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Strategies for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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

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, of 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 in turn will benefit not just students with Autism Spectrum Disorder but also the classroom at large. 

Carlow University ED 602 • Madonna University EDU 5830.29 • Notre Dame College ED 628 H • The College of Saint Rose EDT 674

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

  • 9/11/18 - 12/11/18
  • 1/8/19 - 4/9/19
  • 3/12/19 - 6/11/19
  • 5/14/19 - 8/14/19
  • 7/9/19 - 10/8/19
  • 9/10/19 - 12/10/19
  • 11/12/19 - 2.11.20

Course Schedule




Session 1: Introduction and Defining Autism


  • Member introductions
  • Individual and group expectations
  • Course modules, resources and requirements
  • Defining autism
  • Diagnosis of autism
  • Increase in prevalence
  • Assignments

Session 2: Collaboration and Cooperation


  • Principles of Collaboration
  • Team members
  • Team teaching
  • Independent instruction
  • Peer support
  • Assignments

Session 3: Friendships, Social Relationships and Belonging


  • Common social deficits in autistic students
  • Building a ‘community’ in the classroom
  • Social stories
  • Using role play to enhance social skills
  • Promoting acceptance and belonging in the classroom.
  • Assignments

Session 4: Sensory Needs


  • Sensory processing issues
  • Sensory overload
  • Sensory Integration Therapy
  • Multi-sensory approaches
  • Self-stimulation
  • Assignments

Session 5: Building Communication


  • Echolalia
  • Eye contact
  • Communication boards
  • Using BoardMaker
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
  • Augmentative communication
  • Assignments

Session 6: Fostering Independence


  • Teaching life skills
  • Using work systems to build independence
  • Creating personal schedules
  • Dealing with transitions
  • Long term goals
  • Assignments

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


  • Positive ways to support behavior
  • Rewards and reinforcement
  • Challenging behaviors      
  • Ritualistic behaviors
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Assignments

Session 8: Creating a Comfortable Classroom


  • Monitoring the atmosphere (lighting, smells, temperature)
  • Seating challenges
  • Importance of classroom organization
  • Allowing opportunities for movement
  • Assignments

Session 9: Lesson Planning


  • Cooperative learning
  • Service learning
  • Project-based instruction
  • Using centers/stations
  • Authentic assessment
  • Assignments

Session 10: Teaching Strategies


  • Routines and schedules
  • Successful transitions
  • Helping students with organizational skills
  • Providing choices
  • Opportunities for breaks
  • Using nonverbal cues
  • Assignments
  • Examine the definition of autism and how it is diagnosed
  • Analyze the characteristics of autism and their effects on the classroom dynamic
  • Utilize resources found on the Internet
  • Evaluate  the secondary skill challenges of autism: 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 strategies
  • Devise appropriate responses to the different types of behaviors that typically accompany Autism (challenging/ritualistic)
  • Determine how to appropriately interact and respond to a child with Autism
  • Compare and contrast students with these disorders with other students, and how to teach them given these differences
  • Critique articles and Internet resources on Austism/Asperger’s 
  • Acquire a basic knowledge of the existing body of research dealing with Autism
  • 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.

Face-to-face 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 tab for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here.  Most courses require a book but some do not, so check the list for your specific course. If no book is required it will be specified. 

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.