Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Department of Special Education

A young woman works with an autistic boy while sitting on a sofa.

The Department of Special Education offers master’s (M.Ed., M.A.) and doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (A&DD). Our program curricula are Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) approved and many of our graduates become Board Certified Behavior Analysts at the master’s (BCBA) or doctoral (BCBA-D) level. (View the BCBA Exam Pass Rates for Verified Programs.) Training in these programs emphasizes academic foundations in: 

  • education and treatment of individuals with A&DD,
  • use of scientist-practitioner methods,
  • development of research skills so that graduates can contribute new knowledge on assessment and treatment practices,
  • competent, ethical, and multicultural practice.

Coursework and research are led by expert faculty to provide a rich understanding of the design, implementation, and evaluation of effective services offered to those with autism and related developmental disabilities. 

As a graduate of our AD&D program, you will be qualified for several careers in the field of special education. Our alumni are employed as

  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapists,
  • special education teachers,
  • professors in universities,
  • behavioral consultants, and
  • director-level administrators.

Photo of faculty member Laura Estep
Assistant Professor of Practice

Engages in training and supervision of clinicians to support individuals with challenging behavior and difficulty transitioning between activities, particularly for students with autism spectrum disorders.

Photo of faculty member Terry S Falcomata

Assessment and treatment of problem behavior displayed by individuals with ASD/DD, methods for increasing behavioral variability in individuals with ASD/DD, and methods for preventing clinical relapse pertaining to challenging behavio

Photo of faculty member Christina Fragale
Assistant Professor of Practice

Works with culturally diverse individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders to assess and treat challenging behavior.

Photo of faculty member Mark F O'Reilly
Department Chair

Assesses and supports individuals with intellectual disabilities and develops social skill/communication interventions for children with ASD.

Area Co-Coordinator
Mark O’Reilly

Area Co-Coordinator
Terry Falcomatta