M.Ed. in Special Education
Hardin-Simmons University College of Human Sciences and Educational Studies
Earliest start date
This is a 30 (non-thesis) graduate semester hour program leading to a Master of Education in Special Education, emphasizing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
ABA is best known for its success in treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities) evidenced by empirical research studies dating back to the early 1960s. Treatment in this area is effective across the lifespan (i.e., childhood, adolescence, adulthood). In young children, intensive, comprehensive intervention is to improve cognitive, language, social, and self-help skills. Decades of research have shown that intensive ABA treatment is the most successful approach for children with ASD. Several sources are widely recognized, including the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Mental Health. When applied to older individuals, ABA involves teaching behaviors essential to functioning effectively in the home, school, and community. ABA can also decrease severe problem behaviors that endanger health and safety and limit educational, residential, or vocational options.