About CSD 299 B

Discusses knowledge/research regarding assessment of and interventions for individuals with ASD related to and use of evaluation tools, and implementation of communication, social interaction and play skills. Prerequisite: Minimum Junior standing.


Open to CDE and Degree students

Section Description

This course discusses current knowledge and research regarding assessment of and interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) related to communication, social interaction, behavior, play, recreation, and leisure skills. Topics discussed include: (1) diagnostic and neurobiological considerations of the disorder, early markers of autism and diagnostic assessment tools; (2) assessment and intervention considerations in communication, social interaction, and play; and (3) empirically-sound interventions, specifically relationship based (e.g., Floor Time), skill based (e.g., PECS, video modeling), parent-based (e.g., joint attention training, More Than Words), and cognitive-perspective based (e.g., social stories, peer mediation). There are also new elements being added on ABA (applied behavior analysis) and literacy in ASD as well as needs and strategies for young adults and college students with ASD. The course will also focus on furthering your understanding of the role of families in the assessment and intervention of children, adolescents and young adults with ASD in consideration of their diverse cultural values and beliefs. Further, the course creates a framework for understanding and implementing effective interventions; and, for profiling the strengths and challenges of interventions including ways to match children’s strengths and needs, family capacity and the family’s diverse cultural values and beliefs with the interventions selected to promote quality of life. This course provides in-person lectures and group work but has a hybrid component to provide an opportunity for Professional and Distance Education professionals to view and participate in the class synchronously. All class instructional outlines, ppts, learning materials and activities are posted in Blackboard.

Section Expectation

There is no specific prerequisite requirement, although this is an upper level course with significant expectations for reading and active student engagement. The course is offered for both undergraduate and graduate credit with required applications of knowledge including a comprehensive applied assignment for graduate credit. Undergraduate students should be in good standing and be upper level students with a specific interest in ASD. CSD 94 (Development of Spoken Language) would facilitate students’ understanding of the language components emphasized in this class. A variety of teaching tools including required readings/videos, lectures, group and individual activities both in the classroom and on Blackboard as well as varied assignments are used to facilitate students’ learning. The course content focuses on specific areas of assessment and intervention, giving students some in-depth knowledge in particular areas of social communication and social cognition related to autism. However, supplemental materials are provided on blackboard allowing students to investigate other areas of interest in a more comprehensive way. This is a writing intensive course. Student learning is evaluated through the completion of several writing assignments for which grading rubrics are provided. In the classroom, students will be asked to participate in class discussions that are facilitated through a think-pair-share strategy in small groups as well as case study review. Asynchronous group and general discussion forums will occur within the course’s Blackboard site. REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Prelock, P. A., & McCauley, R. J. (Eds.) (2021). Treatment of autism spectrum disorder: Evidence-based intervention strategies for communication & social interactions (2nd ed.). Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Prelock, P. A., & McCauley, R. J. (Eds.) (2021). Case studies for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. RECOMMENDED TEXTBOOK: Prelock, P. A. (2019). Communication assessment and intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders-2nd edition. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed Publishers.


1. CLASS PARTICIPATION (15 pts.) Attendance and participation in each class session is required. To fully benefit from each class & topic of discussion, students should be familiar with the material indicated on the syllabus prior to each class. Students are expected to read the required readings and view the required videos before all classes. 2. ON LINE DISCUSSION FORUMS (2x15 pts.; TOTAL = 30 pts.). To facilitate learning and integration of the course content, students will participate in 2 Online Discussion Forums in groups of 5-6 students. Students within each group will be assigned the roles of discussion facilitator and summarizer on a rotating basis (see Blackboard). 3. Ignite Session (20 pts.) This assignment is designed to ensure students are engaged in the required reading material and have opportunities to learn through dialogue with peers. Students will sign-up for a given week (3-4 students per week) whose topic is of particular interest to them. The task of the students as a group is to review ALL required readings and videos in order to answer the week’s questions (posted in Bb) cohesively, to present 3 key take away messages, and to present a case study and lead a discussion with the class to problem solve around the case study related to the class topic focus. This is a group assignment. 4. One Critical Article Reviews (20 pts.): Each student is required to critically review a journal article (not book chapters). The article should be taken from any of the course required OR recommended readings. This is an individual assignment. 5. Four quizzes (20 pts). These quizzes will assess student knowledge in specific content areas related to diagnostic criteria, assessment practices, and intervention strategies. Each quiz is worth 5 points. This is an individual assignment. 5. Book Review (35 points). To increase students’ awareness and understanding of the specific challenges and joy experienced by individuals with autism and their families, each student is to select a book that has been written by an individual with autism or by a family member (personal account) from the book list available on Blackboard. Many of these books can be borrowed from the instructor’s library or the UVM library. Students may also choose a different book that is a personal account however such book MUST be pre-approved by the course instructor. This is an individual assignment. 6. Case Study Assignment (10 pts. each X 3 case studies for a total of 30 points). As a small inter-professional group of 3-4 members, students will review and discuss 3 “cases” throughout the semester. For each case, students will be presented with basic information about the “case” in writing and be given an opportunity to discuss the case in class. Following the class discussion, each inter-professional group of students will answer questions or complete a specific activity that is written up as a short paper (1-2 pages, single space). This is a group assignment. 7. Applied Assignment (50 points): This assignment is for GRADUATE AND CONTINUING EDUCATION (with an earned baccalaureate degree) students ONLY. Undergraduate students are NOT completing this assignment unless they have gotten permission from their advisor, the Graduate College and the course instructor to take the course for graduate credit. Each student (Graduate and CE students) selects 1 of 5 options for this assignment. Students should select the option that is most likely to support their application of theory to practice so the final product is useful in the actual services provided or to be provided to children and/or adolescents with ASD. Expected length of assignment depends on option chosen; however, students should consider an average of about 8-10 typed pages with references. This is an individual assignment.

Course Dates



Lafayette Hall L400 (View Campus Map)


to on Wednesday

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

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