Emerging as Leaders in Autism Practice & Research


College of Rehabilitation Sciences








16 Months


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

Course Title Credits
OT 751 Neuroscience Foundations for Practice 3
OT 761 Autism: The State of the Field 3
OT 766 Assessment and Intervention Strategies for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
OT 770 Knowledge Translation to Promote Best Practice 3

Course Descriptions

3 Credits

This course introduces the student to the specialized field of neuroscience. A review of the structure and function of the nervous system will provide the foundation for system neuroscience. Students will cover sensory and motor systems, neuroplasticity and higher-level cognitive functions. Students will participate in learning experiences to integrate knowledge of neuroscience as a foundation for practice.

3 credits

This course is designed to provide an overview of ASD including diagnosis, etiology, and core and associated features in order to understand how these impact participation for individuals on the spectrum and their families. Students will investigate the specific issues of ASD that manifest at particular times across the lifespan including early childhood, school-age, adolescence and adulthood. Finally, these topics will lead into in an overview of and practice with the Data Driven Decision Making Process in occupational therapy practice to provide quality, occupation-centered care to individuals with ASD and their families.

 3 credits

This course focuses on assessment and intervention strategies for those with autism across the lifespan. Common assessments used for making a diagnosis of ASD, as well as assessment measures for individuals with ASD used to identify factors impacting participation in home, school, play and community activities are included.  Selection of evidence-based interventions that include the client and therapist perspectives are addressed. Through use of the Data Driven Decision Making process, students analyze assessment data to design interventions for persons with ASD and consider their application into practice.

3 Credits

This course provides clinicians with an introduction to practical knowledge translation theories and methods that are used to promote integration of new research knowledge and best practices in a variety of practice settings and circumstances. A primary focus of the course is to identify a theory and key strategies to encourage application of the student's learning within previous coursework in their practice setting.