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Home » Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Specialization » ASD: Courses


ASD Specialization curriculum overview:

The ASD Specialist program is designed to provide advanced training in ASD for licensed special education teachers. Through this program, ASD Specialists will demonstrate knowledge and skills in evidence-based methods to teach students with ASD and further demonstrate knowledge and skills to train, coach, and lead other school personnel in meeting the unique needs of students with ASD. Primary demonstration of leadership skills will be assessed in four supervised field experiences. Candidates will complete a professional portfolio to exhibit their professional skills and develop a plan for ongoing professional development.

  • All courses are designed to meet a cross section of TSPC ASD Specialist standards and competencies and TSPC InTASC standards.

Specialization Contract:

Once admitted to the program you will work with Dr. Mickey Pardew to plan the courses you will take and how you complete the academic requirements of the program. By filing this contract (PDF form), you have a road map for completing your specialization program and have clarity on what to expect.

Course Descriptions:

Specialization Contract | Real time class availability

SpEd 586 ASD: Foundations and Strategies (3) – Current knowledge and practices in the education of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will be presented.  Systems for identifying and prioritizing educational goals, curriculum design, instructional strategies, and communication techniques will be reviewed.  Social integration and family involvement will also be addressed. NOTE: This introductory course must be taken first.

SpEd 587 ASD: Evidenced-Based Teaching Methods and Strategies (3) – Research-based teaching methods for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will be presented.  Teaching methods to be covered include Discrete Trial, Pivotal Response Training, Structured Teaching, and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).  Practical application of these methods in the context of behavior management, cognitive development, and daily living skills will also be discussed. Pre-requisite: SpEd 586 or concurrent enrollment or consent of instructor

SpEd 588 ASD: Supporting Students with High Functioning Autism & Asperger Disorder (3) – This course will focus on identifying and supporting the needs of students with High Functioning Autism/Asperger Disorder in young children through high school. Participants will learn about assessment of individual strengths and challenges, as well as instructional strategies and supports.  Participants will gain skills in addressing challenging behaviors through the use of functional behavioral assessment and the development of positive behavioral approaches. Participants will learn about the social impact and review curriculum and research regarding evidence-based practices for teaching social cognition and strategies for teaching social skills. Pre-requisite: SpEd 586 and 587 or consent of instructor

SpEd 589 ASD: MS/HS/Transition & Community-Based Intervention (3) – This course is designed to provide participants with transition-related activities, curriculum, and teaching strategies for students who experience Autism Spectrum Disorder in middle/high/post-high programs.  Participants will be able to identify, describe, and implement educational strategies aimed at helping students to achieve success in community-based settings and throughout a variety of daily routines. Pre-requisite: SpEd 586, 587 and 588 or consent of instructor

SpEd 590 ASD: Assessment, Eligibility, & Effective Consultation (3) – This course will focus on preparing the participant to better understand the educational evaluation and eligibility process for identifying children and students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Participants will review a variety of assessments and evaluation tools used for identification of autism spectrum disorders used in the evaluation process. Participants will learn about differential diagnosis and team considerations. Participants will learn the components of effective consultation including communication, working with and teaching adult learners, time management, and organizational systems. Pre-requisite: SpEd 586, 587, 588, and 589 or consent of instructor

Demonstration of Competency for Specific Coursework:

  • SpEd 501 (1 cr.) ASD Practicum: Evidence-Based Teaching Methods & Strategies (Pre-requisite: SpEd 587)
  • SpEd 502 (1 cr.) ASD Practicum: High Functioning Autism and Asperger Disorder (Pre-requisite: SpEd 588)
  • SpEd 503 (1 cr.) ASD Practicum: MS/HS/Transition & Community-Based Instruction (Pre-requisite: SpEd 589)
  • SpEd 604 (2 cr.) ASD Practicum: Assessment, Eligibility, & Effective Consultation (Pre-requisite: SpEd 590)


If you haven’t found the information you need or are still not sure where to direct your question, contact Dr. Maria Peterson-Ahmad, Program Coordinator or 503-838-9286