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Thursday, February 26, 2015

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project offers consultation visits forstudents with autism.

We have seven part-time autism consultants across Montana. Each consultant is familiar with educating students with autism spectrum disorders and each consultant has specialty areas of knowledge such as pre-school, iPads, communication, behavioral issues, post-school transition, etc. This is how the autism consultation process works: 1. A school district wishing for a consultation visit for a student with autism sends an email to Doug Doty (ddoty@mt.gov), the OPI Statewide Autism Coordinator, with a brief description of the reason for the consultation. 2. A consultant is assigned and visits the district. Consultants are always approved for at least one follow-up visit. At the end of the visit, the consultant meets with school staff to share his or her observations. 3. The consultant sends the school a brief report summarizing his or her visit and suggested ideas. 4. We then send a short post-consultation survey for the district staff to complete and give us feedback on the consultation, report and the report suggestions. Below are some of the post-survey results and comments. If you wish for an autism consultation, please contact ddoty@mt.gov Do you have any comments regarding the consultation visit? Very personable! The consultant followed my student around and viewed him in all different settings. The consultant spoke with all the teachers about their concerns as well. The consultant asked to look through the students file and I was relieved to find that my paperwork was in order. Even though I had all my files in order, the consultant was still able to suggest some new approaches and strategies. It was a great visit for me and the student. Our entire staff learned a lot. The consultant was AWESOME! I appreciate the consultant coming out! I do not know what I would of done without their help! The consultant made all the difference in the world to us! The feedback was realistic and do-able. The consultant did an excellent job of creating rapport with the school staff so they really felt the consultant was there to help them be more successful. The consultant's visit really validated the efforts of my very motivated staff. They met shortly after the consultant left to incorporate the things suggested and will again after they have met about the report. The consultant was very kind and offered positive feedback and considerate suggestions for ways to improve the quality of the education for our student with autism. The consultant seemed very knowledgeable. Having "neutral eyes" is very helpful. The consultant sees things we have overlooked. The consultant also gives us feedback on what is going well. It was beneficial to talk about the student with another person who has new and different ideas. Fantastic! What did you like best about the consultation visit? It was nice to know that we had a lot of good things in place after visiting with the consultant. The support, the suggestions and the report. It gave me a lot of peace of mind that I was headed in the right direction. The consultant’s time spent coming out here. The consultant had good communication with the staff and was very positive! The consultant created a wonderful behavior plan that has worked! The consultant was very helpful. Not only did the consultant review the student's file, they were able to observe the student in a familiar setting. The consultant supported the work I have done thus far with the student and offered suggestions for other teaching/testing ideas. The consultant was very informative, positive, and helped out in the classroom. It was a pleasure to meet the consultant and understand the student a little more. The consultant is personable and easy to work with. The consultant understands the realities facing small, rural schools with minimal resources. I like the 1:1 time to dialog about kids. I love this. Great communication between the consultant and staff. Very friendly and helpful! The consultant was very kind. I didn't feel like I was judged as a teacher. The consultant is very personable. Staff did not feel threatened. Suggestions were easy to implement and realistic. The post observation meeting was beneficial. It allowed the staff and the consultant to discuss and gain perspective from each other regarding what did or did not happen during the observation. Loved the researched based suggestions and websites to look for.
More here:

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Maternal infection exacerbates genes' effect on autism

Children with too many or too few copies of certain genes are more likely to have autism, as are children born to women who battled a severe infection while pregnant. These seemingly disparate risk factors work together to worsen autism symptoms, suggests a new study1. The study, published 27 January in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, is one of the first to look at the combined effects of genetic and environmental risk factors for autism. "The interactions between genetics and exposure in the intrauterine environment sort of bump up the symptoms," says lead researcher Raphael Bernier, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the University of Washington in Seattle. Epidemiological studies indicate that having a serious infection while pregnant raises the risk of having a child with autism.

 Read more here. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Motivating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Learn - Great Falls and Havre February 2015




February 26, 2015
Great Falls

February 27, 2015
Havre, MT

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Motivating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders to Learn - Missoula March 2015

March 23, 2015

CSPD

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Research aims to utilize 'symptom' of autism to improve readingcomprehension

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often show an unwavering focus on a specific interest, a phenomenon known as having a "perseverative interest." Early research conducted by Michael Solis, an assistant professor of special education at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, finds that embedding the perseverative interest of a child with ASD into reading used during instruction may increase the child's reading comprehension. Solis and colleague Farah El Zein, an assistant professor at Cleveland State University, designed an intervention that embeds a child's perseverative interest within a particular story; for example, if the child is focused on cars, they included multiple references to cars within a text. They then tested whether or not the child's comprehension of the text was improved. Preliminary findings of three single-case design studies show that embedding readings of perseverative interests improves engagement during reading instruction and leads to an improvement in performance on curriculum-based measurements of reading comprehension.

 Read more here.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Archived Webinars

IN THIS RECORDED WEBINAR, DR. AMI KLIN DISCUSSES PROMISING ADVANCES IN THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE EARLY SIGNS OF AUTISM VIDEO ON AUTISM AND SKILLS FOR ADULTHOOD WITH DR. PETER GERHARDT VIDEO ON WANDERING AND ELOPEMENT WITH DR. PAUL LAW VIDEO ON MELTDOWNS AND AGGRESSION IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

 You can find them here. 

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Kalispell Autism Support Group

Kalispell Autism Support Group

 For more information, call Tim at (406) 257-8758 or visit www.MontanaASA.org

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Educator's Guide to Asperger Syndrome

(There are some good resources in the appendices.) An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome is the third book in the Life Journey Through Autism resource guide series. Asperger Syndrome is a complex disorder that presents numerous challenges within the inclusive classroom setting. This book provides guidelines for meeting the needs of the student with Asperger Syndrome in your class, from elementary to high school. Specifically, the Guidebook contains information on Understanding the common characteristics of Asperger Syndrome and how they affect each child on a case by case basis Promoting positive social goals and educating peers to avoid bullying Cooperating with the parents and student’s IEP team Implementing strategies to better facilitate learning in the student with Asperger Syndrome. Download An Educator’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome To download right click on the above link and choose "Save Target As" to save the guide to your PC. You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the Guide. To view this guide in Spanish, click here.

Professional development curriculum :


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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses

Although child vaccination rates remain high, some parental concern persists that vaccines might cause autism. Three specific hypotheses have been proposed: (1) the combination measles-mumps-rubella vaccine causes autism by damaging the intestinal lining, which allows the entrance of encephalopathic proteins; (2) thimerosal, an ethylmercury-containing preservative in some vaccines, is toxic to the central nervous system; and (3) the simultaneous administration of multiple vaccines overwhelms or weakens the immune system. We will discuss the genesis of each of these theories and review the relevant epidemiological evidence.

 Read more here. 

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5 myths surrounding vaccines -- and the reality

With dozens of measles cases popping up in the United States, Americans are buzzing about vaccines once more -- and some old fearful myths are resurfacing. These myths may be keeping parents from protecting their children from dangerous diseases, when there's every reason to get them vaccinated. Vaccines prevents six million deaths worldwide every year, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta writes. And there's basically no reason not to get them. Only one in a million children has a serious adverse reaction. Those are great odds. You're 100 times more likely to get struck by lightning than have an allergic reaction to a vaccine, Gupta says. Taking aspirin, for example, is much more likely to cause brain bleeding. Still, five nail-biting notions continue to scare away people from the protection they need. 1. THEY CAUSE AUTISM The fear: This is the big one.

 See more here. 

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Archived Webinar - The Zones of Regulation

The Zones of Regulation, a free webinar featuring author and occupational therapist Leah Kuypers and host IHM education specialist Jeff Goelitz. Leah Kuypers will discuss the importance of self-regulation, a key topic in her recently published book, The Zones of Regulation. The Zones provides a system similar to road signs to help students from preschool through adulthood to classify different states of arousal, feelings and emotions into four easily identifiable, distinct color-coded zones. Through different strategies and skills, including what Kuypers calls sensory supports, calming techniques and thinking strategies, students can recognize and better manage their emotions, ultimately improving their ability to solve conflicts. Ultimately, students are able to move away from prompting by school staff to regulate their emotions, and instead take personal responsibility for emotion self-regulation. Watch this informative webinar and learn the meaning behind each of "The Four Zones." (Leah Kuyper will be presenting on the Zones of Regulations in Great Falls and Missoula in April. Watch the blog or subscribe to the Montana Autism Project newsletter to know when registration opens in March.

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Help Needed: Child with Autism Eats Only When Spoonfed in Mom's Lap

It sounds like you have a few different factors to navigate: 1. Who is going to feed your son? You or will he feed himself? 2. Where is he going to sit while he eats? 3. What else will he be doing while he eats? First, it’s important to think about how and why these routines developed and to rule out any medical problems or lagging physical skills that might be getting in the way of the mealtime you’re hoping for.

 Read more here. 

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Executive Function Skills in Children and Adolescents - MIssoula

RiteCare/SCHWA 3rd Annual Autism Spring Conference 8:30 am – 3:30 pm March 7th, 2015 Missoula, MT 4825 N. Reserve St. – Ruby’s Inn Join Montana native Sarah Ward as she defines executive function skills and typical development and discusses self- regulation, situational awareness, and self-talk. Ms. Ward will demonstrate the importance of teaching students forethought and hindsight, and how to know their goal and initiate a plan. Other topics include organized thinking, speed of processing, time management, and teaching students how to shift to make transitions and manage materials. Learner Outcomes State the functional working definition of what is meant by the term “executive function skills” as it pertains to therapeutic interventions Define how situational awareness, self-talk, forethought and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution Develop an intervention program to foster a student’s ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve:  Situational awareness and forethought  Task planning, task initiation and transition within and between tasks  Active self-management of the factors related to the passage of time  Internal self-talk for initiating tasks  Organized thinking and speed of processing  Student management of homework and materials Outline how professionals can collaborate with parents, teachers, and other professionals to implement an executive function based treatment program both in and outside of the classroom. Fees (including lunch): Early Bird price ends Feb. 21st: Professionals $80, Parents & Paras $55, Students $40 Typical Bird: Professionals $100, Parents and Paras $75, Students $60 Registration Information: https://pd4montana.hrmplus.net/Home.aspx Course # 4978 Scholarship Information: Student (CSD, Ed., Counselor Ed., School Psych. Etc.) Scholarships: Email ddoty@mt.gov The Montana Autism Education Project is also offering a limited number of registration scholarships for educators. Email ddoty@mt.gov with the Subject Line, "SCHWA Conference."
See here to enroll in a course:

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A Short Resource for Bus and Transportation Staff

Can be found here. 

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