PHBA8230 Pervasive Developmental Disorders - diagnosis, aetiology, prevalence and intervention Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Pervasive Developmental Disorders - diagnosis, aetiology, prevalence and intervention
PhD Programme in Behavior Analysis
10 stp.


General admission requirements for the Ph.D. Degree in Behavior Analysis.

Basic knowledge about autism and ABA intervention, and techniques (i.e. discrete trial training experience; intervention programs, measuring and recording behavior; reinforcement systems)


The student will be able to:

  • describe and discuss pervasive developmental disorders with respect to aetiology and prevalence
  • describe and discuss findings of medical and biological studies in autism spectrum disorders
  • describe and discuss findings in studies of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention with persons with autism, emphasizing short and long-term effects, maintenance strategies, and the transfer of staff and teacher knowledge and skills during transitions between education providers or service providers
  • demonstrate practical skills in planning and implementing specific education and skills training programs for persons with autism in an educational or residential setting
  • describe and discuss knowledge dissemination strategies aimed at service and education providers
  • describe and discuss criteria for Empirically Supported Treatments


Diagnostic criteria, history of the concept of "autism" (including myths), epidemiology, aetiology, theories of the influence of medical and nutritional factors, successful intervention strategies, clinical practice, working with service providers to disseminate best practice, criteria for finding and validating ESTS.

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course consists of 1 introductory meeting, and 6 - 12 seminars of 4 x 45 minutes, and time for discussion and a final seminar (4 x 45 minutes). The introductory meeting takes place 2 weeks ahead of the main part of the course. At this meeting, the structure, content and purpose of the course are presented. The students are asked to give short presentations of their Ph.D. projects, and describe how the course is relevant to it. The main purpose of this early session is to help the students to start systematic work with the course readings.

The seminars target central themes from the course readings for discussion and reflection. A high level of student participation is expected. During this time, students will produce several reaction papers (3 - 4 pages double spaced), and a final presentation of one central theme from the course. Themes are assigned by the lecturers.

The final seminar consists of a discussion of the presentations, which are distributed in advance as papers not to exceed 10 pages double spaced, and introduced by each candidate in a short (3 minute) session. Course teachers mediate the discussions.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

  • All papers approved,
  • attendance in at least 80 % of the seminars, and
  • approved paper presentation in final seminar.

Vurdering og eksamen


Portfolio requirements: 4 reaction papers

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen



Pass / Fail