While all of the Autism Studies Certifications focus on meeting the needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), each one serves different professional backgrounds and goals. From the eight-course Post-baccalaureate Autism Studies Certification to the four-course post-graduate Autism Endorsement, they will prepare you to improve the lives of autistic children and adults.
The Post-baccalaureate Certification in Autism Studies consists of eight courses: five theoretical courses and three fieldwork courses. This eight-course sequence is approved as meeting the coursework and the field experience requirements for taking the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Examination.
The Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies consists of the five theoretical courses in the post-baccalaureate certification and omits the three fieldwork courses.
The Autism Studies Endorsement consists of four graduate-level courses.
Post-baccalaureate Autism Studies Certification Courses
IHS 465 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders
3 credits. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), including Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, are common, are a result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, ASD impacts social interactions and communication skills. The types of ASD range in severity from very low functioning, associated with significant cognitive deficits and highly disruptive behaviors, to very high functioning, associated with highly gifted intelligence and "quirky" behaviors. This course introduces students to the neurology, symptoms, diagnostic criteria, causes, biomedical treatments and behavioral interventions, as well as to the impact on individuals with ASD, families, friends, school districts, the economy, and society with regard to functioning, coping, prognosis, and outcomes. IHS 465 is strongly recommended prior to or concurrently with all other courses in the Autism Studies concentration.
IHS 466 Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Treatment
3 credits. This course is designed to introduce the current research-based interventions in the field of autism, including applied behavior analysis (verbal behavior, discrete trial instruction, picture communication, Pivotal Response Training, Competent Learner Model), TEACCH and social skills. Students will gain a general understanding of applied behavior analysis principles and how they can be used across multiple environments (home, school, early intervention, clinics) to address the various social, behavioral and communication deficits of individuals with autism.
IHS 467 Social Skills Development in Autism
3 credits. Social skills are learned behaviors that individuals need to successfully navigate social interactions and relationships. This course introduces students to a variety of approaches for assessing and improving the social skills of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A variety of empirically validated methodologies will be discussed, including incidental teaching, video modeling, social stories, and using textual cues. Students will learn to apply these methodologies to teach skills such as joint attention, greetings, conversations, social play, self-awareness, perspective-taking, critical thinking, developing friendships, and community and home success.
IHS 473 Advanced Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
4 credits. This course is designed to expand upon the previously learned concepts of behavior analysis and connect it to the practical world for teachers and educators. In this course, students will gain an understanding of how to use the principles and practices of applied behavioral management in the classroom. Classroom-based examples and practices firmly grounded in research will be discussed. This course will address identifying target behavior, collecting and graphing data, functional assessment, experimental design, arranging antecedents and consequences, generalizing behavior change, and the importance of ethical considerations in using applied behavior analysis in the classroom. Students will also have the opportunity to analyze classroom examples that show teachers using applied behavior analysis techniques in different settings. Prerequisites: IHS 465, IHS 466, and IHS 467.
IHS 474 Applications of ABA: Functional Analysis and Ethics
4 credits. This course is designed to expand upon the previously learned concepts of behavior analysis and will present the student with information on observation, data collection, and data interpretation. Students will learn the methods for obtaining descriptive data and the procedures for conducting systematic manipulations. Functional assessments and analysis of individual behaviors will be a primary focus. Specific single subject experimental designs will be discussed. The ethical considerations inherent in behavioral assessment, treatment, and research will be reviewed. Prerequisites: IHS 465, IHS 466, IHS 467, and IHS 473.
IHS 480 Practicum (Fieldwork)
3 credits. This course allows students to demonstrate behavior analytic skills in applied settings. In order to generalize information and techniques learned in previous courses, students will work with clients with autism at an approved practicum site. Activities will include skills assessment, program development, instruction, data collection, evaluation of results, progress reporting, and discussion of ethical considerations. The course requires that students be working in the field of autism treatment, complete a site verification, secure practicum contracts, and garner client consent prior to logging hours.
IHS 481 Practicum (Fieldwork)
3 credits. This course allows students to demonstrate behavior analytic skills in applied settings. In order to generalize information and techniques learned in previous courses, students will work with clients with autism at an approved practicum site. Activities will include selecting learning objectives, measurement plan development, instructional plan development, generalization, data collection, fidelity checks, training others, evaluation of results, progress reporting, and discussion of ethical considerations. The course requires that students be working in the field of autism treatment, complete a site verification, secure practicum contracts, and garner client consent prior to logging hours.
IHS 482 Practicum (Fieldwork)
3 credits. This course allows students to demonstrate behavior analytic skills in applied settings. In order to generalize information and techniques learned in previous courses, students will work with clients with autism at an approved practicum site. Activities will include selecting behaviors targeted for change, descriptive assessment, behavior plan development, implementation, generalization, data collection, fidelity checks, training others, evaluation of results, progress reporting, and discussion of ethical considerations. The course requires that students be working in the field of autism treatment, complete a site verification, secure practicum contracts, and garner client consent prior to logging hours.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialist Endorsement Graduate Courses
SPE 720 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: 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. Note: SPE 720 must be taken as the first Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement program.Read More
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 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.Read More
SPE 722 Evidenced Based Practices, Assessment, 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 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.Read More
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.Read More
NOTE: Courses are in alpha-numeric order, not necessarily the order in which they are taken, and are subject to change. Please speak with an Program Manager for a course map.
To learn more about the classes in the online Autism Studies Certifications from Saint Joseph’s University, call (866) 758-7670 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information below.