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 CEU and now SWP/MFT/LAC/ 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:


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:


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Few parents recognize regression in their children with autism

Many children eventually diagnosed with autism lose social skills between 18 months and 3 years of age. But few parents notice this trend, according to data from a large Norwegian study.

Parents notice regression in only 2 percent of the children who lost social skills, according to the study.

The parents answered a questionnaire about their children’s social skills — such as whether the child follows a pointing finger — when their children were 18 and 36 months. The researchers then noted how many parents ‘prospectively’ reported any loss of social skills. At the latter timepoint, the researchers also directly asked the parents if they had noticed a loss of skills. They considered parents answering yes to this question as ‘retrospectively’ noticing the regression.

About 13 percent of the children had lost skills by 36 months, but parents of less than 1 percent noticed a loss.

Read more here at Spectrum.

Rise in U.S. autism prevalence stems mainly from ‘mild’ cases

The bulk of the increase in autism prevalence the United States between 2000 and 2012 can be attributed to children on the mild end of the spectrum.

There are several theories about the reasons for this rise, but most experts agree that most of it is the result of increased awareness about the condition.

The new data support this theory, says Eric Fombonne, professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, who was not involved in the study. The results suggest that autism prevalence is rising because the ADDM is detecting children now that it would have missed 18 years ago. “To me, it’s an artifact of detection,” he says.

Read more here at Spectrum.

Understanding the Social Behaviors of Girls with ASD (video)

Watch the very good 15 minute video here.

Summer Hours and Rooms for the Missoula Adult Aspergers Group Meetings

In the University Center

Why no one needs a diagnosis of ‘social communication disorder’

Five years ago, a new diagnostic category, ‘social communication (pragmatic) disorder,’ made its debut in the DSM-5, the latest version of the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” I was a skeptic: I argued, along with many others, that there simply was not enough evidence for the existence of this condition.

Since the DSM-5 appeared in 2013, research on autism has flourished. At last count, more than 10,000 papers have the term ‘autism’ in the title, according to PubMed. In comparison, there are just 10 papers on ‘social communication disorder.’

Read more here at Spectrum.

The evolution of ‘autism’ as a diagnosis, explained

Autism was originally described as a form of childhood schizophrenia and the result of cold parenting, then as a set of related developmental disorders, and finally as a spectrum condition with wide-ranging degrees of impairment. Along with these shifting views, its diagnostic criteria have changed as well.

Here is how the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM), the diagnostic manual used in the United States, has reflected our evolving understanding of autism.

Why was autism initially considered a psychiatric condition?

Read more here at Spectrum.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

MIssoula - Dinner out at Paul's Pancake Parlor

Girls with autism at high risk of sexual abuse, large study says

Many women with traits of autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) report having been sexually abused as a child, according to a study of 4,500 people1.
It’s unclear why girls with these conditions are at heightened risk of sexual abuse. It may be because girls on the spectrum have trouble understanding social norms or recognizing dangerous situations. Alternatively, they may engage in risky behaviors, such as substance use, that make them vulnerable to predators.
The researchers found that the women who screened positive for autism had nearly three times the odds of having experienced sexual abuse as those who did not screen positive; those who screened positive for ADHD doubled their odds of sexual abuse.

How Many Kids In Minnesota Have Autism?

See the main report page here.

See the Key Findings here.

Doug Note: This data is from only two counties and has a few anomolies compared to national CDC data.

See more in the Key Findings.