Autism Master’s Degree Program Courses

  • Foundations in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Policies and Ethics in Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Methods and Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Communication Strategies and Assistive Technologies for Autistic Patients

Courses in an autism master’s program are designed to prepare students for a broad range of exciting careers including positions as behavior specialists, autism spectrum disorder specialists, interventionists, and child advocates. In addition to a variety of general education coursework, students will be required to complete several career-related courses as well. Five of these courses can be found described briefly in the following sections.

Related resource: Top 25 Master’s in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Online

1. Foundations in Autism Spectrum Disorders

One of the most basic courses in an autism master’s program is known as Foundations in Autism Spectrum Disorders. This course is a prerequisite to many of the other courses required for an autism program and prepares students for more advanced studies. The main topics of Foundations in Autism Spectrum Disorders include theoretical foundations of ASDs, assessments of autistic persons, determining the eligibility of autistic persons for special needs programs, diagnosis of autistic clients, and the exceptional needs of persons with autism.

2. Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Another course that is typically required to earn an autism master’s degree is Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The main goal of this course is to provide students with knowledge and skills in behavior analysis with a special focus on working with autistic individuals. During this course, students will explore such topics as assessing clients’ needs, common tools used in interventions, intervention methods, evaluating and choosing appropriate intervention strategies, and monitoring client progress.

3. Policies and Ethics in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Professionals who choose to work with autistic clients must adhere to certain policies and ethical behavior as set by such organizations as the American Autism Society. Policies and Ethics in Autism Spectrum Disorders is a required course in autism degree programs that examines these issues. Specific areas of study in this class include ethical practices and legal policies associated with autistic clients, current trends in autistic treatments and procedures, creating and implementing individualized treatment plans, and advocacy for autistic clients.

4. Methods and Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorders

Methods and Assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorders is another course in an autism master’s degree program. Efficient assessments are crucial for the development of proper ASD treatment plans. Students who are enrolled in this course will learn how to assess autistic clients and determine the best methods of treatment based on each client’s unique needs. Special focus is given to treatment planning, assessment analysis, intervention strategies, and methods of adaption.

5. Communication Strategies and Assistive Technologies for Autistic Patients

Effective communication methods are essential when working with autistic persons. Communication Strategies and Assistive Technologies for Autistic Patients provides students with these all-important skills. While the name of this course may vary from one school to the next, it is included in all autism master’s programs. Examples of the topics covered in this course include effective ASD communication strategies, understanding communication behavior of ASD clients, and using assistive technology to enhance communication with autistic clients.

Students majoring in autism spectrum disorders will need to complete a broad range of general education and career-related courses to fulfill the requirements of their programs. And while there are several career-related courses in an autism master’s program, the five courses discussed above are among the most common.