The University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Autism Grant


Friday, October 22, 2010
Grant will train teachers to work with youngsters with specific disabilities
Contact: Iris Foster, Interim Public Information Officer, 432-552-2806
      Special Education faculty at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin have received a four-year grant totaling $1,065,396 from the U.S. Department of Education for the training of master teachers to work with infants and young children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities.
            “The goal of this project is to increase the number of highly educated teachers knowledgeable and skilled in early intervention/early childhood special education with a specialization in autism spectrum disorders,” wrote Dr. Karen Smith, professor of special education and assistant vice president for graduate studies and sponsored research.
            A collaborative effort between special education and early childhood education faculty, co-investigators for the grant include UTPB’s Dr. Kathy Siepak, Dr. Amanda Louder, and Dr. Jan Murdock along with Dr. Smith. Thirty highly qualified teachers enrolled in graduate studies will be recruited, paid a stipend, and prepared to serve infants, toddlers, and pre-school age children with disabilities who come from both linguistically and culturally diverse settings. The existing, online master’s program in special education will be enhanced with a track emphasizing intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Graduates will receive a Master’s Degree, certification in EC-12 special education, and a UTPB Certificate in Early Intervention/Early Childhood/Autism Spectrum Disorders.
      Because of this grant, families of infants and toddlers diagnosed with various disorders related to autism will soon have new teachers to help them cope with unique issues.