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New National Professional Competencies for Teachers of Autism Released by Leaders in the Field
Date:8/10/2009

First-ever standards developed by network of teachers, trainers and school administrators will help U.S. schools meet growing needs of students with autism spectrum disorders.

(Vocus) August 10, 2009 -- The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Autism Society announced the publication of professional competencies for teaching students with autism spectrum disorders at the Autism Society’s 40th National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders in St. Charles, Ill. The competencies will be incorporated into CEC’s resource on highly qualified teachers, What Every Special Educator Needs to Know.

“As the incidence of autism has increased, universities and colleges created their own version of competencies to guide program development,” said Cathy Pratt, PhD, Director of the Indiana Resource Center on Autism and the Autism Society Board Chair, who worked on the competencies. “With the release of these competencies and through the leadership of the Autism Society and CEC, there is now a national standard that can be used for both course and program creation and for professional development in schools,” Dr. Pratt said.

These professional competencies contain the knowledge and skill base that professionals entering practice or assuming advanced roles should possess to practice safely and effectively. These competencies are based on evidence-based autism research and will be part of the CEC and CEC/NCATE accreditation that universities go through in designing their special education curricula.

“CEC is delighted to have collaborated with the Autism Society in developing a set of knowledge and skills that will speak clearly and unambiguously to the field,” said Richard Mainzer, Associate Executive Director of Professional Services at CEC. “Before being approved, the standards went through a rigorous process that include
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