Friday, October 26, 2012

Autism Resource Team Update for October 2012

Thank you to all of our staff who continue to support each other in a positive manner and help out any way they can.  Our students on the autism spectrum are extremely challenging in many ways and leads to much stress for our staff and families.  There are often no easy answers or solutions.  An extra positive thought, gesture, or action can go a long way for that staff member.  We are all in this field together and I truly appreciate the support that you each provide each other.  All of you have chosen careers in this field and work so hard at crafting your profession and helping your students.  You can not be thanked enough for the hard work you do on your own and supporting each other. 

Katy Perry and Jody DiPiazza singing Firecracker
A reminder what makes our students on the autism spectrum so special:

Autism Google Group
Any staff member can post a message in our Autism Google Group.  If you have any situations with an individual student with autism - please post a question to the group.  Thank you to the other staff then for responding and providing suggestions. We have had multiple situations this year where brainstorming with our excellent staff who vary with experience, training, and consultation experience which could benefit you. 

Autism Resource Team
Our first meeting of the year will be held on Thursday December 6 from 3:45 to 5:00 pm at MAES.

Autism Curriculum Time
If you have a specific autism project that you would like extra time to work on for an individual or group of students on the autism spectrum - please submit it to me.  You are able to work in pairs on this project which could include, but not be limited to: social stories, behavioral intervention plans, evidence based practice planning and implementation (AIM), social skills group, hidden curriculum planning time, etc. Up to 2-3 hours of extra paid work time will be provided upon request. 

Extra-Enrichment Opportunities
Very Special Arts - I have received lots of positive feedback from parents, staff, and community members about our students on the autism spectrum and those with cognitive disabilities who  participated in the Very Special Arts band experience in Madison and at our local football game.  Thanks to all the staff for making this happen. 

Cool Cooking Show - Mr. Brown has started taping episodes of a Cool Cooking Show with his students on the autism spectrum.  These have been very well received (including the blooper reel) by all those who have watched it.  If you have not seen it, ask Mr. Brown to email you direct links to the videos. 

Special Olympics - any of our students 8 and older are able to participate in Special Olympics which is being tied in with our Adaptive PE curriculum throughout the school district.  Contact Brenda Ann, Sam Henrichs, or an APE teacher for more information. 

Special Education Family Day - Saturday November 10 at 11:00 am at Broadway Theatre to watch Wreck it Ralph or Skyfall depending on the age.  Any child with an IEP or 504 plan gets into the movie for free.  Everyone else only $6.00 and 50% off pop and popcorn.  Thanks to Douglas Schumacher for developing our 1 page flyer to send out to families. 

MIddle School Band Concert - Great performances by our 7th grade students on the autism spectrum this past Monday including CR playing drums, MB introducing a song, and JB getting his bacon on in front of a 1,000 people.  I have a copy of the DVD if you want to see it. 

How to Think Functionally: Tying together FBA/BIP and EBP for students with autism
Sara Boettcher, Paul Boettcher, Oralee Dittrich and Ryan Brown recently attended this workshop on developing functional behavior assessments and positive behavior intervention plans that are evidence based for students with ASD. They can be contacted for more information on this training.  

DPI Autism Basic Training
Ryan Brown and Sam Porten recently attended this training and have binders of information and resources for those wishing to review it.

Autism Print Resources
If you have some book(s) that wish you to have in your collection of autism resources, then please submit a P.O. or expense reimbursement sheet which could benefit your programming and services for your students. 

Autism Internet Modules
Autism Internet Modules including evidence based practice, checklists, step-by-step instructions, and resources are available for free at  AIM are available for school, home, and community. 24 areas for Evidence Based Practice are listed. 

Functional Behavioral Assessment for Students with Autism 
Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is an essential tool for school staff to utilize in understanding the meaning of behavior of students with autism. This session provides an overview of FBA for students with autism. Some of the factors affecting behavior of students with autism are explored, including sensory and language processing differences. Viewers will learn how to view the behavior of students with autism from a slightly different perspective, respecting their unique neurology.

Boardmaker Share
Extensive resource list of 1000's of social stories in multiple categories from teachers and parents that use boardmaker.  Registration is free and looking up social stories under various topics and curriculums was easy to do.  For more information go to:

Autism Powerpoint and Handouts from Trainings Held in Medford
Multiple Autism and Asperger Syndrome resources from trainings held in Medford at:

Assistive Technology Tools and Strategies Assessment Manual for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
This set of sequential AT assessment guides will lead you through a process of information gathering and decision making related to the selection and use of AT tools and strategies for students with ASD. The Student Information Guide is a tool used to gather information about a student with ASD. The information is directly related to choosing assistive technology which might prove useful. It is completed based on past experience, file review, interview, and/or direct assessment of the child.

Dr. Glenis Benson Presention
Here are a list of books that Dr. Glenis Benson from her workshop in Medford this summer had as part of her presentation and were recently ordered: 
Autism and Me by Rory Hoy
Lost at School by Ross Green
Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin
Just Give Them the Whale
Asperger's in Difficult Moments: tantrums, rages and meltdowns by Brenda Smith Myles
What Asperger's means to Me by Catherine Farity 

Upcoming DPI Trainings in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorder
If you are interested in attending any of these, then please let me know: 
  • November 6 and 7, 2012 - Addressing Challenging Behavior (Sheraton, Madison)

    Challenging behavior is often the result of a context that is not adequately supported. Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) will be taught along with opportunity given to participants to work in groups to develop support strategies. In addition a model to work with escalating behaviors will be presented. We will explore ways to better provide positive support across the school day. All strategies are non- aversive and take into account all individuals concerned.
  • January 29 & 30, 2013 - Addressing Instructional Strategies (Radisson, Green Bay)

    Participants will be provided with many ideas and strategies to teach students with autism academics and activities of daily living. Using a combination of technology and low tech ideas, participants will have a chance to get their questions asked about "How do I teach him to _______?" Matching student strengths to strategies, Discrete Trial Format, Collaborating with the Student, Teaching a Format and inclusive instruction will be included. Technology as it relates to instructional strategies will be inserted throughout the training.
  • February 19 & 20, 2013 - Addressing Communication (Sheraton Milwaukee, Brookfield)

    This DPI training will address both non verbal and verbal communicators with autism. We will highlight assessment, low and high tech augmentative communication strategies, iPad apps to support communication and socialization, and evidence based communication practices such as Picture Exchange Communication and Verbal Behavior Training. Participants will have a chance to problem solve with the trainers around communication challenges their students with autism encounter, and put together a strategic plan to address them.
  • March 5 & 6, 2013 - Addressing Social Skills (Chula Vista, Wisconsin Dells)

    Students with ASD must often be directly taught social skills. The Social Skills module is covered in a conference format with large group sessions to open and close the two day training and many breakouts on specific social skills topics including Bridging Neurology/Applied Sensitivity, Integrated Play Groups, Hidden Curriculum for Elementary Age, Hidden Curriculum for Adolescents, Circle of Friends/Social Networks, Greenspan/RDI/Play, Social Groups/Relationships/Inclusion and Visual Technology. Something for all ages and abilities!

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