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CASD 7317X/CBSE 7685T Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Across the Lifespan

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders, Professor Susan Longtin

About Across the Lifespan

Illustration to Autism as a lifelong developmental disability


Autism is a lifelong developmental disability. This unit spans the early (infant, toddler, and preschool) years and (school and middle) childhood years, adolescence and young adulthood, as well as the middle and later adult years. Working with families and partnerships will also be addressed. To find information on specific age groups navigate to tabs under this heading in the drop down menu above.

Unit IV Reading: Across the Lifespan: Overview

autism handbook volkmar1) 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) 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.  

3) This reading (chapter 8) addresses multiple issues facing adults with ASD including the transition from secondary education to college or employment, identification of ASD in adulthood, and family and intimate relationships.

4) This reading (chapter 4) addresses the outcomes of adults with ASD and includes the topics of supported employment, mental health, mortality, life expectancy and quality of life.

Helpful Links on Issues Across the Lifespan

Michael John Carley

Tomorrow: Childhood Bullying

Tomorrow” is a brief (less than 2 minutes) dramatic black and white film about the fears, regrets, worries and loss of self-esteem of an adolescent male who is bullied.  The film was developed for an anti-bullying week campaign.