Greetings from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project. We hope you find the information below useful and interesting. You can always find more training opportunities and information on our blog.

Upcoming Trainings

Big Picture Planning: Developing Responsive Transition Planning Systems

January 18

Big Picture Planning provides schools and families a flexible structure for engaging in conversations about how best to support the transition to post-school living for students with disabilities. Participants are encouraged to bring a copy of a completed Big Picture Planning for session activities. By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

*Provide examples of how to adapt Big Picture Planning for different transition needs, ages, setting, and family structures
*Use Big Picture Planning to improve IEP and transition plan writing and implementation
*Design a school-wide system to support ongoing, embedded Big Picture Planning system
*Use learned strategies to facilitate more difficult transition-based conversations with families and students

Read more and register here. 

CEC Conference


February 28 - March 2

Sessions of special interest include: "The Birds and the Bees: Puberty, Hygiene, Safety and Sexuality for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder" and "Penny vs. Sheldon: An Approach to Social Communication Instruction" and "Google Form Data Collecting Made Easy" and "Writing Data Friendly, Individualized IEP Goals" and "Social Skills Aren’t Rocket Science!" and "How to Write Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Goals for IEPs" and "Expanding Your Toolbox; How to Integrate Zones of Regulation across the School Setting."

You can find the full conference schedule here.

Facing the Frontal Lobe: Strategies to Support Executive Function Skills in Students with Planning, Organization, Emotional Control, Working Memory and Attention Needs

June 12

Participants in the workshop will learn the impact of Executive Functioning on student learning and social interaction. The workshop is designed for all educators as attention is given to those skills needed by kindergarten through middle school students to be successful in a general and special education classroom. Participants will learn about the five domains of cognitive skills and will be given resource ideas and strategies that are designed to support strong cognitive skills in students. The strategies presented focus on skills that promote effective organization and time management, task completion, independent work, student goal setting and accountability. Additionally, the intervention ideas also provide a foundation to assist student self-monitoring, impulse control and emotional management. 

FInd more information and register here.

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.

Recent Blog Posts of Interest

National Autism Association Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkits Available

The National Autism Association’s Big Red Safety Teacher Toolkit® is a free-of-charge safety toolkit for educators in need of wandering-prevention tools.
Read more here. 

YETI Summer Camps - Missoula

YETI is a week-long opportunity for children with social skill challenges to develop thier skills. Peer models attend this camp and each child has a 1:1 interventionist.

Find more information here.

Missoula - Human Development and Sexuality for Boys with ASD

December 14,  3:30 - 5:00

This talk is developed for bosy with ASD ages 10 and older. The boys will learn about body changes,urges, embarrasment, how to talk to their parents, attreaction and other strategies for this challenging life transition.

Find more information here.

Portrayals of autism on television don’t showcase full spectrum

If you’re a fan of either of two new television shows that debuted in the United States this September — “Atypical” on the streaming service Netflix or “The Good Doctor” on ABC  I’ve got news for you. You’re watching an overly positive depiction of autism that doesn’t reflect reality for the majority of people on the spectrum. To the televison-watching public, autism has come to mean the verbal, higher-skilled, savant end of the spectrum, because individuals at that end make for interesting characters.

Read more here.

Upcoming and Archived Webinars

Webinar - Assistive Technology to Support Children’s Sensory and Behavior Development

December 7

This workshop discusses the wide range of assistive technology available to help support children’s sensory and behavior needs. Tools, apps, and resources will be discussed and demonstrated.

Register here.


Addressing Challenging Behaviors: An in depth look at antecedent and consequence strategies

View the archived webinar here.

Making The Team: SEL Skills for Successful Relationships among Educators

View the archived webinar here. 

6 Steps for Developing an Effective Behavior Plan & Behavior Support for All Learners

View the webinar here. 

Other Information

Consultation Visits

Our Autism Consultants are available to provide consultations for students with autism for no charge. Please contact Doug Doty at if you are interested in scheduling a consultation visit.

OPI Has Behavioral Consultants

The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) has 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 (


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Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator

OPI Montana Autism Education Project 459-5303