If you are interested in a career working specifically with young children with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs or with children who may be at risk for developmental delays then this certificate is a great place to start. You will learn about individual differences in both typically and atypically developing young children, how to work collaboratively as part of various trans-disciplinary teams, and how to provide early supports and services to young children in natural environments such as the home or child care program. In addition, if you are currently working at least 20 hours/week in the early childhood field, you may be eligible the Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program (see below) available through a partnership with Granite State College and the Division of Children Youth & Families, Department of Health and Human Resources. All courses in this certificate can be applied to our Associate degree in Early Care and Education for Young Children with Disabilities.

This program is financial aid eligible.

Early Childhood Education Scholarship Program

The Community College System of NH in partnership with the Division for Children, Youth, and Families (DHHS) to offer tuition assistance to child care providers who are entering or are currently in the field of Early Care and Education. If you provide family child care, or work at least part time in a child care setting in New Hampshire, you may be eligible to received tuition assistance for Early Childhood Education courses offered through the CCSNH. Additional information may be accessed here.

Practicum Considerations

All students working towards an Associate in Science with a major in Early Care and Education for Young Children with Disabilities will be expected to have flexible weekly schedules during both the 105-hour Early Intervention Practicum and 105-hour Preschool Special Education Practicum. Students, along with the assigned practicum supervisor at these sites will determine what the hours per week and daily schedule will be. This schedule may vary from week to week. It is not recommended to be working full time during practicum to account for this flexibility in scheduling. Please note: there are no evening, weekend, or summer practicum hours.

Student must be aware of the Health, Character, and Technical Standards required for this program, and must sign this document stating your understanding of what is required;

NHTI reserves the right to amend its technical standards at any time and impose them on all current students.

Completers will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.
  2. Implement various interventions for young children with ASD and children with disabilities across all developmental domains. 
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of developmentally effective approaches which emphasize positive relationships and supportive interactions to influence outcomes for individual children. 
  4. Demonstrate a basic understanding of relevant professional, legal, and regulatory guidelines for serving every child. 
  5. Demonstrate that they know about, understand, and value the importance of creating respectful, reciprocal relationships to support and empower families in their communities.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to participate in early intervention and special needs interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary teams.
  7. Demonstrate a variety of Early childhood field experiences.

Young Children with Autism and Exceptionalities Certificate

Course NumberCourse TitleCLLABCR
Fall Semester
ECE 101CGrowth and Development of the Young Child^303
ECE 225CAutism Spectrum Disorder303
Spring Semester
ECE 167CPositive Behavior Guidance and Supporting Young Children with Challenging Behaviors^303
ECE 270CTeaching Young Children with Exceptionalities303
Fall Semester*
ECE 282CPreschool Special Education Practicum274
EDU 201CLegal Issues in Education303
Spring Semester*
ECE 242CChild, Family, and Community303
ECE 283CEarly Intervention Practicum274

*Indicates only one option is necessary for completion of the certificate.  Student, along with the advisor, will decide which practicum option the student will complete. 

^ All students taking the following courses ECE 101C and ECE 167C will be charged a $25 Child and Family Development Center Lab fee for each class.

CL – Number of lecture/classroom hours per week for the course
LAB – Number of simulation laboratory, laboratory or clinical hours per week for the course
CR – Number of credit hours for the course


of students qualify for financial aid