Autism Spectrum Disorder Added Authorization

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Basic Program and Structure

In an effort to meet changing demands in the field of special education, the School of Education at Sonoma State University (SSU) provides an opportunity for educators who hold a Mild/Moderate (M/M) Education Specialist Credential (based upon the 1996 CCTC Standards) to seek authorization to support students on the Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Autism Spectrum Disorders Added Authorization (ASD) is an expanded authorization that can be attached to a Level I or Level II Education Specialist Mild/Moderate (M/M) credential. The program consists of 8 units (three courses) although candidates who recently completed their special education credentials at Sonoma State University will have completed some of the ASD program coursework. Commonly, SSU graduates are able to complete the ASD program in one semester. Once candidates complete the ASD program coursework, they will work with the Credentials Office at Sonoma State University to file for this expanded service authorization.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I know if I am authorized to teach students with Autism?
    By examining you credentials, you can determine the special education populations you are authorized to teach. If you hold a Level I or Level II M/M credential, you are not authorized to work with students with Autism. If you hold a newer Preliminary M/M credential, you will have acquired the competencies and authorization with this newer credential. All holders of a Level 1, Level II or newer Preliminary Moderate/Severe credential have authorization to work with students with Autism.
  2. Must holders of Learning Handicapped Specialist and Education Specialists Credentials in mild/moderate earn the ASD?
    No, it is not required unless the individual is providing services in the area of autism or is required by their employer to do so. An individual not required by assignment or employment to hold the authorization still has the option of earning this authorization.
  3. Can the holder of a general education teaching credential earn an ASD?
    No, the ASD-AA must build upon an approved Education Specialist credential.
  4. How do I apply?
    All candidates are asked to apply to both SSU as well as the ASD program. SSU applications are available at and ASD program applications are available at the School of Education Applications Page
  5. How much will it cost?
    Current SSU fees are detailed at
  6. Can the ASD serve as a part of a Master’s program?
    Yes, 490A & B can be applied to our Master’s degree program in Special Education.

  7. Required Autism Added Authorization Coursework

    Level I or Level II Mild/Moderate Education Specialist Credential
    Course Number Units Course Title
    EDUC 490A 3 Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
    EDSP 424 3 Positive Behavior Support for Students with Disabilities
    EDSP 490B 2 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Seminar and Fieldwork

    For additional information please contact our office: 707-664-3238