Kentucky Autism Training Center Newsletter Articles

HDI Seminar: “Supported Decision-Making and Guardianship”

Join the Human Development Institute for a free seminar titled, “Supported Decision-Making and Guardianship”  

Date & Time: September 28, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00pm EST

Place: UK Coldstream Research Campus in the Human Development Institute Training Room.

UK Coldstream Research Campus
Human Development Institute Training Room
1525 Bull Lea Road, Lexington KY 40511

Please join HDI in person or online via video conference. A link to the live video stream of the seminar will be sent to registrants.



Laura Butler, Human Development Institute, University of Kentucky

Camille Collins, Kentucky Division of Protection & Advocacy

Bill Dolan, Kentucky Division of Protection & Advocacy   


This seminar provides an introduction to supported decision-making (SDM) and guardianship. The presentation will explain SDM, as well as discuss guardianship laws and practices. Practical implications of SDM and guardianship in employment, health care, education, and community integration will be emphasized.  


Learning Objectives:

1. Be able to define supported decision-making as a means of increasing independence and overall well-being for people and as an alternative to guardianship.

2. Identify practical uses for supported decision-making and guardianship across the lifespan.

3. Understand the guardianship process in the courts, including the process of modifying or terminating guardianship.

4. Develop an understanding of the role, as defined by regulation and statues, of guardianship.

5. Become familiar with the pros and cons of both supported decision-making and guardianship and understand how to evaluate the potential benefits of each option for an individual situation.


Registration: There is no charge to register. Space is limited. Electronic registration will open August 17, 2018. Visit HDI Seminar Registration  to register for the seminar. For help registering, contact walt.bower@uky.edu 

This program is presented in conjunction with the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. CRC credit hours are pending for Rehabilitation Counseling.

Upcoming Free Workshops Available Through K-SPIN

KY-SPIN, Inc. provides workshops for parents and professionals throughout Kentucky. Below is a list of workshops they are currently offering through the federal funding of SPIN-PTI (Special Parent Involvement Network – Parent Training and Information) and KDE funding K-SPIN provides workshops at no cost.   Contact K-SPIN directly for more information about attending these training opportunities.  For more information about registration to attend visit the website:   https://www.kyspin.com/events/workshops .


Mapping Dreams— Transition to Adulthood

Date: Tue, August 14 2018

Time: 2:30-5:30pm
Location: Madison County Public Library, 507 West Main Street, Richmond, KY 40475

IEP: A Closer Look

Date: Wed, August 15 2018
Time: 10am
Location: Clay County Central Public Library 211 Bridge St Manchester, KY 40962

IEP: A Closer Look

Date: Sat, August 25 2018
Time: 10am-12pm
Location: Central City Library 108 E Broad St Central City, KY 42330 

IEP: A Closer Look

Date: Fri, August 31 2018
Time: 3pm
Location: Perry County Public Library 289 Black Gold Blvd Hazard, KY 41701

"Guardianship in KY” Alternatives to Guardianship

Date: Tue, September 4 2018
Time: 6-8pm
Location: Southwest Public Library, 9725 Dixie Hwy, Louisville, KY 40272

Special Education Process

Date: Thu, September 6 2018
Time: 2pm
Location: Menifee County Public Library 1585 Main St, Frenchburg, KY 40322

UofL’s Autism Center Helps Young Kids Lead Normal Lives

Behavior analyst Erick Dubuque Autism Center client


Erick and Molly Dubuque spent several hours each week with little Lanikai and her family, eating dinner, shopping and everything in between. It was part of a treatment program for kids with autism run by the University of Louisville Autism Center, where the Dubuques are behavior analysts.

Lanikai’s mother says the time the Dubuques spent with her daughter has resulted in a little girl able to socialize and lead a relatively normal life. Check out her story featured here on U of L News.


Story by Mark Hebert on uoflnews.com.

CDC estimate of autism prevalence increases to 15%. Now 1 in 59 children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its biennial update of autism's estimated prevalence among the nation's children, based on an analysis of 2014 medical and/or school records of 8-year-olds from 11 monitoring sites across the United States. The report demonstrates that while progress has been made on some fronts, there is still critical work to do.

"The findings urgently warrant a significant increase in life-enhancing research and access to high-quality services for people with autism across the spectrum and throughout their life span," says Autism Speaks President and Chief Executive Officer Angela Geiger.

Autism Speaks calls on legislators, public health agencies and the National Institutes of Health to advance research to help better understand the increased prevalence and the complex medical needs that often accompany autism. In doing so, the organization urges policy makers to follow the U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee's recommendation to double the autism research budget. Autism Speaks also urges government leaders to advance policies that better provide individualized support and services in areas such as education, transition to adulthood, residential options and employment.


Key findings include:

• More children have been diagnosed with autism. 1 in 59 children had been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by age 8 in 2014, a 15% increase over 2012.

• The gender gap has narrowed slightly. While boys were 4 times more likely to be diagnosed than girls (1 in 37 versus 1 in 151) in 2014, this gender gap narrowed compared to 2012, when boys were 4.5 times more frequently diagnosed than girls. This appears to reflect improved identification of autism in girls many of whom do not fit the stereotypical picture of autism seen in boys.

• The ethnic gap for early diagnosis has narrowed but not nearly enough. While autism was still more likely to be diagnosed in white children than minority children, the ethnic gap is narrowing, particularly between black and white children. This appears to reflect increased awareness and screening in minority communities. However, the diagnosis of autism among Hispanic children still lagged significantly behind that of non-Hispanic children.

• Disappointingly, the report found no decrease in the age when autism is typically diagnosed. In 2014, most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2. Earlier diagnosis is crucial because early intervention affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the life span.

• Significant differences remain in the frequency of autism diagnosis between the CDC's monitoring sites. These ranged from a low of 1 in 77 children in Arkansas to a high of 1 in 34 in New Jersey. This likely reflects state and regional differences in children's access to autism screening as well as differences in the CDC's access to the school and medical records that its researchers use to estimate prevalence. As such, the new national numbers almost certainly reflect a persistent undercount of autism's true prevalence among the nation's children.



Connecting the DOTS--Training for Families with a New ASD Diagnosis in Bowling Green

A pilot program of parent trainings for families with a recent diagnosis of autism (within the last year) is launching in Bowling Green at the end of April.  Childcare is provided for six awesome sessions that will leave parents feeling empowered and connected. Here are the details:

• Parents must have a child with an autism diagnosis made within the last 12 months
• Child with autism must be between 2-8 years old
• Must be free on Tuesday evenings from 6-8 p.m. between 4/24 and 6/5. CHILDCARE IS PROVIDED. One or both parents invited to participate.
• Stipends are available for families willing to allow videotaping of interactions of parent(s) with child before and after trainings

If you have a desire to be better equipped to raise a child with autism, take care of yourself and be more connected to your community this training is for you!

These trainings include a make and take aspect as well, where parents can make visuals (schedules/IF--THEN boards etc.) tailored to fit your current needs. They are designed to make interactions with your child positive so they can make progress and to keep peace in the home.

To register: email Sandy Hackbarth at cblack@lifeskills.com including your child's age, date of diagnosis, how many kids need childcare and how many parents will be attending.

Spaces and time are both limited, so your quick response is appreciated!

Education Commissioner Supports Autism Awareness

Education Commissioner Supports Autism Awareness

     (FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt is leading educators across Kentucky in recognizing World Autism Awareness Day in support of children and families who experience autism on a daily basis.

     The United Nations adopted World Autism Awareness Day in 2007 to raise awareness of the disorder. Autism is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism may be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. However, some people with autism excel in visual skills, music, mathematics and art, among other areas. Autism affects one in 68 children, and autism prevalence figures are growing.

      World Autism Awareness Day, which is April 2 each year, kicks off Autism Awareness Month in April. Every year, autism organizations around the world celebrate the day with unique awareness-raising and fundraising events. In the annual Light It Up Blue movement, thousands of iconic landmarks and buildings join hundreds of thousands of homes and communities around the world to “light blue” in support of people living with autism.

     “I encourage you to stand with me in support of students with autism, who just like all students in Kentucky, should receive the best education possible,” Pruitt said. “Let’s light it up blue in support of our students with autism!”

     In 1996, the Kentucky General Assembly established the Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC) at the University of Louisville to serve as a statewide resource for families and educators. Its mission is to strengthen Kentucky’s systems of support for people affected by autism by bridging research to practice and by providing training and resources to families and professionals.

     For more than ten years the KATC has supported individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by providing hands-on training for educators in the classroom, hosting workshops for families, and conducting professional development sessions.

     KATC works in each of Kentucky’s eight special education cooperatives through a project in which it aims to increase schools’ capacity for serving children with autism spectrum disorders by supporting their implementation of research-based strategies. Under the guidance of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum, KATC’s work in the classroom involves monthly visits to support local educational teams in planning, implementing and evaluating instruction. It also works with school teams to select objectives and instructional plans for specified students and for classrooms.

For more information on autism or ideas on promoting autism awareness, visit KATC’s website at http://louisville.edu/education/kyautismtraining.


New Professional Development Learning Opportunity in Effective Transition Practices for Students with Significant Disabilities

The Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC), in collaboration with the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Works (www.kentuckyworks.org) is offering a free professional development opportunity for teachers, related service personnel and administrators.

As you may well know, employment outcomes for youth and young adults with the most significant disabilities (i.e., students with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities, autism, and/or multiple disabilities) are the poorest of any disability categories served under IDEA.  Our federally-mandated transition requirements under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) require that we do all we can to change this dismal outlook for our students – these modules are designed to give you the tools to make that happen!

 Each module takes about one hour to complete, includes interactive questions throughout, and a post-test to earn a printable certificate, documenting your successful completion of the course. Simply go to:  http://www.kentuckyworks.org/modules/ and click on the module that you wish to review, and click the link for that module to “Take Course for Credit.”


Transition 101: What We All Need to Know About Transition for Students with Significant Disabilities is an overview of the current status of employment outcomes for youths with the most significant disabilities in KY, the key steps in the transition process itself, the legal requirements and the roles of each agency, types of employment (competitive, supported, and customized), and the development of measurable post-secondary goals for transition-age youth. (approved for two hours EILA credit)

View Module: https://hdilearning.org/html5/KYW/Mod-1-v23/index.html

Register for course: https://www.hdilearning.org/product/transition-101-what-we-all-need-to-know-about-transition-for-students-with-significant-disabilities/


Transition 102: Important Predictors for Post-School Success describes the key, evidence-based predictors of post-school competitive employment for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  The second part of the module discusses four additional variables related to successful transitions for students with significant disabilities, and highlights resources available to educators and other professionals in KY in putting these variables into practice. (approved for two hours EILA credit)

View Module: https://hdilearning.org/html5/KYW/Mod-2-v13/index.html

Register for course: https://www.hdilearning.org/product/transition-102-important-predictors-for-post-school-success/

Benefits 101: A Guided Study of Your Own Situation provides a one-hour overview of how earned income may affect eligibility for an entitlement to social security disability benefits and supplemental security income.  This module allows the user to calculate the impact of wages upon his or her own unique situation, or that of his or her students or clients.

Register for course: https://www.hdilearning.org/product/overview-of-disability-benefits-employment/

CDC Launches "Milestone Tracker" a Free App to Track Childhood Development

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pleased to announce the launch of CDC's Milestone Trackera free app for tracking every child's development in a fun and easy way. This app adds to the popular suite of free, family-friendly materials available through CDC's Learn the Signs. Act Early.  program.

“Skills like taking a first step, saying those first words, and waving ‘bye-bye’ are developmental milestones all parents anticipate and celebrate,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “This CDC Milestone Tracker app gives parents tips to help their child learn and grow, a way to track developmental milestones, recognize delays, and the ability to share this information with their healthcare provider.”

The new app offers:

  • Interactive milestone checklists for children ages 2 months through 5 years, illustrated with photos and videos
  • Tips and activities to help children learn and grow
  • Information on when to act early and talk with a doctor about developmental delays
  • A personalized milestone summary that can be easily shared with the doctor and other care providers
  • Reminders of appointments and developmental screening

Learn more and get information on downloading the app at CDC’s Milestone Tracker website. The app is available in the  App Store and on Google Play.

Although it is packed with parent-friendly features, this app isn’t just for parents! Healthcare providers can use it to help with developmental surveillance as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and early care and education providers, home visitors, and others can use it to better understand children's skills and abilities and to engage families in monitoring developmental progress.

Email ActEarly@cdc.gov for the complete marketing toolkit with additional newsletter samples, images, web buttons, flyers, and more—tailored for parents, healthcare or early care and education providers. 

Free Seminar on Self-Advocacy and Self-Help offered by HDI

This seminar offered by UK's Human Development Institute focuses on lessons in self-advocacy and self-help based on the life and work of Ed Roberts, a pioneering disability rights activist. Roberts is widely recognized as the founder of the independent living movement and was instrumental in developing the first Center for Independent Living, an organization advocating for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in community life. The presenters will highlight a variety of ways for people to join the independent living movement.


Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn the story of Ed Roberts and his role in the disability rights movement.

2. Participants will become familiar with the independent living paradigm.

3. Participants will be able to identify ways they can become self-advocates and join in the independent living movement.


  • Willis Deitz, Executive Director of Independence Place, Inc., a Center for Independent Living, has worked in the disability field for nearly a decade.
  • Megan Coleman, Operations Manager of Independence Place, Inc., oversees the Employment and Transition programs at Independence Place. 

DATE: Friday, February 2, 2018   

TIME: 1:00 – 3:00pm EST


UK Coldstream Research Campus

Human Development Institute Training Room

1525 Bull Lea Road, Lexington KY  40511

Join in person or online via videoconference. A link to the live video stream of the seminar will be sent to registrants 

Registration: There is no charge to register. Space is limited. Electronic registration will open December 15, 2017. Visit HDI Seminar Registration to register for the seminar. For help registering, contact walt.bower@uky.edu


CRCC Continuing Education Units for Rehabilitation Counselors are pending 

Free Guardianship Workshop

This training on guardianship is sponsored by the Louisville Bar Association and Louisville Jefferson County Metro Government.  The workshop provides an overview of what it means to be a guardian or conservator, the legal process for seeking appointment and the responsibilities of guardianship.

Presented by: S. Coy Travis, CEO of Travis Law Office, PLLC

Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2017

Time: 1:30PM - 3:30 PM


The Council on DD

1151 S. Fourth Street

Louisville, KY 40203



The Council lot (off alley)


4th Avenue United Methodist church parking lot


The Council on Developmental Disabilities trains families who have loved ones with disabilities to know and exercise their rights. To reserve a spot at this workshop email Shawna Dellecave shawna@councilondd.org or call 502.584.1239.