Category Archives: Lecture

TED talks on Autism and other child & family topics

maxresdefault copyDo you want to listen to ideas worth spreading? is a website devoted to global conferences where experienced and respected people share their thoughts and ideas with the world. The TED annual conference series began in 1990, and since June 2006 the talks have been offered for free online viewing through the website, which now has over 2,400 talks. Altogether, the talks have been watched over one billion times worldwide.

A great talk to start with is ‘How autism freed me to be myself‘ by 16 year old Rosie King, who challenges stereotypes of people with autism and contextualizes the issue by asking us, “Why be normal?” Rosie’s talk is only 6 minutes long, but has been viewed well over one million times and has both a transcript and multi-lingual subtitles. There are currently seven other TED talks on autism at

Other child & family areas to browse within the video library include:

Play (14 talks)

Family (19 talks)

Parenting (26 talks)

Children (92 talks)

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. TED’s speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. You can download most TED Talks in MP4 or MP3 format either directly from the website or through the TED app, which allows you to watch talks offline from your mobile device, although you will need to first download the TED app via iTunes or Google Play. This is great if you have a slow internet connection or you want to watch Talks when you’re travelling.80x15


Autistic Spectrum – three more free online courses

3492401705_0fe96f78c5_qUse 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:

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.

Ribbon byBeverly & Pack

Evidence-based Interventions in Juvenile Justice

This 1 hour lecture published on 24 Nov 2011 is from a series of Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures at Oxford University.

Professor Mark Lipsey (Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University, USA) discusses evidence-based interventions in Juvenile Justice: Concepts, Research, Practice, and Frontiers. The lecture can be downloaded and kept as either a 30MB mp3 audio or 521MB mp4 video.

This lecture is published with a licence that allows it to be edited, for example if you only want to play a short passage. However, I was frustrated that Mark Lipsey repeatedly refers to a diagram that the viewer is not shown!


Creative Commons Licence