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CASD 7317X/CBSE 7685T Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Childhood Years

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Professor Susan Longtin

About the Childhood Years

This unit includes the period from infancy (begging at birth) through the later childhood years (around age 12).  ASD is a developmental disorder that is usually  diagnosed in the "early childhood period."  Reliable diagnoses can usually be made the second or third year of life.  From birth until 3 years children with ASD are eligible to receive both clinical and educational services through Early Intervention (EI). From ages 3-5, identified children receive services through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).  After children have turned 5 and become school-age, they receive services through the Committee on Special Education (CSE). 

Unit IV Reading: Across the Lifespan: The Childhood Years

autism handbook volkmar1) Chawarska, K., Macari, S., Volkmar, F.R., Kim, S.H., & Shic, F. (2014). ASD in infants and toddlers. In Volkmar, F.R., Rogers, S.J., Paul, R., & Pelfrey, K.A. (Eds.)  Handbook on autism and pervasive developmental disorders, fourth edition, vol.1: Diagnosis, development, and brain mechanisms (pp. 121-147). NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This reading (chapter 5) addresses the symptoms of ASD in the early childhood years.  Patterns of development and early symptoms of the disorder are discussed.

2) Bauminger-Zviely, N. (2014). School-age children with ASD. In Volkmar, F.R., Rogers, S.J., Paul, R., & Pelfrey, K.A. (Eds.)  Handbook on autism and pervasive developmental disorders, fourth edition, vol.1: Diagnosis, development, and brain mechanisms (pp. 148-175). NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This reading (chapter 6) addresses the symptoms of ASD in the school-age years. Manifestations of the core challenge in social interaction pertain to socio-cognitive skills and social interactions and relationships. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities are also manifest at this stage.  In addition, cognitive-academic functioning can be compromised by challenges in executive function, intellectual ability, and reading comprehension.  

Documentaries on Autism in Childhood

Autism in the Schoolhouse

This three-minute animated video developed for the Autism in the Schoolhouse initiative of the Organization for Autism Research (OAR) is designed to teach elementary and middle school students about their peers with autism.  Additional resources in the series include a classroom poster, child friendly booklet, which expands on the information in the video, and a series of related lesson plans.

Magazines on Autism