Thursday, May 30, 2013

Archived Webinar - Patricia Wright on Inclusion: Promoting Success for Students with Disabilities

Including students in general education settings is a pivotal component of quality special education service delivery. An inclusive educational environment benefits student with and without disabilities through a shared educational experience and requires quality, ongoing training and implementation supports for educators and families. Successful inclusion requires planned, purposeful delivery. This webinar will discuss strategies that assist districts in meeting the expectation of least restrictive environment through educating students with disabilities in general education settings. Through effective inclusive practices outcomes for students with and without disabilities improve. Patricia Wright has spoken at several conferences in Montana and is knowledgeable speaker with practical suggestions.

 Watch the archived webinar here.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Social Skills Autopsies

A Social Autopsy is an innovative strategy wherein an adult assists a child to improve social skills by jointly analyzing social errors that a child makes and designing alternative strategies. Some basic information about social autopsies.

 Social Skills Autopsy Steps 1-5

Social autopsies info. 


Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children - Bozeman

Save the Date: Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children "Connecting Communities with Hope" A Learning Seminar in Bozeman, MT When: Saturday, July 13, 2013 Where: Gran Tree Inn 1325 N 7th Avenue Bozeman, MT 59715 Time: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm Cost: $75: Professionals (includes CEU's)$50: Parents Scholarships may be available View Brief Conference Description ***Registration to open soon*** On July 13, 2013, ChildWise Institute will bring together local experts to Bozeman to present on issues pertaining to Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children. This learning seminar is designed to expand understanding and awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in children and develop competencies for parents, mental health professionals, teachers and healthcare providers. Participants will be able to better understand and treat children diagnosed with symptoms on the Autism Spectrum. Social, emotional, behavioral and medical factors affecting children with ASD will be discussed. In addition, this learning seminar will identify ways to collaborate and integrate services from multiple agencies. Information from experts will be presented from: Julia Turner, MMSc, RD, LN: Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist, "Brain Health Nutrition Expert" Shawna Heiser, M.S. BCBA: Professor of Psychology at MSU-Bozeman,"Behavioral/Autism Consultant" Jennifer Leight, PT, PhD, PCS: Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Physical Therapist, "ASD from a Neuropsychological/Developmental Perspective" Special Appearance by Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman Registration will be open soon for this exciting event. Future similar seminars focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children will take place in Helena, Missoula, and Kalispell. If you have any questions, please contact Cathy Huntley, Conference Coordinator, at (406) 457-4816 or e-mail:
more here:


Friday, May 24, 2013

Currently, there is insufficient evidence to support instituting a gluten-free diet as a treatment for autism.

Perhaps the most commonly cited alternative therapy approach for autism is the gluten free/casein free diet. The idea was promoted largely based on the “leaky gut” and “opiod excess” idea of autism. The basic idea was that the intestines of autistics are for some reason “leaky” and incompletely digested proteins from gluten (grains) and casein (milk) enter the bloodstream and act much like an opiod (drug) causing (somehow) autism. Multiple research teams have looked for evidence of these “opiods” without success. But the idea that eliminating gluten and/or casein as an autism treatment. Timothy Buie is perhaps one of the most respected gastroenterologists in the autism communities. He has recently written a literature review on the topic:The relationship of autism and gluten. Here is the abstract:

Read more here.


Transcript of Live Chat Discussing Changes to the DSM-V

On Saturday, May 18, the American Psychiatric Association will release the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5). The new edition introduces fundamental changes in the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Don't worry, we don't expect these changes to impact people already diagnosed. Mark your calendars and join us for a chat with Lisa Goring and Alycia Halladay on Monday, May 20 at 7pm EST to learn much more about this topic and to ask any questions you might have about the changes. You can also click here to read answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the new DSM-5.

 Click here to read the transcript. 


Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Trends and Strategies for Children with Autism - Glendive - June11-14, 2013

The June 11-14, 2013 Institute in Glendive will include “New Trends and Strategies for Children with Autism” by Shauna Heiser.


23 Ways To Communicate With A Non-Verbal Child

“Just because a person can’t speak doesn’t mean they have nothing to say.” A very important reminder from a parent of a non-verbal child. Communication is a basic human need, allowing people to connect with others, make decisions that affect their lives, express feelings and feel part of the community they live in. People with little or no speech still have the same communication needs as the rest of us. We may just have to work a bit harder to find a communication strategy that works. The following tips have been contributed to Netbuddy by parents of children and adults with special needs. We hope you will find them useful, and please do share your own! 1. Make it mean something Katie can clap her hands so we have taught her to clap when she wants to say yes. 2. Level it up Playing and talking are easier if you can see each other. Sit so you are at the same level. 3. Talk about it Eddy can’t speak and also has limited understanding but it is important to keep talking to him about what’s going on. 4. Eye contact I put stickers on my forehead as a target for my son to look at. This reminds him to look at people’s faces, so people feel more like he is engaging with them. 5. It has meaning – it’s just not obvious

 Read 16 more ways here.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tips on Reaching Out to an Autism Mom

f you were good friends and in contact often before the diagnosis, don’t change. Your friend may not have as much time to see you in person, but you can stay connected by phone. Perhaps they will need to see you more and need a shoulder to lean on more often. Stay connected by continuing to invite your friends or relatives who have a child with autism. It may not be as easy for them to get out, but invite them to your party. If they can't make it, they'll let you know. If they can, they'll be there. Find out a little bit about autism. Go to a few websites of reputable autism organizations to get some more information of what autism is all about. Listen more than you advise. It is tempting with all the autism news stories in the paper to share everything you hear but resist the urge. Your friend has probably heard it all. Instead, offer him an ear, as well as some practical help.

 Read more here. 


Understanding Autism: A Video Guide for Secondary School Teachers

These Youtube videos, a key component of the “Autism in the Schoolhouse” initiative, are designed to provide general education teachers with strategies for supporting their middle and high school students with autism. Segment One: Characteristics (18:34)
Segment Two: Integrating Supports in the Classroom Segment Three: Practices for Challenging Behavior Segment Four: Effective Use of Teacher Supports 

See more here.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Epilepsy And Autism May Be Linked, Researchers Say Read more at

For the first time ever, researchers believe there may be a link between the effects of epilepsy on the brain and some traits of autism, reports the Daily Mail. Adults with epilepsy demonstrate certain traits of autism and Asperger's syndrome, the paper says. Epileptic seizures disrupt the brain functions dealing with social interaction - including communication with others and repetitive interests - leading to some of the same social behaviors exhibited by people with autism spectrum disorders.

 Read more here. 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Visual Schedules

Visual Schedules Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental delays learn more easily, express more interest, have fewer behavior problems and demonstrate increasing independence within consistent routines.Visual schedules can assist students in understanding these routines, such as the transition routine. Visual schedules can supplement natural environmental cues so that students understand the sequence of events when it is time to transition to a new activity. Schedules can answer important questions such as: Where am I going?, For how long?, What do I do next?. It tells the student “what to do” by focusing the student’s attention on the necessary information needed to move through their day. Students should be provided with a visual schedule appropriate to their functioning level and should be expected to use their schedules independently. Learning to follow visual information independently teaches students to access important information for themselves, instead of relying on constant adult directions. This life skill can later translate into skills such as: following a GPS, written directions or a map, and signs at an airport or on the street. Whether beginning with object, photo, drawing or word schedules, visual schedules for transitions are easy to create and use within the school setting and more importantly, they work! Here are a few tips for creating and using visual schedules with students: 1. Use a "check schedule" icon as an easy and effective way to remind the student to check their schedule.

 Read more here. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Girls With Autism May Need Different Treatments Than Boys

In the latest autism research, the first study compared visual scanning patterns in boys and girls with autism spectrum disorders. Scanning patterns were also collected for typically developing children. "We used eye-tracking technology while the participants in these studies watched videotapes of social scenes that presented naturalistic stimuli," said study co-author Ami Klin, director of the Marcus Autism Center, in Atlanta. The study, which was led by Klin's student, Jennifer Moriuchi, included 116 school-aged children with autism spectrum disorders. Eighty-one were boys and 35 were girls. The children with autism had varying degrees of social disability. The study also included 36 typically developing children. "On a surface level, it appears that boys and girls with autism appear to spend equal time learning from the eyes. They did look less than other children," Klin said. But, when the researchers correlated the youngsters' eye tracking with their level of disability, a much different picture emerged. "In boys, the more they looked at the eyes, the less socially disabled they are. In girls, the more they looked at the eyes, the more disabled they are," said Klin, chief of the division of autism and related disorders at Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "What the study is suggesting is that we should not automatically assume that boys and girls learn about the world in the same way," Klin said, adding, "we have to take gender as a mediating factor." Dawson said "the study found that there are differences in the way girls and boys look at the eyes, so there may be differences in the way autism is manifested in girls than in boys." She noted that an important criterion right now for diagnosing autism is a lack of eye contact and using the eyes for social cues. The second study looked at the genetics involved in autism, and potential differences in boys and girls. Yale University researchers analyzed samples from 2,326 families. Included in those samples were those of 2,017 boys and 309 girls with an autism spectrum disorder. The Yale team found differences between the boys' and girls' genetic samples. "The fact that autism does affect boys so much more frequently has been staring us in the face for decades. There's been a hypothesis that there's something in the extra X chromosome that girls have that may be protective," Dawson explained. "The idea is that if you have this protective mechanism in place you may need more risk factors to overwhelm that protective effect and cause autism, and that's exactly what they found." "To develop autism in a girl requires more genetic mutations," Dawson said. The type of mutations they found are called "de novo" mutations, she added. This means that the genetic change occurs in the sperm or the egg. It isn't a gene that's passed down from the parents.

 Read more here. 


Autism Conference - Billings August 2013

August 1-2, 2013 8:30am—4:00pm on the main campus at MSUB (in the Library)

 VIP Speaker, Dr. Peter Gerhardt Bridges to Adulthood: Preparing Individuals with Autism for Adult Lives of Competence, Dignity, and Community Inclusion Day 2: Breakout sessions for parents, educators, and other professionals.


Babies born weighing more than 9lb 14oz or under 5lb 5oz have a higherof developing autism

Babies born either very small or very large have a higher risk of developing autism, according to the largest ever study into the issue. Researchers found that bigger babies - those born weighing over 9lb 14oz (4.5kg) - showed a higher incidence of autism, as did smaller infants who were born weighing less than 2.5kg or 5lb 5oz. It is the first time that a clear link has been made between babies who grow to above average size at birth and risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

.Read more: