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Including children with autism in the early years

Improve your skills as an early childhood educator. Understand autistic children better and plan inclusive programs to support their learning and development.

The Including children with autism in the early years modules help early childhood educators develop a greater understanding of autistic young children and plan inclusive programs that support their learning and development.

Aims of the modules

The modules provide autism, policy and framework guidance plus programming approaches to support responsiveness to the individual needs of autistic children.

Who the course is for

The course is relevant for educators who are currently working with autistic children and those who wishing to develop their knowledge and skills in this area.

The modules also provide downloadable tools that are designed to support planning for quality, inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) programs.

Course outcomes

Completion of this course contributes towards Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration requirements.

Module content information

Module 1: An introduction to young children with autism

This module is designed to build understanding of autistic young children. It covers:

  • what is autism
  • how educators learn from observing the child
  • the importance of working in partnership with families
  • collaborating with early childhood professionals and support services.

Module 2: Practice to support planning for the learning and development of a child with autism

This module focuses on 8 practice principles which are clearly linked with inclusive programming and support for autistic children.  They include:

  • family-centred practice partnerships with professionals 
  • high expectations for every child
  • equity and diversity
  • respectful relationships and responsive engagement
  • integrated teaching and learning approaches
  • assessment for learning and development
  • reflective practice.

Module 3: Developing a responsive program

This module covers:

  • a framework of adapting the program to support the meaningful participation and ongoing learning and development of autistic children
  • programming with an aim to foster independence for autistic children
  • a team approach to inclusion
  • how to support ongoing learning by using the child's strengths and interests as a starting point.