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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

FREE Online Autism Training from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering 80+ hours of online training in Teaching Procedures for students with autism/cognitive delay, Applied Behavior Analysis and a variety of Focused Topics. These online trainings are available to public school staff in Montana. A listing and description of the training content can be found here.

New groups start the beginning and middle of each month and you will be sent information at that time on how to begin your training. You have 90 days to complete the training. 


OPI renewal units are not available* for this training. The training can be taken for ASHA CEUs. 



* The training content provider now allows learners to fast-forward through videos to reach quizzes. Because there is no longer a specific amount of time that must be spent in each course, we can no longer offer OPI renewal units for this training.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT TAKING THE TRAINING FOR ASHA CEUs

ASHA members and/or MT state licensed SLPs are qualified to earn ASHA CEUs. Independent study plans are limited to 20 hours. ASHA requires that Independent Study activities are approved 30 days prior to the start of the learning activity. It works best to get the ASHA approval BEFORE registering for the courses.  


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. You can find the Independent Study form here.  


Sunday, July 12, 2020

The OPI has a New Criteria for Autism

You can see the new criteria here, along with some Frequently Asked Questions. The new criteria checklist is now in the AIM system and on the OPI web page.

If you have questions, please send them to Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov. We will update the FAQ questions periodically.

Friday, June 19, 2020

University of Washington Online Trainings - July 2020


Monday, July 6, 2020
4:00 - 6:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Parents, providers, educators interacting with individuals with autism or other social communication challenges from birth through high school-aged

What content will be covered?
Social communication differences are a hallmark of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Teaching social skills can be a challenging but important task for educators, providers, and parents. In the first half of the presentation, we will cover social communication development with special consideration for cultural and linguistically-diverse populations. In the second half, the presenters will discuss how to support teachers and clinicians in creating goals and practices while celebrating neurodiversity of all students.

After attending the initial webinar, join us for one-hour weekly follow-up sessions to learn how to incorporate social skills in different scenarios including Social Skills and AAC, Social Cognition, Daily Routines, Developing Group Considerations and Classrooms.

Cost
$45 per person for initial webinar
$20 per person for each follow-up session


Tuesday, July 21, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Parents, providers, and educators interacting with preschool and elementary-aged children with autism

What content will be covered?
Curious about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)? Do you have a desire to learn and practice evidence-based strategies for teaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other related developmental disabilities? If so, this webinar is for you! The webinar will begin with a short overview of ASD including core symptoms, strengths, challenges and how ASD symptoms impact learning and behavior. Then, an introduction to ABA will be presented including an overview of different ABA teaching strategies and basic behavioral principles used in this therapeutic approach.

If you have attended one of our ABA Basics workshops in the past or attend this training, join us for 2-hour follow up webinars on teaching strategies and systems related to ABA. These sessions are intended to help participants come away with a deeper understanding of topics including Shaping and Chaining, Discrete Trial Training, Naturalistic ABA Strategies, Reinforcement and Preference Assessments, Prompt and Prompt Fading, Data Collection and Analysis, ABA in General Education and Visual Supports and Classroom Systems.

Cost
Initial Webinar
$105 per person - register by June 23, 2020
$125 per person - regular cost

Follow-Up Webinars (per session)
$35 per person - register by June 23, 2020
$45 per person - regular cost


Tuesday, July 28, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Teachers, para educators, and providers who serve elementary aged students

What content will be covered?
Ever wonder who is in the driver's seat when your students are making decisions? Have you ever been stumped by your student's organization, or lack thereof? If so, this training is for you! Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience amplified emotional responses and difficulty managing daily executive functioning tasks. In this training, participants will learn and practice strategies that can be implemented in the elementary classroom to support students with executive functioning and emotion regulation differences.

Cost
$105 per person - register by June 30, 2020
$125 per person - regular cost


Wednesday, July 29, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Educators and providers serving individuals with social skills deficits in elementary school through young adulthood

What content will be covered?
Teaching and learning the "unspoken" rules of social interaction can be a challenge for educators. In this training, participants will spend the first half of the day learning the foundations of social skills instruction and how to lay the groundwork for successful social interaction for their students. In the afternoon, participants will split into two groups (elementary aged teachers and secondary aged teachers), and have the opportunity to work closely with an instructor to begin to develop a social skills instructions plan for their students.

Cost
$105 per person - register by July 1, 2020
$125 per person - regular cost


Thursday, July 30, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Educators, parents, and providers working with students middle school through young adulthood

What content will be covered?
Developing and maintaining organization is difficult for most adolescents and young adults. These skills can be especially difficult for individuals with ASD or other executive functioning differences. In this training educators, providers, and parents will learn how to help their students develop and maintain organizational systems to support academic success. After a brief overview, participants will workshop through a series of strategies and reinforcement systems to help support student success. Participants will leave this training with a plan of action to support their student(s) for the upcoming school year.

Cost
$105 per person - register by July 2, 2020
$125 per person - regular cost


Friday, July 31, 2020
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM PT
Zoom Meeting

Who should attend?
Parents and educators of individuals of all ages with ASD and/or ADHD

What content will be covered?
Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behaviors are common difficulties for individuals with Autism. In fact, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common co-occurring diagnoses for Autistic individuals. A comprehensive overview of both ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including diagnostic criteria, will be provided in this training. Participants will gain an increased understanding of how ADHD and ASD impact executive functioning, social interactions, communication, and motivation. Specific behavioral strategies which help support individuals with ADHD and ASD both at home and in the classroom will be presented, discussed, and practiced during the second half of this training.

Cost
$105 per person - register by July 3, 2020
$125 per person - regular cost

Webinar - Create an Adaptable Plan for Fall Learning

You've likely been hearing about the possible scenarios for the return to learning this fall. Most agree that adaptability will be the key to success. During our session, we'll discuss seven guidelines to consider when developing your back to school plan. We'll address practical ways to implement a hybrid model of learning, a fully virtual schedule, and how to assess and address learning loss quickly.

Our session will cover:

- Structuring next year's curriculum
- Helping RTI and Special Education students
- Supporting a hybrid virtual/in-class model
- Technical planning & logistics for the new school year


Register here. 

Helena - Cues Club and Teen Chat

Cues Club and Teen Chat is offering two social opportunities this summer while using safe social practices.  

We are happy to announce a new class that emphasizes communication skills for employment. This class is offered through a partnership with Full Spectrum Therapy and instructed by Jonny Metropoulos, SLP.  Also, welcome Meghan Harrington, SLP, who will be instructing the Hanging with Friends class!  

Our location has changed for the summer and we thank Roots Rehab and First Words Speech and Language Clinic for giving us a place to socialize.

The class schedule is listed below but also see the attached flyer.  Feel free to share!
Register at cuesclub.org or contact me, Chris Caniglia, at 406-461-2853.

June 22-July 3rd
Communication Skills for Employment
        16+ years   1:00-2:00
                  
                   July 13-July 23    
                Hanging with Friends
                Monday -Thursday
                 9-11 years    4:30-5:30

Autism Navigator Courses for Family Members and Professionals



Find more information here. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Free Workshops - Teaching Communication Skills // Managing Challenging Behaviors

CANCELLED by order of the State Superintendent - "Additionally, all OPI employees should plan on no in-person, external meetings for the remainder of the calendar year."


TEACHING CRITICAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS

You will learn how to teach critical communication skills that lead to greater independence in the home, work, school and community settings. We review nine specific skills: requesting reinforcers, requesting help, requesting a break, indicating yes and no, waiting, following directions, schedule-following and transitioning. Through lecture, demonstrations, video and participatory activities, you will acquire specific teaching strategies that are relevant for anyone who has limited communication skills, regardless of their communicative modality (e.g., Picture Exchange Communication System [PECS], signing, device use, speech).

Great Falls    October 5      Location to be determined

Missoula        October 7      Location to be determined

GUIDE TO MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS

Beginning with key concepts of applied behavior analysis, we focus on the conditions under which behavior occurs. We discuss the importance of designing supportive learning environments that address skill deficits prior to or while simultaneously addressing unwanted contextually inappropriate behaviors. Through discussions, video examples and hands-on activities you will identify and define unwanted behaviors, analyze why the behavior is occurring, determine alternative skills to replace unwanted behaviors, review differential reinforcement procedures, and discuss proactive strategies and reactive strategies. The workshop concludes by showing how you and your team can evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of your behavior plans as you put your new strategies into practice.

Great Falls     October 6     Location to be determined

Missoula        October 8      Location to be determined  




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

2020 Community Investment Fund

Applications for the 2020 Community Investment Fund are now being accepted! The Community Investment Fund is made available annually for innovative projects that help people with disabilities live, learn, work and play in their communities alongside people without disabilities. 

Any Montana organization, agency, non-profit group, or individual with a creative idea developed by/with people with disabilities to promote community inclusion is eligible to apply. Please note: due to University contracting requirements, successful applicants will be required to have liability insurance and either Workers’ Compensation coverage or a Workers’ Compensation exemption certificate. 

Doug note: These funds have been provided to school districts in the past. 

For more information or for application materials, please visit: 


Community Investment Fund  
Tips from Application Reviewers

Thank you for your interest in the Rural Institute Community Investment Fund. Following are tips the application review committee thought you might find helpful.
Ø     If you are interested in reading about projects that have been funded in the past, visit our web page at:http://ruralinstitute.umt.edu/community-investment-fund

Ø     “Nothing about us without us” means that people with disabilities should be included in proposals from the earliest stages, and that their meaningful involvement should continue throughout the project. Here are questions you might ask yourself:
o     How did you come up with your idea? 
o     When you came up with a plan, did you ask people with disabilities what they thought? 
o     How were people with disabilities a part of developing the idea, plan, project, or solution?  
o     Did they help with the answers for the application? 
o     How will they help pull off the project? 
o     Will they review its impact?

Ø     Sometimes an idea seems inclusive but actually is not. Inclusion means people with and without disabilities are accomplishing something together and seeing the value in each other. It means everyone belongs. For example:
o     A coed softball team made of people with disabilities, staff who provide services to people with disabilities, and community members.  The team competes in a league open to everyone.  Everyone is able to experience a community summer activity with equal participation.
o     A school coffee cart where youth with and without disabilities learn skills and work together, and where all the employees value one another.
o     An improvisational comedy show where people with and without disabilities perform for an audience with and without disabilities. 

Maybe YOUR inclusive idea will be the next one on this list!

Sunday, May 31, 2020

COVID-19 Resources




AUTISM 24/7: A FAMILY GUIDE TO LEARNING AT HOME AND IN THE COMMUNITY


Free membership to CEC through May 31st. 

Good resources from PECS

Tips for Parents Homeschooling Children with Autism During the Pandemic  

Social Story - Wearing a Mask

$ Webinars from the Univeristy of Washington Autism Center

Archived webinar - Anxiety, Autism: Five Prime Suspects – with tips for coping at home during COVID-19

Archived Webinar - Talking to Kids About Changing Schedules, Altered Plans, and Disruption

A multitude of resources. 

Archived Webinar - Delivery of Special Education-Related Services During School Closures


Supporting Individuals with Autism through Uncertain Times (resources on the left.) 

Developing Effective Connections with Students in Online Learning Webinar


Getting Tested for COVID-19: Social Story

MT Remote Learning Sharing Sessions

How To Talk About COVID-19 With People Who Have Autism


Archived Webinar - Coronavirus Impact – Home All Day – Basic Supports and Strategies to Get us Through and Keep us Sane


Anxiety, Autism: Five Prime Suspects – with tips for coping at home during the Coronavirus oubreak


Virginia Commonwealth University - Resources for individuals with ASD and their Family Members during the COVID-19 Closure. These resources include Information PacketsVideos, and Visual Tools.

Serving Students with Disabilities and COVID-19 (March 24 OPI update)

Autism Society Coronavirus Tool Kit


Archived Webinar - Teaching Special Education Online during COVID-19


Autism Speaks (many resources)


Coronavirus Social Story    (source)


Coronavirus Social Story from Carol Gray


Covid 19 Resources for Families from the National Autism Association


Supporting Your Child During This Public Health Crisis - Montana authors.


Archived Webinar - Home All Day - Basic Supports and Strategies To Get Through.


Archived Webinar - NCSA Coronavirus Share & Care - registration required.


How to handle school closures and services for your child with autism - additional resources at the bottom of the page.


Talking to your child about tragedy: Six tips for the autism community.


Additional Guidance on providing services to Children with Disabilities during the Coronavirus Outbreak