TE7047 - Autism: Social Behaviour and Promoting Learning

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What will I learn on this module?

This module aims to promote learning and apply theory and best practices in behaviour self-management with individuals with autism. The module will help you to explore approaches to changing and developing new behaviour and the barriers to such implementation. In addition it will enable you to identify and promote more independent and competent behaviour and address appropriate forms of practice towards individuals with autism. You will be encouraged to find ways to support people with autism to manage their behaviour increase their social repertoires and decrease behaviours which prevent them from maximising learning and achieving full participation in society. You will examine critically the reasons for behaviours which challenge those working with individuals with autism. You will analyse the relationships which exist between communication and behaviour including social-emotional issues. You will develop an increased understanding of sensory issues and the relationship with behaviour and learning.

CONCEPTS: what is behaviour for, barriers to learning, structuring the environment, ASD as a behavioural diagnosis, social inclusion and the impact of autism spectrum disorders?
THEORY: analysis of behaviour,
PRACTICAL APPLICATION: functional analysis, early warning signs, triggers, antecedent conditions, self-regulation and consequences observation, audit, crisis management, sexuality, recognition and development of effective provision for people with ASD.
STUDY SKILLS: formulating ideas, collating and presenting information
ACTION PLAN: formulation and presentation of an action plan, including aims, goals strategies for change and procedures for evaluation.

How will I learn on this module?

Teaching methods will be geared to enabling students to gain appropriate skills in observation, formulation, evaluation, presentation and communication in order to use their knowledge in a practical way. Students will formulate and present a small scale ‘action plan’ for assessment.
Through the use of appropriate reflective methodology course participants will examine critical issues raised by their exploration of behaviour pertinent to their own practice, and that of their setting, and identify potential development opportunities.

Topic overviews and key concepts will be addressed in lectures, seminars and workshops where active and collaborative learning will be promoted in order to draw on the range of experience of the group and to allow you to contextualise new ideas and evidence into your own practice. There are no examinations, the course is assessed through assignments related to each of its modules. Students are required to select a topic relevant to their proposed area of study and/or your sphere of practice. The intention is that assessment will be both summative and diagnostic. It should provide a record of your learning achievements and indicate ways in which future development might be enhanced.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning will be supported in a variety of ways. Personal and email access to tutor throughout the semester and individual feedback on first draft as requested. Individual written feedback on assignment.
Small group tutorials and seminars.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• You will systematically identify, reflect upon and critically analyse of the impact of behaviour and the function of behaviours.
• You will critically appraise the relationship between communication difficulties and sensory differences in triggering behaviour and the need for teaching interpersonal skills.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• You will evaluate the contribution and role of theories and models of behaviour change in relation to people with autistic spectrum disorders;

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• You will have critically discussed the relationship between the holistic, complex and individual needs of children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders and related disabilities on the development of inclusive policy and practice;

How will I be assessed?

Students will undertake a written assignment based on the content of the module and relevant to their work or situation develop an action plan, including aims, goals and strategies for behaviour change (including environmental, attitude or policy change) and procedures for evaluation.

You will use your own title to focus your work. This provides opportunities for study in depth, for the exploration of underlying cause and meaning and for the evaluation of the impact of autism on behaviour. You will be required to relate your findings to theory and to indicate how your increased understandings will inform your future practice. Great care will be paid to ethical considerations in relation to any research undertaken and presented in this Module. You will be assessed on your ability to reflect critically upon and analyse practice in an informed and coherent way.

The written assignment will be of 4500 words + or – 10%.

Written feedback will be provided.


Students undertaking this module will normally have experience of working with children or adults with autism spectrum disorder in educational, health or family settings.


Understanding Autism TE7046
Autism-social behaviour and promoting learning TE7047

Module abstract

This module will develop your understanding of the key concepts in behaviour and autism and how these impact on learning. In addition, it will enable you to identify and address appropriate forms of practice towards individuals with autism. You will be encouraged to find ways to support people with autism to self-manage their behaviour, increase their self-calming skills and their social repertoires and decrease behaviours which prevent them from maximising learning and achieving full participation in society.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 3 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

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