Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Unusual eating behaviors may be a new diagnostic indicator for autism

 Atypical eating behaviors may be a sign a child should be screened for autism, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.
Research by Susan Mayes, professor of psychiatry, found that atypical eating behaviors were present in 70% of children with autism, which is 15 times more common than in neurotypical children. 
Atypical eating behaviors may include severely limited food preferences, hypersensitivity to food textures or temperatures, and pocketing food without swallowing.
According to Mayes, these behaviors are present in many 1-year-olds with autism and could signal to doctors and parents that a child may have autism.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

ASD Intervention: How Do We Measure Effectiveness?

Question 1: “What behaviors should change as a result of the intervention?”
Virtually any ASD intervention that is truly effective will result in observable change in behavior. For example, a speech intervention may very well result in increased spoken language (e.g., novel words, greater rate of utterances). An academic intervention should result in specific new academic skills (e.g., independent proficiency with particular math operations). An exercise purported to decrease the occurrence of challenging behavior will, if effective, result in a lower rate of specific challenging behaviors (e.g., tantrums, self-injury). 
As “consumers” of ASD interventions, you and your family member have every right to expect that the marketer will identify specific, objective, and measurable changes in behaviors that indicate treatment efficacy. Scientists refer to such definitions as “operational definitions” – these are definitions that are written using observable and measurable terms. If the marketer insists on using ill-defined, “fuzzy” descriptions of treatment benefit (e.g., “increased sense of well-being”, “greater focus and intentionality”, an increased “inner balance” or “regulation”), then “Buyer Beware!” These kinds of outcome goals will leave you guessing about treatment effect. Insist that operational definitions of target behaviors be agreed upon prior to starting the intervention.

Autism Non-Verbal Medical Alert Seat Belt Cover

$26 on Amazon. 

Autism Behind the Wheel: Teaching Teens and Young Adults with ASD to Drive


Monday, July 8, 2019

Great Ways to Improve Life and Social Skills In the Kitchen

Kids with autism are more likely than their peers to have food aversions, which leads to a poor quality diet. Inviting children into the kitchen to experience various textures and temperatures is often the first step to eventually tasting something new. Research shows that children are more likely to eat a meal when they are involved in its preparation and that children who are exposed to food outside of meal times tend to have diverse diets.
The benefits of cooking extend beyond diet. Cooking is a valuable life skill that fosters confidence and independence. Being in the kitchen with others can improve communication and social skills. Following a recipe teaches reading, listening, math, and sequencing. Learning to prepare food can promote sensory integration and focus. Finally, many parents find that cooking with their child is a gratifying opportunity for connection.

Math Teaching Tip: Build a Bridge from Concrete to Abstract with the "Concrete–Representational–Abstract" Approach

When working on math skills, it can be helpful to take more abstract concepts and demonstrate them with concrete objects and pictures. This allows students to obtain an understanding of the core concepts behind the math problems they're learning (Witzel & Little, 2016) and can help close gaps in mathematics knowledge (Allsopp et al., 2008).

One way to achieve this is to teach using an instructional method called the "Concrete-Representational-Abstract" (CRA) approach.

Episode 9: Gender and Autism

As our understanding of autism grows, researchers are finding that the way we diagnose autism may be biased.
They're also finding, through early research and small studies, that gender fluidity may be more prevalent in people with autism than the general population.
In this episode, we'll dive into both of these topics through the experiences of three autistic advocates.

Subscribe at the below platforms to get new episodes as they are released:

From Autism Speaks. 

FREE Being a Good Communication Partner to an AAC User

Mealtime and Children on the Autism Spectrum: Beyond Picky, Fussy, and Fads

Many parents of children on the autism spectrum struggle with their child’s severe eating problems with little or no professional help. In part, this is simply due to the limited number of specialists dealing with eating and feeding disorders. Furthermore, within this limited number of specialists few have much understanding and experience with children who have autism spectrum disorders.

Medical, behavioral, and environmental factors, including sensory difficulties, must be considered when feeding and eating problems occur. Within the scope of this article, medical and behavioral factors will be addressed briefly. Medical issues and frequently, behavioral issues, need to be assessed and addressed by working with the appropriate professionals. The environmental and sensory related issues will be discussed and outlined in more depth. It is the environmental and sensory related problems that families can often adjust on their own once they better understand their child’s needs.

Read more here at the Indiana Resource Center for Autism. 

Webinar on Repetitive Behaviors in Autism

July 17, 2019

Register here. at Spectrum.

Supplements, worms and stool: How families are trying to game the gut to treat autism traits

Every two weeks, Alex Chinitz swallows the strangest of brews: fruit juice with 20 to 30 larvae of Hymenolepis diminuta mixed in. That fancy Latin word is the name of a helminth — a tapeworm, to be precise — that can grow to 30 centimeters.

Research on the microbiome — the collection of microbes that live in and on the body — is still in its infancy, says Mauro Costa-Mattioli, professor of neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Just the idea that microbes could influence the brain was “unthinkable a few years ago,” he says. The pace of research has accelerated over the past few years, but microbe-based medicines are not yet in sight.
Still, many parents and clinicians are not waiting. A growing number are experimenting with specialized diets, probiotics, stool transplants and parasites, trying to game the gut to address core autism traits. About 19 percent of physicians surveyed in 2009 said they recommend probiotics to the autistic people they treat. An unpublished survey of 100 people found 2 adults trying stool transplants at home for autism.
These unregulated therapies can be costly and unpredictable — and they pose significant, even life-threatening, risks. Home-grown stool transplants and parasites, for example, can introduce deadly infections. This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert about fecal transplantsafter two recipients contracted an antibiotic-resistant infection and one of them died.

Pablo - A New Show on Netflix

PABLO, a young boy with autism uses his creativity to invent a world where he can better process the complex emotions he feels in various social situations. Each episode opens with five-year-old Pablo (William Burns and Oliver Burns, voiced by Jake Williamson) facing a new and potentially frightening event, such as a friend's birthday party or a haircut. As he draws with his magic crayons, he's transported to a magical world where his animal friends -- Wren (voiced by Sumita Majumdar), Tang (Michael White), Mouse (Rachael Dickson), Noasaurus (Tony Finnegan), Llama (Rosie King), and Draff (Scott Mulligan) -- help him understand what he's feeling and gain the confidence he needs to face the unknown.

The series uses a mix of live-action and animated sequences to differentiate between Pablo's real-life experiences and those that take place in a world of his imagination, where his animal friends help him process his complex emotions and find the courage to face the unknown. Featuring a core cast of actors with autism and using real-life experiences of kids and adults on the autism spectrum as its inspiration, this series is an excellent tool for helping kids on the spectrum identify their own emotions. It also offers a unique glimpse into the effects of autism for viewers without firsthand experience.

Review from Common Sense Media. 

Large study supports discarding the term ‘high-functioning autism’

Autistic people described as ‘high functioning’ because they do not have intellectual disability often still struggle with daily living skills, according to a study of more than 2,000 people on the spectrum1. The data should put the term ‘high functioning’ out of commission for good, the researchers argue.
The study, the largest of its type, shows that individuals deemed high functioning often have poor ‘adaptive behavior’ — the ability to perform basic tasks such as brushing teeth, tying shoelaces or taking the bus.
Researchers coined the term ‘high functioning’ in two papers published in the late 1980s2,3. It has since become shorthand to describe people with autism who have strong language skills and do not have intellectual disability (an IQ below 70).
For years, autistic people have objected to the label, as well as its counterpart, ‘low functioning,’ saying these terms do not reflect how much support they actually need.

Age of Majority Tool Kit

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.

Stimming, therapeutic for autistic people, deserves acceptance

Rhythmic, repetitive behaviors are a hallmark of autism. Hand-flapping, spinning in circles, body rocking, vocalizations such as grunting and muttering, and other habits can be disquieting to people unfamiliar with them. Scientists and clinicians have long puzzled over what these behaviors mean — and how to respond to them.

But growing evidence suggests that repetitive behaviors have been misunderstood — and that they may in fact be incredibly useful. My colleagues and I have found that the behaviors give autistic people a sense of control, helping them cope with overwhelming external stimuli, and a way to calm and communicate their moods. On the other hand, many autistic people say that engaging in repetitive behaviors makes them feel like social outcasts.

Read more here at Spectrum. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Conference - Montana Association for Behavior Analysis

September 12-13, 2019


Teaching Intraverbal Behavior
Many children with autism acquire mand and tact repertoires but fail to develop intraverbal responding.  Failure to acquire intraverbal behavior leads to difficulties in academic, social and over all communication. In the past few years the behavior analytic literature has included reports of methods to teach the intraverbal. The purpose of this workshop is to present the current research on teaching  intraverbal responding which extends Skinner’s 1957, analysis of this verbal operant.  A sequence for teaching intraverbal responding from simple to complex will be offered with many video illustrations of teaching methods within applied settings.
The Role of Joint Control in Teaching Complex Listener Responding to Children with Autism and Other Disabilities
Skinner’s (1957) analysis of language has much to offer clinicians interested in teaching verbal behavior to persons with autism.  Much of the research in this area has emphasized the teaching of speaker behavior with less work dedicated to a thorough analysis of the contingencies operating on the behavior of the listener. Possibly due to this lack of attention cognitive explanations of comprehension, understanding and word recognition have persisted. A special form of multiple control called joint stimulus control may provide an alternative and cogent behavioral analysis of complex listener and other  behavior. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of the conceptual analysis of joint control and the basic and applied research that has followed.  Video demonstrations of the teaching of joint control with participants from a recently published study and additional clinical applications will be presented to illustrate the implementation of joint control procedures in applied settings.

The Struggles of a Teenage Girl With a Late Autism Diagnosis

Until very recently, autism has been viewed as a male disorder. Statistics have shown that boys diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder outnumber girls at a rate of 4:1. However, Maria Szalavitz provides three good reasons to question these figures, in her 2016 article in Scientific American, “Autism – It’s Different in Girls.”
First, the foundational research on autism had been conducted on boys, meaning that the criteria on which an autism diagnosis is made are based on the presenting characteristics of boys. Second, girls have been less likely to be given an autism diagnosis unless they exhibit more extreme behaviors than boys and have an intellectual disability. Third, autistic girls are different from autistic boys in significant ways which have led to them being overlooked.
Recent research has found that girls on the autism spectrum make more effort to learn and mimic social rules, go to greater lengths to camouflage their social differences, have a stronger desire to connect, and are less likely to exhibit repetitive behavior and obsessive interests. Girls like Nikki very easily fly under the ASD radar. Many are misdiagnosed, diagnosed at later ages or as adults, or never diagnosed at all.

The Story Collider presents: Stories from Spectrum

The Story Collider partnered with Spectrum for a storytelling event about experiences with autism. 

View the videos here at Spectrum. 

Archived Webinar - Camouflaging in autism

You can view the archived webinar here. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Ealy Childhood Assessments

This document from PA Department of Education is useful in comparing a variety of early childhood (0-8) assessment tools by different purposes and functions of assessment.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Glendive Training July 2019

The following trainings will be at the Holiday Inn Express in Glendive:

July 24 –Tips and Tricks for Easy Data Collection and Analysis      8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Why do we write so much? Why do we make notes that no one will read again? Why do we use so much paper? Why don’t we spend more time analyzing data we recorded so we make timely decisions on progress? This workshop will answer these questions and show you easy ways to instantly analyze data!

July 25 –FBA Booster           8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This workshop is designed to remind school IEP team professionals about necessary steps in this evidence-based practice. The development of specific targeted positive behavior intervention plans and evaluation of intervention effectiveness within those plans is of major concern as well as safety and crisis planning.

July 26 - Latest Research and Best Practices in Autism Spectrum Disorders      
8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

What is going on in the world of autism? What’s the latest information on evidence-based practice, prevalence, medical treatment, and services? What legal and ethical issues have arisen in school-based practices that we should know about and prevent?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

10 Ways To Help Your Child on the Autism Spectrum Prepare for Periods

1.Period education often gets entangled with sex education, but it doesn’t have to

Children need to learn to keep their privates private. It would be short-sighted not to acknowledge that once a person starts having periods they could get pregnant. This is especially important because of the potential for unwanted pregnancy, especially in the case of abuse. That’s why teaching young people their private parts are private is so important. Please see the NSPCC PANTS resources for a good starting point on how you could approach this topic.

2. Work with a young woman’s strengths

If the person you support likes collecting facts, have them build a spreadsheet or a Talley with a list of symptoms experienced throughout the menstrual cycle so they can see how it changes over time. Be clear that you shouldn’t go asking other people for this kind of information, and they need to choose with whom they want to share this information.

Read more here at Autism Parenting magazine.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Having smart father raises child’s risk of autism

Children whose fathers are highly intelligent are at a 32 percent higher risk of autism than those whose fathers are of average intelligence, according to research published 23 April in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry1.
The work supports observations that date back to the 1940s, when Leo Kannerand Hans Asperger noted in separate reports that the fathers of children with autism tended to be highly intelligent and in several cases worked in technical fields. A 2012 study also showed that children from regions in the Netherlands where high-tech jobs are prevalent are more likely to have autism than those who live in other regions.

MouseTrial: fun exercises for kids ...for vocabulary, concentration, cooperation and literacy

See more here. 

Creating Safety Plans for People with Autism - Autism Speaks

Use these printable forms and handouts in our Autism Safety Kit to develop a multifaceted safety plan specific to a person with autism's unique needs. Remember, a person with autism's safety needs can change as they get older or when there is a sudden change in routine, so the safety plan should be updated on a regular basis. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Webinar - Promoting Progress for the Emergent Symbolic Learner

This session will discuss the transition from pre-symbolic to emerging symbolic communication and describe interventions designed to promote the learner’s continued progress at this stage of expressive communication development.

View the webinar here at the Idaho Training Clearinghouse.

Webinar - Expanding the Communicative Competence of the Pre-Symbolic Learner

The second session will discuss the difference between intentional and intentionally communicative behaviors in learners at the pre-symbolic levels of communication. Students will be presented with a variety of examples of learners at various pre-symbolic stages and intervention strategies to further their communicative abilities.

View the webinar here at the Idaho Training Clearinghouse. 

Webinar - Recognizing the Communication Abilities of Learners with Significant Disabilities

This first session focuses on assessing levels of communication for learners at the non-symbolic or early symbolic level of communication. The Communication Matrix is used to review the assessment process and how to target levels for instruction and programming.

View the webinar here at the Idaho Training Clearinghouse. 

Archived Webinars - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Neurology, Behavior, and Interventions

Presenter: Brenda Smith Myles, Ph.D.

Description: This three part webinar series will address issues that relate to opportunities for creating a high quality of life for students at various levels of autism spectrum disorder. Session one will provide a review of the neurology of ASD. Session two will focus on the meltdowns experienced by over 50% of people on the spectrum and include a discussion of self-regulation and sensory issues. The final session will describe evidence-based interventions that create psychologically safe environments for learning. 

Webinar 1

Webinar 2 

Webinar 3 

From the Idaho Training Clearinghouse

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Montana Autism Education Project News –May 2019

Upcoming Trainings:


Improving Executive Skills to Promote School Success

Billings     June 3-4, 2019

Executive skills are sometimes called “the hidden curriculum.” They are skills such as task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, planning, organization, and goal-directed persistence that are absolutely critical to school success, yet curriculum standards seldom if ever explicitly reference these skills. This training will go in-depth on the topic of executive skills, how skill deficits impact our students, and how to develop interventions designed to improve upon specific executive skills. 

Dr. Peg Dawson has written numerous books on the topic of executive skills, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, and Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents. 

          NOTE: All OPI registration scholarships for this conference have been filled.

AUGUST (and beyond!)
AAC Conference

Missoula   Mon, August 5, 2019

Come hear national speaker and Speech Language Pathologist, Gail Van Tatenhove, talk about complex communication needs and strategies.

(NOTE: All OPI registration scholarships for this conference have been filled.)

iPad Boot Camp: Awesome New iPad Apps, Adaptations, and Accessories


 Great Falls        August 8/9, 2019
This two-day course will discuss and demonstrate the top 50 apps to support students who experience various functional limitations; 20 new accessories and adaptations; new accessibility features of the latest IOS operating system; 101 ways to use video to support physical, sensory, communication and intellectual disabilities; what is new in accessibility features; hands-on fabrication of a key guard for an iPad – for communication access; hands-on fabrication of an adaptive stylus for the iPad using Instamorph, PVC, Microfiber Mesh, and Universal Cuff; hands-on fabrication of a tactile graphic overlay for vision impairments using Remo 1, foamies and transparency film; hands-on fabrication of a multi-use iPad holder for hand free access; hands-on fabrication of a vertical iPad holder; creating switch access receipt to work with a drone and web based interfaces such as YouTube and PBS; hands-on exploration of new switch interfaces for the iPad; new iPad adaptations to support users who experience physical, sensory, or communication impairments; overview of new amazing apps for vision, hearing, communication, learning and intellectual impairments; app feature mapping – how to select an appropriate app; apps and adaptations for students who experience limitation in reading and writing; apps for reminding, finding and prompting for individuals who experience executive function impairments.

Positive Practices in Behavior Support

Missoula   August 13, 14, & 15, 2019

Nonaversive Behavioral Support and Basic Principles of Positive Programming - August 13 (Tuesday)

This day will provide an overview of a person-centered, multi-element model and describe positive programming and environmental change strategies for providing positive behavior supports to people with challenging behavior. We also investigate reinforcement and motivational strategies to promote rapid behavior change.

Comprehensive Functional Assessment and Advanced Support Strategies - August 14 (Wednesday)

Building on Day 1, this day will provide in-depth training in behavioral assessment, functional analysis of behavior and additional support strategies. You will learn how to determine the function of behavior by following the structure reported in the Behavior Assessment Guide. Also, you will learn to develop positive support plans based on the behavioral assessment and use some unique and advanced positive support strategies to change behavior, such as altering motivation, altering the antecedents and teaching that the challenging behavior may be OK at certain times.

Emergency Management and Reactive Strategies Within a Positive Practices Framework - August 15 (Thursday)

When punishment is no longer used to manage behavior, people ask: "What do we do when the behavior occurs?" What do we do in a crisis?" This day will provide an overview of emergency management and reactive strategies that when used as part of a complete support plan will reduce or eliminate the use of restraints or restrictive practices. This program does NOT teach "physical management or restraint strategies" but does teach strategies such as antecedent control, instructional control, active listening, stimulus change, counter-intuitive strategies, to name a few. You will also learn some strategies to recognize and meet the emotional needs of staff.


AAC & Proloquo2Go: How to Program for a Better Implementation and Outcome!
Glendive - August 19, 2019

Billings - August 20, 2019

Bozeman - September 23, 2019

Havre - October 7, 2019

Great Falls -   October 8, 2019

What is “best practice” for use of AAC with a student? Attendees will receive information to confidently help individuals who rely on AAC. This session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn the “ins and outs” of the iOS app, “Proloquo2Go” from Participants will learn to navigate the app, discover new features and practice programming the app.
The group will review case studies and talk about specific student’s needs. Julie will share teaching strategies so that interactions with AAC/Proloquo2Go are enjoyable for the student, the family,  instructor, and staff. 


2019 PECS Level I and Level II Trainings


August 19/20         Kalispell - Level 1

Sept. 30/Oct. 1       Billings – Level 1

October 2/3            Billings – Level 2*

October 7/8            Sidney – Level 1

October 28/29       Great Falls – Level 1

October 30/31       Missoula – Level 1

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is used to rapidly teach communication skills to those with limited functional speech.  Training in PECS begins by teaching a spontaneous request and goes on to teach additional communicative functions such as responding to questions and commenting.  Participants will learn how to implement the six phases of PECS, plus attributes, through presenter demonstrations, video examples and role-play opportunities. 

PECS Level 1 Training:

This intensive two-day training is designed to teach participants the theory behind the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and the protocols for how to appropriately implement the six phases of PECS.

PECS Level 2 Training: *Prerequisite: PECS Level 1 Training

This two-day training focuses on creating lessons and activities to promote communication throughout the day. Beginning with a review of the Pyramid Approach to Education as it relates to PECS, we guide you in refining your PECS implementation and discuss current challenges you have experienced within the six phases.

Find more information and register here.

STAR Autism Training 2019/2020


Missoula: October 7-8
Billings: November 4-5
Bozeman: November 6-7
Great Falls: March 2-3

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 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.

FREE Online Autism Training from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering online training in Teaching Procedures, Behavior Interventions and Focused Topics to public school staff in Montana who educate students with autism spectrum disorders. The training provides 77 courses and up to 109 OPI renewal units.

A listing and description of the training content can be found here.
The training can be taken for OPI renewal units, ASHA CEUs and SWP/MFT CEUs. 

New groups start the beginning and middle of each month and you will be sent information then to begin your training. You will have 90 days to complete the training.


Montana Autism Education Project Recent Blog Posts of Interest

How to 'Hug' a Kid With Autism

Sesame Street is showing us how to better support kids on the spectrum. They’ve released a few new short videos featuring Julia, the show’s first character with autism.

Watch the video here at Lifehacker.

In the video above, Julia and her neurotypical big brother Samuel teach Abby a new kind of hug, as Julia doesn’t like big hugs. Some people with autism have a strong sensitivity to touch, so hugging can overwhelm them. 

Children who outgrow autism label end up with other diagnoses

Nearly all children who lose their autism diagnosis have other conditions, such as anxiety and language and behavioral disorders, a new study suggests. Many also require support at school.

About 9 percent of children diagnosed with autism later don’t meet criteria for the condition. Parent reports and some medical records have suggested that these children often still have other issues, such as language problems and attention difficulties.

Autism Data Visualization Tool - CDC

There are several ways to estimate the number of children with ASD. This estimate is referred to as prevalence, a scientific term that describes the number of people with a disease or condition among a defined group (or ‘population’). Prevalence is typically shown as a percent (e.g., 0.1%) or a proportion (e.g., 1 in 1,000).


The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods

Written by autistic author Robyn Steward, this is a detailed guide for young people aged 9 to 16 on the basics of menstruation. Created in consultation with young people, an online survey and a group of medical professionals, this is a book that teaches all people about periods, which can be a scary and overwhelming issue.
Promoting the fact that everyone either has periods or knows someone who does, the book reduces the anxiety girls face in asking for help. It offers direct advice on what periods look and feel like and how to manage hygiene and pain. It also breaks up information using flaps and step-by-step photos of how to change pads and tampons, it discusses alternatives to tampons and pads, and gives information about possible sensory issues for people with autism.

Upcoming and Archived Webinars

Using Reinforcement in the Autism Classroom

Thursday, June 27

One of the often misused and misunderstood tools that teachers can use is reinforcement. Reinforcement is a critical component of changing a student’s behavior in the classroom.  This will give participants a better understanding of reinforcement, strategies to implement and use reinforcement in the classroom, and specific ideas about what to use for reinforcement. The presentation will be of interest to preK-12 teachers, school and district leaders, therapists, and specialists. There will be time for questions at the end of the presentation.

Register here with
Suma Jacob, Christine Conelea discuss repetitive behaviors in autism


Research Update: Studies Investigate Nutritional Support for ASD

Jun 5, 2019

Join Nutritionist Kelly Barnhill to learn research updates about nutrient intake and dietary status in ASD patients.

Register here with the Autism Research Institute.
Functional Behavior Assessment: Principles for Success

May 29
In this webinar, you’ll learn:

● What an FBA is and why is it needed

● Basic principles of behavior and how they relate to the four functions of behavior

● The steps in the FBA process—utilizing indirect and direct assessment measures to analyze antecedents and consequences to determine function

● How to apply data gathered in the FBA process to develop the Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

Register here.


Deciphering Camouflaging in Autism

Jun 6, 2019

In this Spectrum Roundtable, experts discuss research investigating why some autistic women mask, or 'camouflage,' their autism features.

There will be an audience Q&A session at the end of the discussion.

Register here with Spectrum.

Other items

The OPI Division of Special Education has a new blog that shows special education training opportunities from the OPI and the CSPD regions. You can also subscribe to our new Special Education Trainings mailing list on this page.

Consultation Visits

Extended School Year is a great time for a consultation visit!! Staff from the Montana Autism Education Project are available to provide on-site trainings, classroom-level consultations or consultations on individual students. These services are available for no charge. Please contact Doug Doty at if you are interested in scheduling a consultation visit.

OPI Has Behavioral Consultants
The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) wishes to announce the availability of Behavioral Consultants for districts needing help in developing functional behavioral assessments (FBA) and behavioral intervention plans (BIP) for individual special education students. If you are in need of a consultant, please contact Doug Doty at

Thank you for subscribing to this mailing list. If you know others who might wish to receive this or other OPI newsletters they can subscribe here.


Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator

OPI Montana Autism Education Project 459-5303