Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Endorsement Courses

SPE 720  Introduction to ASD: Overview of Causality, Diagnosis and Advocacy (3 credits)

This course will provide candidates with an introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  With the increase in the number of individuals being diagnosed with ASD, this course will examine the challenge ASD presents to families, educators, students, related service providers, advocates, and policy makers.  Course content will include an overview of ASD; family issues and challenges; ASD screening, diagnosis and assessment; an overview of intervention and treatment approaches; accessing appropriate supports and services; policy issues; advocacy and the experience of individuals living with ASD.  

SPE 721  Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Socialization Strategies (3 credits)

This course will focus on a wide range of current research and evidence-based practices in the area of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) as it is implemented to increase, improve, and maintain functional communication skills of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  In addition, specific strategies and techniques to address socialization skills for individuals with ASD as well as their communication partners will be addressed.  Case studies, discussions, and activities will be utilized to personalize these strategies and techniques.

SPE 722  Evidenced-Based Practices: Assessment, Interventions, and Instructional Methodologies (3 credits)

This course will provide comprehensive coverage of the importance of using evidence-based practice in assessment, instruction, and implementation of interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Course content will include identifying the legal basis and requirements for evidence-based practice; a review of how to locate and evaluate evidence in the literature base; ( a review of the theoretical basis of, and evaluation of the empirical evidence for screening and assessments; a review of the theoretical basis of, and evaluation of the empirical evidence for screening and assessments; the continuum of interventions from traditional behavior to social-developmental-pragmatic; comprehensive program approaches; and instructional strategies in the classroom. Additional topics will include the use of medical, dietary, and sensory interventions in the schools; pseudoscience and fad interventions; and finding the middle ground between parents and professionals in the decision-making process.

SPE 723  Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management Approaches (3 credits)   

This course will examine and introduce the major therapies/educational interventions that have been developed to treat autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. Applied behavior analysis (ABA), an empirically-validated treatment for individuals with autism and related disabilities will be discussed in detail.  In addition, other emerging treatments including Greenspan, Relationship Development Intervention, and the principles of Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) will be examined in relation to ABA. In addition, scientific criteria will be compared to pseudoscientific criteria for various interventions. This course is relevant for both novices and experienced practitioners in the field of autism treatment.