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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.
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