Thursday, July 4, 2019

FREE Online Autism Training from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering 83 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. The training can provide 78 OPI Continuing Education Units.

A listing and description of the training content can be found here. The training can be taken for OPI renewal units and ASHA CEUs and SWP/MFT/LAC/ CEUs. 

New groups start the beginning each month and you will be sent information then to begin your training. 

You can find more information and register for the online training here.


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:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tdap vaccine given to pregnant women did not increase risk of autism in children, study says

Using electronic medical records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California hospitals, the researchers studied more than 80,000 children from a four-year period to determine whether there were more instances of autism among those whose mothers had been vaccinated during pregnancy.
The research showed that 569 children (or 1.5 percent) whose mothers received the vaccination were later diagnosed with autism, compared with 772 children (or 1.8 percent) whose mothers did not get the shot. Becerra-Culqui said in an email that after taking into account other differences between the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups, “there was no association found between the Tdap vaccine received during pregnancy and autism in children.”

Family history of immune conditions and autism spectrum and developmental disorders: Findings from the study to explore early development

Using data from a large multi‐site study in the US—the Study to Explore Early Development—we found that women with a history of eczema/psoriasis and asthma are more likely to have children with ASD or DD. In addition, children with ASD are more likely to have a history of psoriasis/eczema or allergies than typically developing children. These data support a link between maternal and child immune conditions and adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Read more here. 

Autism and DDT: What one million pregnancies can — and can’t — reveal

Analysis finds that prenatal exposure to the pesticide is associated with a higher risk of severe autism with intellectual impairment.

Mothers with high levels of the pesticide DDT in their blood during pregnancy are more likely to bear children who develop autism, according to a study of blood samples from more than one million pregnant women in Finland.

Brown's team found no correlation between the PCB by-product and autism. But when they measured DDT by-product levels in the blood samples, they found that mothers with high concentrations of this chemical — those in the top quartile — were 32% more likely than women with lower DDT levels to give birth to children who developed autism. The likelihood that a child with autism accompanied by intellectual disability was twice as high in mothers with elevated DDT levels compared to those with lower levels.

Read more here at Nature. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Conference - Montana Association for Applied Behavior Analysis

3rd Annual Fall Conference Agenda

September 13th & 14th

Great Northern Hotel

Helena, MT


Thursday, September 13th

11AM-1PM Registration (lunch on your own)

1PM               Welcome and Opening

1:15PM        Dr. Susan Schneider,  Operant Principles Everywhere: Interdisciplinary Behavior Analysis and the Future of Our Field"

Operant principles apply everywhere from simple invertebrates to Wall Street. It’s reassuring to observe how scientists and practitioners in related fields are increasingly discovering "our" operant principles and applications--with or without discovering our field and its established terminology, methodology, and practices. Like other sciences, ours has always been part of a larger interdisciplinary effort. Interdisciplinary work is arguably more important than ever: We now know how fully operant principles interact with others in the large and complex nature-and-nurture system, for example.

This talk takes stock of our field’s current interdisciplinary extensions, with their boundless opportunities. Our biological context includes significant advances in operant-related genetics and epigenetics as well as sophisticated neuroscience. When it comes to higher-order skills, the functional linguists are among many fellow travelers. In application, ever more randomized controlled trials are expanding our reach in the mainstream, even as our small-n designs are increasingly accepted (and even adopted). I will summarize selected advances in all of these areas, and discuss what behavior analysts can learn and how we can contribute. While interdisciplinary work entails some barriers to be surmounted, the benefits can be considerable, and they flow in both directions.

3PM               Update on Licensing in Montana

6PM-8PM    Evening Reception (TBD)

Friday, September 14th

7:30AM-9AM        Registration and Breakfast

9AM-12Noon        Dr. Lisa Coyne and Dr. Evelyn Gould-Part One

12Noon-1PM         MT ABA Chapter Meeting and Lunch

1PM-4PM                Dr. Lisa Coyne and Dr. Evelyn Gould -Part Two

4PM                     Closing and Thank you!

Register here.

Speaker Bios:


Susan Schneider corresponded with B. F. Skinner through an engineering career and a Peace Corps stint, ultimately obtaining her Ph.D. in behavior analysis (University of Kansas).  A research pioneer, she was the first to apply generalized matching to sequences and to demonstrate operant generalization in neonates.  Her publications also cover the history and philosophy of behavior analysis and she's championed the inclusive interdisciplinary "systems" approach to nature-nurture relations.  She's served on the JEAB and Behavior Analyst editorial boards.  Her trade book, The Science of Consequences, covers operant behavior, its larger nature-nurture context, and its full range of applications, receiving advance praise from experts in genetics, neuroscience, and economics as well as behavior analysis.  It earned a mention in top journal Nature, was a selection of the Scientific American Book Club, and won the 2015 Media Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis. Schneider's extensive book tour has crisscrossed the US and Europe. She is currently focused on applying behavior analysis to climate change mitigation.


Lisa W. Coyne, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who has worked to improve the psychological well-being of children, teens and families for nearly 20 years.  After teaching as a tenured professor in the APA-Accredited Clinical Psychology at Suffolk University for 9 years, she is now on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital in the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where she founded the McLean Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.). She is a peer-reviewed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Trainer, and a Faculty member of the Behavior Therapy Training Institute (BTTI) of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF). She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on anxiety, OCD, and parenting and is the author of The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years.  She and Dr. Phoebe Moore are currently writing a book on treating adolescents with OCD and anxiety that is due out in 2018 with Guilford Press.

Evelyn Gould, PhD, BCBA-D, LABA, is a Clinical Behavior Analyst and Research Associate at the Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI-Jr) at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School. The OCDI-Jr program provides residential level of care for adolescents struggling with treatment refractory OCD and related disorders. The program emphasizes evidence-based behavioral interventions, including ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention) and ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). Dr. Gould currently works under the supervision of Dr. Lisa Coyne, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Researcher, and world-expert in ACT and the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders. Dr. Gould also continues to collaborate with FirstSteps for Kids, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA where she provides families and staff with clinical consultation, mentorship, and training. Dr. Gould has extensive experience working with children and adolescents with ASD (and their families) across settings, and has fulfilled a variety of clinical, training, and research roles in the USA, UK, and N.Ireland over the years. Dr. Gould remains passionate about the provision of high-quality clinical services for children, adolescents, and their families, and the dissemination of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Gould is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science, and an Editorial Board Member for Behavior Analysis in Practice. Dr. Gould is also actively involved in a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), including the ABAI ACT and Psychological Flexibility SIG, the ACBS Children and Families

Monday, July 30, 2018

Subtyping the Autism Spectrum Disorder: Comparison of Children with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Since Hans Asperger’s first description (Arch Psych Nervenkrankh 117:76–136, 1944), through Lorna Wing’s translation and definition (Psychol Med 11:115–129, 1981), to its introduction in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, 1994), Asperger Syndrome has always aroused huge interest and debate, until vanishing in the DSM fifth edition (2013). The debate regarded its diagnostic validity and its differentiation from high functioning autism (HFA). The present study aimed to examine whether AS differed from HFA in clinical profiles and to analyze the impact of DSM-5’s innovation. Differences in cognitive, language, school functioning and comorbidities, were revealed when 80 AS and 70 HFA patients (3–18 years) were compared. Results suggested that an AS empirical distinction within autism spectrum disorder should be clinically useful.

Read the full article here. 

Webinar - Integrating Assistive Technology into Adapted Physical Education to Achieve Healthy Outcomes

August 7th

Join us for this webinar to learn about adapted physical education (APE) and why it is important for students with disabilities to receive APE services.  In addition, we will review some of the major federal laws that define and mandate APE, how to effectively advocate for services, and how assistive technology can positively impact services. We will discuss a variety of assistive technology devices for a wide range of disabilities and how they can help students access to physical education curriculum and be physically active. Learn about apps specially designed to help students with disabilities be active, the use of communication devices to communicate effectively in a physical education setting, and the use of specially designed equipment for specific sports.

Register here (account creation required.)