Wednesday, June 7, 2017

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 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. Participants fill out the form and send it to Valeria Schmauch. Independent study plans are limited to 20 hours.

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

Valeria Schmauch, MSHA CEA


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Could Cancer Drugs Treat Autism?

A surprising genetic connection has autism researchers wondering if they can borrow from cancer’s medicine cabinet.

"Five years ago, on Charlie Ryan’s second birthday, a big lump mysteriously formed on the side of his abdomen. At the emergency room his parents took him to, doctors suggested the lump was a hernia caused by some unknown trauma, and referred the family to a surgeon. The surgeon told them it was a benign tumor, and sent them home.

Charlie already had a host of medical issues. He’d been born with an abnormally large head and other features of autism, including being nonverbal. Now this.

Two years later, after visits to multiple doctors and the nine months it took for his genetic test to be analyzed, her hunch proved right. Charlie has a mutation in PTEN. Ryan immediately faxed the results to Charis Eng, a PTEN expert at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, whose name she had come across in her research. A few months later, the family made their first trip from their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to see Eng and her colleague, autism expert Thomas Frazier. Together, Eng and Frazier have treated more than two dozen children like Charlie—who all have PTEN mutations, autism, and large heads.

Read more here at The Atlantic. 

Decoding beaver DNA for clues to autism

The beaver DNA project is expected to help advance research into human disorders and diseases such as autism and cancer, by allowing scientists to better understand genome sequencing done from scratch.
"The beaver genome was something that was begging to be studied," TCAG director Steve Scherer told CTV News.
Scherer, known for his breakthrough research into genes linked to autism, explained that the beaver genome sequencing was done as a way to test new technologies and ideas developed at the TCAG to study human genomes.

Watch the video on the Globe and Mail. 

Read more on CTV. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Positive Behavior Strategies for Students with Autism

Great Falls   March 3, 2017

Discussion will center around types of behaviors; task avoidance, escape motivated, atten- tion seeking, behaviors that produce sensory consequences, and the role motivation plays in behavioral success in many settings-school, home, and community. The training will also contain discussions about setting limits that work and the application of positive interventions. We will examine the common pitfalls that sabotage behavioral intervention plans and what to avoid when wanting to make significant behavioral changes. Discussion of how to conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment, write a Positive Behavioral Plan and use an Antecedent/Behavior/Consequence chart will be presented to the conference attendees

Go here for more information and go here to register.

Archived Webinars - Idaho Training Clearinghouse

Autism Spectrum Disorder: Executive Function to Interventions - Session 1

See more here - registration required to view. 

Roadmap to Transition: A Handbook for Autistic Youth Transitioning to Adulthood

Roadmap can be used in different ways. Chapters 2-6 lay the groundwork for understanding and preparing for transition. These chapters cover:
  • self-determination and self-advocacy
  • legal rights
  • how to make a transition plan
  • how to get supports, and
  • what supported decision-making is and how to use it.
Chapters 7-10 are content chapters. These chapters give in-depth information about the different things you'll need to think about as you go through transition planning. While each of these chapters focuses on a different topic, they all have sections about the important laws you should know and how that topic fits into your transition plan. The topics covered in these chapters are:
  • post-secondary education
  • employment
  • housing and independent living, and
  • health care.

Cinemark 8 in Helena is now showing sensory-friendly movies.

In a sensory friendly showing there are low lights, low volume, and few trailers, Feel free to move around or talk if needed. All ages welcome!

You can find The Alex Foundation on Facebook.