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 We will update the FAQ questions periodically.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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.


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 for information on whom to send it to. You can find the Independent Study form here.  

Monday, November 4, 2019

RecorddWebinar - Strategies for Selecting and Incorporating Core Vocabulary

Whether you’re a seasoned SLP looking for fresh ways to build communication strategies or a teacher looking to build core vocabulary into your week, it’s always helpful to learn practical ideas you can use right away. Our expert shares guidance on planning core word lists relevant to a range of student communication needs and classroom activities—including morning meeting, academic blocks, story time and transitions.


  • Strategies for creating and teaching core vocabulary lists based on planned activities or communication functions
  • Proven ideas for integrating core vocabulary into a variety of daily routines
  • Tips for involving multiple stakeholders in modeling core vocabulary, and why this benefits students.
  • View the recorded webinar here. 

Webinar - Sensory Processing and Autism

Register here. 

IABA Professional Webinars

The Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis is
offering 2 online interactive professional development webinars on

Positive Practices in Behavioral Support
Through Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis
Presented by Thomas J Willis, PhD
December, January and February
(see grid below for actual dates and times)


Assessment and Analysis of
Severe and Challenging Behavior
A six-month online longitudinal guided practicum
Presented by Thomas J Willis, PhD
Beginning January 27, 2020 from 6:00 AM to 9:30 AM (Los Angeles time)

Positive Practices in Behavioral Support
Through Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis

This program is a live, fully interactive, web-based lecture series introducing an evidence-based model of positive behavioral support, including first resort crisis management strategies.

The 4-Module training program covers the following topics:
·      The evidence based IABA Multi-element Model
·      Comprehensive Functional Assessment
·      Person-Centered Positive Behavioral Support
·      Emergency Management and Reactive Strategies Within a Positive Practices Framework
·      Assuring Staff Consistency and the Provision of Quality Services

Type 2 CE is available for BCBAs and BCaBAs. ACE Provider number is OP-02-0027.

Module 1: Comprehensive Functional Assessment
Module 2: Positive Behavioral Support
Module 3: Emergency Management and Reactive Strategies Within a Positive Practices Framework
Module 4: Assuring Staff Consistency and the Provision of Quality Services
Start and End Times (Los Angeles time)
7:30 AM to 10:00 AM
2:00 PM to 5:30 PM
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Standard fee is $500.00 (USD) per person (other currencies accepted, contact us for a quote). A 10% discount is available for groups of 3 or more at the same location. To register or download a complete brochure, go to [].

Default Line

Assessment and Analysis of
Severe and Challenging Behavior
A six-month online longitudinal guided practicum

This is an advanced, competency based interactive online professional development program for qualified professionals charged with assessing individuals who have complex and challenging needs and with designing positive behavior support plans. You will learn an evidence-based, state-of-the-art model for providing effective, person-centered positive behavioral supports that results in a decrease in the use of restrictive practices and an increase in the person’s quality of life.

This is a hands-on practicum experience. At the beginning of this six-month course all participants will select a focus person from their case load. Each participant will conduct a comprehensive functional assessment, design and implement a multi-element positive behavior support plan to address the behaviors of concern and reduce the need for restrictive practices. Feedback sessions are provided at the end of each assignment that provide the participant with concrete guidance.

Tuition and Fees: US Dollars $3,000.00, includes tuition and all books. We can invoice you in your local currency. Please e-mail John Marshall,, for a rate quote. To register or download a complete brochure, go to [].

Some comments from people who have completed this course:

·      It was a thought provoking and worthwhile educational journey. Enjoyed Tom's capacity to simplify the concepts and share his wealth of experience which was invaluable. The quick turnaround with feedback was much appreciated.
·      Loved it, an amazing course. I have learnt so much that I will be implementing throughout my role.
·      Really enjoyed the course. I found Tom to be engaging and very knowledgeable. He has inspired me in many ways, in a subject I felt I knew a lot about. Thanks.
·      Tom's EXPERT knowledge was nothing short of AMAZING.
·      Value for money.

Default Line


·      Do I need to take the Modules in order? You should take Modules 1, 2, and 3 in that order. Module 4 can be taken at any time. Often Module 4 is taken as a stand-alone webinar by administrators who have no clinical responsibilities.

·      Why are the Modules broken into 2 Parts? The lectures are 6 hours long. That would be too long for most people to be in front of their computer or device screen.

·      What if I have to leave early or arrive late? We record all of the sessions. A link to the recording will be e-mailed to you each day.

·      May we watch as a group or do individuals need to watch from their own device? You may watch as a group providing that you appoint a person to take the attendance role and submit that role to IABA.

·      Are you able to ask questions during the lecture? Yes. You can ask questions by either “raising your virtual hand” or by typing your question into the chat box. There are also question periods at the beginning and end of each session.

·      What devices can I use? You can use either a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. If you plan on using a smart phone or tablet visit your app store and download the WebEx app. If you are using a desktop or laptop, make sure that the webcam and microphone are operational. If you are watching as a group, we suggest using a data projector and external speakers.

·      Can I test my device to make sure that I can connect to the training? Yes, go to and join the Test Meeting.

·      Are there any pre-reading materials or handouts? When you register, you will receive a link to download the lecture notes. You are also invited to visit where you can find books and links to free articles and newsletters.

·      What if I have a different question? Please contact John Marshall by e-mail (

United States College Programs for Autistic Students

View the document here.

Autism FocusedIntervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM)

AFIRM Modules are designed to help you learn the step-by-step process of planning for, using, and monitoring an EBP with learners with ASD from birth to 22 years of age. Supplemental materials and handouts are available for download.

Download an overview of the Components of AFIRM to learn about modules, resources, and professional development options.

Read more here. 

Webinar - Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Students with Autism: Merging Visual Language and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

We will take an in-depth look at evidence-based strategies to help reduce and/or replace challenging behaviors utilizing functional communication training. During this edWebinar, we will:
  • define functional communication training and discuss why it can significantly reduce challenging behaviors, including those exhibited by students with Autism. 

  • take a step-by-step approach to identifying and assessing problem behaviors as well as visual language strengths and weaknesses.
  • map visual language onto Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaching strategies.
  • learn how to use systematic strategies to teach replacement communication and behaviors.
  • examine case studies that demonstrate how to scaffold visual supports for different types of students, based on baseline data collection and the results of language assessments.
  • monitor and generalize these skills in students with Autism.

Register here. 

A comparison of the ASD experience of low‐SES hispanic and non‐hispanic white parents

This study showed that Hispanic and Non‐Hispanic White children from poor backgrounds got a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the same age. Results show differences in religious views, acceptance of diagnosis, knowledge of milestones, and finding resources. This might be because people are more aware of ASD today and Hispanic families were involved with an active parent organization.

Read more here. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Interest in Regional Interdisciplinary Autism Professional Development Network?

I am writing to let you know about an exciting new opportunity to participate in an ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) project designed to help providers improve the care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participation is free and there is a possibility that CME (or other continuing education) credit will be available. 
The program will consist of presentations by experts on all aspects of care (e.g. Testing and Diagnosis, Evidence-based Interventions, Coordination of Care) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, case presentations by participants, and discussions with other providers from your area. The network connects virtually using telecommunication, so you can join from anywhere with an internet connection. If you are interested, please complete the short (~5 minute) survey below. Thank you for your time! 
Link for Survey:
Ethan Dahl, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) - []
University of Wyoming
Health Sciences Room 130 B