Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy

Curriculum

The curriculum consists of four graduate-level courses (a total of 12 credits) that can be used toward a Master’s or Doctoral degree.

Course Title

Credits

OT 761 Autism: The State of the Field

3

OT 762 Assessment Strategies for Individuals with Autism

3

OT 763 Lifespan Intervention for Autism Across Practice Contexts

3

OT 764 Autism: Treating the Whole Person in Context

3

Course Descriptions

OT 761 Autism: The State of the Field (3 credits)

This course will provide a survey of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) from behavior to brain mechanisms based in current research and expert opinion. Students will explore evidence from research and practice to obtain current medical, educational, therapeutic and behavioral treatments available for individuals with ASD. Includes opportunities to learn from the experts via virtual attendance at the National Autism Conference.

OT 762 Assessment Strategies for Individuals with Autism (3 credits)

An introduction to the common assessment tools used to characterize and diagnose autism, including:

  • ADOS
  • ADI-R
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales
  • Social Responsivity Scale
  • Social Communication Questionnaire

This course also includes assessment typically used by occupational therapists to assess the strengths and needs of individuals with autism.

OT 763 Lifespan Intervention for Autism Across Practice Contexts (3 credits)

This course provides students with knowledge and skills necessary to plan and implement interventions to increase the participation of clients with autism in education, work and leisure/recreation occupations in home and community settings. Students learn to design interventions based on the integration of published research and other data, with an emphasis on occupational therapy approaches and client/therapist perspectives. Synchronous and asynchronous discussions are used to facilitate learning.

OT 764 Autism: Treating the Whole Person in Context (3 credits)

This course focuses on implementing assessment and intervention strategies to a self-chosen case of an individual with autism. Students will plan, implement and work through a case report using the systematic format outlined by McEwen (2001). Each case report will include the:

  • Description of population
  • Issues associated with this disability (e.g. difficulty participating in family or community activities due to lack of behavioral control)
  • Disability associated with this population (e.g. poor sensory processing, poor behavioral control)
  • Assessment(s) used
  • Treatment plan
  • Outcome measures 
  • Outcomes and their effects on occupational performance and participation in life activities

Students present their case report to the class early in the process for feedback and input and then write a scholarly report to disseminate their findings. Students are required to submit their case report for publication or present it in a scholarly venue.