Friday, June 29, 2018

FREE Online Autism Training from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering 55+ hours of online training in Teaching Procedures, Behavior Interventions and Focused Topics to public school staff in Montana who educate students with autism spectrum disorders. A listing and description of the training content can be found here. The training can be taken for OPI renewal units and ASHA CEU and now SWP/MFT/LAC/ CEUs. 

You can find more information and register for the online training here. New groups start the middle of each month and you will be sent information then. 

These are some of the results of our post-training survey:


Information for Speech-Language Providers

ASHA members and/or MT state licensed SLPs are qualified to earn ASHA CEUs for completing the online Relias Learning curriculum. In 2011, a MT licensed SLP completed the ATS training as an "Independent Study" course and earned ASHA CEUs.

ASHA requires that Independent Study activities are approved 30 days prior to the start of the learning activity.

Independent Study forms should be dated at least 30 days prior to the date of the first certificate for completing a module. Below is a link for the ASHA Independent study form. Independent study plans are limited to 20 hours. Participants fill out the form and send it to the Montana MSHA rep. Contact Doug Doty at for information on whom to send it to.  

The link below will take you directly to the Independent Study form:


Friday, March 16, 2018

Three Resources for Behavior Contracts

Resources from Intervention Central

Behavior Contracts - How to Write Them

And many many suggestions from PBIS World

Webinar - Assistive Technology and the IEP

Thursday, March 29th, 2018 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm EDT

Are you a parent or family member of a child with an IEP? Do you work with students with disabilities and their families? This family-oriented webinar will provide valuable ideas on how to advocate for assistive technology devices and services designed to help students be successful at school. Among the questions that Ms. Lightner will address are:
  • What is assistive technology?
  • How do I learn what types of AT might help my child?
  • How do I get AT added to my child's IEP?
Go here to register. Account creation required.

Post-school Transition Assessments


Employability/Life Skills Assessment - Ages 6-13 years
Download PDF

Employability/Life Skills Assessment - Ages 14-21 years
Download PDF

Employability/Life Skills Assessment - Parent Form - Ages 6-13 years
Download PDF

Employability/Life Skills Assessment - Parent Form - Ages 14-21 years
Download PDF

Additional OCALI Transition Resources

Quickbook of Transition Assessments - multiple forms

Parent Interviews to Help in the Transition Process

Age Appropriate Transition Assessments

Casey Life Skills

 MCIS is a great site to use to give them a reality check on some of their ideas (start with the Interest Profile under assessments)

 BESI (Barriers to Employment Success Inventory)

Community-based Skills Assessment




Autism Symptoms Rarely Isolated, CDC Researchers Say

Nearly all children with autism are dealing with at least one other condition — and often several — ranging from anxiety to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sleep, behavioral and gastrointestinal issues, a new study suggests.

In an analysis of records on almost 1,900 kids on the spectrum, researchers found that over 95 percent presented with at least one issue in addition to autism.

Researchers looked for evidence of the 18 most common co-occurring conditions or symptoms in the children with autism, including cognitive issues, regression, behavior problems, congenital or genetic conditions and language disorders. On average, they found that each child had 4.9 of these secondary conditions, with a higher prevalence among 8-year-olds compared to 4-year-olds. Moreover, the study found that kids with autism who had co-occurring conditions were more likely to be diagnosed with the developmental disorder at younger ages.

Read more here at Disability Scoop.

Early Identification of ASD Through Telemedicine: Potential Value for Underserved Populations


Increasing access to diagnostic services is crucial for identifying ASD in young children. We therefore evaluated a telemedicine assessment procedure. First, we compared telediagnostic accuracy to blinded gold-standard evaluations (n = 20). ASD cases identified via telemedicine were confirmed by in-person evaluation. However, 20% of children diagnosed with ASD in-person were not diagnosed via telemedicine. Second, we evaluated telediagnostic feasibility and acceptability in a rural catchment. Children (n = 45) and caregivers completed the telemedicine procedure and provided feedback. Families indicated high levels of satisfaction. Remote diagnostic clinicians diagnosed 62% of children with ASD, but did not feel capable of ruling-in or out ASD in 13% of cases. Findings support preliminary feasibility, accuracy, and clinical utility of telemedicine-based assessment of ASD for young children.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

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.