Understanding autism

Learn about autism, a complex and challenging long-term condition for many individuals and their families worldwide, and an aspect of human diversity to others. This course, Understanding autism, introduces the autism spectrum, how it is experienced by different individuals and families, and why it is a global concern. The course explains how ideas about autism have evolved and explores diagnosis, causes, intervention and life-span development. Widely varying perspectives on autism are illustrated and key societal and cross-cultural issues highlighted.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • outline what is meant by autism, why it is considered a spectrum and how it affects different individuals and families
  • appreciate different approaches to understanding autism, including theoretical and clinical perspectives and personal accounts
  • outline key features of psychological, neurobiological and genetic explanations of autism
  • explain key aspects of diagnosis, intervention, education and life-span development
  • understand topical issues including neurodiversity perspectives, autism prevalence in women and autism in global context.

Free statement of participation on completion