Autism: Atypical Mind

5 Hours

DPSS Approvals: Autism: Atypical Mind

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects language and behavior. Autism is also a state of mind that comes with many unique ways of thinking and seeing the world different from the neurotypical mind. Students will learn how autism was first discovered by Leo Kanner, Hans Asperger, and Lorna Wing. Dr. Wing’s landmark work conceptualized autism as a spectrum disorder with a Triad of Impairments. Course content will show how Sally Ozonoff Ph.D., a developmental psychologist, is conducting research to identify autism and intervene as early as 12 months. A video from The Kennedy Krieger Institute will show differences in how normal vs autistic toddlers move through developmental milestones. Temple Grandin, author educator, and spokesperson for autism provides fascinating insights into autism through her work with animals.

The course will look at CDC statistics that show a dramatic rise in the rate of autism and possible explanations. A course in autism is not complete without examining the mythical link between autism and vaccinations. Students will learn how horses and dogs can have a dramatic and positive impact on people with autism. A course on autism is not complete without understanding work on facial cues and Simon Baron Cohen’s fascinating theory of Mind Blindness.

Students will learn how autism was discovered and how during the 60’s Bruno Bettelheim gained fame for his view that autism was caused by a refrigerator mother.
Students will learn how autism is a disorder of communication and language that has a genetic basis.

Students will look at research that shows key differences in the brains of people with autism and those with a normal brain.
Students will learn the science of early detection and intervention.
Students will learn how robots are used to facilitate communication with people who have autism.

Student will learn the importance of paying attention to the nonverbal behaviors of people with autism as a means to understand their behavior.
Student will gain insight into the work of Simon Baron Cohen and his theory of Mind Blindness.
Students will learn how behaviors displayed by individuals with autism are communication.
Students will learn the fallacy of the causal link between vaccinations and autism.

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