Rivier to focus on autism with master’s program in special education

NASHUA – Rivier College is offering a new graduate program to focus on autism as part of its master’s degree program in special education.

The program is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree and certified in early childhood, elementary or secondary education. It will help more teachers become certified in special education and work directly with students affected by autism disorders.

The first class will be available this summer, although the program is scheduled to launch officially in the fall.

Teresa Bolick, a psychologist and behavior analyst working throughout New England, will teach the initial offering, characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and comorbid disorders, in July.

“Students with ASDs present unique challenges for educators,” Bolick said in a statement. “For these students, it’s not enough to teach academics. We must also address self-regulation, social cognition and interaction, and associated problems with anxiety, mood and interfering behavior.”