Friday, February 19, 2021

Webinar about adaptive recreation technologies and programs

 The Montana Disability and Health Program is hosting a webinar about adaptive recreation technologies and programs that support people with disabilities to: 

  1. increase their physical activity minutes and physical fitness, and 
  2. be included in activities and experiences that support our social connectedness.   


Through examples from Montana, people across the nation can discover new ways to explore the great outdoors, engage in fitness and reconnect with communities. 


You are invited to join this webinar on Increasing Inclusive Fitness Opportunities Under the Big Sky, 

Monday, February 15, 2021

 WAVES 2020-21 Session Archives Available

Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of the free professional development opportunities that the Wyoming Department of Education provided this past semester. We know how hard you’ve been working to meet the needs of Wyoming students. If you missed a session or two, we’ve got you covered. Educators can access all the WAVES recordings and materials  below, or visit the Wyoming Instructional Network []

WAVES 20-21 Session Archives []

IDEA Legal Issues in COVID School Closures: FAPE, Compensatory Services, Other Issues - Jose Martin

There are special factors for IEP teams to consider during the pandemic. This session provides excellent guidance to assist you:

What About Us? PLC at Work Process for Grades Pre-K – 2 - Brian Butler and his co-authors 

Discover how to achieve the full potential of preK-2 classrooms through proven best practices aligned to the PLC at Work® process. Learn how to work in collaborative teams to determine essential standards, design assessments, monitor student progress, and more.

Conducting Comprehensive Evaluations - Bart Lyman

Explore the foundations and identify the specific components of a comprehensive evaluation.

Modern Issues in Least Restrictive Environment: Does the Mandate Really Apply Equally in All Context? - Jose Martin 

LRE is a foundation of IDEA. This will walk you through all the components to consider.

Goal Writing (K-12 focus) - Dr. Tessie Bailey

An overview of strategies for setting high quality Academic and Behavioral IEP Goals.

Comprehensive Evaluations & Observations for Early Childhood Pre-K – 2 - Annastashia Teepe

Take an in-depth look into conducting comprehensive evaluations and observations for children ages 3 - 8 as part of the referral process for special education

Addressing Postsecondary Transition: Student with Complex Needs - Ellen Condon

Find ways to encourage families, young adults, and support staff to stretch their thinking in the possibilities of postsecondary transition.

MTSS 101 (K-12 focus) - Bart Lyman

Develop a basic understanding of MTSS components, learn the benefits of utilizing the framework, and begin to evaluate current practices through an MTSS lens.

Social Emotional Panel Discussion (Early Childhood focus) Panelists - Nikki Baldwin, Kathy Buchanan, Laura Fowler, Nicole George, and Tiffany Hunt

Panelists discuss some practical strategies/suggestions for educators to provide social emotional learning and support for our children and families while ensuring a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), while providing tips on how teachers can feel supported in their own social/emotional well-being among the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trauma-Informed Care (K-12 focus) - Clark Fairbanks and Wendy Gaunter

Trauma-Informed Care (Early Childhood focus) - Clark Fairbanks and Wendy Gaunter

Woodcock Johnson/Review of General Administration Procedures -  Dan Mayer

Visual Impairment Eligibility Determination - Leslie Van Orman 

Overcoming Poor Quality Tier 1 through Effective Implementation of High Leverage Practices/Evidence Based Practices - Dr. Tessie Bailey

Develop a quality Tier I through the selection and implementation of High Leverage Practices/Evidence Based Practices.

Kindergarten Transition & Executive Functioning Skills - Deana Smith, Nikki Baldwin, and Amy Reyes

During this session, you will find ways to improve Kindergarten transition, help your students develop or improve their social/emotional and executive functioning skills, and learn strategies and ideas from teachers within the state  to help your student’s transition be more successful as they enter kindergarten. 

Avoiding Pitfalls in the IEP Process: Don’t fall prey to some commonly overlooked components of the IEP process - Stephanie Weaver

Goal Writing Strategies for Early Childhood: An overview of strategies for setting high quality Pre-Academic and Functional  IEP Goals - Dr. Tessie Bailey

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Upcoming Social Thinking Trainings (virtual) - Spring 2021 REGISTRATION CLOSED

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project will be offering the trainings below for Montana public school educators. The trainings are 3.5 hours long and attendees will have access to the recording of the training for 30 days after the training date. 

March 4 -  Me in the Social World—It All Starts with Social Self-Awareness

March 5 Using Social Competencies to Navigate in the Social World

April 16  The Social World: Practical Vocabulary and Concepts for Teaching How It Works

April 17 Strategies and Concepts for How to Navigate to Regulate in the Social World

May 3 Assessing Social Competencies with Practical Assessment Tools and Tasks

May 4 Exploring Socially Based Executive Functions & Tips for Assessing Different Developmental Ages

Four OPI renewal units will be provided for each training. 

We have reached the maximum number of attendees for these trainings and have closed the registration. We hope to offer more trainings this summer. If you wish to subscribe to the Montana Autism Education Project mailing list to be notified if more trainings become available you can do so here

PECS Trainings (virtual) - Spring 2021 REGISTRATION CLOSED

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering the following full-day workshops from PECS this spring: 

March 10th - Teaching Critical Communication Skills

March 24 -  Transitioning from PECS to Speech-Generating Devices

April 7 - Guide to Managing Challenging Behaviors

April 28 -  Transitioning from PECS to Speech-Generating Devices

We have reached our budgeted amount for PECS trainings and have closed the registration. 

PECS Level 2 Trainings (virtual) - Spring 2021 REGISTRATION CLOSED

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering the following PECS Level 2 trainings. You must have previously attended a PECS Level 1 training to attend a Level 2 training. 

March 18-19 -  Registration closed.

April 19-20 - Registration closed.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

ADOS -2 Initial Training (virtual) March 18-19 2021

 What is the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule)?

Registration for this training has closed as we have reached the maximum number of attendees.

The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Second Edition (ADOS-2) is a standardized assessment tool that helps providers diagnose autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children and adults.  The ADOS involves a semi-structured play or interview session determined by the age and communication level of the individual. (Read more here.)

 Limited to 50 participants. OPI renewal units will be available. 

This trainings will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. MST 

If you have questions, please contact Doug Doty at

Monday, February 8, 2021

High School Teachers - OPI Training for Linking Assessment and Instruction for Independence (virtual)

This one-day workshop from STAR Autism Support provides participants with information on how to implement evidence-based practices for secondary students using the Links Curriculum. Participants will learn to use a process for assessing and teaching functional routines. Extensive information will be given on selecting and individualizing routines and teaching specific skills to support success during routines.

The Links Curriculum includes extensive data collection systems and participants will learn to collect and use data for instructional decision making, tracking student progress and writing IEP Goals. Video examples and video practice activities will be incorporated into the workshop. An on-line computerized system will be demonstrated with hands-on practice by the participants. Attendees will receive one year of access to the LINKS online curriculum.

The trainings are from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break.

Attendees will receive six weeks of access to the LINKS online curriculum

The training dates are: 

February 19

March 18

April 14

You can register here. 

Six Therapeutic Ways To Use an iPad With Your Preschooler

 Using technology to facilitate interaction with your child can be difficult, but it’s attainable by intentionally choosing activities. For parents, leaning into what your child is interested in and getting on his/her level can be the start of really beautiful engagement and interaction.

I have had great results using devices such as iPads and other tablets as tools to help children work toward their goals in therapy. Often, the iPad can provide extra fun and motivation when focusing on challenging motor tasks. The reality is, I get many more smiles when I bring out an iPad than a pencil and paper! The most important thing is to have fun with your child; the device is merely the facilitator. Below are some simple ways to direct your child’s media use for the purpose of interaction and therapeutic benefit.


Using cause and effect can be a fun and exciting way to engage your child. Think about the classic peekaboo game—the fun is the anticipation! The Peekaboo Barn iPad app features cute animals knocking on a closed door, just waiting for you to open it. The anticipation helps engage children as they giggle with you, waiting for the next animal to appear. I also generally love pausing videos if your child can tolerate this. Not only will pausing videos create this same anticipation, but it will provide an opportunity for either verbal or non-verbal communication, as you wait for what’s coming next.

Read more here at Autism Parenting magazine. 

Autism, Inc.: The Autism Industrial Complex


We contend that, within capitalism, the Autism Industrial Complex (aic) produces both autism as commodity and the normative cultural logic of intervention in relation to it. Comprised of ideological/rhetorical as well as material/economic infrastructure, we argue that the aic is not the myriad businesses and industries that capitalize and profit from it; rather, these constitute its epiphenomenal features. In the production of autism as commodity, the aic also simultaneously produces that commodity’s market, its consumers, and its own monopoly control of that market through production for consumption of need for, consent to, and legitimacy of interventionist logics. Within this apparatus, almost anyone can capitalize on and profit from autism. And within the aic, autistic people—their very bodies—function as the raw materials from which this industrial complex is built, even as autistic people—their very identities and selves—also become unwitting, and often unwilling, products of the aic.

Read more here. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Webinar - Accessibility Insights with Apple,

Robin Christopherson MBE from AbilityNet hosts a monthly live online chat with individuals who are each working to improve digital accessibility and digital inclusion.

This month we welcome Sarah Herrlinger, Senior Director of Global Accessibility, Policy & Initiatives at Apple as the latest guest in our Accessibility Insights webinar series.

Sarah will discuss Apple's accessibility developments over the past year, its experiences with Covid 19, and how the organisation prioritises inclusion.

This session will last for 30 minutes.

(If you find that you can’t attend, please don’t worry. All of our webinars are recorded and you can find them on our website: )

Tips for Managing Tantrums for Your Child with Autism

 A toolkit for managing tantrums? Yes, please! When tantrums occur, they can be intense and stressful for the child and those around them. Although it is common for tantrums to occur during early childhood, some tantrums are more intense or more frequent and require intervention. We want to help our children acquire skills to replace tantrum behaviors and reduce stress.   

Read more here at Behavior Frontiers.

Archived Webinar: Emily Jones on autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

 Watch the arhived webinar here. 

Assitsive Techology Webinars from MonTECH

 Do you wonder if there is assistive technology (AT) that can help your students, but don’t know where to start? Join MonTECH for a series of webinars focused on AT in the classroom and online learning. Come to all four, or just drop by the topic that interests you. Each topic will be 30 minutes of presentation with technology demonstrations followed by 30 minutes of questions and open discussion.

AT and the IEP
February 9 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

An introduction to AT in the schools. We’ll connect you with valuable resources to support using AT in the school. We’ll answer frequently asked questions like: Who pays for this? When do I check the box? How do I know what to try?

Tools for Behavioral Support
February 11 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you apps and physical supports for behavior management in the classroom. Our main focus will be on tools that MonTECH has available for loan.

Tools for Students with Dyslexia
February 16 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you three tools to support students with dyslexia in reading and writing. We will focus on tools available on Chromebooks, but will have other tools available that we can show during the open discussion portion of this webinar.

Tools for Notetaking
February 18 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you three tools to support notetaking whether your students are online or in the classroom. (This is a repeat of the same presentation given last October).