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Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies

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Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies

Bring joy and meaning into the lives of autistic individuals through this collaborative, part-time program. Instructors lead the courses from lived experiences and evidence-based practices to help you increase your skill set when working with individuals with autism and their families.

What to expect from the program

As an online program, you can tune into immersive classes from the comfort of your home. You’re encouraged to bring your own wisdom and lived experience and learn from one another in addition to the instructor. By creating a community of practice, you can stay connected with fellow classmates throughout the program and continue to share knowledge and insights.

As with other Community Studies programs, NorQuest’s Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies continues the learning experience by taking a holistic approach. By analyzing the environment and community, our courses teach you how to improve the joy and wellbeing of individuals with autism.

Through a combination of applied and theoretical learning, you'll:

  • Acknowledge the diversity represented in those who have Autism Spectrum Disorder across the life span
  • Build positive relationships for work with individuals and their families
  • Apply evidence-base practices for supporting regulation, communication skills and sensory processing
  • Demonstrate professionalism and collaboration when working in a multi-disciplinary team
  • Advocate for individuals with mental health diagnoses
  • Develop and foster relationships in helping individuals develop regulation
  • Recognize and participate in planning for individuals who have co-occurring diagnosis within the context of multi-disciplinary teams
  • Participate in ongoing reflection of self-regulation and co-regulation as a professional

An optional field placement is also included in this program. You can gain 150 hours of work experience. Take the knowledge you learned in the classroom and apply it to real-life situations, such as:

  • Observation and data collection
  • Regulation and relationship-building
  • Encouraging meaning and joy

By gaining on-the-job training, you’ll also have the chance to reflect on and discuss practices, so you can deepen your understanding while making important industry connections.

Who is this program for?

Autism Spectrum Disorder Studies is a post-diploma program designed for students with previous knowledge and education in a range of backgrounds, including:

  • Disability studies alumni
  • Early learning and child care educators
  • Social workers
  • Teachers
  • Education assistants
  • Health-care practitioners

Career opportunities

The program will prepare graduates for employment in a number of careers in the Community Disability Sector Services field. These include opportunities in the non-profit sector and with departments in the provincial government, such as Children's Services and Persons with Developmental Disabilities.
Opportunities also exist to work with individuals and families directly.

Frequently asked questions 

Why does NorQuest use identity-first and person-first language?

At NorQuest, we are inclusive to both individual preferences and have chosen to use a mix of identity-first and person-first language.

Did NorQuest consult autistic individuals when creating this program?

Yes! We conducted research, inclusive of focus groups, evaluation surveys, and other discussion with Autistic individuals and their families in the community. Family members and care partners of nonspeaking autistic individuals were included in the conversation to represent the diversity within the community.

How was the program name decided?

The name of the program was put forth after considerable community consultation and has been approved by Advanced Education. While autism is clinically described as a disorder, we recognize and understand that having a neurodevelopmental disability and sometimes co-occurring conditions affects how an individual experiences the world around them. It means that autistic individuals may experience a different pathway, over time to achieve tasks in life. The program was designed for people working with or living with individuals with autism to create and deepen opportunities for autistic individuals to have meaning and joy.

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