The aims of the Autism (Children) programme are to give students knowledge of the autism spectrum, based on theory, research and practice. It aims to develop skills in identifying and meeting the needs of children and young people and to improve the student’s awareness of different approaches and models of service delivery (particularly in the area of education). Taking the perspective of the individual child or young person on the autism spectrum is paramount, and listening to parents, carers and families on what they need and value is also stressed.
The modules are sequential; information in Module 2 building on the prior unit. In the second year, you may stay within the autism field by taking a double project (which is all that is needed at Level H for a BPhil, followed by the dissertation of 10,000 words). Masters students may also do a double project module, but in addition they need to do one or two other subject modules, which may be the second module from the Autism (Children) programme of study or a module on Challenging Behaviour and Autism, for example. MEd students then take the research module (PIE) followed by a 15,000 word dissertation.
I have concluded over my many years of involvement with ‘combo kids’ that it is rare indeed to achieve this. Also, there is an increased danger that if a child slips through the cracks, s/he will be misdiagnosed when inevitably they find themselves in front of a psychologist and/or psychiatrist, in their later years (early adulthood). Far too many times I have met adults who have been misdiagnosed with either BPD, Bipolar, or schizophrenia etc.
The lucky ones manage to acquire the correct diagnosis eventually. What a difference this makes to their life…understanding/knowledge generally leads to increased tolerance and a willingness to make accommodations if/when limitations caused by the underlying condition/s of the family member ‘get in the way’ of interpersonal interactions & expectations. I truly believe in early intervention, as it helps cut down on the angst & plummeting self-esteem over the ‘developing’ years….so please keep searching if you feel there is a ‘poor fit’ to any diagnosis you may be given by a “professional”. They don’t always get it right – Your family & you, know YOU best!!!