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Thursday, July 4, 2019

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 and SWP/MFT/LAC/ CEUs. 

New groups start the beginning and middle of 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.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION IF YOU ARE TAKING THE TRAINING FOR ASHA CEUs:

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 ddoty@mt.gov for information on whom to send it to.  

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

http://www.asha.org/ce/self-direct/isteps/
 


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Autism’s sex ratio, explained

Autism is significantly more common in boys than in girls. This skewed sex ratio has been recognized since the first cases of autism were described in the 1940s. The exact reasons for the ratio remain unclear. It could be rooted in biological differences between the sexes. Or, some experts say, it may be an artifact of the way autism is defined and diagnosed.

Here’s how researchers estimate and explain the sex ratio in autism.

What is the sex ratio for autism?

Researchers have consistently found more boys than girls with autism when estimating the condition’s prevalence. This has been true regardless of whether the data came from parent-reported diagnoses, reviews of school and medical records, or diagnostic evaluations of children.

The most comprehensive analysis of autism’s sex ratio, published in 2017, drew on data from 54 prevalence studies worldwide. That analysis estimated about 4.2 boys with autism for every girl.

Read more here at Spectrum.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Age Data for Montana Students with Autism





















A note on the 2017 data: The OPI made a change in 2017 Child Count procedures. In previous years, the Child Count included ONLY students with autism who had an IEP in effect in the online IEP system on the first Monday in October. In 2017, this date was changed to include students who had an IEP in effect on the first Monday in October AND students who had an IEP in effect in September but whose IEP may have not have been in effect on the first Monday in October due to re-scheduled meetings. These student were still receiving special education services, but would not have been counted in previous Child Counts.



Other Data for Montana Students with Autism

Autism as a Percentage of All Disabilities:









Autism by Gender:



This is the gender ratio of 4:1 that is common in autism. The same gender ratio is present for Native American students. 












Note: 2011 was the first year in which, "multi-racial" was available as a racial choice.

 
 







Data for Montana Native American Students with Autism

 
 








 
 

































Number of Students with Autism by County 2010 - 2016










You can also play or download a short animation that shows the above changes over time. At the bottom of the page you can pause the playback and then use the progress bar button to move more slowly from year to year.

In 2017, 74% of Montana public school students with autism live in nine counties.







 


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Study: Drivers With Autism Just As Good As Other Motorists

Drivers with autism were more likely to exhibit varying speeds and trouble with lane management especially when the conditions were challenging — like in a construction zone — or in cases where the driver was distracted by the radio or conversation, the study found.
However, these difficulties were predominately seen in those learning to drive who did not yet have a license. Among study participants who already had a driver’s license, researchers found no significant differences in performance between those with and without autism.
Researchers behind the current study said their findings suggest that more individually-tailored driving instruction may be beneficial in helping people with autism prepare.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations

Unfortunately, boys and girls with autism often face barriers to participating fully in youth community organizations. And so with help from respected experts in the field of autism and special education, experienced parents and caregivers, we have created Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations, a guide for organizations to ensure that youth with autism have the same formative experiences through community programs that are available to their typical peers.
The purpose of this guide is to better prepare community organizations to serve youth and families with autism. The information will help organizations learn to integrate youth with autism into existing programs, communicate with parents, and train their staff.
Click here to download Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations Guide. You can also download individual sections at the links below:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Paraeducator Supervison Training


Polson, June 12.

The purpose of this course is to provide the professional educator with core knowledge and skills to work effectively in teams composed both of professionals and paraeducators. Specifically, participants will refine their knowledge of the characteristics of paraeducators in education, the distinction between professional and paraeducator roles and responsibilities, liability and ethical issues. They will learn about the research-based components of paraeducator supervision.
They will develop skills in: (1) establishing collaboration and working relationships (2) assessing personal supervisory skills; (3) building work schedules and instructional plans; (4) identifying career development areas for paraeducators through needs assessment; and (5) using feedback to improve the job performance of para- educators

Register here.

Vitamin D linked to lowered autism risk in large study

Children born with high blood levels of vitamin D have 25 percent decreased odds of autism compared with those born with low levels. Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The results come from the largest study yet to explore a link between vitamin D and autism. It involves an analysis of dried blood spots from 3,370 newborns in Sweden, 1,341 of whom now have an autism diagnosis.
The findings reinforce evidence of a link between vitamin D and autism risk. A 2017 study of 4,000 children in the Netherlands, including 68 who have autism, revealed that those born to vitamin D-deficient women have more than twice the autism risk of controls.