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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Why autism therapies have an evidence problem

 Less than a third of the studies that test ABA-related interventions are randomized controlled trials, according to Project AIM. And single-case designs make up the bulk of studies included in national reports issued to U.S. clinicians. For example, the 2021 National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP) report deemed 28 practices evidence-based, including many behavioral interventions, yet 85 percent of the studies reviewed are a single-case design. So too, the 2015 National Standards Report (NSP) identified 14 effective interventions for autistic children, adolescents and young adults but draws on a set of studies of which 73 percent are single-case.

Read/listen to more at Spectrum.

How "unmasking" leads to freedom for autistic and other neurodivergent people

 Masking manifests itself in two ways: camouflage and compensation. 

Camouflage includes behaviors like, "faking a smile, faking eye contact by looking in the middle of someone's forehead," Price says.

This is where compensation comes in. Price does this, for example, through scheduling ghost meetings on his calendar to give himself time to recharge. 

"And that's really what most masked autistics end up having to do, because a lot of us receive social input, our whole lives, that there's something off about us," he says.

Read/listen to more at NPR. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

 Once registration opens, we hope to offer registration scholarships. 



Monday, April 25, 2022

Autism 101

How is autism diagnosed? What explains the rise in autism’s prevalence? How much do genes contribute to the condition? What about the environment?
In this section of Spectrum, dubbed Autism 101, we answer these and other questions about autism. Each article pulls together the latest science to reflect what we know.
Autism 101 is designed to both provide information and highlight knowledge gaps, indicating where data on a subject are absent or contradictory. Like our understanding of autism, this section is evolving, so please check back often.








Friday, April 8, 2022

5 Critical Life Skills for Tweens, Teens and Young Adults That Often Remain Untaught (Virtual/Recorded Training*)

REGISTRATION FOR THIS TRAINING HAS CLOSED.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 | 10:00 AM (replay access* available through September 30th)

Instructor: Michelle Garcia Winner 

90 minutes of instruction followed by Q&A

Tweens, teens, and young adults are expected to naturally develop social and organizational competencies needed in school and across their lives. However, students with social learning and organized thinking differences (e.g., autism spectrum levels 1 and 2, ADHD, twice exceptional, expressive receptive language, sensory processing, etc.) may not intuitively learn these concepts and skills. This course will explore 5 critical life skills related to social emotional learning and organized thinking that can and should be directly addressed and taught to students & clients ages 12-24 in our homes, schools, and clinics. We’ll also review a variety of explicit metacognitive frameworks and practical strategies for teaching and learning these critical social competencies.

You will learn:

5 critical life skills tied to social emotional learning and organized thinking;

Explicit metacognitive tools and practical strategies;

Tips on specific executive functions to foster development of social learners’ competencies toward achieving their personal and social goals;

Why learning to be comfortable with discomfort is an important anxiety management strategy.

*We cannot offer OPI renewal units for this recorded training. 


Friday, March 18, 2022

Number of Students with Autism by County 2011 - 2020




You can play the video here. to see changes over time.

In 2017, 74% of Montana public school students with autism lived in nine counties. This percentage has stayed around the same in subsequent Child Count years. The OPI Montana Autism Education Project provides consultations and trainings for 100% of Montana counties










Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Brain Differences in Autism Spectrum Disorder (virtual training)

In this 90 minute virtual training, learn about the brain structure, the difference in autism, and how this portrays itself.  Understanding brains with autism creates better interventions. 

This will be the same training repeated three times. Attendees will receive 2 OPI renewal units. 

Thursday May 26th 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday June 7 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday June 15th 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Register here. 


Jennifer Schoffer Closson CCC-SLP is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences Department at the University of Montana.  Jennifer has presented locally and nationally about autism, clinical SLP education, and secondary transition.  Having spent 15 years in public schools and private practice, she is passionate about education. 

Breaking Down Executive Functioning Skills (virtual training)

Learn how to assess EF, identify needs, and teach in a way that supports your students.  These trainings will cover goal writing and how to work within the learner’s current demands. 

This is the same training presented on three different days. Attendees will receive 4 OPI renewal units. 

Wednesday May 25th 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Monday June 6 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Wednesday June 15th 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Register here. 


Jennifer Schoffer Closson CCC-SLP is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences Department at the University of Montana.  Jennifer has presented locally and nationally about autism, clinical SLP education, and secondary transition.  Having spent 15 years in public schools and private practice, she is passionate about education. 

Monday, March 14, 2022

Stop Behavior Before It Starts! (virtual training)

Antecedent Intervention is one of the most effective ways to manage challenging behavior.  Learn how to identify the function of the behavior, make changes to avoid maladaptive behavior, and implement replacement behavior.

This is the same training, presented on three different dates. Attendees will receive 4 OPI renewal units. 

Tuesday May 24th  1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Thursday June 2   9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Monday June 13th   1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Register here. 


Jennifer Schoffer Closson CCC-SLP is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences Department at the University of Montana.  Jennifer has presented locally and nationally about autism, clinical SLP education, and secondary transition.  Having spent 15 years in public schools and private practice, she is passionate about education. 

Evidence-Based Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorder (virtual training)

This virtual training will cover some of the most common used Evidence-Based Practices (EBPs) and how to implement them with students.

This is the same training, presented on three different dates. Attendees will receive 4 OPI renewal units. 

Monday May 23rd  – 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 

Wednesday June 1 - 9:00 a.m.- 12:15 p.m. 

Monday June 13th - 9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.  

Register here. 


Jennifer Schoffer Closson CCC-SLP is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Speech, Language, Hearing, and Occupational Sciences Department at the University of Montana.  Jennifer has presented locally and nationally about autism, clinical SLP education, and secondary transition.  Having spent 15 years in public schools and private practice, she is passionate about education. 




Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Assessment Strategies for Autism and Communication in Middle and High School Students (virtual training)

Registration for this training has closed.  

April 21   1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

May 4      1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

(same content each date)

This virtual training will address: 

            1. breaking down male and female presentation of autism in adolescents;

            2. understanding the impact of previous interventions on current presentation;

            3. assessment strategies that align with the OPI autism criteria;

            4. Does the student have autism, emotional disturbance or both? 

            5. What's next? --what types of interventions are available, why interventions are necessary (poor outlook for job acquisition/retention, post-secondary education and emotional health, etc.)

This training is free from the OPI and three OPI renewal units are available for attending the training.


Tuesday, January 18, 2022

LAMP Trainings (virtual)

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project is offering virtual LAMP trainings on January 17th and February 10th, 2022.   8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.     (same training, different days)

WHAT IS LAMP?

LAMP (Language Acquisition through Motor Planning) is an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) approach designed to give a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves through a speech generating device. 

This course will cover the components of LAMP: readiness to learn, engaging the learner through joint engagement, and learning language through a unique and consistent motor plan paired with an auditory signal and a natural consequence. Discussion will include how this approach addresses the core language deficits of autism, device features that are beneficial to teaching language, and how to use those features to implement LAMP components. Videos will be used to illustrate the treatment components. (LAMP web page)

These trainings are available for free to Montana public school educators. Five OPI renewal units and .5 ASHA CEUs are available for this training. 

This training is full and registration has closed. 

(PLEASE NOTE: You will be required to complete a second registration with LAMP to receive a link to the training and your LAMP manual.) 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Bozeman In-Person Trainings - February/March 2022

 Challenging Behaviors – How to Prevent, Reduce and Replace   

February 15, 2022     8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.     GranTree Hotel

Using case studies and examples from your setting we begin the workshop highlighting the key concepts of applied behavior analysis, helping you to understand why challenging behaviors occur. We discuss the importance of designing supportive learning environments based upon the Pyramid Approach to Education® framework. 

The next step in the workshop is to define behaviors which require intervention and establish the function of these behaviors. These skills are put into practice using our own case studies and furthermore applying this to your own learners. The second half of the workshop addresses strategies which can be used proactively and reactively to decrease the challenging behaviors which you see in your setting. As we investigate each strategy to replace or reduce a behavior you will have the opportunity to assess if that strategy will be suitable for your learner and identify the next steps to take when you return to your setting. The workshop concludes by demonstrating how you and your team can evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of your behavior plans as you put your new strategies into practice. (full description)

Register here. 



Teaching Critical Communication Skills   

March 10, 2022     8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.     GranTree Hotel

You will learn how to teach critical communication skills that lead to greater independence in the home, work, school and community settings. We review nine specific skills: requesting reinforcers, requesting help, requesting a break, indicating yes and no, waiting, following directions, schedule-following and transitioning. Through lecture, demonstrations, video and participatory activities, you will acquire specific teaching strategies that are relevant for anyone who has limited communication skills, regardless of their communicative modality (e.g., Picture Exchange Communication System [PECS], signing, device use, speech).     (full description)

Register here. 


Please Note: The OPI cannot require the use of masks for an in-person training. We have provided some social distancing with seating of no more than two people per table.


Sunday, January 16, 2022

ADOS-2 Toddler Module Training (virtual training)

February 17, 2022

9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The ADOS-2 toddler module may be used on children between the ages of 12 and 30 months of age. This workshop will use a lecture format and video demonstrations to introduce the basic principles of administering and scoring the ADOS-2 toddler module. This training is free for Montana public school educators. Six OPI renewal units are available for this training.  

Attendees must have previously completed training in the administration of the ADOS-2.

 

Register here.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Social-Emotional Development in Children with Language Delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Virtual Training – March 3, 2022 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Young children with language delays are at risk for persistent developmental and behavioral difficulties. This presentation will focus on the assessment of social-emotional development in children with language delays and autism spectrum disorder as well as the emerging evidence supporting effectiveness of interventions.

You can register for the training here


Friday, January 14, 2022

Social Thinking Recorded Trainings available through March 18, 2021

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project has a limited number of scholarships for Montana public school educators to view on-demand trainings from Social Thinking. These trainings will be available until March 18, 2022. 

No OPI renewal units are available for watching these recorded trainings. ASHA CEUs are available through Social Thinking. 

Only three trainings (total) are available per person. You can find training descriptions here

Please follow the links below to register for up to three trainings.

Social Topics: Social Thinking / Social Emotional Learning

Other Topics: Behavior / Teenagers / Executive Thinking

REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED.


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Training - OPI’s Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Virtual Training:

January 25th     2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

     (Same content each day.)

This training will include: 

1. Why and how the OPI created a new educational autism criteria in 2019;

2.  What is and who are/are not required to identify a student as having autism spectrum disorder in the education setting; 

3.  A review of the OPI autism criteria;

4.  Time for questions and answers.


You can register for the Autism Criteria training here.