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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 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:







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/




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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Webinar - Feature Matching of Apps for Students with Disabilities

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm EDT

Thousands of apps are being recommended for students with disabilities. But how do you determine which app is best? This webinar will discuss and demonstrate various tools, resources, and strategies to select the most appropriate app based upon desired outcomes, the environment, and the student's abilities. Participants will learn how to perform an app analysis that analyzes apps based measurable student goals and the physical, sensory, cognitive, environmental, and social abilities required to affectively use the app for the intended goal. It is important to always select the most efficient app to achieve a desired outcome. Terms such "user-friendly, ease-of-use, robust, multimodal inputs and outputs , flexibility " means very little when trying to select the most appropriate app/device to meet the students needs. Understanding the key needs, goals and objectives for the student and the key features of an app/device, enables us to match the student with the most appropriate device or app to achieve a desired goal.

To connect to the webinar....
Go to 
https://ctd1.adobeconnect.com/ctd

To connect to the audio via your telephone line:
Phone Number: 866.668.0721
Conference Code: 789 584 8249


Unmasking anxiety in autism

Anxiety can assume unusual forms in people with autism — turning uncertainty, or even a striped couch, into a constant worry. New tools may help identify these hidden fears.

There are many reasons it took nearly six years for Kapothanasis to get the help he needed. Doctors may have assumed that his aggression and tendency to hurt himself were part of his autism, Siegel says. Traits that characterize autism — including social deficits, stereotyped movements and restricted interests — can mask or mimic symptoms of anxiety. During a visit to an outpatient clinic, for example, Siegel points out a nonverbal young woman with autism who repeatedly traces a pattern in the air with her hands. At first glance, her gestures resemble ‘stimming,’ the repetitive behaviors often seen in autism. But she does it at specific times, Siegel says, suggesting a ritual related to obsessive-compulsive disorder — a form of anxiety.

Compounding the problem, many people on the spectrum, like Kapothanasis, cannot tell their caregivers or doctors what they are feeling or thinking. Those who can may still struggle to identify and understand their own emotions — a phenomenon called alexithymia — or to articulate them to others. Because of these factors, the clinical questionnaires designed to ferret out anxiety traits in neurotypical individuals are woefully inadequate for many people with autism. The tests may also miss children with autism, who can have unusual phobias, such as a fear of striped couches or exposed pipes.

Read more here at Spectrum.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Missoula Friends and Family of Autism

Missoula Friends and Family of Autism is a collective of individuals from Northwestern Montana (and beyond!) who have come together to support individuals and families in our community who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  

We are working in collaboration with BASE Missoula and Sunburst Mental Health Missoula to offer both Family Support Groups and Children Support Groups in the Missoula Community. 


A Safe Place for Dylan


As a Columbia Falls family struggles to care for their teenager with autism, they face a future with limited options


It happened over the weekend of Sept. 16.
Dylan went into his 5-year-old brother’s room with a 10-inch butcher knife, intent on leaving through the window. When escape was secured, he dropped the knife in the child’s room.
Successfully out of the house once again, Dylan broke into a nearby trailer.
Though he no longer had the knife, Dylan was obstinate and wouldn’t leave the residence, not even when the police arrived. He finally calmed down enough to leave when handcuffed, and the police released him to his family once outside.
But if it happens again, Dylan might be headed to the emergency room and then Pathways Treatment Center, in an attempt to keep him secure. The family is running out of options, their CDC case manager said.
Dylan survived this incident, just as he’s survived this long with his family watching over him. But they can’t be there every second, and every second is one in which Dylan gets older, stronger, and further from their influence.

Girls With Autism More Likely To Have Younger Siblings With ASD

Parents who have a child on the autism spectrum are more likely than other parents to see a future child diagnosed with autism, too. A new study by Harvard researchers shows the likelihood is much higher when that older child is a girl.
The likelihood is not a certainty, though. Even when an older son or daughter was diagnosed, more than 80 percent of future children were not found to be on the spectrum.
The study found that if an older girl had autism, among her younger siblings a brother had a 17 in 100 chance of being diagnosed with autism. A younger sister had an 8 in 100 chance of being diagnosed.