Upcoming Trainings

JUNE

PECS - Teaching Critical Communication Skills 

Glendive - June 14th

You will be able to define functional communication; identify and evaluate the nine critical communication skills; design effective teaching strategies to promote these skills independent of modality; incorporate effective visual strategies for all communicators.

Register here. 

Helping Children Become Active Learners Using the DIR/Floortime Model

Bozeman - June 26th
 
Children diagnosed with Autism and related disorders have challenges that impact self-regulation, communication, social-emotional development, learning and the development of functional skills.  This presentation will introduce key principles of the DIR/Floortime model that can help children become active learners though a better understanding of how biologically based individual differences in communication, motor planning, and sensory processing, impact the learning process.  

Floortime offers interactive techniques that can be used to help children learn to attend and self regulate, to become engaged and reciprocal in interactions with others, and to begin to understand social problem solving.  These early functional emotional developmental capacities are necessary to engage in active, adaptive learning.  

This workshop will demonstrate intervention principles and technique that can help teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, and parents prepare the child for learning and address challenges such as avoidance, shut downs, and meltdowns. Participants will learn how to interpret the child’s behavioral cues and to use developmentally targeted interaction techniques to address the child’s functional challenges.

To register go to https://pd4montana.hrmplus.net/     Course #8789

AUGUST

Autism for Administrators - Billings 

Billings - August 2nd

Morning Objectives: Participants will (a) define the major characteristics of autism and identify symptoms commonly associated with the disorder and state whether they are part of the official definition or not, (b) identify two ‘gold standards’ for identifying autism and state the difference between identifiation and verification, and (c) identify at least two accommodations and two alternate assessments for students who have autism.

Afternoon Objectives: Participants will (a) identify and describe several classroom and academic interventions for students with ASD, (b) describe social and behavioral approaches to increasing these skills in students with ASD, (c) identify the need for crisis planning and supports including FBA and Function-based interventions, (d) list at least four considerations for improving policies at their own school or district, and (e) inform others of current research which applies to students with ASD in their school or district.

See more information and register here. 

Advanced Treatment Concepts and Anxiety and ASD: The Psychological Equivalent of Fever

Billings – August 10th

Advanced Treatment Concepts: The purpose of this presentation is to convey the generic power of behavior analysis by describing an array of behavior analytic treatment concepts, all of which are readily applicable to the behavior problems of persons on the spectrum and, indeed, to the behavior problems of all persons.

Anxiety and ASD: The Psychological Equivalent of Fever
This talk will discuss anxiety in straightforward terms; illuminate the extent to which it affects virtually everyone to a certain degree and the extent to which it affects persons with ASD even more. It will also discuss treatment both in terms of experimental study and clinical application. Finally, because the research on treatment of anxiety in persons with ASD is so limited, the talk will extrapolate from the abundant literature on treatment of anxiety in typically developing persons.

Read more and register here.  (Note, the course is full but at the time this is posted there were waiting list spots available.)

Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Returns to Montana!!

Missoula – August 17th and 18th

August 17th -  ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Concrete Learners 

1.  Describe four core characteristics of Challenged and Emerging Social Communicators and explain why these students struggle to learn social and academic concepts in groups and require different social thinking lessons from Nuance Challenged Social Communicators. 

2.  Develop a lesson for an individual with characteristics of an Emerging Social Communicator. The lesson will include visual support(s) and/or worksheets to translate abstract concepts to more concrete ideas. 

3.  Describe at least one additional treatment approach to use in conjunction with Social Thinking for individuals who function as Challenged and Emerging Social Communicators. 

August 18th - ZOOMING IN: Strategies for Individuals with Subtle but Significant Social Problems 

1.  Describe four core characteristics of those considered to be Nuance Challenged Social Communicators and how to consider those characteristics in group planning. 

2.  Describe how to develop strategies for use in school and home settings, differentiating cognitive behavioral treatment from applied behavior analysis. 

3.  Develop lessons or a group of lessons geared toward students with more nuance-based challenges. The lessons will include the creation of worksheets to translate abstract concepts into more concrete ideas. 

4.  Create a social learning activity that can be used in an inclusion-based learning environment to engage all students in the classroom.

You can register here.

SEPTEMBER

PECS Level I Trainings

Great Falls - September 18th and 19th 

Bozeman - September 20th and 21st

This intensive two-day training is designed to teach participants the theory behind the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and the protocols for how to appropriately implement the six phases of PECS. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to rapidly teach communication skills to those with limited functional speech. Training in PECS begins by teaching a spontaneous request and goes on to teach additional communicative functions such as responding to questions and commenting.

NOTE:  PECS REQUIRES THAT EACH ATTENDEE MUST BRING THEIR OWN COPY of the Second Edition PECS Training Manual with Data Forms CD to the training. Manuals may not be shared among attendees.  

PECS will NOT admit you to the training if you do not bring an individual copy of that manual.

Register here.

OCTOBER

PECS Level I Trainings

Kalispell - October 2nd and 3rd

Hamilton - October 4th and 5th

This intensive two-day training is designed to teach participants the theory behind the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and the protocols for how to appropriately implement the six phases of PECS. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to rapidly teach communication skills to those with limited functional speech. Training in PECS begins by teaching a spontaneous request and goes on to teach additional communicative functions such as responding to questions and commenting.

NOTE:  PECS REQUIRES THAT EACH ATTENDEE MUST BRING THEIR OWN COPY of the Second Edition PECS Training Manual with Data Forms CD to the training. Manuals may not be shared among attendees. PECS will NOT admit you to the training if you do not bring an individual copy of that manual.

Register here.

2017 Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities

Billings - October 3rd and 4th

The Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities will cover special education legal issues, including the latest information from due process hearings, circuit court cases, OSEP/OCR guidance letters, and basic IDEA procedural requirements. 

You can register here.

  

Wyoming Autism Spectrum Disorder Summit

Jackson – October 2nd and 3rd

You can see more information and register here.


Summer is a Great Time to Take our Online Training in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Behavior Interventions

We offer subscriptions to a highly-rated online training in autism spectrum disorders and behavioral interventions. The training provides 55+ hours of instruction in autism spectrum disorders and behavioral interventions.  The training must be completed in 90 days. OPI renewal units and ASHA CEUs are available. New groups start the middle of each month. 

If you are interested in taking the training please go here to register.


You can also view trainings as they are added on the  OPI Montana Autism Education Project blog
 

Montana Autism Education Project recent blog posts of interest:

 

One Page Profiles

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 You can find a variety of template profiles here. 

Tool Kit: Sleep Strategies for Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Guide for Parents!

Many teens with ASD have difficulty with sleep, which can affect their daytime functioning, as well as that of their families. This tool kit is designed to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in their teens affected by ASD and helps the problems of falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. Autism Speaks has a good resource: 

Download Sleep Strategies for Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Guide for Parents here!

Special Diets, Supplements for Autism Still a Question Mark

Parents of children with autism often try diet changes or supplements to ease symptoms of the disorder, but a new review concludes there's no solid evidence that any work. After analyzing 19 clinical trials, researchers found little proof that dietary tactics -- from gluten-free foods to fish oil supplements -- helped children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Some studies showed positive effects, while others found nothing, the researchers said. Overall, the trials were too small and short-term to draw conclusions one way or the other.

Read more here at HealthDay. 

Sensory Therapies For Autism: How Much Sense Do They Make?

If you've spent money and time for your autistic child to receive therapies targeting "sensory integration" or other sensory-related methods and wondered if they do anything, here is your answer: No. Or probably not. Or who knows?

In other words, the evidence base for these therapies is fragile or nonexistent, at least according to a systematic review just published in Pediatrics, covering the findings of 24 studies. The review, by Vanderbilt researcher Amy S. Wietlauf and colleagues, focused on massage, sensory integration approaches, environmental enrichment, and auditory enrichment, tossing in the available few studies of weighted blankets for good measure.

According to the authors, the available evidence for the effectiveness of any of these interventions is limited, and even for those that seem to have an effect, how long the effect lasts is simply unknown. The longest term they could drum up was 6 months.

Read more here.

In Treating Autism, Drugs Often Overshadow Behavior Therapy

Many kids with autism are taking antipsychotics without participating in behavior therapy, new research suggests, despite evidence that medication is most helpful when paired with therapy.


Read more here. 

Other items

Consultation Visits



Do you have a student with autism receiving an extended school year? That can be a great time for a visit from one of our Autism Consultants when there are fewer distractions in the classroom. These services are available for no charge. Please contact Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov if you are interested in scheduling a consultation visit this summer.

OPI Has Behavioral Consultants

The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) wishes to announce the availability of Behavioral Consultants for districts needing help in developing functional behavioral assessments (FBA) and behavioral intervention plans (BIP) for individual special education students without autism. If you are in need of a consultant, please contact Dale Kimmet at (dkimmet2@mt.gov).

Thank you for subscribing to this mailing list. If you know others who might wish to receive this newsletter they can subscribe here

Doug

 

Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator

OPI Montana Autism Education Project

ddoty@mt.gov 459-5303