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Interdisciplinary Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) represent an increasing and heterogenous group of consumers who require an individualized and specialized approach to assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. Currently 1 of 68 individuals is diagnosed with an ASD (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Behaviors exhibited by these unique individuals include impairment of social interaction and communication abilities and restricted, repetitive behaviors. Treatment and supports have been found to be effective in teaching new skills, replacing challenging behaviors, and improving occupational functioning for people with ASDs. As interest increases in providing appropriate identification and support for people on the autism spectrum, interest in professionals with training and experience in ASDs also increases. This certificate will provide professionals in training from four disciplines with documented skills and experiences related to ASDs.

Program Admission

  • Students applying for this certificate program must be currently enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University master’s programs in clinical psychology, communication disorders, occupational therapy, and/or special education, or specialist program in school psychology. Post-degree students with graduate degrees in one of these fields will also be considered, although the focus of the certificate is on pre-service training.
  • Prospective ASD certificate students should submit application form and 2 page purpose statement to the faculty member listed for their department.
  • Two reference letters should be sent separately to the faculty member listed for the department.  A faculty representative from each discipline represented in the emphasis program will sit on the admissions committee.
  • Three to four graduate students from each of represented disciplines will be admitted each academic year, so that the program will be comprised of a multidisciplinary group of students and taught by a multidisciplinary set of instructors. Applications should be received by each program in adherence with deadlines for the program’s standard application.

Course Requirements

See graduate catalog for course descriptions.

  • OTS 863 (3 credit hours) – Occupation and Sensory Processing
  • PSY 777 (3 credit hours) – The Autism Spectrum
  • CSD 867 (3 credit hours) – Advanced Language Disorders (*or approved substitute course)
  • SED 837 (3 credit hours) – Applied Behavior Analysis (*or approved substitute course)
  • CSD 874 (3 credit hours) – Graduate Practicum: Speech-Language Pathology
  • CSD 897 (6 credit hours) – School Experiences in Communication Disorders  OR
  • CSD 898 (6 credit hours) – Externship in Communication Disorders

The application of knowledge and skills learned in prerequisite courses to those with ASD in a supervised clinical and/or educational setting that specializes in assessment, intervention, and/or education for those with ASD. Students will work on interdisciplinary teams to assess and provide individual and group intervention. Supervision will be provided by faculty with expertise in ASD. Students will be expected to attend an approved off-campus regional training conference/meeting on ASD either before or during their practicum experience.

Students will also be required to receive a passing score on an Oral Comprehensive Exam, to be administered at the completion of their program requirements.

Who is Eligible?

This certificate will train a select group of current EKU graduate students and post-graduate degree students in clinical psychology, school psychology, occupational therapy, special education, and communication disorders to provide services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Faculty Members

Dr. Jade Robinson
Assistant Professor of Communication Disorders
Department of Psychology

Dr. Myra Beth Bundy
Associate Professor of Psychology
Department of Psychology

Dr. Shirley O’Brien
Professor of Occupational Therapy
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Adjunct Faculty

Neelkamal Soares, MD, FAAP
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
University of Kentucky

Credit Hours

The certificate will consist of 18 credit hours of certificate course work, supported by other relevant coursework taken within the student’s discipline. This program will prepare students to provide communication, social-emotional, behavioral, occupational, educational, and community services to individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and their community service providers. Students will be engaged in both didactic and practicum-based learning experiences. Specifically, students successfully completing this certificate will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in effective assessment and intervention for individuals with ASD.
  2. Compare and contrast evidenced-based intervention strategies used for those with ASD.
  3. Effectively collaborate with parents and other professionals in the assessment and intervention process.
  4. Apply knowledge and skills to consumers with ASD in schools, clinics, home, or in the workplace.
  5. Appreciate the need for skilled service provision to those with ASD

Classes will be taught online and face-to-face on campus. Classes can be taken in any order but successful completion of at least two of them will be required before a student can enroll in Practicum and Fieldwork courses. Practicum experiences will be completed at the EKU Psychology Clinic or the EKU Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in Richmond, Kentucky or at other locations approved by the graduate student’s advisor, instructor, and/or clinical supervisor.

Model Curriculum for ASD Certificate Across Disciplines






Semester  I  (summer)     PSY 777 PSY 777 PSY 777 PSY 777
Semester II (fall)      none none none none
Semester III (spring)      PSY 843
(autism Practicum)

Practicum OTS 831

CSD 867*

CSD 874
(autism practicum)


CSD 867

CSD 867
Semester IV (summer)      none OTS 863 OTS 863
CSD 874 alternative
OTS 863
Semester V (fall)      SED 837 SED 837* SED 837* SED 837
Semester VI (spring)      CSD 867* Fieldwork    
Semester VI (summer)      OTS 863      

*or approved substitute course

Department of Clinical Therapeutic Programs


521 Lancaster Ave
Wallace Building, 201
Richmond, KY - 40475
Phone: (859) 622-1125


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