PLMASD-Language in Autism Spectrum Disorders

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Tom Loucas


Type of module:

Summary module description:
In this module students consider the language impairment in autism spectrum disorders from genetic, neuroscience, and behavioural perspectives. A seminar-based approach is used in which students read and present papers from these different fields and discusses their implications.

This module aims to introduce and develop a range of current theoretical and research topics within the field of language in ASD. The focus will be on the nature of the language and communication impairment in ASD and evidence-based approaches to intervention.

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the end of the module, students will be able to:

Show in depth knowledge of the language and communication profiles associated with ASD, the factors associated with language presentation and the different explanations offered for the deficits;

Critically evaluate the arguments for and against language in ASD being a comorbid SLI;

Critically evaluate the evidence base for language and communication interventions in ASD;

Use knowledge of neuroscience, psychology and linguistics to interpret research literature;

Articulate and justify their views on the current theoretical debates in ASD ;

Organise their knowledge and articulate their arguments clearly and effectively.

Additional outcomes:
Students will study in depth the current state of research into language ASD which will supplement and develop their understanding of the condition. The module encourages the development of critical analytical skills and academic writing abilities and note-taking skills.

Outline content:
The module will develop student’s understanding of language in ASD by asking them to consider the explanations offered by neuroscience, psychological and linguistic approaches to the language impairment associated with the condition. The similarities and dissimilarities between language in ASD and specific language impairment and the implications for understanding the nature of language difficulties in ASD will be addressed. Difference approaches to language intervention in ASD will be evaluated by considering the evidence base.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
In each of the five weeks there will be a lecture followed by a seminar based on the content of the lecture and research papers. Seminars will consist of student led presentations. Students are expected to have read the papers before the seminar so that they can contribute to the discussion and evaluation of the accounts.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One two-hour paper.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
The examination is open. Students will be provided with the paper one week before sitting the examination. 

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-assessment will be by a two-hour written examination by September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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