Autism Awareness

Understanding Autism presents new developments in research, education, and behavior management strategies about Autism Spectrum Disorders. K-12 educators and administrators will learn practical strategies for promoting behavioral changes through resources such as Functional Behavioral Assessments, Behavioral Intervention Plans, IEPs, and positive behavior supports. Students will learn about the unique challenges and gifts autistic people experience to help them thrive and reach their full potential. 

Course Name: Understanding Autism

Course Number: EDUC 712Z

Semester Credits: 3

Course Description

Because Autism is one of the most common disorders of childhood, it has broad implications for autistic individuals and their families and the societies in which they live and learn. Understanding Autism focuses on practical strategies for educating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in the classroom. Topics covered include instructional planning, applied behavior analysis, positive behavior supports, social skills development, communications skills, and understanding and addressing functional skills. By studying these topics, students can learn about the challenges facing people affected by Autism and their unique insights and gifts.


  • Potential causes of Autism including genetic and environmental influences
  • Early signs and diagnostic criteria
  • Inclusive Classroom environments
  • Consider the implications of Autism for family members, caregivers, and educators of autistic people
  • Understanding cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Creating goals and objectives using the IEP
  • Understand two kinds of behavior: respondent and operant
  • How to teach replacement behaviors and partnering with families to implement positive behavior supports
  • Understand challenges with ASD that make modifications necessary
  • How to write measurable functional goals in the IEP
  • Create instructional approaches to develop communication and social skills
  • Understand transition planning and postsecondary education

 Course Contents

  • An overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Understanding family perspectives
  • Identifying and responding to challenges to school-family collaboration
  • Linking assessment to instructional planning
  • Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Promoting behavioral changes in children with ASD: Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plans
  • Positive behavior supports
  • Environmental supports
  • Supporting social skills development
  • Building communication and academic skills
  • Understanding and addressing functional skills
  • Early interventions: effective practices for young children (Ages 3-5) with ASD
  • Transitioning to adulthood

 How to Register

Understanding Autism is completed in an online or via emailed PDF format. It is open for anyone to register at any time during each semester. After completion, students receive graduate, non-degree semester credit on official transcripts from the University of La Verne, an accredited university in La Verne, California. 

Registration is fast and straightforward and can be done online or over the phone. Courses are offered on a rolling basis during three standard semesters, and you can begin whenever you are ready! The registration dates are:

  •  Fall: September 1 - January 31
  •  Spring: February 1 - May 31
  •  Summer: June 1 - August 31

Evidence of Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of Understanding Autism, the student will have demonstrated knowledge of the definition, history, treatment, and theory of mind of Autism.

Refer to a Friend


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive announcements, updates and reminders!