Wednesday, July 11, 2018

STAR Autism Training - Anaconda

Dates:  August 20th and 21st - 8:30am - 3:30pm
Location:  Lincoln Primary School - 506 Chestnut, Anaconda, MT 59711

This comprehensive two-day workshop provides participants with detailed examples and practice activities on how to implement the evidence-based practices identified in the National Standards Report (2009). The STAR Program (Arick, Loos, Falco and Krug, 2004), a research-based curriculum is used to provide examples.

Appropriate content connected to the common core curriculum is presented and detailed information on the three evidenced-based instructional methods of discrete trial training, pivotal response training and teaching through functional routines are shared.

Participants will learn how to implement these strategies through structured lesson plans and a curriculum scope and sequence. The workshop will include extensive data collection systems and participants will learn to collect and use data for instructional decision making. Workshop topics will include the use of a power point lecture, video examples, presenter demonstration and participant "hands-on" practice.

Register here.

Shawna Heiser-Data Keeping, ABC sheet and PBS plans

August 13th, 2018


Shawna will be discussing the importance of data in the classroom as well as other relevant information for all attendees. This session will be applicable to Para Educators as well as Spe and Regular Education teachers.

Register here.

Disparities in Familiarity with Developmental Disabilities among Low-Income Parents



Parent knowledge about developmental disabilities (DDs) may facilitate access to DD care; however, parents may vary in their knowledge and familiarity with common DDs. This study aimed to assess racial/ethnic and language differences in low-income families’ familiarity, knowledge, and personal experience with DDs.


We conducted a child development survey among 539 low-income parents of young children attending visits at the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), in six Oregon counties in 2015. Survey items assessed parent familiarity with early signs of DDs, self-reported knowledge about DDs, and personal experience with a friend or family member with a DD. Bivariable and multivariable analyses assessed differences in outcomes among non-Latino white [white], Latino-English proficient [Latino-EP], Latino-limited English proficient [Latino-LEP], and non-Latino other race English proficient [other race] parents.


Overall, parent participants correctly identified 64.7% of early signs of DDs. White parents correctly identified the earliest signs, even after adjustment for socio-demographic factors. Latino-LEP, Latino-EP and other race parents were less likely to have heard of prevalent DDs such as ADHD and autism, and were less likely to have a friend or family member with a DD compared to white parents.

Read more here at Science Direct.

Prevalence and Variation of Developmental Screening and Surveillance in Early Childhood

Question  What are the latest national estimates of standardized developmental screening and surveillance, as well as individual and state variation, that may identify opportunities for improvement?
Findings  In this cross-sectional analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, an estimated 30.4% of children 9 through 35 months of age received a parent-completed developmental screening and 37.1% received developmental surveillance from a health care professional in the past year. State-level differences far exceeded those by child and family characteristics, spanning 40 percentage points for screening (17.2% in Mississippi and 58.8% in Oregon) and surveillance (19.1% in Mississippi and 60.8% in Oregon).

Both screening and surveillance varied substantially across states by more than 40 percentage points (Figure 1 and Figure 2). The prevalence of screening ranged from 17.2% in Mississippi to 58.8% in Oregon, corresponding to a rate ratio of 3.4. Similarly, developmental surveillance ranged from 19.1% in Mississippi to 60.8% in Oregon, corresponding to a rate ratio of 3.2. States with significantly lower rates of developmental screening than the nation overall included Kentucky (17.5%), New York (17.5%), and Florida (20.4%), while states with rates significantly exceeding the national rate included Oregon (58.8%), Colorado (50.2%), Minnesota (50.1%), North Carolina (47.6%), Alaska (46.8%), Montana (46.3%), Massachusetts (46.3%), and Maryland (43.0%).

Read more here.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Podcast - Aftermath

In summer 2016, a police shooting upended the life of Arnaldo Rios Soto, a 26-year old, non-speaking, autistic man. Aftermath tells Arnaldo's story — a hidden world of psych wards, physical abuse and chemical restraints — and asks the question: How did Arnaldo's life go so wrong? 

Listen here. 

Webinar - Apps to Teach Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

The goal of this edWebinar is to share apps to support learning and engagement of students with autism spectrum disorder. Students with autism spectrum disorder learn best through visuals and with differentiated academic support to meet their individual needs.

In this edWebinar, Frances Amato, STEM Educator and Technology Liaison, reviews her favorite apps for ELA, math, behavior needs and schedules — all educational in nature. They can be utilized throughout the school day to support students’ handwriting, reading, spelling and more. The presentation goes through apps such as ClassDojo, School Schedule, Spellyfish, Simplex Spelling and others.

Archived Webinars from the Autism Research Institute

Upcoming Webinars from the Autism Research Institute

18 is Coming: Considerations for Parents and Caregivers as Your Child Approaches Adulthood

Q & A: Ask the Nutritionist

Thu, Sep 13, 2018 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM MDT

Self-Injury and ASD - Updates

Study offers clues about eye avoidance in ASD

This artilce also appeared in the 2017, volume 3 issue of ARI's Autism Research Review International newsletter.

New research indicates that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) avoid eye contact not because they lack interest in interacting socially, but because making eye contact causes them to experience unpleasant arousal in the brain’s subcortical system.
Hadjikhani says, “The findings demonstrate that, contrary to what has been thought, the apparent lack of interpersonal interest among people with autism is not due to a lack of concern. Rather, our results show that this behavior is a way to decrease an unpleasant excessive arousal stemming from overactivation in a particular part of the brain.”
Based on the study’s findings, Hadjikhani says that forcing individuals with autism to focus on other people’s eyes may be misguided. Instead, she says, “An approach involving slow habituation to eye contact may help them overcome this overreaction and be able to handle eye contact in the long run, thereby avoiding the cascading effects that this eye-avoidance has on the development of the social brain.”

Social behaviour and social cognition in high-functioning adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD): two sides of the same coin?


Of the triad of symptoms found in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), that is, social impairments, communication difficulties and repetitive interests and behaviour, the social impairments are the most stable and common throughout the lifespan. They typically manifest themselves in abnormalities as reciprocal interactions and difficulties in the expression and recognition of emotions. Although peer interactions become especially important during adolescence, little is known about the mentalizing abilities of high-functioning adolescents with ASD. Here, we compared the mentalizing skills and emotion recognition abilities of 21 high-functioning adolescents with ASD and 21 matched controls. All adolescents had estimated above-average verbal intelligence levels. Spontaneous social abilities and task-related social abilities were measured using questionnaires, tasks and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Results confirm social impairment in daily life situations in adolescents with ASD, but were not found on experimental tasks of social cognition. The use of more explicit cognitive or verbally mediating reasoning techniques and a lesser tendency of high-functioning adolescents with ASD to search for and use social information in natural environments are further discussed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Newsletter of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment Spring/Summer 2018

Read the full newsletter here. 

Doubts, confusion surround Cognoa’s app for autism diagnosis

The status of a phone application designed to diagnose autism has created confusion among scientists — and sowed skepticism about the app’s efficacy.
According to representatives of California-based Cognoa, the app’s maker, the tool is intended to radically reconfigure the speed and ease with which autism is diagnosed. The company announced in February that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established that Cognoa’s software is a Class II diagnostic medical device for autism.
It turns out, however, that the agency has not cleared the app, also called Cognoa, for diagnosing autism — nor has it recognized the app as a Class II medical device. “This product is not FDA approved or cleared,” FDA spokesperson Stephanie Caccomo told Spectrum.

Potty Training a Child with Autism using ABA

Potty training an Autistic child can be daunting for parents and caregivers because of the unique challenges the child faces. For this reason, traditional approaches to toilet training may not always be effective. This is where applied behavioral analysis (ABA) comes into your potty training program.

The first step in implementing a discrete trial training potty training program is to collect some data. Start by checking your child’s diaper every 45 minutes to an hour just to see if he has eliminated. Record this data until you get an idea of how often your child is going. Once you’ve determined the child’s average potty interval, take that number and multiply it by .75 for your timer interval. For example, if your child eliminates every 40 minutes, you would set a timer every 30 minutes.
When the timer goes off, you should have some kind of communication to indicate that it’s time to go the bathroom. This could be saying “potty time,” or if the child is nonverbal, try using a sign for toilet. Whatever signal you decide to use, make sure it is consistent and that all caregivers use it routinely.



The Zones of Regulation® is a framework to foster self-regulation, supporting students in recognizing and managing their emotions and sensory needs.   Participate in this two hour live webinar and learn how applying The Zones of Regulation framework can help develop essential skills and gain powerful tools for managing emotions and sensory needs.

Leah will offer a brief overview of: 
• The Zones framework 
•The concept of self-regulation 
• Strategies for application of the Zones 
• Recommended resources for additional learning and skills-building, including the new interactive learning tool, Navigating the Zones

August 30, 2018
9:30-11:30 Central Time
Add to Calendar 

This is an online event
ONLINE  via  Zoom  

Rate: $70/per participant

Find more information here. 

NOTE: The OPI Montana Auitsm Education Project will not be offerng scholarships or viewing sites for this workshop. 

Age of Majority Toolkit

NAA's Age of Majority guide is a free, downloadable toolkit for caregivers in need of information and resources to prepare and support their child through the transition from adolesence to adulthood. 
This item is provided by NAA at no charge. When you complete the order process, you will receive a link to download the booklet in PDF format. The link will expire in 72 hours.