.) & Wood, Jeffrey J., 1972-, (editor.) 2017, Anxiety in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder : evidence-based assessment and treatment, Elsevier/Academic Press, London.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 45.00
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 40.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 100 40 26 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 100 60 21 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Graduate Certificate of Education, Graduate Diploma of Education and the Master of Education and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include:
  1. stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs,
  2. close integration between business and academic planning, and
  3. regular and rigorous review.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.