Thursday, March 30, 2017

Archived Webinar - AT and Apps to Support Learners with Autism

Assistive Technology can support learners with autism who may struggle with executive function skills such as scheduling and reminders, organization and time on task, attention and focus, social skills, as well as behavior monitoring and sensory breaks. In this webinar we will demonstrate and discuss various apps and AT options, including wearable technology to support students with autism, to foster engagement, inclusion, independence and success in the educational environment. 

Watch the archived webinar here. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bucking Trend, 9 In 10 With Autism Land Jobs After Training

When given the right supports and training, a new study suggests that nearly all young people with autism who qualify for supported employment can learn to excel on the job.
Nine out of 10 transition-age youth with autism who participated in an intensive job training program were working part-time earning at least minimum wage three months after graduating high school. What’s more, 87 percent were still working after 12 months.
By comparison, just 6 percent of their peers with autism who did not participate in the intervention were employed three months after graduation and only 12 percent were working after a year, according to findings published in the April issue of the journal Autism.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Considering Culture in Autism Screening Products

Massachusetts Act Early has developed the Considering Culture in Autism Screening guide, toolkit and classroom-based curriculum offered below at no cost for use by a variety of pediatric and early childhood professionals when working with children from families whose primary language is not English. 

These free materials may be downloaded and printed for use in practice.

Screening Guide & Toolkit

Included in the Considering Culture in Autism Screening Kit are several selected translations of the  M-CHAT autism screening tool in both the latest revised version with the follow-up interview (R/F) and the original version (see below). In addition to the M-CHAT R/F translations below that represent the most prominently spoken languages in Massachusetts, the M-CHAT R/F web site has many more.

To download other translations and to learn more in general about the screening tool, please visit

M-CHAT-R/F and translations

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Autism rates in the United States explained

Has the rising awareness of autism contributed to the prevalence?
Increased awareness of autism has undoubtedly contributed to its rise in prevalence, Durkin says.
Until the 1980s, many people with autism were institutionalized, rendering them effectively invisible. Studies show that parents who are aware of autism’s presentation — by living near someone with the condition, for example — are more likely to seek a diagnosis for their children than parents with no knowledge of the condition. Living close to urban centers and having access to good medical care also boost the likelihood of diagnosis.
Greater awareness of autism is also likely to boost CDC estimates by increasing the chances that autism traits, such as lack of eye contact, show up in school and medical records, says Fombonne.
Policy changes may have also played a role. In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended screening all children for autism during routine pediatrician visits at 18 and 24 months of age. This move may have led to diagnoses for children who would otherwise have slipped under the radar.
Are there other factors that have influenced prevalence?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

HaNEN More Than Words® on June 23-25, 2017 in Billings

June 23-25, 2017 

What you can expect from the More Than Words workshop
  • 3 full days of practical, experiential training that gives you the skills to apply what you’ve learned the very next day
  • An assessment protocol and goal-setting framework that helps you identify exactly where to start with each new child
  • Research-based responsive interaction strategies that address the specific challenges associated with ASD
  • A framework for meeting the needs of adult learners so you can effectively teach and coach parents to extend intervention into every part of the child’s day
  • Certification to lead the evidence-based More Than Words® – The Hanen Program® for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • A set of comprehensive resources to use both in your More Than Words® programs, as well as in your one-to-one sessions with children and their families
  • 2.20 CEUs or 22 professional development hours

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Evidence-Based Instructional Strategies for Transition Planning

Looking for what works in transition planning? This interactive session will present validated approaches for transition assessment, instructional delivery, and data collection/analysis processes. In addition to modeling several evidence-based instructional strategies, this session will also demonstrate how educators can use existing resources to identify appropriate transition activities.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

*Use existing resources to identify evidence-based practices in transition services and planning
*Describe the components of three common evidence-based transition practices used in schools programs
*Design and implement a transition-based education for students with disabilities 

FInd more information and register here. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

5 Tips for Preventing Dependency in Anxious Students

Tip 1: Pull Yourself Back: Don’t accept the word “help” in isolation
It’s exciting and a huge step when a student asks for help as opposed to putting their head 
down or avoiding the activity by going to the bathroom. But don’t stop there: now promote the 
use of a more self-reflective statement. In post-secondary school life, the word “help” won’t
be of much use. We can’t call the cable company and simply say “help.”
When a student says “I need help,” the teacher typically goes into action and essentially does 
all the work, scanning the student’s work and assessing the problem - “oh, you are stuck on 
problem number 4? Remember the formula you need to figure that out?” In many situations,
“I need help” is equivalent to “Teacher, do something!” The student didn’t articulate or even think about what they needed help with or why. 
Pull yourself back. Pretend you don’t know what the issue is. Respond instead by probing: 
“What do you need help with and why?” Allow them to self-advocate and articulate their 
confusion in a more sophisticated and self-reflective way.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Don't Believe The Hype Around Autistic Women Having A Male Brain

A study just published in JAMA Psychiatry has made some waves with its conclusions that women with autism are much more likely than women without autism to have a "male brain." The study findings do not, however, live up to the breathless headlines or to claims of one of its authors, Simon Baron-Cohen, who excitedly tweeted that "79.6% of women with autism have a male brain, and women with a male brain are 3 times more likely to have autism."

But let's take a closer look at the study and its findings.

Read more here at Forbes.