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Strategies for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

 Various educational institutions, both private and public have long encouraged the use of critical and analytical skills. This course is designed to focus on developing an understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder, on intervention strategies to enhance communication and learning for these students, and methods of teaching social skills to assist them in interacting with their peers. This course will provide teachers with tools and strategies to implement effective teaching practices for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which will benefit not just students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, but also the classroom at large. 

This course meets Florida state standards for teaching students with disabilities. For more information about this requirement, please click here.


Carlow University ED 602 • Madonna University EDU 5830.29 • Mercy University EDUT 545

The required text for this course is Decoding Autism and Learning the Way to Successful Inclusion by Barbara Boroson.

ISBN: 978-1416629191

Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 1/9/24 - 4/9/24
  • 3/12/24 -6/11/24
  • 5/14/24 - 8/13/24
  • 7/9/24 - 10/8/24
  • 9/10/24 - 12/10/24
  • 11/12/24 - 2/11/25

Session 1: Building the Foundation for Effective Relationships and Class Expectations


  1. Defining ASD
  2. Identify the characteristics of children with ASD
  3. Examine the diagnostic process
  4. Review research concerning the prevalence of ASD today
  5. Assignments

Session 2: Collaboration and Cooperation


  1. Demonstrate the collaborative process through teacher communication and interaction
  2. Identify and explain the roles of each team member
  3. Explore the various types of team teaching and determine when to implement each style
  4. Develop ideas for fading adult support and proximity
  5. Assess the ability to utilize team members to achieve student success
  6. Assignments

Session 3: Friendships, Social Relationships and Belonging



  1. Identify common social deficits in students with ASD
  2. Explore and examine strategies for building community and promoting acceptance in the classroom
  3. Examine social story techniques that can be used to teach social awareness and expectations to students with ASD
  4. Assess the power of role play as a tool for socialization
  5. Assignments

Session 4: Sensory Needs



  1. Identify Sensory Processing issues
  2. Demonstrate the ability to recognize sensory overload
  3. Explore ways to utilize Sensory Integration Therapy in the General Education classroom
  4. Develop a variety of multi-sensory approaches to create a safe learning environment of the ASD child
  5. Assess and evaluate reasons for self-stimulation
  6. Assignments

Session 5: Building Communication



  1. Explore ways to support students experiencing Echolalia.
  2. Evaluate the various communication devices including Communication Boards, Picture Exchange Communication System and BoardMaker.
  3. Compare augmentative and alternative communication
  4. Assignments

Session 6: Fostering Independence



  1. Create a plan for teaching life skills to students with ASD
  2. Evaluate work systems as a tool to build independence
  3. Devise appropriate personal schedules to meet the needs of students with ASD
  4. Determine best practices for dealing with transitions
  5. Examine and critique long term goals
  6. Assignments

Session 7: Rethinking Behavior: Positive Ways to Teach and Support



  1. Explore the challenging and ritualistic behaviors of students with ASD
  2. Evaluate the appropriate times and methods for rewards and reinforcement
  3. Identify rewards and reinforcements to meet the needs of children with ASD
  4. Create an Applied Behavior Analysis Plan to meet a specific student’s needs and motivators
  5. Assignments

Session 8: Creating a Comfortable Classroom



  1. Review the environmental challenges autistic students face in the classroom setting
  2. Evaluate seating and organizational challenges
  3. Examine the different possibilities for classroom organization
  4. Acquire a basic knowledge for allowing opportunities for movement
  5. Assignments

Session 9: Lesson Planning



  1. Create a cooperative learning lesson to benefit students with ASD
  2. Explore service learning as a motivational tool and authentic learning experience
  3. Identify opportunities for project-based instruction
  4. Evaluate the benefits of centers/stations
  5. Create an authentic assessment
  6. Assignments

Session 10: Strategies to Support Students and Teachers



  1. Create meaningful routines and schedules
  2. Develop successful transitions
  3. List ways to help students with organizational skills
  4. Examine the benefits of providing choices
  5. Explore ways to create opportunities for breaks
  6. Develop the ability to use nonverbal cues
  7. Final Assignment
  • Examine the definition of ASD and how it is diagnosed
  • Analyze the characteristics of ASD and their effects on the classroom dynamic
  • Utilize resources found on the Internet
  • Evaluate  the secondary skill challenges of ASD: cognitive/language/motor/sensory
  • Facilitate methods to improve learning by teaching specific activities for social skills
  • Analyze the range and impact of communication challenges and how to support these differences using research based strategies
  • Devise appropriate responses to the different types of behaviors that typically accompany ASD (challenging/ritualistic)
  • Determine how to appropriately interact and respond to a child with ASD
  • Compare and contrast students with these disorders with other students, and how to teach them given these differences
  • Critique articles and Internet resources about ASD
  • Acquire a basic knowledge of the existing body of research dealing with ASD
  • Evaluate the course
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.