• University of Birmingham logo
New

Attention and Autism

Develop your insight and skills to better understand how attention works in autistic people.

577 enrolled on this course

Two school pupils focusing on drawing with whiteboards.

Attention and Autism

577 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Build strategies to meet the needs of children with autism

As more people are diagnosed with autism, it is very likely that a teacher will have to teach an autistic child at some point in their career. Research has shown that adapting strategies to meet the needs of autistic children can benefit all children in a classroom.

On this four-week course from the University of Birmingham, you’ll explore the concept of attention and its impact on autistic people. Given the potential benefits of attention on broader academic attainment and inclusion, this course will help you develop tools to assess and teach attention in autistic children at school.

Explore attention control and sustained attention on the autism spectrum

Attention control is comprised of several relatively high-level cognitive mechanisms, all of which are critical for learning.

This course will guide you through the ideas of attention and its links to neurodivergence such as autism and ADHD. You’ll look at studies showing the different ways that attention can be improved in students with poorer sustained attention.

Discover techniques and technologies to support attention training

Technology seems so appealing for many individuals with autism and can significantly help with attention and learning. Technology can be a useful educational tool in a teacher’s toolbox to use based on pedagogical decisions, especially for children with autism.

You’ll explore the various technologies used to support autistic children’s learning, as well as the research studies and evidence on the topic.

Dive into Computerized Progressive Attentional Training program

Throughout the final week of this course, you’ll focus on the Computerized Progressive Attentional Training (CPAT) program and how you can use CPAT to support attention training in autism.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Are you a teacher, therapist or other educational professional who works with autistic individuals and want to develop your insight and understanding of how autism affects attention? Are you supporting professionals working with autistic individuals and want to ensure your practice is up to date with cutting edge, evidence based research on attention and autism? Are you looking to achieve this in a flexible learning environment? The University of Birmingham Attention in Autism MOOC is a four week online course funded by Erasmus+ that will help you gain the understanding and knowledge needed for improving your educational practice with individuals with autism. Our course will introduce you to the concept of attention and how this presents in autistic individuals.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds It will help you reflect on and identify the effect it has in autism and why the use of technology could be helpful. It will also provide you with tools to assess and teach attention skills in autistic individuals and train you to use the computerised progressive attentional training app, CPAT for short, which you will be able to download. You will have the opportunity to engage with autism specialists from all over the world through a range of digital content and activities. The University of Birmingham is here to support you, helping you to improve your practice and experiences of individuals with autism. No matter where you are in the world, the course will be offered in three more languages Hebrew, Greek and Spanish.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds Sign up now.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Introduction to autism and attention

    • Welcome to the course

      In this first activity, you will be introduced to the learning aims of the week. You will also be provided with information to help guide you through this course.

    • Introduction to autism

      In this activity, you will be introduced to the topic of autism, and its prevalence in the population and its cross-cultural tendencies as well as other key facts about the condition.

    • Introduction to attention

      In this activity, you will be introduced to the topic of attention. We will define attention on a systematic level, and discuss how fundamental it is to almost everything we do.

    • Summary

      In the final activity of the week, Dr Lila Kossyvaki provides a short summary of the topics covered in week 1, and provides a sneak peek into week 2.

  • Week 2

    Attention and learning in autism

    • Welcome to week 2

      Dr Carmel Mevorach introduces the second week of the course and provides an overview of the topics that will be covered throughout the week.

    • Introduction to attention and learning

      In this activity, we take a look at how attention functions contribute to academic skills and consequently how important it is for educational practitioners to consider the attention demands involved in certain academic skills.

    • Attention in autism

      In this activity, we introduce the concept of attention atypicality in autism. We will use the three attention functions to review what we know about them in autism and how they may be associated with the behaviours of autism.

    • Summary

      In this activity, Dr Carmel Mevorach provides an overview of the topics covered throughout week 2 and gives a sneak peak into week 3.

  • Week 3

    Technology and attention training

    • Welcome to week 3

      Dr Lila Kossyvaki introduces week 3 of the course and provides an overview of the topics that will be covered throughout the week.

    • Technology as a useful tool to teach individuals with autism

      In this activity, we consider the benefits of using technology for teaching people with autism. We will discuss the types of technology used and why it might be 'fit for purpose' when teaching children with autism.

    • Cognitive training

      In this activity, we will learn about approaches for cognitive training, specifically the direct process approach. We will also introduce the Computerised Progressive Attention Training (CPAT) program.

    • Summary

      Dr Lila Kossyvaki provides a short summary of the topics covered throughout week 3, and gives a sneak preview of week 4.

  • Week 4

    Computerised progressive attentional training (CPAT)

    • Welcome to week 4

      In the final week of the course, we take a deeper look at the Computerised Progressive Attentional Training (CPAT) app.

    • The SEARCH activity

      In this activity, we take a look at the first of the three CPAT activities, 'Search'.

    • The CPT activity

      In this activity, we take a look at the second of the three CPAT activities, 'CPT'.

    • The GLOBAL/LOCAL activity

      In this activity, we take a look at the final of the three CPAT activities, 'Global/Local'.

    • CPAT Instructions

      In this activity, we go through all of the CPAT instructions, step by step.

    • Implementation

      In this activity, we provide some helpful resources for using CPAT. We also take a look at some of the challenges in the context of the principles of the direct intervention cognitive training approach.

    • Summary

      In this final activity, Dr Carmel Mevorach provides an overview of the week, and brings the course to a close.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate key areas of difficulties for autistic people and the uniqueness of each individual
  • Explore the different attention functions
  • Develop your understanding of why attention is a key factor in learning
  • Identify the unique ways attention is presented in autistic people
  • Explore how attention can be taught
  • Reflect on the main reasons technology can be an effective tool to teach autistic individuals
  • Investigate an evidence-based app and how it improves attention in autistic children

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for teaching staff as well as anyone working with individuals with autism.

Who will you learn with?

Lila Kossyvaki is Associate Professor in Severe, Profound & Multiple Learning Disabilities, Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs (DISN), School of Education, University of Birmingham.

Carmel Mevorach, PhD is an Associate Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience based in the Centre for Developmental Sciences and the Centre for Human Brain Health at the University of Birmingham.

Lilach Shalev PhD FP is Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychology at Tel-Aviv University, School of Education and School of Neuroscience. Her research focuses on developing attention training programs

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$79/one-off payment

$27.99/month

or $23.33/month billed annually

Free

Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 23 Oct 2022

Access to 1000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$27.99/month

or $23.33/month billed annually

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$79/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 23 Oct 2022

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLAttentionAutism to talk about this course on social media.