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Monday, November 4, 2019

RecorddWebinar - Strategies for Selecting and Incorporating Core Vocabulary

Whether you’re a seasoned SLP looking for fresh ways to build communication strategies or a teacher looking to build core vocabulary into your week, it’s always helpful to learn practical ideas you can use right away. Our expert shares guidance on planning core word lists relevant to a range of student communication needs and classroom activities—including morning meeting, academic blocks, story time and transitions.

IN THIS WEBINAR YOU’LL LEARN:

  • Strategies for creating and teaching core vocabulary lists based on planned activities or communication functions
  • Proven ideas for integrating core vocabulary into a variety of daily routines
  • Tips for involving multiple stakeholders in modeling core vocabulary, and why this benefits students.
  •  
  • View the recorded webinar here. 

Webinar - Sensory Processing and Autism

Register here. 

IABA Professional Webinars

The Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis is
offering 2 online interactive professional development webinars on

Positive Practices in Behavioral Support
Through Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis
Presented by Thomas J Willis, PhD
December, January and February
(see grid below for actual dates and times)

AND

Assessment and Analysis of
Severe and Challenging Behavior
A six-month online longitudinal guided practicum
Presented by Thomas J Willis, PhD
Beginning January 27, 2020 from 6:00 AM to 9:30 AM (Los Angeles time)

Positive Practices in Behavioral Support
Through Nonlinear Applied Behavior Analysis

This program is a live, fully interactive, web-based lecture series introducing an evidence-based model of positive behavioral support, including first resort crisis management strategies.

The 4-Module training program covers the following topics:
·      The evidence based IABA Multi-element Model
·      Comprehensive Functional Assessment
·      Person-Centered Positive Behavioral Support
·      Emergency Management and Reactive Strategies Within a Positive Practices Framework
·      Assuring Staff Consistency and the Provision of Quality Services

Type 2 CE is available for BCBAs and BCaBAs. ACE Provider number is OP-02-0027.

Module
Part
December
January
February
Module 1: Comprehensive Functional Assessment
A
B
2
3
13
14
10
11
Module 2: Positive Behavioral Support
A
B
4
5
15
16
12
13
Module 3: Emergency Management and Reactive Strategies Within a Positive Practices Framework
A
B
9
10
20
21
17
18
Module 4: Assuring Staff Consistency and the Provision of Quality Services
A
B
11
12
22
23
19
20
Start and End Times (Los Angeles time)
7:30 AM to 10:00 AM
2:00 PM to 5:30 PM
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Standard fee is $500.00 (USD) per person (other currencies accepted, contact us for a quote). A 10% discount is available for groups of 3 or more at the same location. To register or download a complete brochure, go to www.iaba.com/webinars.html [iaba.com].

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Assessment and Analysis of
Severe and Challenging Behavior
A six-month online longitudinal guided practicum

This is an advanced, competency based interactive online professional development program for qualified professionals charged with assessing individuals who have complex and challenging needs and with designing positive behavior support plans. You will learn an evidence-based, state-of-the-art model for providing effective, person-centered positive behavioral supports that results in a decrease in the use of restrictive practices and an increase in the person’s quality of life.

This is a hands-on practicum experience. At the beginning of this six-month course all participants will select a focus person from their case load. Each participant will conduct a comprehensive functional assessment, design and implement a multi-element positive behavior support plan to address the behaviors of concern and reduce the need for restrictive practices. Feedback sessions are provided at the end of each assignment that provide the participant with concrete guidance.

Tuition and Fees: US Dollars $3,000.00, includes tuition and all books. We can invoice you in your local currency. Please e-mail John Marshall, jmarshall@iaba.com, for a rate quote. To register or download a complete brochure, go to www.iaba.com/webinars.html [iaba.com].

Some comments from people who have completed this course:

·      It was a thought provoking and worthwhile educational journey. Enjoyed Tom's capacity to simplify the concepts and share his wealth of experience which was invaluable. The quick turnaround with feedback was much appreciated.
·      Loved it, an amazing course. I have learnt so much that I will be implementing throughout my role.
·      Really enjoyed the course. I found Tom to be engaging and very knowledgeable. He has inspired me in many ways, in a subject I felt I knew a lot about. Thanks.
·      Tom's EXPERT knowledge was nothing short of AMAZING.
·      Value for money.

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FAQ

·      Do I need to take the Modules in order? You should take Modules 1, 2, and 3 in that order. Module 4 can be taken at any time. Often Module 4 is taken as a stand-alone webinar by administrators who have no clinical responsibilities.

·      Why are the Modules broken into 2 Parts? The lectures are 6 hours long. That would be too long for most people to be in front of their computer or device screen.

·      What if I have to leave early or arrive late? We record all of the sessions. A link to the recording will be e-mailed to you each day.

·      May we watch as a group or do individuals need to watch from their own device? You may watch as a group providing that you appoint a person to take the attendance role and submit that role to IABA.

·      Are you able to ask questions during the lecture? Yes. You can ask questions by either “raising your virtual hand” or by typing your question into the chat box. There are also question periods at the beginning and end of each session.

·      What devices can I use? You can use either a desktop computer, a laptop computer, a tablet, or a smart phone. If you plan on using a smart phone or tablet visit your app store and download the WebEx app. If you are using a desktop or laptop, make sure that the webcam and microphone are operational. If you are watching as a group, we suggest using a data projector and external speakers.

·      Can I test my device to make sure that I can connect to the training? Yes, go to https://www.webex.com/test-meeting.html and join the Test Meeting.

·      Are there any pre-reading materials or handouts? When you register, you will receive a link to download the lecture notes. You are also invited to visit www.iaba.com/iabaresc.htm where you can find books and links to free articles and newsletters.

·      What if I have a different question? Please contact John Marshall by e-mail (jmarshall@iaba.com).

United States College Programs for Autistic Students

View the document here.

Autism FocusedIntervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM)

AFIRM Modules are designed to help you learn the step-by-step process of planning for, using, and monitoring an EBP with learners with ASD from birth to 22 years of age. Supplemental materials and handouts are available for download.

Download an overview of the Components of AFIRM to learn about modules, resources, and professional development options.

Read more here. 

Webinar - Reducing Challenging Behaviors in Students with Autism: Merging Visual Language and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

We will take an in-depth look at evidence-based strategies to help reduce and/or replace challenging behaviors utilizing functional communication training. During this edWebinar, we will:
  • define functional communication training and discuss why it can significantly reduce challenging behaviors, including those exhibited by students with Autism. 

  • take a step-by-step approach to identifying and assessing problem behaviors as well as visual language strengths and weaknesses.
  •  
  • map visual language onto Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) teaching strategies.
  •  
  • learn how to use systematic strategies to teach replacement communication and behaviors.
  •  
  • examine case studies that demonstrate how to scaffold visual supports for different types of students, based on baseline data collection and the results of language assessments.
  •  
  • monitor and generalize these skills in students with Autism.

Register here. 

A comparison of the ASD experience of low‐SES hispanic and non‐hispanic white parents

This study showed that Hispanic and Non‐Hispanic White children from poor backgrounds got a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at the same age. Results show differences in religious views, acceptance of diagnosis, knowledge of milestones, and finding resources. This might be because people are more aware of ASD today and Hispanic families were involved with an active parent organization.

Read more here. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Interest in Regional Interdisciplinary Autism Professional Development Network?

I am writing to let you know about an exciting new opportunity to participate in an ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) project designed to help providers improve the care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participation is free and there is a possibility that CME (or other continuing education) credit will be available. 
The program will consist of presentations by experts on all aspects of care (e.g. Testing and Diagnosis, Evidence-based Interventions, Coordination of Care) for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, case presentations by participants, and discussions with other providers from your area. The network connects virtually using telecommunication, so you can join from anywhere with an internet connection. If you are interested, please complete the short (~5 minute) survey below. Thank you for your time! 
Link for Survey:
 
Ethan Dahl, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) - http://www.uwyo.edu/wind/ [uwyo.edu]
University of Wyoming
Health Sciences Room 130 B
307-766-2853

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Twelve Important Needs of Siblings and Tips to Address These Needs

  1. Siblings need communication that is open, honest, developmentally appropriate, and ongoing. Parents may need to deal with their own thoughts and feelings before they can effectively share information with siblings. Children may show their stress through their withdrawal or through inappropriate behaviors. Parents should be alert to the need to initiate communication with their son/daughter. Siblings may be reluctant to ask questions due to not knowing what to ask or out of fear of hurting the parent. While doing research on siblings, Sandra Harris found that developmentally appropriate information could buffer the negative effects of a potentially stressful event (Harris, 1994). 
  2. Siblings need developmentally appropriate and ongoing information about their siblings’ autism spectrum disorder. Anxiety is most frequently the result of lack of information. Without information about a siblings’ disability, younger children may worry about catching the disability and/or if they caused it. The young child will only be able to understand specific traits that they can see like the fact that the sibling does not talk or likes to line up their toys. School aged children need to know if the autism will get worse, and what will happen to their brother or sister. Adolescents are anxious about the future responsibility and impact of the disability on their future family. 
  3. Siblings need parental attention that is consistent, individualized, and celebrates their uniqueness. Many families make a major effort to praise and reward the child with the disability for each step of progress. This same effort should be considered for the siblings even if an accomplishment is somewhat “expected.” Self-esteem is tied to this positive recognition by parents. Remember to celebrate everyone’s achievements as special. 

Archived Webinar - Sensory Processing and Autism

Watch the webinar here. 

Webinar - PANS/PANDAS and ASD - Research Updates


Teaching Life Skills and Community Safety Signs





See more here at Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Severe Morning Sickness Tied to Autism Risk in Kids

The form of morning sickness in question is called hyperemesis gravidarum, and it occurs in less than 5% of pregnancies, explained a team at Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Women with the condition have intense nausea and can't keep food or fluids down, which can lead to dehydration and poor nutrition during pregnancy.
The new study -- involving data on nearly 500,000 pregnant women and their children born between 1991 and 2014 -- "suggests that children born to women with hyperemesis may be at an increased risk of autism," said lead author Dr. Darios Getahun. 
The study couldn't prove cause and effect, but it found a 53% increased risk of a child being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder if their mother suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. 
There was one silver lining from the finding, Getahun said: "Awareness of this association may create the opportunity for earlier diagnosis and intervention in children at risk of autism."
The earlier that women experienced severe morning sickness, the stronger the tie to autism. Getahun's team found that hyperemesis gravidarum in the first and second trimester was linked with autism risk in offspring, but not when it was diagnosed in the third trimester.
Girls were more likely to develop autism than boys if their mothers had severe morning sickness, the findings indicated.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Webinar - Self-Advocacy and ASD: Theory and Practice for All Ages Part 2

10/8/2019, 3:30pm Eastern

This webcast will continue to discuss the core components of self-advocacy., emphasizing the importance of disclosure, individual strengths and interests as well as civil rights. Essential self-advocacy theory will be connected directly to strategies people with ASD use to self-advocate. An emphasis on self-advocacy across the lifespan will be made, and resources and ideas will be shared to help attendees get started with self-advocacy supports.

Register here. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Extreme male brain theory of autism rests on shaky ground

This hypothesis, called the ‘extreme male brain’ theory, postulates that males are at higher risk for autism as a result of in-utero exposure to steroid hormones called androgens. This exposure, the theory goes, accentuates the male-like tendency to recognize patterns in the world (systemizing behavior) and diminishes the female-like capacity to perceive social cues (socializing behavior). Put simply, boys are already part way along the spectrum, and if they are exposed to excessive androgens in the womb, these hormones can push them into the diagnostic range.

Read more here at Spectrum. 

Standard screen misses majority of toddlers with autism

IN BRIEF
  • A popular screening tool (M-CHAT) for autism misses more than 60 percent of children with the condition.
  • The vast majority of children the screen does flag turn out not to have autism, but most have a related condition.
  • Children with autism who screen positive as toddlers are diagnosed more than seven months earlier, on average, than those who are missed.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

How much behavioral therapy does an autistic child need?

In 1987, psychologist Ole Ivar Lovaas reported that the optimal ‘dose’ for an autism therapy he had developed was 40 hours a week. The intensive therapy, a type of applied behavior analysis (ABA), led to “normal” functioning for 9 of 19 children with autism in his study, he said1. Just 10 hours of the therapy produced small benefits. Small controlled trials of Lovaas’ therapy, however, did not fully replicate his findings on dose2,3.
The form of ABA Lovaas tested has become the most widely used autism therapy — despite controversy about its approach and findings — and 40 hours became a treatment goal for many families. ABA agencies typically market services at that intensity. And this year, that goal was formalized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, which recommended 30 to 40 hours of treatment per week for autistic children who need help in several areas, such as cognition, communication or social functioning. (They recommend fewer hours for children with fewer needs.)
Receiving 40 hours of weekly therapy is essentially a full-time job for a 3-year-old.
Still, people tend to believe that, regardless of the treatment, more is always better. But is it?

Studies of autism treatments lack standard yardsticks

Clinical trials of autism treatments rarely use a consistent set of tools to measure efficacy, a new study suggests1. Instead, researchers generally design questionnaires specific to their study goals, and 69 percent of these tools are used only once.
The lack of consistency could obscure positive results. “Losing even one treatment that could possibly be helpful, just because we don’t use the right instruments, is a big loss,” says study investigator Natascia Brondino, assistant professor at the University of Pavia in Italy.
This variability also makes it difficult to compare treatments, or even the same treatment across studies.

Screening and Referral Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Primary Pediatric Care

RESULTS: Rates of M-CHAT screening were 93% at 18 months and 82% at 24 months. Among 23 514 screens, scores of 648 (3%) were ≥3 (386 at 18 months, 262 at 24 months) among 530 unique children who failed 1 or both screenings. Among screen-failed cases, 18% received a diagnosis of ASD and 59% received ≥1 non-ASD neurodevelopmental disorder diagnosis within the follow-up period. Only 31% of children were referred to a specialist for additional evaluation.
CONCLUSIONS: High rates of ASD-specific screening do not necessarily translate to increases in subsequent referrals for ASD evaluation or ASD diagnoses. Low rates of referrals and/or lack of follow-through on referrals appear to contribute to delays in children’s receipt of ASD diagnoses. Additional education of primary care providers regarding the referral process after a failed ASD screening is warranted.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Autism Rate Rising Faster Among Some Children, Study Finds

Between 2007 and 2013, autism rates increased 73 percent among Hispanics and 44 percent among black children ages 3 to 5. At the same time, prevalence rose 25 percent for whites in that age bracket.

“We found that rates among blacks and Hispanics are not only catching up to those of whites — which have historically been higher — but surpassing them,” said Cynthia Nevison of the University of Colorado Boulder who led the study.
Traditionally, autism rates among minority groups have lagged, a factor often attributed to a lack of awareness and resources in such communities. However, the new study found that prevalence among black children surpassed whites in 30 states by 2012.

AAC Courses from the Idaho Training Clearinghouse

ASSESSMENT DRIVEN COMMUNICATION INTERVENTION FOR LEARNERS WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES

  • Course ID: 40846
  • Download Syllabus & Requirements
  • Registration Deadline: October 18, 2019  Registration Open
  • Course Dates: August 26, 2019 through December 2, 2019
  • Credits Available: 1 (through the University of Idaho)

AUGMENTATIVE AND ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION

  • Course ID: 35984
  • Download Syllabus & Requirements
  • Registration Deadline: October 18, 2019  Registration Open
  • Course Dates: September 6, 2019 through December 2, 2019
  • Credits Available: 1 (through the University of Idaho)
How to Register

  1. Review course syllabus for course requirements and deadlines.
  2. Review registration deadline.
  3. To participate in a course, you will need to create an account (see LMS User Overview blue button above) and verify this account with the Idaho Training Clearinghouse (ITC) Learning Management System (LMS). Once an account is created, you will be able to login and choose courses from the ITC LMS Course Catalog. 
  4. If you have problems verifying your account (e.g., you get a 'services not available' page), please email itc@uidaho.edu for assistance.
  5. You will also need to complete a University of Idaho (UI) registration form located inside your course. Please include your district or a personal email address on the form. Then mail/fax the registration form and payment* to the UI Registrar (address/phone on form).
*Course Fees: $60.00/academic graduate credit

Against neurodiversity

"The movement has good intentions, but it favours the high-functioning and overlooks those who struggle with severe autism."

"The neurodiversity movement is dividing both the autism community and autism researchers. Advocates make the distinction between autistics and ‘neurotypicals’, or nonautistics. This fosters an ‘us versus them’ mentality, wherein nonautistic people are regarded as an oppressive enemy. It also fosters intolerance towards different ways of thinking about autism, as well as a deep and unhealthy mistrust of the scientific and medical communities.
Ironically, a social-justice movement that aims to highlight the ways in which autistic people have been mistreated by society is now directly responsible for the mistreatment of the most vulnerable of all autistics – many of whom are too severely affected by their condition to speak up for themselves. In standing up for their rights, a group of marginalised people are effectively hyper-marginalising the very people they claim to be advocating for. They have monopolised the public discourse on autism, and continue to do whatever they can to silence any dissenting voices; this inability to debate and try to reach compromise is a problem not only for the autistic community, but for wider society."

Autistic girls’ brains show distinct anatomical features

Nerve fiber tracts in the brains of autistic girls are more fragmented than those of typical girls. By contrast, autistic boys’ brain structure is indistinguishable from that of typical boys, a new study suggests1.
Compared with controls, autistic girls and women have less integrity in several nerve tracts, the researchers found, including in one that connects the occipital lobe at the back of the head to the temporal lobe at the side. The differences are greater on the left side of the brain than on the right. This may explain some of the girls’ challenges with language, because the brain’s main language areas are in the left hemisphere, Jou says.
The autistic girls have autism traits similar to those of the boys: The two sexes scored similarly on a test of autism severity. That result fits with a theory called the female protective effect, the researchers say. This theory posits that biological factors — such as a lack of integrity of brain tracts — must be more extreme in girls than in boys to result in autism.
The evidence is indirect, however.
“It’s consistent with the female protective effect, but I don’t think it’s evidence for [the theory],” Nordahl says.
The wide age range of the participants is a limitation of the study, Nordahl says. Structural differences in autistic boys and men could show up only at certain ages, and lumping people of disparate ages could mask this variation.

Free Esports Curriculum Contains Full Lesson Plans

An esports league has launched a free high school curriculum to help teachers use gaming to boost student learning. "Gaming Concepts" from the High School Esports League (HSEL), was written as turnkey curriculum "that almost anyone with even rudimentary computer skills could teach," according to authors Kristy Custer and Michael Russell. The project was supported by Microsoft.
The content covers learning standards in areas such as careers in gaming, maintaining healthy practices, self-management and interpersonal communications, as well as an overview of esports gaming and complete lesson plans.
The new curriculum, "Gaming Concepts," is openly available as a downloadable PDF file on the HSEL website.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

School Psychologist of the Year

The Montana Association of School Psychologist (MASP) is currently accepting nominations for the School Psychologist of the Year Award. Nominations will be accept until the end of September and the award will be presented during the MASP Conference over MEA. 

Do you know a worthy candidate for MASP School Psychologist of the Year? To nominate someone for this award please fill out this form.
 
Info: 
Montana School Psychologists work tirelessly, and often anonymously, to better the lives of children and youth. Every day, in settings as diverse as a preschool setting, a tiny K-12 rural school, or a large urban high school, school psychologists can be found discovering what turns a student on to learning, building a better behavior plan, contributing helpful ideas to an RtI team, guiding colleagues through data-based decision making, and more.

Every year, MASP acknowledges one individual, nominated by peers or colleagues, who stands out as a shining example of the best of the profession. This person is publicly acclaimed as the School Psychologist of the Year.  

Friday, September 13, 2019

Webinar - Using Proactive Strategies for Social Emotional Learning

In this webinar you’ll learn: 

• Best practices for applying timely, proactive strategies to promote self-regulation and social emotional learning

• The relationship between emotional control and students’ ability to learn

• How to choose the right strategies to address common unwanted behaviors 


A Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those who attend the live webinar. 

Can’t attend? Just register and we’ll send a link to the recorded event.

Duration: 1 hour
Sep 24, 2019 05:00 PM in Eastern Time

An Open Letter to the Media: On “Severe” Autism and Inspiration Porn

Inspiration Porn: The Basics

So, what is inspiration porn, exactly?
Well, let’s condense a big topic into a few points that should be easy enough to identify, understand, and then, most importantly– NOT practice in journalism.

1. Featuring Disabled People Doing Everyday Tasks

If a disabled person is doing something that most people do, like communicating, attending an event, or– say– graduating from high school, then it’s not newsworthy.
A few months ago, there was a daughter who was signing for her father at a concert. This became national news, and everyone talked about how touching it was.
But this is a daughter and a father communicating. They’re using language like everyone else does when they communicate. To film them… creepy.
Two people communicating in their language is normal.
Again, for the people in the back: people communicating in their language is
NORMAL
Let’s imagine how cringe-worthy this scenario is in another context:
Marissa and Maya are meeting after work to have a chat over a glass of wine.
They are speaking Spanish in Nebraska. An amazed patron who has never seen two real-life people speaking Spanish films it and puts it on YouTube.
It becomes a national story. Women had a glass of wine and– communicated. Stop the presses.
See? It’s weird, right?
Was an autistic person graduating what was newsworthy? Because most autistic people graduate. Was a woman signing to her deaf father in their everyday, normal communication? Because that is not unique to them. That’s their daily life.
Not being the majority does not mean that someone is fair game for being exoticized. A disabled person sighting is not like bigfoot, and footage of their interactions in life does not make for ethical clickbait.
Read more here.