Spike in autism diagnoses leads to new teaching certificate at William & Mary

Photo courtesy: William & Mary

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — William & Mary will offer a new teaching certificate that’s specifically designed for instructing students with autism.

The university says the program is the result of the spike in autism diagnoses. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that one in 68 school-age children live with the condition. The prevalence was about one in 150 children 15 years ago.

The certificate will be offered this fall through the university’s School of Education. It’s open to current teachers and professionals who engage with students with autism in a school setting. That includes physical therapists and guidance counselors.