Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taylor County Autism Support Group

Taylor County Autism Support Group 
Monday January 20, 2014
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Medford Area Public School District Office Building 

Partnership between parents, community, and school staff who are interested in helping educate, inform, provide resources, and raise awareness of the Autism Spectrum. All are invited to attend especially parents. Meetings will be held the 3rd Monday of each month.

Autism Support Group meetings and events will include: raising hope, support for all those impacted by autism, parent chats, family fun nights, guest speakers, book studies, topics of interest, sharing of resources, education, safe place to express feelings, collaboration with local agencies, connection with state and national autism advocacy organizations, google groups, autism awareness activities, and more!

For more information contact: Medford Schools Director of Special Education Joseph Greget at 715-748-2316 ext 324 or gregejo@medford.k12.wi.us

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Guidance for DPI Model Form I-4

New Guidance for DPI Model Form I-4
New Guidance for Determining Participation in General Education Standards and Curriculum to Support DPI Model Form (I-4): Individualized Education Program: Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance has been posted to http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/form-i-4-guidance.pdf.
The purpose of this document is to address the question, “Will the student be involved full-time in the general education curriculum or, for preschoolers, in age-appropriate activities?,” which is located on the DPI Model Form (I-4): Individualized Education Program: Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance.

Originally posted by DPI Consultant Kirsten Guell

Monday, December 2, 2013

Specific Learning Disabilities Evaluations in Wisconsin - SLD in Plain Language, Checklists, and Guidance/Instruction for Completing SLD Forms ER-2A, ER-2B, and ER-2C

DPI links for helping with SLD evaluations: 

Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) in Plain Language:
Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) in Plain Language has been posted at http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/sld-plain-language.pdf. This document provides a summary of the new eligibility criteria requirements. Local education agencies will find it is a helpful resource for parents, families and other educators. The department acknowledges and thanks staff from FACETS and WSPEI who provided input during its development

SLD Evaluation Requirements Checklist:

Guidance and Instructions for Completing the SLD Sample Forms ER-2A, ER-2B, and ER-2C:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Taylor County Parent Support Group

Taylor County Parent Support Group
We have several parents and school personnel looking into starting a Parent Support Group for Families with Autism and all other Special Needs here in Taylor County.  The group would help provide positive hope, information on resources, guest speakers, parent chats, parent nights, family nights, discuss needed countywide programming, and more.  Any parents, school staff, or community members would be welcome to join.

If you are interested in learning more, helping plan the focus of the group, or being a member - then please contact Director of Special Education/Student Services Joseph Greget at gregejo@medford.k12.wi.us or 715-748-2316 ext 324.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Following information was found at: http://www.asw4autism.org/pdf/Changes_to_ASD_Criteria_in_the_DSM_5.pdf

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental and behavioral conditions. The American Psychiatric Association recently released the 5th edition (DSM-5) in May of 2013 which included important changes to the criteria used to diagnose autism spectrum disorders.

The APA publishes updates to the DSM every few years to keep up with new research. Under the previous criteria (last updated in 2000), four separate disorders were included under the autism spectrum: autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder or pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Research found that different clinics, treatment centers and diagnosticians applied these 4 diagnoses differently. The criteria in the DSM 5 changed with the goal of improving consistency across diagnosticians.

Summary of the new criteria:
 There is only one diagnostic category under the new DSM-5, Autism Spectrum Disorder. This diagnosis will take the place of the 4 previously separate disorders - autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder –not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). Those diagnosed with one of the 4 disorders from the DSM-4 should be given the new diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder.
 The new criteria have 2 domains of impairment, compared to the 3 domains that were previously used. The new domains are 1) social interaction and social communication and 2) restricted interests and repetitive behaviors.
 To receive a diagnosis, an individual must display a total of 5 out of the 7 possible impairments, compared to 6 out of the previous 12 . All 3 criteria under the social interaction and social communication domain must be displayed and at least 2 out of the 4 criteria under the restricted interests and repetitive behavior domain must be displayed.
 Sensory differences were added under the restricted and repetitive behaviors domain.
 The DSM-5 requires a severity rating be given for each domain. Ratings are not intended to determine eligibility
for services. Ratings include:
 Level 3: Requiring very substantial support
 Level 2: Requiring substantial support
 Level 1: Requiring support
 The DSM-5 also added Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder, a new related diagnosis to the manual. This diagnosis would be given when an individual shows impairment in the social communication domain but does not display restricted interests and repetitive behaviors

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Access to Grade Level Materials

DPI has notified us that we are in compliance with our Procedural Compliance Self-Assessment through their official review. 

However, one area of concern by reviewing our IEPs is in the area of Access to Grade Level Materials.  DPI stated that: 

Students with disabilities should have access to the general curriculum and federal non-regulatory guidance states that alternate assessments should be clearly related to grade-level content, although it may be restricted in scope or complexity or take the form of introductory or prerequisite skills (U.S. Department ofEducation, 2005, p. 26).  If we are assessing students using grade-level content, then instruction should also be grade-level.  We understand that for some students the content will need to be scaffolded, modified, adapted and accommodations will need to be provided- however, students should still have access to grade-level content. 
An example is this:

"Johnnie is a 7th grade student who participates in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment and has a pullout special education Science Class. His Science textbook is at the 3rd grade level." 

DPI is indicating that all of our students should have access to grade level curriculum. It is up to us to use Extended Grade Band Standards or Common Core Essential Elements to modify the grade level curriculum and daily lesson plans when teaching the students. The above example situation is not accepted by DPI.  DPI understands the challenge of this with students who are severely CD or students who have severe autism spectrum.   

Earlier this school year a number of Common Core Essential Elements binders on English/Language Arts and Mathematics were sent to staff.  We should be receiving some more from DPI. If you did not receive one, then please let me know. 

Here are online links to this information for your review and use when curriculum and instructional planning.  We will also be setting up an in-district training in this area: 

Common Core Essential Elements for English/Language Arts and Math: 

Extended Grade Band Standards for Science: 

Let me know if you have any questions, 


Procedural Compliance Tips for Schools and IEP teams

Good afternoon Joseph,
Thank you and your staff for providing the necessary files to review for Self-Assessment/Verification Process.  As I mentioned during our phone conversation, Medford School District met the requirements and is in compliance.  The school district will receive a more formal letter, closing the verification process for this year.
As I said, Medford was in compliance, however there were a few points that came to my attention which I thought you might like to share with your staff, in terms of best practice.
IEP- 4 The IEP contains a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.
For the most part, the files reviewed provided a clear picture of both present levels of academic achievement AND functional performance, however there were a few files in which functional performance was not explicitly addressed.
IEP- 5 The IEP includes how the student’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum or for an early childhood (3-5) student in age-appropriate activities.
Please provide explicitly statements describing HOW the disability affects student involvement and progress in the general curriculum. 
IEP- 6 The IEP teams must, in the case of a student whose behavior impeded his or her learning, or that of others, consider the use of positive behavior interventions and supports and other strategies to address that behavior.     
ISS (In-school suspension) is not a positive behavioral intervention and should be avoided in this section of the IEP.  The standards and directions state: An IEP that includes only negative measures, such as seclusion or restraint, suspension, or dentition does not meet the standard. Describe what POSITIVE strategies are in place to address student behavior.
IEP- 13  Following the development or revision of the individualized revision of the IEP and prior to its implementation, the student’s parent(s) were provided a notice of placement.
Parents must receive written notice, including a copy of their students IEP, in a reasonable time prior to its implementation.  Reasonable time will depend on how notice is being delivered, but we recommend at least 3 days if sent by mail.
A side note:
Students with disabilities should have access to the general curriculum and federal non-regulatory guidance states that alternate assessments should be clearly related to grade-level content, although it may be restricted in scope or complexity or take the form of introductory or prerequisite skills (U.S. Department of Education, 2005, p. 26).  If we are assessing students using grade-level content, then instruction should also be grade-level.  We understand that for some students the content will need to be scaffolded, modified, adapted and accommodations will need to be provided- however, students should still have access to grade-level content. 
Thank you again for all your work on this!
Please let me know if you have additional questions.
Erin Faasuamalie
Education Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Special Education

Transfer Students and Special Education

We have a had a number of transfer students in special education within and from out of state this school year. There has been some new DPI guidance in relation to transfer students. DPI Information Bulletin 13.01 - http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_bul13-01. Please contact me for more information or interpretation. 

LEA responsibility when a student transfers between Wisconsin LEAs (intrastate transfers)

When a student transfers between Wisconsin LEAs, the receiving LEA, in consultation with the parent, must provide a free appropriate publiceducation without delay, including special education and related services comparable to those described in the most recent IEP developed by the sending LEA until: 
  • The receiving LEA adopts the child's IEP (including evaluation and eligibility determination) from the previous LEA and provides the parent with an updated placement notice; or
  • The receiving LEA develops, adopts, and implements at new IEP.....
If the receiving LEA can not implement all of the sending LEA's IEP, it must provide services comparable to those described in the child's IEP from the sending LEA and hold an IEP meeting to create its own IEP as soon as possible after the student enrolls. 

LEA's responsibility when a student transfers from another state (interstate transfers)

When a Wisconsin LEA receives a transfer student from another state, the receiving LEA, in consultation with the parent, must provide FAPE without delay, including special education and related services comparable to services described in the child's IEP from the sending LEA until: 
  • The receiving LEA adopts the child's IEP (including evaluation and eligibility determination) from the previous LEA and provides the parent with an updated placement notice; or
  • The receiving LEA conducts an evaluation and develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP. When a student transfers from another state, the evaluation is considered an initial evaluation. The parent must provide consent. The receiving LEA must make an eligibility determination and develop its own IEP as soon as possible after the student enrolls.......
What are the procedures for adopting the sending LEA's evaluation or IEP?
The law does not prescribe a timeline or the process for adopting the evaluation, eligibility determination, or IEP of a transfer student. However, the receiving LEA must take these steps within a reasonable period of time to avoid any undue interruption in the provision of special education and related services. 

We will be discussing at our upcoming Special Education Advisory Council the local procedures for adopting the sending LEA's evaluation or IEP. 

Initial SLD evaluations for students already in Special Education

We have had some questions about initial SLD evaluations for students who are already in Special Education.  Here are guidelines from the DPI Technical Assistance Guide: 

Other Impairments
A student who has been identified with a Cognitive Disability (CD) cannot also be identified with a Specific Learning Disability. Students with cognitive disabilities exhibit significant delays in measured intelligence, adaptive functioning, and academic functioning. A student’s level of adaptive functioning is a central consideration when determining the impairment of cognitive 

SLD may co-exist with sensory and motor impairments (hearing, vision, orthopedic), Other Health Impairment (OHI) and Emotional Behavioral Disability (EBD). However, for a student to be found eligible as having SLD, other impairments such as these may not be the primary reason for the finding of inadequate classroom achievement or insufficient progress. 

Speech and Language and SLD
In order for a student to meet SLD eligibility criteria because of inadequate classroom achievement and insufficient progress in oral expression or listening comprehension, the difficulty must be demonstrated in academic functioning and result in the student not making sufficient progress. When oral expression and/or listening comprehension are being considered as part of an SLD evaluation, the SLD rule does not require that a speech/language pathologist be a member of the IEP team. However, it is strongly recommended that a speech/language pathologist be included on the IEP team whenever language related concerns are being evaluated. A speech and language pathologist must be a member of the IEP team if speech and language impairment is also being considered as part of the evaluation.
IEP teams must consider all suspected areas of disability, and may find that a student has both speech and language impairment and Specific Learning Disability. To be identified with both impairments, the student must meet all eligibility criteria for each area of impairment and have a need for special education services in each area

IEP Team Evaluation 
When a student is referred for an initial evaluation or when a student who has been receiving special education is reevaluated, specific steps must be followed regardless of the suspected impairment. The term “initial SLD evaluation” refers to the first time an IEP team considers SLD, even if this consideration is part of a special education reevaluation for a student previously identified with another impairment, or if the student was evaluated previously for SLD and was not found eligible. The term “reevaluation” assumes the student was previously identified by an IEP team as a student with the impairment of SLD and a need for special education. Consideration of the SLD criteria begins when an initial referral is made and continues as the IEP team answers the evaluation questions. 

Evaluation Process
IEP teams will still need to do weekly progress monitoring, two evidence based interventions, additional substantial number of instructional minutes, observations (classroom and during intensive intervention), classroom achievement assessment, and data analyzing as an initial SLD evaluation process even if student is currently in special education under another impairment. 

Please contact me for more information. We can also discuss more at upcoming building special education meetings. 


IEP - Description of the impact of the student’s disability on his or her progress and involvement in the general curriculum

In our Self-Assessment of Procedural Compliance last year we reviewed the Individualized Education Program: Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (I-4) to see whether it includes a description of the impact of the student’s disability on his or her progress and involvement in the general curriculum.

This is still an area which is a struggle for special education staff based upon reviews of several IEPs this year. The tendency is to discuss/write more about environment than it is curriculum.  

Here are the guidelines to follow and think about: 
The present level of educational performance must include how the student’s disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum. General curriculum is the same curriculum as nondisabled students. It is the common core of subjects and curriculum areas adopted by each LEA, or schools within the LEA, that applies to all students within each general age grouping from early childhood (3-5) through secondary school.

For an early childhood (3-5) student, the present level must address how the student’s disability affects his or her participation in age-appropriate activities. “Appropriate activities” means activities that students of that chronological age typically engage in as part of a formal early childhood (3-5) program or in informal activities, for example coloring, prereading activities, play time, sharing time, listening to stories read by teachers or parents.

A statement that just acknowledges that a student’s disability impacts his/her performance is not sufficient. Look for statements that tell how the student’s progress is impacted by the disability

General Education Curriculum
General education curriculum refers to what the student will be taught, not where the student will be taught. The general education curriculum is the common core of subjects and other curricular areas adopted by the district, or school within a district, for all students within each general age 
or grade grouping from preschool through secondary school. “Full time in the general curriculum” means the student’s instruction addresses the standards for nondisabled children in the student’s general age or grade grouping in all areas of the LEA’s curriculum. A student with a disability 
may participate in the general curriculum with or without accommodations. A student may participate in the general education curriculum even if the student receives instruction in a special education environment (e.g. resource room).

A Guide for Writing IEPs
Here is a link to the Guide for Writing IEPs as developed by DPI.  This includes 3 sample IEPs which can be reviewed for examples how to write this section of the IEP (starting with page 25).  There is 1 example for preschool and 2 examples for school age children. I have also attached the most recent DPI guide to this email.  http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/iepguide.pdf

I can also work with you individually and/or talk about at next building special education meeting. 


"How the student's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum."

During our Procedural Compliance review in 12-13 we learned that we need to be better at answering/addressing the following information in the Present Level of Performance. This continues to be an area of challenge for us in 13-14 as well as I review the student's IEPs. We will continue to work on this together and I can help support you as well with any questions.  

"How the student's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general curriculum."

DPI has described this section as: 
General education curriculum refers to what the student will be taught, not where the student will be taught. The general education curriculum is the common core of subjects and other curricular areas adopted by the district, or school within a district, for all students within each general age or grade grouping from preschool through secondary school. “Full time in the general curriculum” means the student’s instruction addresses the standards for nondisabled children in the student’s general age or grade grouping in all areas of the LEA’s curriculum. A student with a disability may participate in the general curriculum with or without accommodations. A student may participate in the general education curriculum even if the student receives instruction in a special education environment (e.g. resource room). 

Our DPI consultant also states this about this area: There is really no correct or incorrect way to write this statement. The statement must be sufficiently descriptive to provide information responsive to the prompt.  This statement should also serve as a starting point for the discussion of needed goals and services.  The  standards used for compliance self-assessment for this section of the IEP form is described at: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/sa-stand-dir-new-cycle.pdf (See Items IEP-4 and IEP-5).

DPI Writing Meaningful IEP Guide
DPI has also included 4 examples of how to write this section (and academic achievement/functional performance) in the Present Level of Performance. Here is a link to those examples: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/iepguide.pdf. This includes examples of an elementary student with a learning disability, four year old early childhood student, high school student with a cognitive disability, and middle school student with a learning disability. 

Writing IEPs is not always easy to put into words what we are trying to say and keeping in compliance with federal/state regulations.  Thank you for your time in writing these legal documents and all of your efforts not only in writing them, but also in delivering those services. 

Thank you, 


Special Education Impairment, Checklists, and Evaluation Testing Materials

The following information will be beneficial for SOS teams, cross-categorical special education teachers, primary impairment special educationstaff, newer special education staff, child find teams, and IEP teams if we suspect a child has a disability, in the evaluation process, and/or determining eligibility for special education in our school district. 

Special Education Impairment Areas:
Students can quality for special education services (initial or re-evaluation) in these areas including: 
  • Autism,
  • Cognitive Disabilities, 
  • Emotional Behavioral Disabilities, 
  • Hearing Impairment, 
  • Orthopedic Impairment, 
  • Other Health Impairment, 
  • Significant Developmental Delay, 
  • Speech Language Impairments, 
  • Specific Learning Disabilities, 
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries, 
  • Visual Impairments, 
  • and the need for special education
Eligibility Criteria Checklists:
Eligibility Criteria Checklists for each impairment can be found through: 
Eligibility Criteria Checklists can also help IEP teams review which areas of a child's development should be tested to gain more information to help determine eligibility. 

Evaluation Testing Materials:
We possess a wide range of evaluation materials for each of the impairment areas listed above. Attached to this email are the sheets which lists our testing materials available under each of the impairment areas. 

In the initial or re-evaluation process - school psychologists and special education staff can review these sheets to determine which ones they would like to administer to help determine eligibility for special education.  These sheets also help the school psychologists and Luanne Olson complete the IEP paperwork as part of our process.

Here is a link to these materials on our special education website as well: 

If you have additional or updated tests which are not on this sheet, then please let us know so it can be updated. 
IEP Teams
IEP Team make the final decision on which testing materials to administer, areas to assess, and if a child meets the initial or re-evaluation eligibility criteria for impairment area(s). 

Emotional and Behavioral Resources

Each year we send out an annual list of resources, trainings, and DPI updates related to emotional and behavioral functioning. The greatest resource or intervention is and always will be you.  Thank you for all your skills, thoughts, and experiences in helping our students be successful.  Your students are so fortunate to have YOU. 

1. Functional Behavioral Assessments
  • Attachment- Local FBA Form - I have attached a FBA form which has been used in our school district. 
  • Functional Behavioral Assessments (DPI Autism Webinar) which will be held on Thursday November 7 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm in the MAES Computer Lab
2. Upcoming Statewide Trainings
  • 21st Annual Emotional Behavioral Disability Institute which is on February 26-28, 2014 in Wausau
3. Resources
  • Blueprints for Success: Instructional Strategies to Promote Appropriate Behaviors - Thirteen behaviors were identified and charts - or blueprints - developed for the most commonly occurring functions of each behavior. Instructional strategies for both the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors are included, as are instructional consequences. http://www.dpi.state.wi.us/sped/ebdbluepri.html
  • Verbal De-Escalation Presentation - The Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services (WCASS) has developed a presentation about the use of verbal de-escalation as a means to reduce or eliminate the use of seclusion and physical restraint in public schools at http://www.specialed.us/S&R/S&Rverbaldeescal.html.
4. Treatment
  • School Based Mental Health Counseling - Counseling Connection - We have a contract through Counseling Connection to provide School Based Mental Health Counseling in our schools.  We have the forms for parents to complete which will help determine if parent insurance or medical assistance will pay for the school based mental health counseling.  Contact me for more information. 
5. School Staffing
School psychologists, school counselors, cross-categorical special education teachers, EBD resource teachers, PBIS coaches, police liaison, Occupational Therapist, paraprofessional support, and administrators are all local resources. Another excellent resource is Don Everhard who is a licensed principal, guidance counselor, school social worker, crisis worker, and school safety expert. 

6. IEP Teams
We can address behaviors through the IEP by including: behavioral plans, positive behavioral supports, related services, supplementary aids and services, and direct special education services. 

7. Autism Spectrum Disorder
Here is a link to the handouts and powerpoint presentations from past autism trainings and other resources in the school district: https://sites.google.com/a/medford.k12.wi.us/specialed/home/autism

8. Addressing the Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint
I have attached the following information. 
  • Addressing the Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint Guidelines
  • How to write and include Physical Restraint in the IEP
  • How to write and include Seclusion in the IEP
  • Addressing the Use of Seclusion and Physical Restraint Frequently Asked Questions

Autism Resources in Medford Area Public School District

The Medford Area Public School District is fortunate to have had multiple trainings by experts in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder present in our school district.  Here is a link to the handouts, power point presentations, and other resources designed to help staff and parents.  Also included are the DPI autism webinar handout links.


Wilson Reading Training in Medford on January 13-15

Wilson Reading Training
January 13-15
12:00 pm to 5:30 pm
MAES Media Room

Trainer: Katharine Campbell

This will be a three day introductory overview which is needed to teach the Wilson Reading program. For more information on Wilson Reading go to their website at:  
Wilson Reading programming is a core intervention program for our at-risk and special needs students across our school district for children up through adults. We have seen significant results for dyslexic and special needs students. 

If you or your staff are interested in attending, then please contact me. 


Joseph A. Greget
Director of Student Services/Special Education
715-748-2316 ext 324

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autism Resources Links from DPI

Hello Autism Program Support Teachers and Friends,

I hope your school year is off to a great start!

Instead of bogging down your inboxes with attachments for these occasional updates, I have created three shared folders.

1) Shared Trainings and Professional Development for Students with Autism In Wisconsin: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B3vTxXOQ1jR9OHBYRnA4TkNRUEE&usp=sharing
This folder will hold fliers for professional development around Wisconsin

This will be new information each time I send a new email update (about once every 1-3 months)

Any documents I have shared in the past with email distribution lists and are still relevant

If you have trouble getting into the shared folders, let me know and I can see what I can do.

Below you will find:
·         Autism and Disability Related PD Around Wisconsin
·         Opportunities for Families, Students, Professionals and Educators
·         Recent Resources and Updates (articles, blogs, other NEW information/resources)
·         Archived Resources and Information (sent last school year)

Autism Related Professional Development Opportunities

Two Day Autism Trainings for 2013-14

We hope that you can spread the word for these excellent trainings conducted by Judy Endow, Mary Graczyk-McMullen, and Kate McGinnity.

·         Basic Needs of Students with ASD: Jan 28/29 Oconomowoc
·         Addressing Challenging Behaviors: Oct 29/30 WI Dells and also on Feb 25/26: Oconomowoc
·         Instructional Strategies: Oct 8/9 Steven’s Point

Registration on the DPI autism web page: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_autism

Detailed descriptions can be found on the DPI Autism web site. 
College credits are available for these trainings through Silver Lake College.

) WDPI Autism Webinars
20 webinars will be scheduled during 2013-14 on a variety of topics.  Webinars are free and are recorded for future viewing by registered participants.
Registration invitations are sent to Autism PST and General Autism Email Distribution Lists approximately 2 weeks prior to each webinar.
To refer a friend to the WDPI Autism General Email Distribution list have them register at: http://tinyurl.com/wi-dpi-autism-email-list   

) Janice Fialka (author of “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “The Dance of Partnership” FREE Workshop – Live and Available Via Webinar!
Friday October 25, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, UW Stout Memorial Student Union, Menomonie.
This workshop will be presented live at UW Stout as well as via WebEx Event (webinar).  Registration for web and live attendance is below.
Janice will also be presenting at the Keys to Success Conference on the Following Day
To register online click on http://goo.gl/NUHtV4  or call the WSPEI Office at 877-844-4925.
For more information contact Mary Skadahl at marys@cesa12.org
Sponsored by: The Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative

) Keys to Success Conference, (FREE) Saturday October 26, UW Stout, Menomonie.
This regional special education conference bring families and educators to learn about a variety of special education topics.
Registration Contact Barb Garling, CESA #11, barbg@cesa11.k12.wi.us (715) 986-2020.

) Special Education Mediation Training, October 30, CESA 2, 1221 Innovation Drive, Whitewater, 8:30 to 10:00 am
Presenters Nissan Bar-Lev, CESA #7 and Jan Serak, WI FACETS, $15, no charge for parents.
This is one of many CESA Mediation trainings to take place this year across Wisconsin to inform families and educations about the Free Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System (WSEMS) which assists with early dispute resolution.
Contact sharnon.anderson@cesa2.org for information for this event.

) Wisconsin Community of Practice on ASD/DD Fall MeetingNovember 5, 2013, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton Campus, 1825 N. Bluemound Drive. 
Discovering Work: Employment Strategies for Youth with ASD/DD.

) Wisconsin Statewide Medical home Initiative – FREE Parent Training Session*
November 7, 2013 6:00 to 7:15pm, Appleton Public Library, 225 N. Oneida Street, Meeting Room D.  *Flier in Google Doc.
This parent training session will explore strategies and tools parents can use to develop partnerships with their child’s primary care clinician.

) 24th Annual Children Come First Conference, Wisconsin Family TiesNovember 11, 2013, Stoney Creek Inn, Rothchild, WI
The Children Come First Conference focuses on the needs of children and adolescents with social, emotional, behavioral, mental health or substance use challenges.
WI Family Ties web site: http://wifamilyties.org/

) Transition Academy, College and Career Ready, WDPI, November 13 (Free), Glacier Canyon Lodge Conference Center, WI Dells
Sponsored by the Transition Improvement Grant (TIG), The 2013 Transition Academy will feature a keynote presentation by Judson Laipply, award-winning speaker and inspirational comedian. This one-day academy will feature two one-hour sectionals in the morning and a 3-hour sectional in the afternoon. 
For more information contact Pam Jenson, pamj@wsti.org (608) 921-1400

) Across the Lifespan Conference, November 14 and 15, Glacier Canyon, WI Dells
A collaboration between WisTech, Wisconsin AHEAD, Department of Health Services, Stout Vocational Rehab Institute
As the title implies, “Across the Lifespan” the targets all age groups.  This includes PK-12, post secondary education, adulthood and seniors. Our attendees represent the fields of assistive technology,  education, case management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology and rehabilitation counselors. Students of these professions, consumers and family members also make up a fair share of our attendees.
Conference web site and registration: http://www.atacrosslifespan.org/

) State Learning Disabilities Workshop, Power Up – 21st Century Technology, Saturday November 23, 2013, Waukesha County Technical College
For information and registration go to: http://www.wctc.edu/events/power-up/index.php

) RTI Center Trainings on UDL (Universal Design for Learning), Dropout Early Warning System, Reading Interventions, Common Core Stand Standards Tool, and More …
Go to Wisconsin RTI Center web page for more information on the various training offered statewide: http://www.wisconsinrticenter.org/

) WSPEI Webinar, Post Secondary Transition Plan (free), December 11, 9:00 to 12:00
To join the registration email distribution list contact Mary Skadahl: marys@cesa12.org

) Save the Date, Autism Society of Wisconsin Annual Conference, April 24-26, Wisconsin Dells
Now taking a call for proposals for sectionals at this conference on April 25 and 26.
Link to ASW: http://www.asw4autism.org/  

) Save the Date, Circles of Life Annual Conference, April 24-25, Madison Marriott West
Link to Circles of Life Conference Web Site: http://fvofwi.org/training-and-events/circles-of-life/

) Check out Parent and Educator Professional Development and Support Groups at Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin:http://www.assew.org/

) Check out Parent and Educator Professional Development and Support Groups at Autism Society of Wisconsin (ASW):http://www.asw4autism.org/  
ASW also has links to regional Autism Society Chapters across Wisconsin which hold regional events, support groups, and professional development opportunities.

) Check out WI FACETS Free Phone Workshops for Families and Educators and Other Trainings
Information and registration information at: http://www.wifacets.org/training

Opportunities for Educators / Families / Students

) 2013 Take Your Legislators to Work Campaign
The BPDD (Board for People with Developmental Disabilities) is currently seeking people with disabilities who have community-integrated jobs to participate in the 2013 Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign. This is a great opportunity to show legislators that people with disabilities are ready, willing, and able to work!   As you may know, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We conduct the campaign in the fall to show legislators how everyone wins when people with disabilities are employed in their community. Last year, 40 legislators visited people with disabilities at work (check out the report). Also, people with disabilities who participate in the campaign have a great opportunity to establish a relationship with their legislator so they can stay in-touch after the campaign.

If you know anyone – or any groups – who might be interested in participating in the campaign, please give them the Get Started Kit. All of the instructions and tools necessary to get started are in the kit, including the Participant Application.  Every day more and more legislators are expressing interest in participating in the 2013 campaign. Please help us get more people with disabilities who have community-integrated jobs involved in this campaign. The more people that participate, the more legislators will be aware of how everyone wins with community-integrated employment.

For more information contact: Joshua Ryf, Communications Director, WI BPDD, (608) 261-7829joshua.ryf@wisconsin.gov

) WDPI Special Education Team Position Opening
The Education Consultant - Specific Learning Disabilities position has been reannounced with a deadline of October 21st. The job announcement can be viewed by visiting http://wisc.jobs/public/job_view.asp?annoid=68581&jobid=68096&org=255&class=59480&index=true. Please distribute the link.

) Public Forum at Wisconsin Special Education Leadership Conference, November 18, 5:00 to 6:30 PM, Madison Marriott West, Salons A-D

Please join us at the annual public forum held by the State Superintendent’s Council on Special Education.  The purpose for this forum is to gather input on the successes and challenges of special education from Wisconsin families, school administrators, educators, community representatives, and others.  Information gathered will be used by the council in advising the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on matters affecting the education of Wisconsin’s children and youth with disabilities.  The council is receptive to hearing about any topic upon which people may choose to comment.

This public forum will be held Monday, November 18th, from 5:00 to 6:30 PM at the Madison Marriott West, Salons A-D (1313 John Q. Hammons Drive (Middleton, Wisconsin); 608/831-2000).
Please help the Council in sharing this opportunity with parents or members of your organization.   The full announcement is attached and is online athttp://dpi.wi.gov/sped/cee_meet.html.
Thank you for helping to get the word out.

Recent Updates and Resources

) Check out updated web site for Center on Secondary Education for Student with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CSESA)
Link to web site: http://csesa.fpg.unc.edu/

) Wisconsin Statewide Transition Initiative (WSTI) is Renamed Transition Improvement Grant (TIG)
The WSTI web address is still the same.  Check out their new look and resources: http://www.wsti.org/
TIG contacts for each CESA can be found in the google folder.

) Materials from the summer 2013 Cognitive Disabilities Conference
Materials from the 2013 CD Conference, held last summer, have been posted online.  Please visit:  http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_cd to access these materials.

) Resources on DSM V Changes
The DSM V is changing the language and the classification of Autism for Medical Diagnosis.  This done NOT affect Educational Eligibility for Autism Impairment in Wisconsin.
An information sheet developed by Autism Society of Wisconsin can be found in the Google Folder and can be found at:http://www.asw4autism.org/pdf/Changes_to_ASD_Criteria_in_the_DSM_5.pdf
Links / information from national organizations are below.
American Psychiatric Association: www.dsm5.org
Autism Speaks: www.autismspeaks.org/dsm5.
Autism Research Institutehttp://www.autism.com/index.php/news_dsmV

) Assistive Technology Lending Center (ATLC)
The Assistive Technology Lending Center (ATLC) is open for the 2013-14 school year. The ATLC is a lending library of high-end (costing $4000 or more) alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) equipment for trial purposes. The ATLC makes loans to Wisconsin public school educators for trial with students ages 3-21 who have IEPs and are enrolled in public schools.

) Guidance on Special Education Teachers Working with Students Not Identified with Disabilities
WDPI sent a letter to OSEP (Office of Special Education Programs) with questions regarding special education personnel working with students who are not identified as students with disabilities.
OSEP responded and WDPI put together a guidance document based on OSEP’s response.

) Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Updates and Alternate Assessment Information
The following modules are now available and more should become available this fall:
The link to these modules is http://dynamiclearningmaps.org/unc/modules.html.
If you have questions about these modules, please contact dlm@unc.edu
Information from WDPI about Alternate Achievement Standards at:  http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_assmt-ccee

) Organization for Autism Research (OAR): New Video Resource
Understanding Autism: A Guide for Secondary Teachers: http://www.researchautism.org/resources/teachersdvd.asp
A great series of videos about autism and how to support students with autism in general education settings.

) Autism Internet Modules is Now Offering Graduate Credit for Completing Autism Internet Modules (AIM).
For more information go to: http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/
You can also contact aim_course@ocali.org if you have questions. 

) Two New PBS Features / Documentaries in Relation to Autism: “Best Kept Secret” and “Neurological”
If you did not get a chance to see these two PBS films this summer, try to find a copy at your local library.
Information and Trailer for Best Kept Secret: http://www.pbs.org/pov/bestkeptsecret/

) Information on the Wisconsin Common Core State Standards: This link includes general information as well as myths about the common core:

) Easy to Read Facts on The Common Core / What You Need to Know about the Common Core:

) Check out the updated Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning Pages on the WDPI Web Site
Universal Design for Learning: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_udl
Assistive Technology: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_asst_tch

Really great video on a student with Brittle Bone Disease and Assistive Technology Innovations from Rice University to Assist this Student.  The future is exciting!

) Back to School: 6 Tips for Your Sensory Child (article)

) Pop Culture Article about a Famous Celebrity and Autism:

) Pop Culture Article on Asperger’s and TV Characters:

) Interesting video / web site on a 4 year old autistic child with amazing talent for painting

) Some Great Inspiring Videos
Tony Evers WDPI agenda 2017: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORnr6fvDeR8

Archived Resources

) National Autism Network
This is a new resource I have run across recently.  Lots of links to other organizations and information about autism.
They have educator resources section which may be interesting to educators as well as lots of parent/family information. 

) Interesting Article on Re-Thinking Disabilities
This blog discusses trends of rethinking disabilities in terms of differences and strengths.

) Article “Children with Autism Fall Off the Cliff After Graduation
Another story emphasizing the importance of social communication/emotional/regulation interventions and strategies taught to K-12 students with ASD.

This year alone, 50,000 children with autism will turn 18, according to Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who has sponsored federal legislation to provide funding for adult programs. Within two years of high school, less than half of those with autism spectrum disorder have paying jobs, the lowest rate of any disabled group.

) DPI ConnectEd Article on Wisconsin Schools and Autism Supports in Wisconsin “Secrets of a  Successful Student with Autism”
Highlights a specific student story in Wisconsin, current direction of supports statewide, and importance of collaboration with home based teams.

) Articles / News on Student with Autism in Wisconsin “Wrestler with Autism Shines for Pecatonica High School”

How to Help Your Child Learn in School (attached)
This document (attached) was sent to me from a WSPEI coordinator.  Very nice summary of some activities/structures parents can use to assist in children’s learning.

) From DPI: Helpful Information for Parents on WKCE Scores
This year’s WKCE tests have more rigorous scoring standards than in years past and math and reading scores are expected to be significantly lower for all students statewide. Following, are resources DPI has developed to help parents, community members, and school staff understand the changes in WKCE scores and how they help Wisconsin schools prepare all students for college and career.
Additional resources are available online at http://oea.dpi.wi.gov/oea_dacnwltrs/#infoho

) Two of DPI’s Opening Doors are now available electronically in Spanish! 

) WI DPI Seclusion and Restraint Updated FAQ.  A new FAQ can be found on the WDPI web page (attached). 
Please make sure that all educators in your CESA, District, and School know about the new law that took affect September 1
This link includes an excellent PowerPoint with presenter notes to review with your staff.  http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_sbseclusion  

“Seclusion and/or physical restraint may be used only when a student’s behavior presents a clear, present and imminent risk to the physical safety of the student or others, and it is the least restrictive intervention feasible. Certain maneuvers and techniques are prohibited, and mechanical or chemical restraints may not be used. Seclusion rooms may not have locks, and rooms must be free of any objects or fixtures that may injure the student. If it is reasonably anticipated that restraint or seclusion may be used with a student with disability, it must included in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the IEP must also include positive interventions, supports and other strategies based on a functional behavioral assessment. “

) Consider joining the Wisconsin Community of Practice on ASD/DD: This group of family members, researchers, medical practitioners, educators, and other stakeholder meet throughout the year on a variety of topics to promote best practice and work towards solutions to improve the lives of people with ASD and other development disabilities. 
The next meeting on October 11th is on Post Secondary Options and ASD/DD.
More information can be found at: http://www.waisman.wisc.edu/connections/Community.php

) The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC-ASD) has released a New Coaching Manual, which was developed to support practitioners implementation of evidence-based practices in programs that serve children with autism spectrum disorders. The coaching manual and related coaching resources from NPDC are available online.

) Center on Secondary Education for Students with ASD (CSESA) Web Site and Face book Page: CSESA is a research and development project funded by the U.S. Department of Education that focused on developing, adapting, and studying a comprehensive school- and community-based education program for high school students on the autism spectrum. This project is a five-year project that brings together experts in autism, secondary education, adolescence, and implementation to work in collaboration with schools, families, adolescents with ASD, and community members.
Website: http://csesa.fpg.unc.edu/  - Sign-up to stay connected on our website!
Face book page: http://www.facebook.com/csesa.asd - Look for weekly discussion posts on the Face book page!

) WI Technical College System Autism Spectrum Disorders Guide for WCTS Staff: May be useful information to pass along to families looking at technical college systems and/or assist in helping general education and other K-12 educators/administrators learn about students with ASD. http://systemattic.wtcsystem.edu/Studentserv/virtualresource/AutismSpectrumDisordersGuide.pdf
A pdf version is attached to this email.

) Assistive Technology Resource: From Keene State College, this web page provides a variety of free or low cost assistive technology ideas for reading, writing, communication, and other areas.  The list was created with Institutes of Higher Education in mind, but may be interesting to those working in K-12.  http://ods.keene.edu/index.html

) 2013 Waisman Center Day with the Experts: Autism: All of the presentations from 2013 event are available online athttp://www.waisman.wisc.edu/cedd/autism/
In Paul White's presentation, “Community Support to People with Autism and Challenging Behaviors,” he referenced a handout that shares ways to address stress triggers and reinforce adaptive behavior.
This handout can be downloaded at www.waisman.wisc.edu/~palumbo/WhiteStressTriggers.pdf.  You can also access the workshop presentation at the link above!

) Interesting article, This article “Where Should Special Needs Kids Be Special?” from Slate magazine may provide thoughtful reflections on how we share space and community with people who have movement and sensory differences. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/medical_examiner/2013/03/autism_in_the_community_how_should_public_spaces_be_shared.2.html

) Great Ted Talks short Video from a Sibling of Brothers on the Autism Spectrumhttp://www.ted.com/talks/faith_jegede_what_i_ve_learned_from_my_autistic_brothers.html

) Wisconsin Youth First is excited to unveil our "Going to Work" video series. The stories of six Wisconsin youth with disabilities who have transitioned to competitive employment are depicted in five parts.

Video #1: Meet the Characters (5:34http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvQTVRmVR6Q&feature=plcp
Video #2: Understanding Your Disability and Self-Advocacy Skills(6:34http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgOJa_rVssI&feature=context-cha
Video #3: Disclosing Your Disability (5:59http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXh5zmEkzJM&feature=context-cha
Video #4: Job Interview Skills (5:32http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1drQq-imSok&feature=plcp
Video #5: Asking for Accommodations on the Job (5:54http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSzLyb5gYh0&feature=plcp

These videos can also be found on the WSTI website by searching "Going to Work" in the Services and Resources tab. http://www.wsti.org/

) Please note that WI DPI has a new look to our web site.  With the new look, many of the old web links are broken.  To quickly find WI DPI Special Education information go to the new Special Education Index web page at: http://sped.dpi.wi.gov/sped_tm-specedtopics

) Wisconsin Autism Evaluation Guidehttp://sped.dpi.wi.gov/files/sped/pdf/elg-autism-guide.pdf

) Autism Internet Modules: http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/ Modules that also contain 22 of the 24 NPDC-ASD evidence based practices.

) National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC-ASD). 
Defines 24 Evidence Based Practices for students with autism. http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/content/briefs

) Foundations of Autism Free Online Course: A free introductory course on autism that is hosted by the Waisman Center

) The Assistive Technology Lending Center (ATLC) is now open.  The link to the ATLC is http://www.atlclibrary.org/

) Skills to Pay the Bills: A resource to teach job skills to students with disabilities. "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success," is a curriculum developed by ODEP focused on teaching "soft"
or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill
areas: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. For more

) OAR (Organization for Autism Research) recently published another book in their Life Journey through Autism Series.  This new resource is titled Navigating the Special Education System.

I hope that this information is helpful.

Take care,

Daniel Parker
Administrative Consultant, Autism and Family Engagement
Special Education
Division for Learning Support
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction