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EDU8338 Autism

Semester 3, 2021 Online
Short Description: Autism
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 6 August 2021


Examiner: Karen Glasby

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.)


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 diad of impairment/difference (social 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 should 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 design and critically evaluate 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. (

Hall, L.J 2018, Autism spectrum disorders: From theory to practice, 3rd edn, New York, NY, Pearson.

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.
Lawrence, C 2019, Teacher education and autism: A research-based practical handbook, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK.
Wood, R 2019, Inclusive education for autistic children: Helping children and young people to learn and flourish in the classroom., Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London, UK.
Consult the reference list at the end of each module and text chapter for guidance.
Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 16 Dec 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 27 Jan 2022

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 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:
    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 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:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments 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 at

  2. Note: To complete assignment 2, it is highly recommended to have access to either a student on AS, families of students on AS, teachers of students on AS or a school setting that serves students on AS.

Other requirements

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

  2. 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.

Date printed 6 August 2021