Unit One: Understanding Autism


What is Autism?

Sometimes when people hear the word "autism", they automatically assume that you are talking about an intellectually disabled person. This is not necessarily true and you may be surprised to learn that many people with autism do not have an intellectual disability at all. Some other common stereotypes about people with autism are that they have low IQ's, cannot speak, can not attend a "regular school", and are misbehaved. Every person with autism is unique, and there is not just one way to classify them. It is important to understand what autism is and how it affects individuals in order to see beyond common stereotypes. It's important to recognize that people with autism have a right to learn and have the ability to.

Unit Learning Objectives

After this unit, you will be able to:

  • Define autism
  • List statistics for autism
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of autism
  • State the causes of autism
  • Discuss how autism is diagnosed and treated
  • Answers frequently asked questions about autism


Step 1: Print out the K-W-L chart. Fill in the first two columns listing what you already know about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and what you would like to learn about ASD. File:KWL Chart- Understanding Autism.pdf

Step 2: View the PowerPoint presentation on autism spectrum disorder. File:ASD PowerPoint.pdf

Step 3: Print out and Complete the twenty-question quiz on autism. File:Autism Quiz.pdf

Step 4: Use the answer key to check your answers to the quiz. Fill in the number of answers you had correct on the bottom of your quiz. File:Answer Key to Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder Quiz.pdf

Step 5: Fill in the third column of your K-W-L chart listing what you learned about autism. If there was something that you wanted to learn but didn't, list this in the discussion forum.

When you are finished, please move on to Unit Two: Using Media to Develop your Understanding of Autism

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