The course wasn’t difficult and a fair bit of it was review for me, but I’m glad I did it, anyway. I always learn something useful from any course, and this one was no exception.
It provides a great introduction to autism and evidence-based practices in autism intervention. I wish I could have take this course back when I first suspected Kiddo might be autistic or when he was first diagnosed. It probably would have saved me some trouble deciding what to look for in a good support team.
The instructor is Patricia Schetter, M.A., BCBA, project coordinator for the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the MIND Institute at UC Davis. The course runs for five weeks and covers these topics:
- Overview of ASD;
- Developmental differences in autism across the lifespan;
- Patterns of strength and weaknesses;
- Understanding sensory regulation differences; and
- Using evidence-based practices.
The last two modules were of most interest to me. In week four, I gained a little bit more insight into my son’s proprioception difficulties (problems with feedback from muscles and joints). And in the final week, I learned which autism interventions are considered established, emerging, and unestablished.
Since this was just an introductory course, it didn’t go into depth on any of the topics, but it gave enough information for people to use as a jumping-off point. I’m now reading up on proprioceptive difficulties and plan to read two reports about evidence-based practices that were referenced in the course:
- Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder from the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder; and
- Findings and Conclusions of the National Standards Project, Phase 2: Addressing the Need for Evidence-Based Practice Guidelines for Autism Spectrum Disorder from the National Autism Center.
If UC Davis offers the course again, I would recommend it to anybody who has a child with autism or works with individuals with autism. It’s online and it’s free.