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Course Hack
Autism Spectrum DisorderBy Patricia Schetter, UC Davis

In a Nutshell

Presented by Coursera in partnership with The UC Davis Mind Institute in California, this video-based course delivers an introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder, covering age-varying symptoms, tips and strategies, interviews, and case studies.

Favorite Quote

The earlier we start intervention, the better the prognosis... The earlier that we try and intervene and change learning, we change developmental trajectories. We think that's because there's much more developmental plasticity in young brains.

Dr. Robin Hansen, professor of pediatrics


As diagnosis rates for autism increase, so does the number of people seeking guidance.

But why are rates of autism increasing? What are the telltale signs to look out for in children and young adults? And how can parents, educators, and carers best offer support once a diagnosis has been made?

This five-week course by Coursera, in partnership with Sacramento's UC Davis Mind Institute, seeks to provide answers to the most common questions around Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD.

Presented by Patty Schetter, the institute's Behavior Analyst and Project Coordinator for Autism Education Initiatives, the course features interviews with doctors, professors, and other experts, as well as those diagnosed with autism and their caregivers.

The course stresses that while a spectrum disorder is by its nature a broad condition, ASD does nevertheless possess a core set of attributes.

Being able to reliably diagnose ASD means identifying a broadly typical set of weaknesses and strengths that can be managed with the right knowledge, resources, and support.

Here are the 3 key insights from this Hack

  1. 1.
    Autism Spectrum Disorder is caused by neuro-developmental factors that impact social communication skills and create repetitive behaviors
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