Study Neurodiversity : Understanding Autism with Open Learn

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Learn about autism, a complex and challenging long-term condition for many individuals and their families worldwide, and an aspect of human diversity to others. This free course, Understanding autism, introduces the autism spectrum, how it is experienced by different individuals and families, and why it is a global concern. The course explains how ideas about autism have evolved and explores diagnosis, causes, intervention and life-span development. Widely varying perspectives on autism are illustrated and key societal and cross-cultural issues highlighted.

This OpenLearn science course was produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education, the educational arm of The Exilarch’s Foundation.


Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • outline what is meant by autism, why it is considered a spectrum and how it affects different individuals and families
  • appreciate different approaches to understanding autism, including theoretical and clinical perspectives and personal accounts
  • outline key features of psychological, neurobiological and genetic explanations of autism
  • explain key aspects of diagnosis, intervention, education and life-span development
  • understand topical issues including neurodiversity perspectives, autism prevalence in women and autism in global context.


Course duration : 24 hours

You can start this course straight away. Please follow the link in your confirmation email to take you directly to the course.


This is an access anytime e-learning resource provided free of charge in association Open Learn

(If you do not receive a confirmation email please check your spam/junk email boxes or sign into  the ‘Your Account’ section of the Learning Hub website to retrieve all of your booking and course information)


All Open Learn courses and have been shared by permission of The Open University copyright © and have been licensed for use under the ‘Creative Commons ‘Attributions; Non-Commercial; Share Alike’ License.  

For full information about the Open University visit Home | OpenLearn – Open University.  

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