Thursday, July 27, 2017

FREE Online Courses on Autism

Your child has been diagnosed with autism, a term that you're barely familiar with, and now you have to quickly figure out what it is and how you can help your child. The more you look it up on the Internet, the more worried you get, because there's a whole lot to digest all at once.

Friend and family send you links and videos about autism, its causes and "cures" and it doesn't take long before you've had enough.

Whether you're a concerned parent, caregiver or teacher, there are indeed many good websites and resources on autism out there, like Autism Speaks and The National Autistic Society (UK) that can help you in your search for answers.

But rather than hopping from site to site, being unsure of where to begin and getting a patchwork of information, I'd like to suggest that you start by signing up for an online course. I'm sharing two online courses in autism that I've taken, and best of all - they're FREE!

If you're a Malaysian, like me, a good place to start would be the iKurnia Open Learning Course by Permata Kurnia.

They offer two free main courses in Bahasa Melayu - Asas Autisme (Autism Basics) and Asas Intervensi (Intervention Basics), which will help you gain a clearer understanding about autism, the characteristics and challenges children on the spectrum face, as well as the interventions they need.

Here's a short introduction to iKurnia:

Once you finish the courses, you'll get e-certificates, like these ones:


Asas intervensi

You'll even get these "badges" for completion. I got the one on the left for completing the course in one day, which you can certainly do if you have a few hours to spare.


But that's not all, Permata Kurnia also shares videos of talks by local experts via their YouTube channel: PERMATA KURNIA. If you can't make it to their lecture hall, you can watch the live streams or pre-recorded videos of past topics.

Another free online course on autism that I've come across, is offered by Autism Spectrum Australian (ASPECT), via Positive Partnerships. I found their An Introduction To Autism module to be more in-depth than the one by iKurnia, particularly in terms of the history of autism research, popular theories and tools for diagnosis. There's also a lot more to read, whereas the iKurnia course had more video content. If you're interested in this course, here's where to sign up - Autism Training Positive Partnerships.

At the end of the introductory module, there's a test that you have to pass. I took it and got 81% 👌Not too bad right? What happens if you get bad marks? Don't worry, you can retake it.

test score
In case you're wondering, the passing mark is 50%.

And just like the iKurnia course, with completion, you'll get a certificate. Here's mine:

Autism Cert1

There are a few more modules on the Positive Partnerships website that I have yet to explore, and I cannot wait to do so!

These courses have helped me gain a more thorough understanding of autism and the interventions that are out there, which believe me, can be bewildering. They answered many of my burning questions, even those I didn't know I had! 

Learning from these courses can be your first step to empowering yourself with knowledge on your child's condition. They can also help you make a more informed decision about the therapies and interventions that will suit your child and family's needs. So if you want to learn more about autism, or know someone who does, be sure to pass them a link to this blog post.

Do you know of any other online courses on autism that parents, caregivers and educators can take? What kind of online courses on autism or other topics do you wish was offered for free? Leave a link in the comments below! 

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