Monday, July 11, 2016

Archived Webinars - Social Competence

Social competence is the ability to interact successfully with peers and adults in a variety of situations and environments. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find this to be a significant challenge. This 5-part series provides an overview of social competence, guidance on assessment and intervention to improve social competence, and strategies to embed social competence instruction into every day activities.

View the webinars here. 

Beware the Tylenol-Autism Freakout

A new study claims a link between acetaminophen use while pregnant and autism in children. The only problem is, the science is riddled with holes.

Here’s what the study of over 2,500 mother-child pairs in Spain actually found: Male children who had been exposed to the painkiller in uteroexperienced symptoms of autism and ADHD in a way that seemed “dependent on the frequency of exposure.” For female children, only the link between acetaminophen and attention-related symptoms could be confirmed.
While that may sound concerning, the study is riddled with methodological holes that should cast doubt on strong claims of a causative relationship between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism or ADHD.
For one, the authors could not completely rule out the possibility that the underlying medical conditions which prompt pregnant women to use acetaminophen could account for some of the symptoms experienced by their children down the line.

“Since ADHD and ASC [autism spectrum condition] have been associated with maternal infection and inflammation, despite adjustment for reported maternal chronic illness, urinary tract infection and fever, residual confounding by indication could still be a limitation,” the authors noted.

In layman’s terms: illness during pregnancy, not painkiller use, could partially account for their findings.

An Evaluation of the Impact of Supervision Intensity, Supervisor Qualifications, and Caseload on Outcomes in the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder

The present study examined the relationship between mastery of learning objectives and supervision hours, supervisor credentials, years of experience, and caseload in a large sample of children with ASD (N = 638). These data were retrieved from a large archival database of children with ASD receiving community-based ABA services. When analyzed together via a multiple linear regression, supervision hours and treatment hours accounted for only slightly more of the observed variance (r 2 = 0.34) than treatment hours alone (r 2 = 0.32), indicating that increased supervision hours do not dramatically increase the number of mastered learning objectives. In additional regression analyses, supervisor credentials were found to have a significant impact on the number of mastered learning objectives, wherein those receiving supervision from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) mastered significantly more learning objectives. Likewise, the years of experience as a clinical supervisor showed a small but significant impact on the mastery of learning objectives. A supervisor’s caseload, however, was not a significant predictor of the number of learning objectives mastered.

Source

Many women, men with autism harm themselves

Adults with autism deliberately hurt themselves much more often than other adults do, an online survey suggests1. This behavior, which may provide a physical outlet for emotional pain, crops up twice as often in women with autism as in men with the condition.
The findings support anecdotal reports that teens and young adults with autism are unusually likely to engage in self-harm — behaviors that include cutting, nail-biting and pinching. Teens with autism are also 28 times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide.
The new study focuses on non-suicidal self-harm in 42 adults with autism and 42 young adults who do not have autism, but have a history of self-harm.

Webinar - Social Skills, Social Networking, and Adolescents with ASD: What Every Parent and Professional Should Know


Instagram, Snapchat, Kik, Twitter, Facebook, and whatever the next new app(s) are to come along….social media is a growing and important component of the social lives of adolescents these days. Not only do parents and professionals need to be aware of the science behind the use of technology and the dangers it may present, but an awareness of the social rules and roles of social media are of vital importance to teaching social skills to adolescents with ASD. Through the support and work of a group of knowledgeable teenagers (siblings and friends of adolescents with ASD), we will review important information and considerations for navigating this complex and daunting maze.

Register here. 

Webinar - Going Beyond Behavior-Specific Praise: How we can utilize praise for social and emotional learning

This webinar reviews ways in which parents, teachers, and caregivers can utilize praise to teach values and ideas. Many of us have been told to use behavior-specific praise - stating what behavior our student or child is doing or is doing well when giving verbal social reinforcement But why do you want that behavior to continue? Which of your values does this present? What does this mean in the larger social context? This presentation will describe how we can give praise that teaches children our social and emotional values, in addition to providing reinforcement. 

Webinar Healthy Nutrition Approaches for the School and School Year

This talk will focus on strategies for planning ahead for the challenges of maintaining a nutritious diet throughout the school year. 

The most terrifying childhood condition you’ve never heard of

CDD is the strangest and most unsettling developmental condition you have probably never heard of. Also known as Heller’s syndrome, for the Austrian special educator who first described it in 1908, it is a late-blooming, viciously regressive form of autism. It’s rare, striking about 1 or 2 in every 100,000 children. After developing typically for two to ten years (the average is three or four), a child with CDD will suffer deep, sharp reversals along multiple lines of development, which may include language, social skills, play skills, motor skills, cognition and bladder or bowel control.
The speed and character of this reversal varies, but it often occurs in a horrifyingly short period — as short as a couple of months, says Gupta. In about 75 percent of cases, this loss of skills is preceded by days or weeks in which the child experiences intense anxiety and even terror: nightmares and waking nightmares and bouts of confused, jumpy disturbance that resemble psychosis. (In the 1970s and 1980s, the diagnostic term used for CDD in many countries was ‘disintegrative psychosis.’) During this anxiety-ridden prologue, known as a ‘prodrome,’ a child will often seem keenly aware that something is wrong. He’ll say he’s scared. He’ll pace and hold his head and say it hurts. As the increasingly frightened parents watch, he loses speech, motor skills, and most means of social contact. It is as if something is erasing everything he has become.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PECS II in Great Falls

November 3-4
Great Falls

You can register here. 

Prerequisite: PECS™ Level 1 Training
This training will show you how to teach PECS with fidelity so your learners don’t get stuck on early Phases of PECS. Let us help you create lessons that turn your PECS user into someone who communicates in all situations using longer sentences. A review of the six Phases of PECS and discussions about your current challenges combined with ideas related to materials, teaching strategies and activities to promote communication will refine your PECS implementation skills. With innovative ideas, renewed confidence and enthusiasm you will leave the PECS Level 2 Training ready to move PECS users to more sophisticated levels of communication.
You Will Learn To:
  • How the components of the Pyramid Approach to Education are directly related to proper implementation of the PECS protocol
  • How to incorporate communication within daily activities and routines
  • How to develop advanced PECS lessons
  • How to analyze teaching PECS across the day