Course Description

Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector - CPD

Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector - CPD is a course run by The Open College, Dublin. It is a Online Learning course with a duration of 8 Weeks. Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector - CPD gives a Course Qualification of CPD. For more information about Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector - CPD at The Open College, please review the details below.

This unique Open College designed Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector continuous personal development (CPD) course will equip the learner with the necessary knowledge about ASD in Early Childhood.

It will endeavour to provide information about the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the indications of the disorder within a child and signs and symptoms that are related to the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  The assessments in place for a child showing signs or symptoms of the disorder will be discussed.

A review of the Support available when a child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) will be completed along with an introduction / discussion about Inclusion Issues that may arise for a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how each child can be helped.

Each student will gain a full understanding about the Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Students will be introduced signs and symptoms of the disorder, methods of Assessment of the disorder, supports available once diagnosed along with introduction to inclusion issues and overall how a child with Autism can be helped to develop.

Students will learn how a child with Autism can learn to be a part of everyday life and learn within the Early Years Sector and in Primary School.  They will recognise the importance of communication and availability of activities, so that activities and resources can be individually catered for each child depending on their abilities and developmental stage.


Who should study this course?

  1. This course is suitable for all Early Childhood Education and Care Practitioners.
  2. People studying existing QQI Childcare or Special Needs Assisting Courses.
  3. Those working in the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector and in Primary Education as SNA’s.
  4. Or those who wish to gain additional CPD awards for working with Children in the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector.


Topics Covered Include:

Unit One: What is Autism?

  • Introduction to what Autism is – Incidence, Prevalence, Sex ratio and a Statistical Review of the of the Diagnosis of Autism in Ireland today.


Unit Two: History of Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Introduction to the History / discovery of Autism first described by Theorist Leo Kanner in 1943.
  • A discussion relating to the description of Autism leading to the foundation for the Diagnosis of Autism in Children.
  • Introduction to the three main subtypes of Autism of which Autism Spectrum Disorder is comprised.
  • A review of the Legislation introduced in Ireland to protect the rights of Children with Additional Needs – to include the Education Act 1998, the National Disability Authority Act 1999, the EPSEN Act 2004 and the Disability Act 2005.


Unit Three: Understanding Autism

  • An introduction to Understanding Autism – The Group of Disorders that make up Pervasive Development Disorders.
  • A review of the Learning Strengths of Children with Autism followed by a discussion of what Causes Autism.


Unit Four: Autism Spectrum Disorder – A Developmental Disorder 

  • Introduction to the Autism Spectrum Disorder as a Developmental Disability, highlighting that Autism is diagnosed by identifying differences in 3 Core Developments – Social Interaction, Social Communication and Social Imagination.


Unit Five: Cognitive Theories of Autism

  • This unit highlights how people with Autism Spectrum Disorder perceive, process and understand the world around them.
  • A discussion about Cognitive Theories of Autism which may affect a child with Autism to function on a day to day basis with some level of independence along with Executive Function Deficit, Deficit in Motor Skills and Sensory Difficulties all can act as an impairment in the sophisticated cognitive tools hindering navigation of day-to-day life.
  • This unit includes recommendations of Sensory Activities to aid a Child with Autism.


Unit Six: How can Autism be managed?

  • This unit is a discussion about Teaching and Learning considerations which can be made for Children with Autism – for Social interaction, Social Communication and Social Imagination with an additional focus on the difficulty of Transitions.
  • Learning and Therapy Programmes offered by Professionals including the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Access & inclusion Model (AIM) are reviewed.
  • The unit ends with the Positives of Autism.


Entry Requirements / Prerequisites:

  • Level 4 Certificate or equivalent qualifications and/or relevant life and work experiences.
  • As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative.
  • If you take this course by eLearning you will need basic IT skills and have access to broadband.



There is no formal assessment on this CPD course. Tests are within each of the course sections.


Course Link:

The Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector - CPD course at The Open College is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderThe Open College
Course LocationLeopardstown, Dublin
Location PostcodeDublin 18
Course TypeOnline Learning
Course QualificationCPD
Awarding Body DetailsAutism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector from The Open College
Course Duration8 Weeks
Course TimeThis Autism Spectrum Disorder in the Early Years Sector course is completed through Online Learning and there are no lectures to attend. Students can complete this CPD course within 30 hours but have a total of 8 weeks to complete it and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient. If students need to extend this period for any reason during or near the end of the course they can request an extension through the college.
Course Fee99.00
Phone+353 1 2061828
Course CodeASD19
For more information about The Open College, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

The Open College

Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,, Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland. Eircode: D18KX34

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