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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 SI601
School 74
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Rosie Savage
Semester 2: Rosie Savage
Autumn: Rosie Savage
Module TeachersRosie Savage
Neil Kenny
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module aims to provide a foundation in the history, concept and diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. Current causes and prevalence will be appraised. The theoretical perspectives on autism and how these impacts on the student will be explored and critiqued. The dyad of impairments will be examined at different developmental levels. The impact of autism on girls will be discussed. The sensory processing difficulties associated with autism and how they may affect, behaviour, learning and relationships will be examined. The effects of autism on family life will also be examined. Students will examine their personal understanding of and attitudes towards concept of autism, recognise the diversity across the spectrum and reflect in an informed manner on the implications of autism in an educational context.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically evaluate the literature on inclusion, equality and labels as regards autism.
2. Describe and critique the core issues relating to autism (cognitive theories, legislation, rights, values, policy, terminology, provision).
3. Identify, and evaluate evidence informed strategies and interventions which are appropriate for autistic students to support their wellbeing and development within an educational setting.
4. Consider how the sensory challenges and individual differences in social communication experienced by autistic students affect their learning and development and have the skills to address these in the classroom.
5. Communicating accurately and succinctly orally and in writing, their analysis, synthesis and critique of pertinent issues relating to autism.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture1512 x 1 ¼ face to face & online lectures /workshop
Group work93 discussion fora
Independent Study61Reading, implementation of content at work, analysis and reflection on module content
Assignment Completion40Independent reading and writing on chosen topic
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
● Background and history of provision for students on the AS. ● Core issues: legislation, rights, values, policy, terminology and provision. ● Theories and perspectives on autism (theory of mind, executive functioning and central coherence). ● Current research on causes. ● The sensory needs of students on the AS. ● Prevalence and effective approaches. ● Early identification. ● Effective interventions. ● Challenges and barriers to inclusion. ● Educational needs of pupils with ASD. ● School visits. ● Discussion on school visits. ● Working collaboratively with parents. ● Inclusion: Experiences of teachers. ● Inclusion of pupils with ASD. ● Parent’s perspectives. ● Girls and Autism. ● Application of concepts and theories above to own teaching contexts to critique current practice and identify strengths and possibilities for improvement.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PresentationThe students will be required to develop a 10-15 minute video essay, accompanied by a script, mind map and reference list. In this video essay, students must communicate accurately and succinctly, their analysis, synthesis and critique of a pertinent issue relating to autism (Shared with Module SI604)100%n/a
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

  • Fletcher-Watson, Sue,: 2019, Autism : a new introduction to psychological theory and current debates, 9781351589826
  • Sue Fletcher-Watson,Francesca Happé: 2019, Autism, Routledge,
  • Imray, Peter,: 2017, Inclusion is dead : long live inclusion, 9781138282148
  • Peter Imray,Andrew Colley: 2017, Inclusion is Dead, Routledge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
GCEASGrad Cert in Edu of Pupils on Autism Spe

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