University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Sept. 16, 2003

Class Introduces Autism Spectrum Disorders

The UW-River Falls College of Education and Professional Studies is offering a three-credit class beginning Oct. 1 to inform educators and others about autism spectrum disorders in the classroom.

"There are increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorders in today's classrooms," said Mary Manke, associate dean of the college. "As a result, there is an urgent need for school professionals to better understand autism and its implications in schools and society as a whole."

Participants in the class will learn about autism spectrum disorders and their implications. They will be prepared to be active and informed team members and advocates for these students. And, they will learn effective strategies to enhance communication, socialization, and learning when teaching these children.

The course, Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (COMD 385 or 589), is designed for educators including teachers, special educators, speech/language pathologists, school counselors and school psychologists. Either undergraduate or graduate level credits may be earned.

The classes will be held Wednesday evenings, from 5-8:30 p.m., through Nov. 12. Participants may choose to attend the class on the UW-River Falls campus or at one of three, convenient community locations via interactive television. The three distance-learning sites will be at the Plum City, Frederic and Prairie Farm high schools.

The instructor, Tara Tuchel, is a communicative interaction disorders teacher and speech/language pathologist at Willow River Elementary in Hudson. She recently presented a seminar titled "Autism: Peer Relations and Play" at the Autism Society of America National Convention.

For more information, visit the UW-RF Outreach and Graduate Studies web site at or call 715/425-3256 or 800-228-5607.


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