Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States. In 2012 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that it affects one in every 88 children. It is five times more likely in males, affecting nearly one in 54 boys identified compared with one in 252 girls. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) provides reliable statewide data regarding ASD categorical eligibility for special education services. According to MDE data from Dec. 1, 2011: Minnesota schools reported 15,378 individuals between birth and 21 years old, have met the educational criteria for ASD and were receiving special education services in 2011, 12 percent of the statewide special education population. The special educational identification of ASD in individuals aged birth to 21 years in Minnesota has increased more than 300 percent since 2001 (MDE, 2011).
ASD is a low incidence special education category that is defined as a range of pervasive developmental disorders, with onset in childhood, that adversely affect a pupil's functioning and result in the need for special education instruction and related services. ASD is a disability category characterized by an uneven developmental profile and a pattern of qualitative impairments in several areas of development, including social interaction, communication, or the presence of restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities. These core features may present themselves in a wide variety of combinations that range from mild to severe, and the number of behavioral indicators present may vary.
ASD may include Autistic Disorder, Childhood Autism, Atypical Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger's Disorder, or other related pervasive developmental disorders. (MN Rule 3523.1325)
New-Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Teacher License MN Rule 8710.5850
With the recent adoption of the new and revised Special Education Teacher license rules in January 2012, the Minnesota Board of Teaching (BOT) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) Divisions of Educator Licensing, Special Education, Compliance and Assistance, and Finance, Career and Technical Education have been collaborating to develop a two-phase transition process to assist current Minnesota licensed special education teachers who would like to apply for the new ASD Teacher license.
First, this transition process includes an eligibility review with submission of documentation of a teacher’s prior completion of ASD-specific coursework and/or professional development aligned to the ASD standards, as well as experience teaching students with ASD. Eligibility review packets can be submitted until March 1, 2015, although we encourage teachers to submit as early as possible. Following the review and confirmation of their eligibility, the second phase of this process is completed with their application to MDE Educator Licensing for the ASD Teacher license consistent with the age/grade (scope) of their current license(s).
Others interested in obtaining the ASD Teacher license who are not eligible through the transition process are encouraged to contact any of the universities with approved ASD Teacher preparation programs for further information.
View MDE’s Special Education Licensure website for additional information regarding the ASD Teacher license transition process http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/EdExc/Licen/SpecEdLicen/index.html. The site includes instructions, materials and submission timelines for the “ASD Licensure Eligibility Review for Practicing Minnesota Special Education Teachers” process, “ASD License Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” as well as a listing of “State Approved Programs for Special Education Licensure”. Submit questions via e-mail to MDE.ASD-License@state.mn.us
ASD specialists provide consultation and support to students who qualify under the ASD category and serve on their educational teams. A professional manual and other helpful resources are available at no cost on the Regional/State Support and ASD Publications pages.
ASD Communities of Practice
A number of regional and statewide Communities of Practice are in place to assist and support professionals in the field, including the statewide ASD Community of Practice. A statewide Mentorship Program has also been developed to support ASD specialist who are new to the field. For these and other regional and state resources, click on the Resource link at the top of the page.
* Based on prevalence statistics from the National Institutes of Health (2004) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2001).
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