Learn About Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders are a group of developmental disabilities that can affect the way individuals:
  • understand and use language to interact and communicate with people
  • understand and relate in typical ways to people, events, and objects in the environment
  • understand and respond appropriately to sensory stimuli–pain, hearing, taste, etc.
  • learn and think similar to typically developing children
ASD’s are “Spectrum Disorders”. Which means that people with an ASD will be affected in different ways ranging from very mild to severe. Individuals with ASD’s share some similiar symptoms and characteristics such as difficulty with social interactions. There are however differences in when symptoms start, how severe they are and the exact nature of the symptoms. (CDC, 2009)

Autism exists on a continuum from mild to severe. Learning, responding, and thinking differences result in confusion, frustration, and anxiety expressed in withdrawal, repetitive behaviors, and, sometimes, in aggression or self-injury.

Autism can co-occur with other disabilities.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, All children with ASD demonstrate deficits in:

  • Social Interaction
  • Verbal and Nonverbal Comunication
  • Repetitive Behaviors or Interests

To learn more about Autism Online you can visit the following websites:

Autism Internet Modules

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Autism Internet Modules (AIM): The Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network has partnered with the Ohio Center for Autism, the Autism Society of America, the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, and the Geneva Centre for Autism, to support the development of a variety of user friendly, free, web training modules on issues related to autism spectrum disorders.
National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD

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The National Professional Development Center uses rigorous criteria to determine whether a practice is evidence-based. Currently, the Center has identified 24 evidence-based practices. Please note that every identified practice is not necessarily appropriate for every learner. Practices are most effective when carefully matched to a learner?s specific needs and characteristics.
iCAN: Interactive Collaborative Autism Network

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Started in Fall 2000, the site has been developed to disseminate information about characteristics, assessment, and research-based interventions and services for children and youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Autism Society of America: What is Autism?

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Includes a short on-line course on Autism.
The course covers the following areas:
- Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Treatment Options
- Treatment Assistance
- Transition to Adulthood
- More Information and Resources
The PDA Center: Professional Development in Autism Center

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The Professional Development in Autism Center (PDA) provides training and support for school districts, families and communities to ensure that students with ASD have access to high quality, evidence-based educational services in his or her local school district. The PDA Center has 6 sites located around the country that provide training and support to schools and families in providing services for students with ASD. They also offer an introductory on-line course about autism.
Illinois Autism Training & Technical Assistance Project

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This video content is a basic introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) appropriate for family members, school personnel including teacher assistants and general education staff as well as community members who want to learn about this increasingly prevalent disorder and basic effective strategies for interacting with individuals with ASD.