The Standards and Procedures for Board Certification in Autism Spectrum Disorders were created to provide a fair and rigorous method for assessing a set of knowledge and skills required for an individual to receive and maintain the advanced credential of BCS-ASD.
The 4 major domains and competencies aforementioned demonstrated by speech-language pathologists holding CCC-SLP seeking to obtain BCS-ASD are assessed in two ways:
- Standard A (the application process) and
- Standard B (pass a 90-minute computer-administered 100 item praxis exam).
Standard A involves two parts:
- Meeting eligibility to submit an application
- Application submission for Active Candidacy
Part I: Eligibility for Application
In order to submit an application to become an active candidate for Board Certification in Autism Spectrum Disorders, a speech-language pathologist is required to meet four criteria:
- Hold the Certificate of Clinical Competence awarded by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
- Be employed as a speech-language pathologist for a minimum of 3 full time years after obtaining the CCC.
- Document 450 hours of Direct Clinical Contact Service within the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders with a period of five years prior to application. Direct Clinical Contact Service includes providing services in identification, prevention, assessment, and intervention with Autism Spectrum Disorder cases. Very important note: Direct Clinical Contact Hours may begin to accrue towards the application requirement during the 3 years you are employed after obtaining your CCC.
Note: Up to 135 of the 450 direct contact hours may be supervision of student clinicians or certified clinicians who are working under your guidance. Supervisory hours constitute your direct observation of another clinician or student providing services to a client who has Autism Spectrum Disorder. As a supervisor, you most likely are also providing direct services yourself. These should be counted toward the 315 direct clinical contact hours and NOT as supervisory hours.
These would include:
- Providing demonstration therapy for the client to assist the student/clinician in skill development,
- Co-treating with the student or clinician;
- Counseling provided directly to the client and/or their family members or other relevant individuals. This may include obtaining information from these individuals, providing information to them or engaging in problem solving or other counseling activities.
- Document 6 CEUs (or 60 hours) of intermediate to advanced training in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Six CEUs must be completed within 3 years of applying. Relevant content through approved coursework or approved online courses in the following areas:
- Understanding the process and procedures for development and learning processes in ASD (including the below) – (24 hours)
- Terminology and techniques associated with evidence based assessment and intervention of communication related aspects of ASD.
- Information gathering from multiple sources, including assessing developmental abilities, interviewing key stakeholders such as family members and teachers, identifying communication related intervention goals and effective, evidence based intervention procedures, establishing appropriate data recording methods for accountability,
- Understanding developmental processes in ASD related communication domains, including speech, language and social skills as well as behavioral manifestations of nonverbal communication.
- Application of developmental and learning theory analyses in the treatment of autism (24 hours)
- Learning Theory analyses such that trainees can understand the communication functions of problem behavior.
- Principles of Evidence Based Practices, including systematic reviews and a review of the ASHA evidence maps for Autism Spectrum Disorder (6 hours)
- Autism specific assessment procedures (12 hours) and differential diagnosis
- Autism specific intervention procedures (24 hours)
- Common comorbid disabilities including Intellectual Disability, ADHD, anxiety, and depression (4 hours)
- Specific considerations in ethical issues related to patient and family rights, intervention procedures, reporting procedures, humane responses to aggression, etc. (2 hours)
- Cultural issues and sensitivity in relation to autism, including bilingual issues (2 hours)
- Parent education and training and supervision of autism clinicians (12 hours)
Part 2: Submitting an Application Packet
After the aforementioned requirements are completed, the speech-language pathologist then submits an Application Packet for approval to become a candidate for certification. This packet includes the following components and are available on website:
Component 1: Application and required fee (see Board Certified Specialist- Autism Application)
Component 2: Completion and documentation of required clinical hours (see BCS-ASD Application Verification of Direct Clinical Activity Form)
Component 3: Copy of Official CEU transcripts and a completed (BCS-ASD Application Continuing Education Form)
Component 4: Three recommendation letters attesting to the candidate’s knowledge and skills in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders (see BCS-ASD Application Recommendation Letter Form)
Note: Guidelines for recommendation letters include obtaining one letter from each of the following:
- Personal client or parent of client
- Supervisor, Professor, or Colleague
- Professional in the field who is currently a BCS-ASD
After an application has been submitted and approved by the ABASD, the applicant becomes an Active Candidate.
An approval letter to become an active candidate for BCS-ASD within 30 days of receipt of the completed Application Packet will be sent via letter and email to the applicant.
Component 1: Statement of Philosophy
Each candidate will provide his or her statement of philosophy regarding assessment and treatment of individuals with ASD. This statement provides the ABASD with your personal views of theoretical perspectives, as well as the evaluation and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders , in regards to your training, personal study, interaction with professionals and/or mentors in the field, and clinical experience. The Statement of Philosophy must be no more than a maximum of three pages, 12pt font, single-spaced. Proper citation of a minimum of 5 references is required.
STANDARD B. Praxis Exam
The 100 item praxis exam will cover the following areas:
ASSESSMENT, DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS AND ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION
COLLABORATION AND REFERRAL
LEADERSHIP, SUPERVISION AND ETHICAL PRACTICE
EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT