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Public Health Approaches in Autism and Developmental Disabilities

East Baltimore
3rd term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Hybrid In-person and Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  3:30 - 4:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Dani Fallin

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:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 30% Participation
  • 30% Presentation(s)
  • 40% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

This is the onsite section of a course also held virtually/online. You are responsible for the modality in which you register.