Autism from the perspectives of the United States and China: An online course for psychologists
Phyllis W. Chen, Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay, United States
Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay . Awarded
The presenting signs and symptoms of an American child with autism compared to a Chinese child with autism may be similar. Nevertheless, how families respond to or comprehend such a diagnosis can differ vastly across the two cultures. Meanwhile, the history of diagnosis and etiology, treatments, and empirical studies in the United States and China sharply contrast.
This dissertation creates an introductory online course targeted at graduate students who intend to work with populations of people with autism as well as current professionals who wish to develop their relevant knowledge base and clinical skills. The course content spans an overview of autism's historical background, as well as autism's cultural aspects, including the diagnostic process and treatments in the United States and China. Drawing extensively on empirical studies in the United States and China the course also focuses on the clinical skills necessary to work with families with children with autism. As the study of autism is an ever-evolving field, autism's causes and etiology are further explored, including an emphasis on the various shifts in research findings over the past ten years.
The course was developed using the Moodle online classroom system. It was the first online course developed using the Moodle format at the instructor's university as part of a dissertation requirement for a doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In the future, however, the course will continue to be revised as an ongoing resource for students and professionals. Future versions of the course will include additional references proposed by professional evaluators, along with updated resources. By providing the material in an electronic course format, the content can be disseminated to a wider audience, allowing participants to strengthen their knowledge and cross-cultural competencies according to their own schedule and pacing.
Chen, P.W. Autism from the perspectives of the United States and China: An online course for psychologists. Ph.D. thesis, Alliant International University, San Francisco Bay.
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