Specialist and child playing with sandbox

Academic Education and Research

Academic offerings and research opportunities that promote personal and professional growth as well as advancement in the study of developmental diversity.

Academic education and research serve to advance the mission, values and philosophy of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health (CAECMH) at Montclair State University. Academic offerings include the Developmental Models of Autism Intervention Certificate, a post-baccalaureate program offered through the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education and administered by the CAECMH. The 15-credit program prepares teachers and other educators, mental health practitioners and allied health professionals to use assessment, education and intervention strategies to work with children with autism and their families.

Continuing education in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.

In addition, the CAECMH is home to the New Jersey Autism Center for Excellence Coordinating Center, which serves to support and advance the mission of newly funded New Jersey Autism Center for Excellence (NJ ACE) clinical research sites by promoting the sharing of lessons learned and best practices in the conduct of clinical research.

New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence Coordinating Center (NJ ACE CC-MSU)

Funded by the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence (NJ ACE), the New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence Coordinating Center, also known as NJ ACE CC-MSU, supports and advances the mission of funded New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence clinical research and program sites by researching, applying and advancing best practices in the understanding, prevention, evaluation and treatment of autism spectrum disorders, enhancing the lives of individuals across their lifespans.

The NJ ACE CC-MSU strives to be the voice of autism research in New Jersey by serving as a liaison between the research sites, the Department of Health and the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism to communicate progress on grants funded by the Department of Health. Since 2012, the NJ ACE CC-MSU has supported 39 autism spectrum disorder research grants from bench research to clinical practice research, including five medical homes. On a yearly average, the NJ ACE CC-MSU supports 33 research grants and provides summaries of progress as well as recommendations for refunding.

Other Coordinating Center functions include:

  • Promoting the sharing of best practices and lessons learned in the conduct of clinical research
  • Promoting reflective practices for project site teams
  • Conducting a multi-method, cross-site evaluation to assess context, implementation, participation and achievement of yearly project objectives
  • Developing standard operating procedures for program sites such as data entry, management and submission to the National Database for Autism Research
  • Organizing clinical trainings (i.e. for clinical instruments such as the ADOS)
  • Disseminating findings to families, providers and communities

Visit the NJACE page for more information about the Coordinating Center, including current research, medical homes, discussions, and news and events. Additionally, visit the Coordinating Center’s Facebook page.

Developmental Models of Autism Intervention Certificate

Recent scientific advances have reframed autism spectrum disorders as a difference in the structure and functioning of the brain and neurosensory system as opposed to a disorder of behavior. The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program in Developmental Models of Autism Intervention (DMAI) prepares teachers, educators, mental health practitioners and allied health professionals to use assessment, education and intervention strategies to work with children with autism and their families. It provides professionals with comprehensive academic and applied experiences around autism spectrum disorder from a developmental and relational perspective. This 15 graduate credit certificate is offered through the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Early Childhood, Elementary and Literacy Education and is administered by the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health.

Please read the Certificate requirements and admission criteria. For more information, please email caecmh@montclair.edu or call 973-655-6685.

Continuing Education in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

Continuing education in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, offered through the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health and the College of Education and Human Services, provides professionals from a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, counseling, social work, education, pediatrics, nursing and other allied fields, the opportunity to study the interdisciplinary field of infant and early childhood mental health. The coursework encourages the formation of candidates to become respectful partners in promoting infant and early childhood mental health and the infant/child-parent relationship. Candidates learn how to engage in meaningful interactions, understand individual differences in infants, children and families and learn to develop applications for use for children and families within the scope of their specific professional licensure and practice. The curriculum emphasizes three critical domains:

  • The integration of principles and practices of infant and early childhood mental health into the nature of all educational, service, policy and advocacy programs
  • The implications and applications of “relationship-based” intervention
  • The critical importance on “reflective practices” in all educational and service programs

View the course offerings and admission criteria. For more information, please email caecmh@montclair.edu or call 973-655-6685.

If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.

–Stephen Shore, PhD