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Infant Toddler Autism Certificate

Infant Toddler Autism Certificate

Infant Toddler Autism Certificate

This certificate fills a void in the field for addressing the needs of infants and toddlers with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). ASDs comprise the fastest-growing neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. Research consistently supports early intervention approaches that focus on enhancing parents’ capacity to meet the needs of their infants and toddlers. This certificate will address that need by improving the knowledge and skills of early interventionists working with infants and toddlers with autism and their families. Classes will be taught by internationally recognized leaders in autism intervention and research. The certificate is offered for providers in the field.

Certificate Structure
The courses will be offered consecutively during fall, spring, and summer. Courses will be offered each year, and they must be taken in order.

The first course, Overview of Infant Toddler Autism Services, provides an introduction to the field and the practices. The second course, Applied Treatment Delivery for Infants and Toddlers with ASD, describes how to implement evidence-based practices with infants and toddlers with ASD. The third course, Coaching for Families of Infants and Toddlers with ASD, describes evidence-based family coaching practices. Consistent with the needs of children with ASD, intervention goals covered address language, play/socialization, early adaptive skills, and positive behavior. The certificate will focus on evidence-based practices for addressing these needs.​

Certificate Format

Application Information

Please note that space is limited. Registration will be completed on a first come, first serve basis among students who meet the registration criteria. In order to be considered, please e-mail your resume outlining your education and professional experience, and a 1-page letter of intent to​. In your letter, please describe your interest in the certificate and discuss your current role in the field.


All courses are three graduate credit hours. Tuition is $359.50/credit, plus applicable student fees  and a $100 online course fee, for a total of $1,208.50/course.​​

Related Degree Programs

This certificate supplements the Early Childhood Education MA program. Students in this program can complete one course as a required elective and the certificate complements their degree.


Phil Strain, Ph.D. is a Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Strain is the author of over 250 scientific papers and he serves on the editorial boards of over a dozen professional journals. Dr. Strain has worked in the field of early intervention since 1974 and he serves as a science advisor to the Institute of Medicine, the National Institute of Mental Health and the U.S. Department of Education. His primary research interests include: a) intervention for young children with early onset conduct disorders; b) remediation of social behavior deficits in young children with autism; c) design and delivery of community-based, comprehensive early intervention for children with autism; and d) analysis of individual and systemic variables affecting the adoption and sustained use of evidence-based practices for children with severe behavior disorders.

William Frea, Ph.D. has worked with children on the autism spectrum, and their families, for over 25 years. He is the author of over 30 publications on treating children with autism, and has presented over 100 papers nationally on the subject. Dr. Frea’s expertise is in play-based approaches to teaching, and developing individual treatment packages within the family context. Dr. Frea received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He completed a clinical internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Research Fellowship in Special Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Frea created the autism training programs at Cal State Los Angeles’ Charter School of Education. The program includes a Masters degree in autism, as well as a certification program for teachers. This became the largest program of its kind in the U.S., with significant federal grant funding. Dr. Frea also created Autism Spectrum Therapies, one of the largest agencies in the country serving children on the autism spectrum. Dr. Frea has served on federal grant review boards, national and state advisory boards, and on editorial boards for numerous research journals. He is active in parent support organizations, as well as community and school focused projects to build resources for children on the autism spectrum and their families.​

Carol Trivette, Ph.D. holds a Ph.D in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and currently serves as a Research Scientist at the Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute in Western North Carolina. She currently works with the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center funded by OSEP, where she focuses on the development and provision of General and Targeted Technical Assistance around Recommend Practices. Her other work includes a focus on the provision of evidence-base professional development, particularly the Participatory Adult Learning Strategies (PALS) model, which is being used in states and programs to promote the effective implementation of evidence-based practices. As part of this work, she is particularly interested in the provision of effective professional development, which includes the use of in-person meetings/coaching and technology-based meetings/coaching. Other areas of interest to her include early literacy and language development in children with disabilities, parent and family capacity-building approaches, and uses of technology to enhance home visits.

Courses Term Offered
ECED 5210: Overview of Infant Toddler Autism Services
This course will provide students with a general introduction to the legal and procedural elements that characterize state-of-the-art services to infants and toddlers with ASD.  The course will review the Federal mandate for services, principles of practice, and evidence-based teaching strategies for children with autism. 
ECED 5211: Applied Treatment Delivery for Infants and Toddlers with ASD The course is designed to inform students on current treatment methods and philosophies for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Common intervention approaches are reviewed, with discussion of the evidence base of each. Consistent with the needs of children with ASD, intervention goals covered address language, play/socialization, early adaptive skills, and positive behavior.
ECED 5212: Coaching for Families of Infants and Toddlers with Autism
The purpose of this course is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to implement recommended, evidence-based practices with families of infants and toddlers with or at risk for ASD. The course will review current evidence based strategies for supporting families of infants and toddlers with or at risk for ASD. The emphasis of the course will be on collaborating with families and using evidence-based family coaching strategies.

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