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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Understanding Autism
Module Code SI421
School 74
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Leanne Connolly
Semester 2: Leanne Connolly
Autumn: Leanne Connolly
Module TeachersLeanne Connolly
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will support students to develop an understanding of Autism through the lens of neurodiversity, identity and language. It will to support the development of effective assessment and planning for learners with Autism in particular in the areas communication and social and emotional learning.

Learning Outcomes

1. Engage in informed discussion about Neurodiversity, identity and the language used when talking about autism and how this can impact approaches to teaching and learning for autistic learners.
2. Write assessment-informed, strengths-based IEPs/support plans for their learners in collaboration with the learner, parents, support/class teacher and all those involved in the learner's education. These IEPS/support plans should identify strengths, priority areas for development, specific learning targets, evidence-informed teaching approaches and effective methods for monitoring progress.
3. Apply knowledge of evidence-informed educational practices for autistic learners through appropriate design of the classroom environment, curriculum, teaching materials and instruction.
4. Carry out a functional assessment to understand the factors that may cause a learner to experience social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties.
5. Collaborate with colleagues to devise effective whole-school supports to proactively support learners experiencing, or at risk of experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties
6. Make informed decisions about classroom-based strategies for increasing motivation, building self-esteem, improving communication skills and developing emotional literacy
7. Work collaboratively with colleagues in planning for and reviewing pupil well-being

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture4Live lectures
Independent Study96Independent reading and assignment preparation
Independent Study25Online learning activities
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Content
Explore Autism through the lens of Neurodiversity, identity and language · Describe the principles that underpin a well-planned assessment process, designed to inform and strength-based approach to individual planning and support. · Guide students in developing a strength-based, Individual Education Plan (IEP) / support plan for an autistic learners, in collaboration with parents and other professionals, and to incorporate a system of recording and monitoring of progress. · Explore evidence-informed educational practices that support the growth and development of autistic learners in their communication and social and emotional learning. · Explore the factors contributing to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties among some autistic learners. · Examine evidence-informed approaches to supporting pupils who are experiencing social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Completion of online activityOnline learning activities20%Week 10
AssignmentWritten Paper80%Week 10
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Volkmar, F & Wiesner, L.: 2019, A Practical Guide to Autism,
  • Heflin, L. J., & Alaimo, D. F: 0, Students with autism spectrum disorders: Effective instructional practices., NJ: Pearson: Merrill Prentice Hall.,
  • Cumine, V., Dunlop, J., & Stevenson, G.: 2010, Autism in the early years, Oxon: Routledge.,
  • Boucher, J: 2017, Autism Spectrum Disorder: Characteristics, Causes and Practical Issues, Sage Publications: London,
  • Jordan, R., Roberts, J. M., & Hume, K.: 2019, The SAGE Handbook of Autism and Education., SAGE Publications Limited.,
  • Ring, E., Daly, P., & Wall, E.: 2018, Autism from the Inside Out: A Handbook for Parents, Early Childhood, Primary, Post-Primary and Special School Settings., . Peter Lang Publishing Group. 29 Broadway 18th Floor, New York,,
Other Resources

49004, Website, National Council for Special Education, 0, NCSE website, www.ncse.ie, 49005, Website, Middletown Centre, 0, Middletown Centre for Autism, https://www.middletownautism.com/,
Programme or List of Programmes
CISEProf Cert in Inclusive & Special Ed
DISEProf Dip in Inclusive & Special Ed

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