Thu, Jun 17, 2021, 9:00 AM – Fri, Jun 18, 2021, 5:00 PM MDT
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Friday, May 21, 2021
Educating students with autism requires specific skills and knowledge beyond what is acquired through teacher preservice programs. The goals of the MAEP are:
• to increase district-level knowledge of how to educate students with autism through in-person training, interactive video training, on-site technical assistance and peer-to-peer collaboration; and
• to develop inter-agency collaboration between the OPI, school districts, Part C Agency providers, Department of Public Health and Human Services, the Montana Empowerment Center, and Institutes of Higher Education
The OPI Montana Autism Education Project (MAEP) provides public schools with free autism and/or behavior consultations for students who are qualified under the IDEA. OPI part-time consultants include Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Speech-Language Pathologists and experienced educators.
Note: On-site consultations for students with severe problem behaviors have continued under COVID-19 restrictions, though at a greatly reduced rate.
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Virtual Training - Supporting Communication Across the Lifespan: Creative Strategies for Your Client, Student, or Family Member
WE HAVE EXPENDED OUR FUNDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS ARE NO LONGER AVAILABLE.
(NOTE - The OPI Montana Autism Education Project will be offering a limited number of scholarships to this training. You can request a scholarship here. Be aware that we cannot provide a scholarship/reimbursement to anyone who registers directly with MonTECH.)
August 12th, 8:30-5:00, Online.
MontCOMM 2021 is a one-day online immersion into the world of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Whether you’re a seasoned speech-language pathologist, a professional providing direct support to an adult with a developmental disability, or the parent of a young child who is not developing verbal communication, you will leave MontCOMM 2021 with new ideas for implementing AAC, supporting progress, and obtaining buy-in from other team members.
MontCOMM features two dynamic speakers with expertise that will benefit your work or your family, no matter where you are in the communication continuum. Mo Buti will cover behavior and communication, aided language stimulation, positive reinforcement using nonverbal approaches, a look at the total communication approach, and an introduction to low-tech and high-tech communication systems (There are so many! Where to start?). Brandon Eddy will present a more clinical track focused on starting young children on AAC (including children who are not yet pointing or pressing buttons), data-driven AAC assessment, goal writing, evolving to a new device, access strategies and cognitive demand, obtaining interdisciplinary buy-in for successful implementation, and succeeding with AAC in rural environments.
Great topics, and guess what? You don’t have to choose between our speakers! Your registration entitles you to access both speakers. Jump between them as your interests dictate, and access the recorded sessions later.
The University of Montana is getting national attention as it was recently ranked the seventh best school for assisting its students with autism.
- Social (peer mentoring, social skills development, group activities, etc.)
- Academic (tutoring, study hall)
- Functioning (life coaching, daily check-ins, help navigating campus, advocacy support)
- Employment (career training, interview help, job connections)
- Residential (designated living quarters, single-room options, knowledgeable resident assistants)
The University of Montana has an organization called MOSSAIC, which stands for Mentoring, Organization and Social Support for Autism and All Inclusion on Campus.
Senior Hedy Dolan was drawn to UM, from Colorado, because of the program.
Read more here.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
I Can Wear A Mask - A Social Story
How to Wear My Mask - A Social Story
How To Get More Comfortable Wearing A Mask - Video
Tips for Caregivers: How to Make Mask-wearing Easier - Video
Wearing A Mask and Communication - Tips for Desensitization, Tolerating a Mask, Tips for Communication and How to Make a Mask with Clear Panels
Teaching Your Child to Wear a Mask - -Tips and Guidelines
Wearing A Mask Toolkit - Tips
Seeing People Wearing Masks - A Social Story
Social Distancing - A Social Story
We Wear Masks - A Social Story explaining why people are wearing masks
Tips for Supplementing Communication When Wearing A Face Mask
We Wear Masks - A Social Story
Wearing a Mask to School - A Social Story
A Parents Perspective: Navigating Face Coverings - Article with good tips.
Getting Tested for COVID-19 - A Social Story
Getting an Oral Test for COVID-19 - Two Social Stories
Getting a Saliva Test for COVID-19 - Two Social Stories: clinic and drive-through
Getting a Nasal Test for COVID-19 - Two Social Stories: clinic and drive-through
Handwashing - Visual Steps Poster
Wash Your Hands - Visual Steps Poster
Teaching Handwashing - Video
Keeping Friends Safe - A Social Story
10 Face Masks People with Chronic Illness Recommend - Article
Riding the Bus Will be Different - Social Story
Navigating a Socially Distanced Classroom for Students with Autism - archived webinar
Friday, May 7, 2021
Robing Steinberg-Epstein, MD, UCI, will present 30 minutes on the neurological/sensory processing experience, underpinning of challenging and dangerous behavior in autism (30 minutes)
John Guericio, PhD will talk on his assessment tool for managing adults with severe behavioral challenges (30 minutes)
Erik Jacobson, PhD will talk on the cultural approach he and his team have embraced with the emphasis on their clients with severe and challenging behaviors by being happy, relaxed and engaged (30 minutes)
Kelly Bermingham, Steve Perez, Q&A facilitation
Chair: Kelly Bermingham; Co-chairs: Kathy Freeman, Erik Jacobson, Shann Jones
Free. Register here
How does FCT change challenging behavior?
FCT usually involves a three step process (Mancil & Boman, 2010):
- Completion of a functional behavior assessment to identify the function of the child’s problematic or difficult behavior. The child may use tantrums to get out of an activity that causes distress, or the difficult behavior may be geared towards getting attention. It can also be a way to demand access to something the child wants
- The next step involves identifying a communication response, therefore, determining a more desirable way of communication to replace the challenging behavior. This does not have to mean verbal communication, other forms of communication like sign language is appropropriate as a replacement for the difficult behavior. The child may use any readily available (appropriate) method to communicate, this could include gestures, nonverbal communication, or pictures. In the above example the child had a tantrum because an activity caused distress; the child could be taught to point to a picture that indicates: “I need help.” Instead of a tantrum the child is communicating that he/she finds the activity overwhelming and help is needed to complete it successfully
- In the last step a FCT treatment plan is devised which may include ignoring difficult behavior and rewarding, reinforcing or acknowledging the positive replacement behaviors (or appropriate communication) identified in step two. In future, attempts by the child to communicate through the past problematic behavior will need to be ignored—the child should realize that communicating in the appropriate way will get attention, reinforcement and/or rewards.
Perhaps this is the point of the debate… we should ask individuals on the spectrum what they want. When it comes to children, parents are often in the best position to find out about their language preferences—when they reach the necessary understanding concerning person- and identity-first language. In this regard, parents can help children (who are interested and able to understand the debate) see the reasoning behind both language choices.
Because, believe it or not, the reasoning behind person-first language was not to offend anyone, it was actually intended to show respect and build self-esteem. So how did the use of person-first language become so contentious?
The good intentions behind people-first (or person-first) terminology merit investigation, and so does the reasoning behind a shift in preference to identity-first language by many in the autism, blind and Deaf communities.
The new work aimed to evaluate the reliability of studies that examine the effectiveness of early interventions. Conventional wisdom on therapy says “the earlier the better, and the more the better,” Sandbank says.