What is a Certified Autism Specialist?
A Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) is a title given upon completion of the CAS Certification Program, which is an online program.
The CAS Program provides its students with highly-specified training in the field of autism. Spanish and English CAS Certification Programs are available.
Upon completion of the program, Certified Autism Specialists are given an internationally recognized credential from IBCCES (the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) and are listed in the Certified Autism Specialist International Registry.
How Can Individuals Benefit from the Certified Autism Specialist Program?
The CAS Certification Program helps its students:
- Learn best practices for how to improve outcomes for students on the autism spectrum and those with sensory disorders.
- Learn the critical and often misunderstood differences between positive and negative reinforcement and when to use them.
- Learn to differentiate potential sources of behavioral challenges (e.g., sensory difficulties, communication challenges, etc.)
Being a CAS opens up career opportunities so individuals can make advancements as they relate to the field of autism, special education, behavioral health, etc.
Additionally, receiving CAS training allows individuals to show their commitment to providing quality, research-based care to individuals on the autism spectrum (and those with other cognitive disorders).
How Can Schools and Agencies Benefit From Having Staff Obtain CAS Certification?
CAS training can be utilized as staff development, which is often required by state guidelines anyway.
Additionally, CAS certification helps schools and agencies stand out among their competitors. Having certified autism specialists on your staff demonstrates your commitment to the field of autism, which is often well-received by parents and clients.
Training for staff may also enhance grant opportunities for your school or agency related to the fields of autism, special education, or behavioral health.
The chance of litigation is also reduced when staff is highly trained in working with individuals on the autism spectrum, those with sensory needs, or other challenges.
What is Required to Apply to Become a Certified Autism Specialist?
CAS Eligibility Requirements
- Master’s Degree:
CAS applicants must have earned a Master’s degree in education, special education, school psychology, psychology, human development, early childhood education, speech/language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, or a closely related field. The Master’s degree requirement will be waived if the applicant has a bachelor’s degree and at least 10 years of experience. Interested parties without a Master’s degree, may qualify for the Autism Certificate (discount code eb15).
- Two Years Experience:
Those applying for the CAS program must have two years’ experience working in a field that treats or supports individuals on the autism spectrum.
- 14 CE hours:
All applicants must have completed 14 hours of continuing education within the past two years that directly relate to autism. If you have already completed 14 hours of continuing education within the last 2 years, check here to make sure the hours can be applied toward your CAS.
- Autism Competency Exam:
All applicants must pass the Autism Competency Exam which is taken online and is included in the price of your CAS application.
Applicants for the CAS Certification Typically Include:
- Special Education Teachers
- Special Education Directors
- Classroom Teachers
- School Psychologists
- School Counselors
- Behavior Specialists
- School Nurses
- Clerical and Support Staff
- Higher Education/Professors
- Speech-Language Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
- BCBA and ABA Professionals
- Physical Therapists
- Social Workers
- Licensed Professional Counselors
- Registered Nurses (RN)
- Recreational Therapists
See How one Hospital Emergency Department Became a Certified Autism Center
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Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, caregivers, educators, counselors, and therapists to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them. For Rachel’s top behavioral strategies all in one place, check out her book, Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children, a Guide for Parents and Teachers. If you want Rachel to write for your business, offer behavioral or academic consultation, or speak at your facility about research-based strategies that support children, email her at email@example.com.