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. 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. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s 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.


There are no additional fees. Once you register, log onto the instructor’s website at Click on Classes, then scroll down and click on Autism: Questions & Answers manual. The manual will download as a PDF file to your computer.



Assignment #1: Read the Manual.

Read the entire manual for this course.
If you are taking this course in a group, each person is to read the entire manual.

Assignment #2: Complete All Worksheets In the Manual.

Complete all the worksheets in the manual.
They are designated with a “Send To Instructor” in bold letters. You may scan them and send as an email attachment (, or send them to me via U.S. Mail. Subject Line to read ʻAutism #2.ʼ

Assignment #3: Research Concerning Autism.

Go online and search out the word “Autism.” 
Read several articles or web sites on this topic. 
Send a 2-page summary of your reading.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Autism #3.’

Assignment #4: Read a book.

Read a book youʼve chosen and write a 2-3 page paper about something you learned that you didnʼt know before. You may choose any book from this bibliography or a book of your own. One particular book of interest is the book, Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders by Roger Pierangelo.
  NOTE: If taking this course in a group, each person should read a book.  Only one person needs to write a summary. 
  Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ‘Autism #4.’

Assignment #5: Read an Article.

After reading the article Autism Spectrum Disorder found at the end of the manual, write a 1 to 2 page summary.
Send to instructor: mike@communicationplus.netSubject Line to read ʻAutism #5.ʼ

Assignment #6: Discussion with Another Professional.

Discuss the topic of Autism with another professional (education, medical, therapeutic).
Obtain a general sense of their understanding of autism, characteristics, and interventions.

Assignment #7: Discussion with an Outsider.

Discuss the topic of Autism with someone outside the professional realm.
Compare and contrast the understanding of Autism between the two people in Assignments #6 and #7.
Send a two (2) page summary to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻAutism #7.ʼ

Assignment #8: Key Concepts Discussion.

From the book selected in assignment #4, choose three to five (3-5) key concepts.
Write out the concepts and share these, in a discussion, with a colleague.



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 are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

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 direct connection with individuals. 
Copy or scan and
Send to instructor:  Subject line to read ʻAutism #9.ʼ

Assignment #10: Focus on Interventions.

Choose two (2) interventions that you gained additional knowledge about from this class. Share these ideas with another educator.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ʻAutism #10.ʼ

Assignment #11: Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Go on-line, to a library, or other reference setting and read two (2) articles that focus on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 
Write a 1 to 2 page summary from one article.
Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ʻAutism #11.ʼ

Assignment #12: Lesson Development.

   Assignment #12:  You must choose either “A” or “B”  (Required for 400 and 500 Level) 

Assignment #A: (SEND commentary to Instructor)

  • 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.

(The following is encouraged but not required):

Assignment #B:  (SEND lesson and summary to Instructor)
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.

 (The following is encouraged but not required):

  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog prior to writing your article.

  • Please email a copy to Yvonne Hall ( THI blog curator and media specialist. 

  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 

  • Subject line to read: (Course Name, Blog)

Send to instructor:, Subject Line to read ʻAutism #12 (A or B.)ʼ

Assignment #13: (500 level only)








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

Option A)  Choose another book from the Bibliography and write a 3-page commentary.

Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ʻAutism #13-A.


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.

Save this as a PDF

Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ʻAutism #13-B.ʼ


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

Send to instructor: Subject Line to read ʻAutism #13-C.ʼ


Assignment #14: (Required for 400 and 500 Level)

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

  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?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Please indicate by email to the instructor if you would like to receive comments on your assignments.


Mike Sedler, D.Min., M.S.W. brings over 30 years of educational experience as an administrator, social worker, behavior specialist and teacher to each of his classes.  

He provides consultation services and seminars throughout the United States and Canada for schools, agencies and businesses.  He has been teaching “adult learning classes” since the mid 1980’s and has had the privilege of working for The Heritage Institute for over 25 years. 

He has a graduate degree in Social Work, a Doctoral degree in Ministry, a Counseling license, as well as his teaching certification (K-8).  His combination of classroom experience, behavior intervention approaches, and involvement in working with hundreds of families allows for an excellent blend in all his classes.

Mike is passionate about children and emphasizes the importance of avoiding power struggles, offering options/choices to children, setting clear boundaries and guidelines as well as finding a place of positive engagement and connection with each individual.  His heart for people and emphasis on positive communication are found throughout his seminars and classes.

All of Mike’s classes are practical and “field tested” in schools and classrooms. Educators have found ongoing success in implementing Mike’s clear and concise approaches.


AUTISM: Questions & Answers

You may choose any book from this Bibliography or a book of your own.
Ansell, Gill. Working with Aspergerʼs Syndrome in the Classroom. New York, NY. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010.  866-416-1078.
Strategies to support children in the classroom.
Beytien, Alyson.  Autism Every Day.  Arlington, TX: Future Horizons, 2012. 800-489-0727
Professional and personal approach to practical ideas for Autism.
Boroson, Barbara.  Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Inclusive Classroom.  Scholastic Teaching Resources, 2016.  800-724-6527.
Caldwell, Alice.  Autism: Communicating While Impaired.  Amazon Digital Services, 2015.
Explains areas of communication and the importance of interacting effectively with ASD individuals.
Carbone, Paul and Rosenblatt, Alan.  Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Every Parent Needs To Know.  Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012  866-843-2271
Helping families to assist their children as they negotiate this difficult disorder.
Elven, Hejlskov. No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming. New York, NY. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010. 866-416-1078.
Strategies to reduce aggression.
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.
Notbhohm, Ellen and Veronica Zysk.  1001 Great Ideas For Teaching And Raising Children With Autism. Future Horizons, 2012. 800-489-0727
Quick ideas and interventions for children with special needs.
Pierangelo, Roger and George Giuliani. Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2008. 800-233-9936.
Step by step format to help children gain a greater independence in academics and social skills.
Price, Sara Elliott.  Asperger Syndrome Explained.  Success Life Publishing, Amazon Digital.  2014.
A straight forward book on understanding Asperger’s syndrome.
Prizant, Barry.  Uniquely Human.  New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 2015.  800-223-2336
A common sense book with strategies for interventions and stories to assist in understanding.
Sicile-Kira. Chantai.  Autism Spectrum Disorder.  New York, NY: Penguin books, 2014.  800-733-3000. 
A solid overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Wylie, Philip.  Very Late Diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.  Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2014.   215-922-1161.
A timely resource to investigate late diagnosis and how it impacts individuals, jobs, and families.