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Course Catalog

330.700.01 Public Health Approaches in Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Mental Health
3rd term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Dani Fallin
Course Instructors:

The course should be of use to anyone interested in a broad overview of autism epidemiological and etiological research and the methods employed, including public health professionals and those who must translate research findings in the clinical or educational setting. Thus, targeted audiences include students, academic faculty, public health, clinical, educational and programmatic professionals interested in autism.

Examines public health approaches to the assessment, etiology, services, and policy issues related to autism and developmental disabilities. Introduces the state of the science of autism and developmental disabilities epidemiology, and emerging questions for Public Health. Includes presentations and discussions of current information on descriptive epidemiology, genetics, environmental risk factors, and prognosis of ASD. Presents research on long-term outcomes in individuals with ASD. Provides an overview of research progress to date and points to challenges as we work to learn more about this enigmatic neurodevelopmental disability.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the history and diagnostic criteria for autism and developmental disabilities
  2. Discuss measurements and assessments of ASD, and evidence supporting competing theories about rising prevalence
  3. Assess existing evidence for demographic and environmental risk factors for autism and developmental disabilities
  4. Recognize promising avenues for genetic research while being mindful of remaining challenges
  5. Summarize status and challenges of global public health efforts for autism and developmental disabilities
  6. Identify areas of public health research and practice that can inform ASD prevention, identification, treatment, and services
Methods of Assessment:

Discussion participation (30%). Students will be asked to submit a discussion question prior to each session and will be expected to participate in the discussions after each lecture.
Student individual presentations (30%). Students will give a 10 minute presentation on one of the suggested presentation papers.
Final exam (40%). The exam will be in short answer format, given during the penultimate course session and reviewed during the final course session.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required