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Athabasca University e-Lab

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

The course Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder is currently in development as an iPad app by Dr. Linda Chmiliar, Assistant Professor Inclusive Education in the Centre for Social Sciences at Athabasca University.

Why the focus on Autism?

Currently more than 1 in 110 births are children who will experience symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The teachers and other educational professionals that will work with these children during their school years have little opportunity to receive training in how to work with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Why develop the course as an app?

We wanted the entire course content and activities to be accessible anywhere, anytime on the same device - even when they are in the classroom.

We wanted to incorporate interactivity and multimedia features that were available in the app format.

Course Features

The course makes extensive use of readily available multimedia embedded into the course content.  Participants can read and "see and experience" content.

The app also integrates online learning activities that are accessible from the app.  Participants view video presentations then respond to the content by answering questions and adding their own content.

An innovative addition to the app, is an interactive case study of a student with autism spectrum disorder.  In each part of the course, participants receive information about the student that corresponds to the content covered in the course.  Participants apply what they have just learned to the case and come up with solutions that are shared with others in the course.

An app prototype of the course is expected to be released shortly.

The prototype will be tested with several groups of individuals - all Autism Spectrum Disorder stakeholders.  Feedback will help to shape the final version of the course.