April 2018

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


Positive Behavioral Practice Based Strategies for Self-Regulation

Great Falls
April 6th

A thorough presentation of positive behavioral interventions in the classroom. Children with Serious Emotional Disorder and behavioral concerns will be thoroughly discussed. The audience will be able to apply the information presented through videos, activities, and examples of how to set up positive plans for children in a variety of environmental settings immediately in their respective situations. We will examine the common pitfalls that sabotage behavioral intervention plans.

See the flyer here.

Register here.


OPI Montana Autism Education Project Conference

Billings       April 9th and 10th

Monday April 9th

1. The Birds and the Bees: “Puberty, Hygiene, Safety and Sexuality for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder."

2. How To Build A Program For a Student With Autism

3. Strengthen Your Toolbox of Strategies and Activities for Students with Autism.


Tuesday April 10th

1. How to Implement a Program for a Student with Autism

2. How to Develop and Write Measurable IEP Goals

3. How To Prepare Students (and Yourself) for Post-school Transition

4. Reinforcer Surveys and Reinforcer Schedules (How to Increase Student Success and Your Happiness)

5. Analysis of Automatically Reinforced Behavior: Sexualized behavior, Sensory Regulation and Stimulation


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, ASHA CEUs and now SWP/MFT/LAC/ 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

Peer partners help students with autism join playground fun

Many students with autism struggle to play with their peers in unstructured situations or to develop friendships with children who do not have disabilities1. Although teachers are often sympathetic to these challenges, they rarely feel empowered to help.

Go here to read the full article at Spectrum and learn some good ideas.


Newsletter – Science in Autism Treatment


See the issue here.

Subscribe to the quarterly newsletter here.


14 Simple conversation social skills kits for children with autism: Free games, prompts, worksheets, activities

Here are a number of free resources to help children on the autism spectrum with various elements of conversation. 

 Go here to see the resources.


Navigating the Zones - A New Zones Tool by Leah Kuyper


Navigating The Zones is an interactive teaching tool designed to extend Leah Kuyper’s original teachings as described in the book The Zones of Regulation®. It engages participants in a problem-solving process at the heart of emotional self-regulation—while learning and collaborating along the way. It walks participants through the “Zones Pathway”—a visual, sequential, and concrete road map that helps structure participants’ thinking and processing about the problem-solving sequence that is at the center of emotional self-regulation.

See more information here.


Three Resources for Behavior Contracts

Resources from Intervention Central

Behavior Contracts - How to Write Them

And many many suggestions from PBIS World


Post-school Transition Assessments

We put a number of transition assessments into one blog post. Included are Employability/Life Skills assessments for different ages, links to multiple other assessments and several archived webinars.

You can see them here.


What Might You Need to Know About Managing a Crisis Situation?

Generally, when a child is engaged in the active, disruptive stage of a behavior, such as a tantrum or aggression, the essential focus has to be on the safety of the individual, those around them, and the protection of property. It is important to keep in mind that when he is in full meltdown mode, he is not capable of reasoning, being redirected, or learning replacement skills. However, this level of agitation does not usually come out of thin air. You can learn skills to help anticipate and turn around an escalating situation that seems to be headed in this direction.

Read some great advice here at Autism Speaks.


Should All Nonverbal Young Children with Autism Immeditely Have AAC Taught To Them?

Consider that by 18 months, babies have heard 4,380 hours of spoken language and we don’t expect them to be fluent speakers.  Yet, if AAC learners only see symbols modeled for communication twice weekly for 20-30 minutes, it will take 84 YEARS for them to have the same exposure to aided language as an 18 month old has to spoken language. (Jane Korsten- QIAT Listerv 2011).

Read the very good article 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 ddoty@mt.gov 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 (dkimmet2@mt.gov).

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Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator

OPI Montana Autism Education Project

ddoty@mt.gov 459-5303