AUTISM: Questions & Answers


[semester equivalent = 4.00 credits]



Michael Sedler



There are many students who appear to lack social understanding, have difficulties with communication and with basic learning skills.  The general term of “Autism” is often thrown about and quickly attached to these types of children. 
What is Autism?  What are the causes?  Is there a cure?  What other issues impact those children who are diagnosed and fall within the spectrum of Autism?   Different people with autism can have very different symptoms. 
In this course, we will learn about Autism, gain a greater medical understanding of Autism, understand characteristics and causes, as well as focus on intervention approaches and learning models that assist children within the school setting.
This course will assist anyone working with children who show characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Whether you are an educator, a parent, a relative, or simply someone who wants more understanding about this complex and confusing disorder, this course will give you a solid knowledge base.
This is a course designed for all educators working within the school setting, Pre-school through High School.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

1. Recognized key characteristics of disorders discussed in class.
2. Listed numerous types of autism and share a greater understanding of each one.
3. Developed effective intervention approaches for children identified within the Autism Spectrum.
4. Modified curriculum to meet the special needs of children with Autism and other areas of needs.
5. Identified various methods of interventions and how they apply to varying disorders.
6. Analyzed a case study, develop interventions, and provide appropriate levels of academic activities.
7. Looked up disorders within the DSM-IV and understand general medical diagnosis information as well as purposes of medications for disorders.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



You may choose a book from the Bibliography OR Select a relevant book on your own, with my prior approval.
The Bibliography is located at the end of the syllabus. 
Text books may be ordered directly from the publisher (see the list/phone numbers at the back of your manual), online, or through bookstores. 

None. All reading is online.


A course manual may be downloaded, from the instructor’s website at There is no charge of the manual. Click on classes, from there scroll down the page and click on the orange lettering ‘Manual’ next to the class “Autism...”. It will download as a PDF. While there is no fee for the manual, you may have to pay to order a book from the bibliography or one of your own choosing. Or, you may borrow one from a friend or check one out at the public library for free.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read the entire manual and send a one page summary of what you hope to learn in this class. Everyone taking the class, including in groups, must complete this assignment. Download the current manual from my website.

Assignment #2: Read A Book Of Your Choice

Read a book from the bibliography or one of student's choice. If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 

Critique the book based on personal experiences and insights.  Write a 2-3 page paper.

Assignment #3: Research Concerning Autism.

Input the word "autism" into an on line search engine and read several articles or web-sites on autism.
Write a 2 page summary of the reading.

Assignment #4: Read The Manual Article

Read the article ’10 things every child with Autism wish you knew’ (pgs 11-14).  Pick 2-3 areas listed and write a 2 page summary sharing your personal thoughts and experiences. 

Assignment #5: Intervention Approaches page

After reading “Intervention Approaches, Pt. 1” (pgs. 27-29), choose one area, implement the approach, and write a 1-2 page summary.

Assignment #6: Discussion with Another Professional.

Discuss the topic of autism with one person involved with Autism and with a person that is not in the field of Autism. Compare and contrast knowledge between the two people.  Send 2 page summary.

Assignment #7: Further Research

Do further research on a topic of 'comorbidity in autism' (pgs. 42-43) to gain further knowledge. Write a 1-2 page paper on your chosen topic.

Assignment #8: Read Second Manual Article

After reading the article "Autism Spectrum Disorder" found in the back of the manual (pgs. 46-51), send a 2 page response.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #9: Autism Journaling.

Keep a journal for one week (7 days, minimum of one paragraph per day) of general learning and life
observations on the topic of Autism. Learning may come through this class, media outlets (TV,
newspaper, magazines, internet) or connection with individuals. Send your journal or write up a 1-2 summary of the journal.

Assignment #10: Sharing With Another Educator

Choose two interventions that you gained additional knowledge about from this class. Share about them
with another educator (or individual). Write a 2 page summary of your discussion.

Assignment #11: Lesson Development

Assignment #A:

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
Write a 2 page commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
Include any student feedback on your lesson.


Assignment #B: 

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

Develop a lesson to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
Write a 2 page summary concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.

Assignment #12: (500 Level ONLY)

In addition to the 400 level assignments complete one (1) of the following options:

Option A)  Mentor another individual in the concepts of this class. Have them share two or three key concepts that they would like to implement within their work or social setting.  Develop a plan for the implementation of these ideas.  (1-2 pages).




Option B)  Create a PowerPoint presentation for your staff based on this course and focused on perspectives or strategies you feel would be beneficial for your school. Minimum of 15 slides.  Save this as a pdf.




Option C)  Another assignment of your own design, with instructor prior approval.


Assignment #13: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Mike Sedler, M.S.W., D. Min., brings over 40 year of educational experience as a special education director, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.   He provides consultation and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses. He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification. Mike has worked with children of all ages, specifically with children exhibiting behavioral challenges, mental health concerns, and characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder.  In addition, he taught general education classes in the elementary school and middle school arenas.   All of Mikeʼs classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found success in implementing Mikeʼs clear and concise approaches. All of his course material may be immediately implemented into a school or a home.


AUTISM: Questions & Answers

You may choose a book from this list or one of your own choosing that is compatible to this course. Please let the instructor know if you choose a book that is not on this list.

Brown, Thomas.  ADHD and Asperger Syndrome in Smart Kids and Adults.  Routledge, 2021.  Explores the complexities of ADHD and Asperger’s.   (P-12). 

Crowder, Amanda and Weed Phifer, Lisa. CBT Toolbox for Children and Teens Bundle. PESI Publishing, 2019.  Worksheets and activities to help students work through emotions (grades 3-12).

Grandin, Temple and Richard Panek.  The Autistic Brain.  Boston, MA.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2014. 800.225.5425.   An explanation of the brain, genetics and causes of Autism along with treatment suggestions.

Grandin, Temple.  Visual Thinking.  Riverhead Books, 2023.  Opening up the world of visual thinking.  (P-12).

Higashida, Naoki.  The Reason I Jump: The inner voice of a 13 year old boy with autism.  Random House Publishing, 2016.  Explains Autism from a personal perspective.  (P-12).

Magro, Kerry.   Supporting Your Autism Journey.  Independently Published, 2024.  Helping individuals understand ASD.  (P-12)

Miller, Kelli.  Thriving With ADHD Workbook For Teens. Rockridge Press, 2020   Activities to help students regulate. (6-12 grade).

Price, Devon.  Unmasking  Autism.  Harmony Publishing, 2022.  Understanding neurodiversity and ASD.  (P-12) 

Prizant, Barry.  Uniquely Human.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2022.  A common sense book with strategies for interventions and stories to assist in understanding.  

Tompkins, Michael.  Social Anxiety Relief For Teens.  Instant Help, 2021.  A simple 5 step process to help reduce anxiety and fears.  (P-12).