Use your computer to study the Autism Spectrum from home, with these free high-quality courses.
1. Autism Internet Modules (AIM) by Ohio’s Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
The AIM project provides parents and professionals with the up-to-date information needed to help individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders achieve their highest potential. To this end, OCALI offer 43 comprehensive & sophisticated modules, alongside their free textbook the ‘Ohio’s Parent Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders‘ which features in the training. There’s a one-off free enrolment required to access these excellent resources.
2. Autism Training Modules from The Thompson Center at Missouri University
The Thompson Center offers five free online training modules to individuals wanting to learn more about autism. The modules were developed by the Mid-Missouri Rapid Response Initiative, a project funded by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities. The five modules topics are:
* Autism in young children
* The screening and referral process
* Evidence-based practices and interventions
* Transitions to adulthood, and
* Building the family-professional partnership.
The five modules feature slides, videos and quizzes, and as with the OCALI modules above, there’s a one-off free enrolment required to access the modules.
3. Yale’s Autism and Related Disorders
This 2010 initiative by Frank Volkmar at Yale University’s Child Study Center offers free undergraduate course materials to anyone wishing to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is divided into eleven topics and comprises PowerPoints, videos, audios and some readings. No enrolment is required, and the project is released under a Creative Commons license. The resources offered by Yale are of very high quality, but unfortunately some of the recommended core readings are in expensive books or subscription journals, making them inaccessible to many ordinary people.
How do these compare?
Previously, in Autistic Spectrum: Free e-learning modules, I covered three courses by the Geneva Centre for Autism, The UK Open University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). These are all still available, so which should you choose? Here’s how I would position them:
- The Thompson Center Autism training modules – smallest and easiest.
- OCALI’s Autism Internet Modules – a broad range, similar in style to those of the Geneva Centre for Autism.
- Yale’s Autism and Related Disorders – comparable with those from MIT and the Open University.
My current overall favourite is the range from the Geneva Centre for Autism, for their attractive and engaging presentation, their bi-lingual versions and their release with a Creative Commons license.
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