The Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement certificate program offers educators, counselors, and other professionals a 12-credit sequence (4 courses) designed to meet the competencies set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). If you work with children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders including Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD & PDD - NOS), Aspergers syndrome, Rett's syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder (CDD), the program will prepare you to design effective programs for your students.
Through a four-course sequence, students become familiar with the theories and methods proven to be successful in working with the ASD population. The first course in the sequence, SPED 472: Positive Behavior Supports PK-8 or SPED 474: Positive Behavior Supports 7-12, provides a foundation of Applied Behavioral Analysis, including conducting Functional Behavior Assessments (FBAs) and designing Behavior Interventions (BIPs). The second course, SPED 460: Communication and Assistive Technologies focuses on typical challenges for students with ASD in developing effective communication and provides an in depth exploration of the various assistive technologies including augmentative communication systems that improve opportunities for students to access the general education curriculum or to develop functional communication skills. The third course, SPED 478: Autism, explores the evidence-based practices for teaching children who are on the spectrum including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), TEACCH, Early Start Denver Model, Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Verbal Behavioral Intervention (VBI), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and Pivotal Response Training (PRT). The final course in the sequence, SPED 788: Applied Issues in ASD, addresses professional ethics, co-morbidity and medications, and parental collaboration. Central to the final course is the opportunity to apply the methods previously explored in a classroom or therapeutic setting. The four courses are offered in either the traditional classroom on our Oakland campus or through our digital learning environment (DLE), available online. The fourth (last) class is an exclusively online course.