Campus: CSU Los Angeles -- January 9, 2004
Interested in Autism Specialization to be Served by CSULA Federal Training
California State University, Los Angeles’ autism specialist William
D. Frea (Los Angeles resident) has recently been awarded a $1.2 million
five-year federal grant to prepare educators and therapists to work
with children with autism across the Los Angeles area. This personnel
preparation grant from the U.S. Department of Education will train at
least 100 professionals in methods for teaching and supporting individuals
“This grant will address the enormous need for professionals who
understand how to work with children with autism and their families,”
says Frea. According to Frea, the number of students identified as having
autism has tripled in California over the last ten years. “This
grant will provide coursework and fieldwork to special educators, counselors,
behavior specialists, and school psychologists,” he explains.
An associate professor of education in the Division of Special Education,
Frea directs Cal State L.A.’s autism programs. These unique programs
offer a master’s degree option in autism in the Division of Special
Education. The University also offers an autism certificate, which represents
four courses that can be added to any credential or masters degree program.
Cal State L.A. assistant professor Jennifer Symon, also a specialist
in autism, will be coordinating the training responsibilities.
William Frea, associate professor of education, received his B.A., M.A.
and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Frea
is the coordinator of the autism program, and also coordinates the joint
doctoral program in Special Education. He has published many articles
on improving social skills and disruptive behavior in children with
autism and a guide for assisting parents to analyze causes of behavior
and design treatment plans. He is an expert in clinical and educational
interventions for autism, and is a licensed clinical psychologist. His
specialty is in social skills training, challenging behavior, functional
communication, and all areas of the autistic spectrum. He was a fellow
at the Vanderbilt University, Peabody College, Kennedy Center.
Media Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director, (323) 343-3044