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. The training is free for educators across Texas who are employees of a local education agency.
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.
Is the ACA for you?
The Autism Circuit Academy programs are designed for educators committed to developing effective educational programming for all students with autism.
- Special Education Teachers
- General Education Teachers
- Campus and District Specialists
- Speech Language Pathologists
- Occupational Therapists
- Other Local Education Agency Staff
The Level 1 2023-2024 EBP Cohort application is now closed. Contact AutismCircuit@esc13.txed.net to learn more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will my endorsement mean?
The Autism Circuit Academy endorsement is awarded evidence of 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 information on your endorsement details the work completed to earn the endorsement and CEUs: participate in multiple interactive webinars, provide artifacts of implementation with students for each of the high-yield EBPs, and collaborate in a statewide professional learning community (PLC). The endorsement does not expand the scope of your profession; however, it does demonstrate your commitment and accomplishment to professional growth. The CEUs you earned from the Autism Circuit Academy program are accredited by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). It is not an accredited degree, nor is it a license or certificate from the state. The state of Texas does not issue any licenses or certificates for autism training, nor is one required for working with students. Your endorsement from TSLAT and TEA is a visible sign that you are equipped to effectively and appropriately implement programs for students with autism.
What makes this training unique?
There are many online trainings about autism available. What makes the Autism Circuit Academy unique is the model of professional development (PD) that we use. Research shows that the traditional model of PD, the sit-and-get model of workshops or webinars, is 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 Academy levels 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. Individual coaching from a TSLAT autism specialist is an integral component of each level. Our virtual PLC platform also allows for consulting not just from our TSLAT staff, but from peers across Texas participating in the PLC (Center for Public Education, 2013).
How do I request a copy of my certificate or my digital badge?
Email AutismCircuit@esc13.txed.net. Please indicate your full name, the program level you completed, and the year of completion.
Why is the Level 2: Advanced program 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 Level 1. Many of the EBPs covered in Level 2 incorporate the Tool Belt EBPs, so a strong common knowledge of implementation is important. Also, educators who have completed the Level 1 program are more likely to better manage challenging behaviors using the EBPs they learned so that they may be better able to focus on content.
Who do I contact if I have questions about the Autism Circuit Academy programs?
Contact the Autism Circuit at AutismCircuit@esc13.txed.net.