General Laws

Section 38G1/2. As used in this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meaning:?

''Autism or autism spectrum disorders'' shall have the same meaning as the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

''Board'', the board of elementary and secondary education established in chapter 15.

''Department'', the department of elementary and secondary education established in chapter 15.

''Transition services'', as defined in 20 USC 1401(34).

The board shall provide a specialist teacher endorsement in transition services which shall include both coursework and field experience for previously licensed special education teachers and rehabilitation counselors to develop the competence necessary to serve as transition coordinators to facilitate provision of a coordinated set of activities to adequately prepare students with disabilities to achieve successful transition to post-school activities, including further education, competitive employment and independent living. The requirements for the specialist teacher endorsement in transition services, as promulgated by the board, may also satisfy course requirements necessary to obtain a professional license. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations specifying the subject matter, knowledge, skills and competencies required for such endorsement, including requirements to incorporate renewal of the endorsement as part of the individual professional development plan required pursuant to section 38G. The rules and regulations shall also specify components necessary for preparation programs offering a specialist teacher endorsement in transition services, which shall be included in the department's process for approving preparation programs.

The board shall provide an endorsement in autism which shall include both coursework and field experience for licensed special education teachers to acquire the competencies necessary to conduct assessments, develop appropriate individualized education programs, provide specially designed instruction and related services and consult and collaborate with other educators, including general education teachers, in order to meet the unique and complex educational needs of students with autism in the least restrictive environment. Competencies shall also include, but not be limited to, the impact of autism on verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, sensory experiences, behaviors, literacy and academic achievement. All content taught as part of this specialization shall be consistent with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. ? 1400 et seq., for evidence based practices. The requirements for the endorsement in autism, as promulgated by the board, may also be used to satisfy course requirements necessary to obtain a professional license. The board shall promulgate regulations specifying the subject matter knowledge, skills and competencies required for such endorsement, including requirements to incorporate renewal of the endorsement as part of the individual professional development plan required pursuant to section 38G. Said regulations shall also specify components necessary for preparation programs offering an endorsement in autism, which shall be included in the department's process for approving preparation programs.