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Autism Circuit Academy

The Autism Circuit Academy (ACA) endorsement programs are comprehensive professional development designed to help Texas educators acquire and effectively implement evidence-based practices (EBPs) for teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The ACA is a product of the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) and is supported in whole by a grant from the Texas Education Agency. The training is free for educators across Texas who are employees of a local education agency.

This video report was provided to the Texas State Legislature after the first two cohorts of educators completed our Level 1 Evidence-Based Practices program.
 

Program Benefits

The Autism Circuit Academy is committed to building district capacity by increasing the number of educators in the state who are skilled in the implementation of EBPs. Through our virtual professional learning community format, participants can easily communicate with each other by asking questions, seeking and providing feedback, and uploading implementation artifacts. Our TSLAT staff provides rapid and ready assistance and continuous modeling throughout the duration of the program.

Community

Be part of a statewide professional learning community

Evidence-Based Practices

Be able to implement all 27 EBPs identified by the National Professional Development Center on ASD

Coaching

Receive follow-up coaching from TSLAT specialists and your peers across Texas

Endorsement

Enhance your credibility and build parent confidence with an endorsement by TSLAT and TEA

CEU Credit

Earn up to 60 hours of continuing education units (CEUs)

Is the ACA for you?

The Autism Circuit Academy programs are designed for educators committed to developing effective educational programming for all students with ASD.

  • Special Education Teachers
  • General Education Teachers
  • Paraeducators
  • Campus and District Specialists
  • Speech Language Pathologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • LSSPs
  • Other Local Education Agency Staff

Program Preparation

If you are a new teacher or have limited experience with students with ASD, we recommend taking the following free online courses in our Learning Library before starting the EBP program:

Communication:

The Power of Communication for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders

6 hours

view Communication:

Application

Our application process is currently closed. Sign up to receive notifications about future Autism Circuit Academy programs.

Cohorts

Level 1

Evidence-Based Practices

How to implement Evidence-Based Practices with fidelity.

Request Information about Level 1 Evidence-Based Practices

Level 2

Literacy

Now that you've learned how to teach using EBPs, let's focus on what to teach.

Request Information about Level 2 Literacy

Level 2

Advanced

A deeper look into Evidence-Based Practices.

Request Information about Level 2 Advanced

* Level 2 programs are only open to participants that have completed the Level 1 program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will my endorsement mean?

The Autism Circuit Academy endorsement is a visible sign of accomplishing the work you did to become skilled in the implementation of the evidence-based practices (EBPs) identified by the National Professional Development Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder. The paragraph on your endorsement states what you had to do to earn the endorsement and 60 CEUs: watch 28 webinars, provide evidence of implementation of each of the 27 EBPs with students, and collaborate in a statewide professional learning community (PLC). The endorsement does not expand the scope of your profession, whatever it is, but does demonstrate your commitment and accomplishment in professional growth. The CEUs you earned from the Autism Circuit program are accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). It is not an accredited degree, and it is not a license or certificate from the state. The state of Texas does not issue any licenses or certificates for autism training. The Commissioner’s rule related to autism states that all educators working with a child with autism must be trained; however, TEA does not specify what kind of training or how much training an educator needs. Schools are responsible for training educators to effectively and appropriately implement programs for students with autism. A license or certificate is not required. Your endorsement from TSLAT and TEA is a visible sign that you are equipped to effectively and appropriately implement programs for students with autism.

How do I request a copy of my certificate or my digital badge?

Email AutismCircuit@esc13.txed.net. Indicate your full name, the program you completed, and which cohort you were a part of.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the Autism Circuit Academy programs?

Contact Darcy Schiller at Darcy.Schiller@esc13.txed.net or call 512-919-5224

What makes this training unique?

There are many online trainings about autism available. What makes the Autism Circuit Academy programs unique is the model of professional development (PD) that we use. Research shows that traditional models of PD, the sit-and-get model of workshops or webinars, are ineffective in getting educators to actually implement strategies that are taught; it is called the implementation gap. We have studied the research to learn ways to close that gap. 1) Effective PD should occur over time and be ongoing. Our Autism Circuit programs span a school year with opportunities for a second year of continued PD. 2) Coaching is found to be highly effective in helping teachers implement new practices. Our virtual PLC platform allows for coaching not just from our TSLAT staff, but from peers across Texas in the PLC (Center for Public Education, 2013).

Who is eligible for Level 2 programs?

Only educators who have completed the Level 1 EBP program are eligible to apply for either the Advanced program or the Literacy program.

Why are the Advanced and Literacy programs only open to Level 1 finishers?

The Advanced program is only open to educators who have completed the Level 1 program because the Advanced program builds on concepts and skills covered in the Level 1 training.

The Literacy program is only open to educators who have completed the Level 1 program because participants are expected to use the skills they learned in the Level 1 training in the Literacy training. Our concept is that now that they have learned HOW to teach using identified EBPs, they can now focus on WHAT to teach, content. Educators who have completed the Level 1 training also are more likely to have challenging behaviors better managed using the EBPs they learned that they may be better able to focus on content.