Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Virtual PECS Level 1 Trainings Available from the OPI Montana Autism Education Project



We have a limited number of scholarships for Montana public school educators to attend online PECS Level 1 Trainings. (A description of the PECS Level 1 training can be found here.)


These trainings will be available on the following dates, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

October 22-23

November 4-5

November 9-10

December 3-4

December 10-11


Things you must know before you request a scholarship: 


This training is only available to those who have not taken a PECS Level 1 training before.


We will request confirmation from your building principal or special education director that you have been given two days of release time to attend the training. That confirmation is required before we send your registration to PECS.


You must complete both days of the training. OPI renewal units will be provided after verification from PECS that you have completed the training. PECS will inform you if ASHA CEUs are available.


A hardcopy PECS manual will be sent to you for the training. (Those attending on October 23/24 will be sent virtual materials, with a hardcopy manual to follow.)


We have established a separate registration process from PECS online process. If you register and pay PECS, we cannot reimburse you.


If you have any questions, please email Doug Doty at Direct replies to this newsletter email address are not collected nor forwarded.


You can request a scholarship here. We will provide notice as soon as possible to those who have been accepted to attend a training.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Archived Webinar - Talking About the Birds and the Bees in ASD

 In this webinar, Eileen Crehan, Ph.D. discusses autism and sex ed. This webinar is 60 minutes long.

View the webinar here. 

Live Webinar on October 29: Better School Behavior: How to Design and Implement a Positive and Effective Behavior Plan

 Is your child disruptive in the classroom — virtual or physical? As an educator, do you correct or punish the same student repeatedly? Too often parents and educators are burned out and frustrated by a student’s interfering behaviors, which can cause school exclusion and reduced social and academic opportunities.

Better behavior doesn’t always happen quickly or easily, but a comprehensive Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP) provides the starting point for constructive behavior change. The PBSP outlines a pathway toward understanding and changing a student’s interfering behavior(s) using research-based strategies and tactics. An individualized plan focuses on prevention, skill-building, and redesigning the environment — not the student.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What a PBSP entails and how it fits within a child’s IEP
  • The components of a comprehensive PBSP
  • How to collect data about your child to include in the the plan
  • How behavior plans align with other goals within your child’s IEP (and what to do if they don’t)
  • Common misconceptions and issues about Positive Behavior Support Plan development and implementation


Live Webinar on October 20: The Middle School Survival Guide for Students with ADHD and Executive Function Deficits

 Life in middle school is hard for all students, but especially for those with ADHD. Developmentally, adolescents are searching for independence — focusing more on their peer relationships and often pushing parents away. In addition, academic and social expectations change dramatically in middle school: Students must meet the demands of multiple teachers, maintain focus during longer days, and manage more homework and projects. These challenges often exceed the developmental capacity of the ADHD brain’s executive functions.

Have hope! The first key to middle school success is understanding how ADHD brain development lags behind many of teens’ challenges. The second key is problem-solving from the perspective of the ADHD brain’s needs. We do this by identifying and externally supporting the weaker and slower-developing executive function skills of the ADHD middle-schooler.

In this webinar, you will learn: 

  • How the brain’s executive function development connects to expectations for independent homework and seat-work
  • How parents can support the development of their child’s executive functions
  • How to teach your child to develop time awareness and use external tools to get things done
  • How to use a school planner to develop the life skill of future thinking


Confronting Challenges as a Pandemic Technology Moderator: Strategies for Engaging Students with Disabilities in Virtual Learning and the Use of Netiquette - A Free Webinar

 The Montana Transition Resources Project and the Montana Deaf-Blind Project are pleased to welcome Dr. Mary Jo Krile for this free learning opportunity. Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) renewal unit credit is available.

Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Time: 4:00-5:00 Mountain Daylight Time

Description: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, students with disabilities were required to abruptly transition to the use of virtual platforms for everyday activities, such as learning, doctor/service provider appointments, and maintaining a social life. This resulted in educators, parents, guardians, caretakers, and service providers being required to assume the role of technology moderators for students with disabilities. Many new challenges, in which strategies and answers were not available, surfaced. This webinar presentation will give a brief overview of the following challenges, as well as provide several strategies for addressing these challenges: (a) engaging in virtual learning; (b) the use of netiquette (the etiquette of the internet); and (c) the safe use of social media platforms. This session will conclude with a short question and answer portion in which questions about these challenges can be asked.