Saint Joseph's University

SPE 722 Evidenced Based Practices, Assessment, and Instructional Methodologies

Discover the when, why and how of effective Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) practices.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

Format: Online

Duration: 16 weeks

Credits: 3 credits

When working with students with ASD, there are as many theories and opinions as there are behaviors within this highly complicated disorder. To the hopeful parents of a student with ASD, these possible treatments can be enticing. As an educator, your role is to effectively assess your student’s behavior and implement the most relevant evidence-based practices and methodologies to support student success.

This course focuses on the importance of using evidence-based practice in assessment, instruction, and implementation of interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  It includes a review of the theoretical basis for, and evaluation of, empirical evidence for screening and assessments, the continuum of interventions from traditional-behavioral to social-developmental-pragmatic, comprehensive program approaches and instructional strategies for use in the classroom.

Topics include the work of noted behaviorist B.F. Skinner and communication techniques with parents. With a hypothetical group of ASD students, you observe behaviors, family situations, and challenges that affect each one’s ability to learn and socialize. Through this activity, you gain the skills to know why and when to initiate effective practices, and how to evaluate the outcomes.

Sample Course Topics  

Throughout this course, weekly topics may include:

  • Evidence-Based Practice and Why It Matters
  • Evaluating the Evidence
  • Assessments
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Social-Developmental-Pragmatic Interventions
  • Comprehensive Program Approaches
  • Instructional Strategies
  • Challenging Behavior Interventions, Sensory/Motor Interventions, AAC Interventions, and Alternative Therapies
  • Collaboration and Teaming in ASD/Pseudoscience in ASD
  • Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in the Schools and Evidence-Based Practice in the Future

Examples of What You’ll Learn

Upon completing SPE 722, you will be able to:

  • Discuss legislation associated with requirements for evidence-based practice.
  • Determine whether or not an intervention is considered to have an established evidence base. Discuss why it is important for parents and professionals in the autism field to be critical intervention consumers.
  • Evaluate standardized assessments.
  • Explain the theory on which an intervention is based and the mechanisms of learning for behavioral interventions.
  • Research and evaluate evidence of behavioral interventions.
  • Explain the theories upon which comprehensive program approaches are based.
  • Adjust and provide for individual child needs (and strengths) within comprehensive program approaches.
  • Identify individual strategies that benefit students with ASD.
  • Determine which methods of treating challenging behaviors are appropriate for specific students with ASD.
  • Understand the educator’s role in implementing evidence-based practice in schools.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Education – Special Education curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University, including Evidenced Based Practices, Assessment, and Instructional Methodologies, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

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