KATC News

Kentucky Autism Training Center Newsletter Articles

KATC Family Guide Update

By Heidi Cooley-Cook

 

Have you used the KATC Family Guide? There are eight chapters teaming with information to help guide families and individuals affected by autism from screening and diagnosis to future planning and introducing your child to ASD. The KATC is in the process of updating the content of this valuable resource and we want YOUR help!

 

The KATC will be hosting two interactive webinars to gain insight from families and professionals on how to revamp the guide to best meet the needs of the Commonwealth. Please plan on joining us on December 11, 2013 at 10:00 am or December 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm to share your comments. To join the conversation on either day call 1-888-278-0254 Access Code 9103753. I would like to encourage you to print off the detailed overview of chapters and their included topics – make notes as you look thorough the current guide and have this handy when you join us in December!

 

Our hope is that the Family Guide will continue to be the 'go to resource' for individuals and families affected by autism. If you have any questions or would like to share your comments and are unable to join us on December 11 or 12, please contact Heidi Cooley-Cook, Family Field Training Coordinator 502-852-6401.

 

Heidi Cooley-Cook is a Family Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center where she provides direct training and technical assistance to families.

KY Autism Training Center Fall 2013 Newsletter November 2013

Learn the Signs. Act Early. Ambassador Project

By Rebecca Grau

 

The Act Early Ambassador project is designed to develop a network of state-level experts to improve early identification practices. It is a collaborative effort on behalf of CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Act Early Ambassadors serve as state liaisons to the “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” Initiative.  State liaisons work as community champions with programs that serve young children and their parents; such as, Head Start, Early Head Start, WIC, home visiting, health and child care professionals, and others. Liaisons work to improve early identification of developmental delay and collaborate with state agencies and campaign partners to improve policy and programs for early identification. The current cohort of Ambassadors represents 25 states.  Kentucky is represented by Scott D. Tomchek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Assistant Director/Chief Occupational Therapist, University of Louisville, Autism Center, and Department of Pediatrics.

 

Dr. Tomchek has provided three training opportunities to healthcare and childcare professionals to promote the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign message to encourage health care providers to be proactive in conducting developmental screenings and referring children with potential delays for more tests or treatment.  Along with Dr. Gail Williams, a behavioral pediatrician at the University of Louisville, Dr. Tomchek addressed attendees at the Infant/Toddler Institute on the importance of screening, early referral and diagnose of young children.  In addition, Dr. Tomchek collaborated with Dr. Myra Beth Bundy, psychologist from Eastern Kentucky University, and University of Louisville psychiatrist , Dr. David Lohr to provide the "Autism Case Training (ACT): A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum".  The training was designed to educate future healthcare providers on fundamental components of identifying, diagnosing and managing autism spectrum disorders through real life scenarios.

Learn more about "Learn the Signs. Act Early." resources and Kentucky specific information.

Support For Families of Children with ASD in Kentucky

by Heidi Cooley-Cook

 

The Commonwealth has a great variety of supports for parents and other caregivers of individuals with autism.  Did you know that there are over 40 support groups throughout the state of Kentucky?  Use the link to find one in your area!  Groups are listed by Special Education Cooperative Region - not sure which region you are in check out this map, find your county and the corresponding co-op!

Support Group Leaders are a great source of information and to learn more about the resources and services available in your community.

 

Aware that an even greater network of support was needed for families and individuals with autism, the KATC developed the Family Network: Families Supporting Families.  The first step of this initiative was to bolster the skills of individuals who were interested in serving as a leader in their community and working with families and policy makers as an advocate for individuals with autism.  To do that, the KATC partnered with the Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD) to present a series of trainings based on the curriculum the CDD uses with their L.E.A.D. Parents Program.

 

The first cohort completed the intensive two day training in May 2013.   These 16 individuals traveled near and far from 10 counties to embark on the journey to become a Family Leader!  They are now participating in a series of enrichment sessions and will graduate in the fall and will be pinned Family Leaders!!!!  Upon completion of the trainings, the Family Leaders will have a broad knowledge base from Special Education Law and How to be an Effective Advocate to Funding Sources and Listening and Asking Clarifying Questions. They will be an additional source of support and advocacy for families throughout the state!

 

For more information on KATC’s Family Network: Families Supporting Families and the Family Leader trainings, please contact Heidi Cooley-Cook 502-852-6401.

 

Several agencies provide support and resources to individuals and families of individuals with autism and other disabilities.  Please take a moment to visit their websites and check out all that they have to offer!  Feel free to contact them if you have any questions.  Together we can improve the quality of life for those affected by ASD!

 

AGENCIES:

KY-SPIN (Kentucky Special Parent Involvement Network), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a statewide mission to empower and support individuals with disabilities and their families to effectively advocate for and access needed information, resources and support networks in order to enhance the quality of their lives.

SPIN is the statewide Parent Training and Information (PTI) center that provides training, information and support to people with all types of disabilities, their parents and families, and professionals birth thru 26 years old. SPIN-PTI is funded by the U.S. Dept. of Education.

In partnership with KDE (Kentucky Department of Education), SPIN assist schools and communities in providing educational information and training opportunities to parents of children with disabilities consistent with the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).

Through a “Families Training Families” model of training, consultants throughout the state conduct community workshops, provide information and support to families of children with all types of disabilities on the issues of laws, rights, listening and communication skills, and understanding their child’s disabilities. There is no fee for SPIN services. Resource materials and referral services are also available. Through our 800 number we assist families through one on one consultation stepping through the process of accessing services for their child.

KY-SPIN, Inc. 
10301-B Deering Rd.
Louisville, KY 40272
Toll Free: 1-800-525-7746 Phone: (502)937-6894 
Fax: (502) 937-6464 E-mail: spininc@kyspin.com
Website: www.kyspin.com

 

 

Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, Inc. (KPFC) is a statewide, non-profit organization developed to assist and to provide a voice for families that have children with behavioral health challenges. Examples of behavioral health disorders include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Reactive Attachment Disorder, and many more. KPFC’s vision is that all families raising youth and children affected by behavioral health challenges will achieve their fullest potential. KPFC’s mission is to empower families affected by behavioral health challenges to initiate personal and systems change. KPFC believes all families affected by these challenges deserve responsive systems providing services that are:

  • Family-driven and youth guided
  • Culturally and linguistically sensitive
  • Readily available and understandable
  • Valued, embraced, and modeled by collaboration and
  • Utilize the wraparound model

Family-driven means families have a primary decision making role in the care of their own children as well as the policies and procedures governing care for all children in their community, state and nation. Youth-guided parallels this principle by asserting that youth should also be involved at all levels of the system. A family-driven and youth-guided system provides an environment that supports family involvement and opportunities to connect with other families and youth as well as opportunities to develop leadership skills. Families and youth are involved in treatment, planning, and evaluation for their family. They are also utilized as policy makers and advocates.

In creating a “family-driven and youth-guided” system of care, KPFC along with many partners are working to create an infrastructure that invites youth and parents across the state to “Join the Movement.” The Kentucky Family and Youth Movement Steering Committee is working to increasingly empower youth with behavioral health challenges and their families through leadership development and advocacy skills. Furthermore, the principle of this movement focuses on the benefits of family peer-to-peer and youth peer-to-peer involvement. Peer-to-peer involvement gives hope, fosters support and allows for increased opportunities for our youth and families.  As the movement grows and strengthens, Kentucky’s youth and parent voice will be a tipping-point for positive, long-term change.

KPFC works to strengthen the family and youth movement by providing support, education, and advocacy to parents, youth, and professionals through activities such as trainings, a quarterly newsletter, website, parent resource line, and providing a parent and youth voice at state-level policy making committees. KPFC holds the Kentucky Family Leadership Academy two to three times a year. This free training focuses on helping parents and youth learn how to use their voices for making change occur for themselves and their communities. The Leadership Academy strengthens leadership skills and helps parents and youth to become more comfortable sharing their story. KPFC also holds a training once a year for parents and caregivers who desire to become Kentucky Family Peer Support Specialist. In addition to this, KPFC offers trainings throughout the year on a variety of topics such as Educational Advocacy, Launching Your Transition-Age Youth/Young Adult, Parenting or Teaching a Child with Bipolar, Suicide Prevention, Partnering with Parents, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and many more. Additionally, KPFC hosts conferences each year for families and youth including the annual Youth/Parent Conference and the Early Childhood Family Conference. If you would like to learn more about how KPFC provides a united voice dedicated to improving services for children in Kentucky with behavioral health challenges or if you would like to become involved in the parent and youth movement, please visit KPFC’s website at www.kypartnership.org or call (800)369-0533.

 

 

Heidi Cooley-Cook is a Family Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center where she provides direct training and technical assistance to families.

 

KY Autism Training Center Summer 2013 Newsletter August 2013

Heidi Cooley-Cook is a Family Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center where she provides direct training and technical assistance to families.

Stage One Sensory Friendly Stage Performance

Join StageOne Family Theatre this October for their first ever Sensory Friendly Performance. StageOne will partner with The Kentucky Center to offer the state’s first ever Sensory Friendly Performance of The House at Pooh Corner, October 12 at 11 am in the state of the art Bomhard Theater inside The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.

Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a safe and nurturing environment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other individuals with sensory sensitivities. Accommodations for this performance include keeping the theatre lights dimmed, providing extra space between patrons, freedom to vocalize and move/switch seats, and allowing patrons to exit and enter during the performance. While this performance has a fluid atmosphere, it is open to the general public and can be a learning opportunity regarding the typical theatre experience. For more information, please click HERE.

Complete List of Accommodations for Sensory Friendly Performance

  • Materials to prepare you  for visiting the theater will be available prior to the show at the StageOne website (www.stageone.org ) and Kentucky Center website (www.kentuckycenter.org) by September 1st
  • Theater will not be filled to capacity, therefore audience members  can sit where they like; StageOne is always general admission.
  • Patrons will be allowed to move freely through the aisles
  • Individuals are free to vocalize during the performance
  • House Lights will remain on at low level during performance
  • To give warning to the audience, sudden loud sounds or startling moments will be signaled in advance
  • Entering and exiting the theatre will be allowed throughout the performance
  • A "quiet room" at the back of the theater provides continued viewing away from the audience
  • Additional space with remote video viewing will be available
  • Trained Kentucky Center volunteers on hand to assist with patron needs and requests

 

KY Autism Training Center Summer 2013 Newsletter August 2013

School Training Site Initiative Begins this Fall with 25 Schools Across the State

By Laura Ferguson, M.Ed., BCBA

The KY Autism Training Center (KATC) works in collaboration with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) eleven Special Educational Cooperatives at all levels of operation; cooperatives have the capacity to create and sustain change at the local level, such collaboration is essential to develop and sustain a network of professional development, training, and coaching to educators.

Building upon this relationship, KATC initiated a collaborative workgroup in 2008 to develop a proposal and was subsequently awarded a partnership with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDCA), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs is a multi-university program that began on July 1, 2007. The center is located at three universities: The University of North Carolina, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of California.

This partnership formed the training site initiative. The training site initiative involved schools and districts applying to get training, and technical assistance on the 24 evidence based practices. A KATC field trainer and a consultant at the cooperative visit the classroom monthly. During these visits the consultants work with the staff on how to provide best practices for students on the autism spectrum. The training site process involves working with teachers for the entire school year. The initiative takes place in all areas of the state during different school years.

We are entering our fifth year of developing training sites for individuals with autism. The KATC is excited that when we opened up applications for the entire state we received applications from all cooperative areas. This year we are working with all age ranges and we are in 25 schools across the state. The schools are located in the following counties: Henry, Knott, Pike, Scott, Trigg, Hopkins, Christian, Warren, Ohio, Pulaski, Carter, Bracken, Kenton, Meade, and Hardin.  We are excited to continue the process and work with teachers to implement the 24 evidence based practices.

 

Laura Ferguson is a certified behavior analyst and a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.

Back to School -- Get Off to a Great Start

By Laura Ferguson, M.Ed., BCBA

 

School time is upon us once again and it is time to get our children back on schedule. No more late nights and unstructured days. As we get closer to August and the start of school we think about the changes we will have to make and how difficult this will be for a child on the autism spectrum.

When we think about the differences between the summer days and the start of school, we realize just how unstructured our summer days have been. No scheduled times to eat, no limited time on computers or games, and we definitely were not made to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. This transition scared all of us as children and it certainly scared our parents. For parents of children on the autism spectrum we think of how just little changes to schedules and routines throw them off and increase inappropriate behaviors.  What can parents do to better prepare their students on the spectrum?

One way we can help individuals on the spectrum adjust to upcoming changes is to prepare them for these changes in advance. A great way to do this is by using visual supports.

Visual supports are often used in classrooms to support individuals on the autism spectrum. We see these supports in the form of schedules, signs, labels, written directions and pictures. Since these supports are effective in the classroom, it may be beneficial to begin to use these in the home as well. A schedule can help plan parts of the day, the full day, or individual activities during the day. A schedule can be put together using pictures or words outlining activities and events throughout the day. This can help the child generalize following routines across environments, as well as helping them remain on task and complete tasks. When using the schedule parents can change out activities and projects to help the child increase time on task. This will help the student when transitioning back into the classroom.

Since individuals on the spectrum often have limited opportunities to practice behaviors, video modeling is another tool that parents can put in place. Video modeling involves videotaping the target child engaging in identified behaviors and then having them watch the video and model what they have seen. This can be used to help students exhibit appropriate behaviors when at school, or transitioning to school. For example, you can video the child getting on the backpack, taking out their folder, etc. or video the child walking in line. These behaviors will need to be taught, so teaching these skills in advance will be beneficial for the transition to school.

The beginning of the school year is stressful for everyone, so we need to start teaching target behaviors throughout the summer in order to prepare the children for the upcoming year.

Have a great school year everyone!!

 

Laura Ferguson is a certified behavior analyst and a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.

 

 

KY Autism Training Center Summer 2013 Newsletter August 2013

Ideas for Autism Awareness Year Round

By Julie Stewart, M.Ed.

 

As an agency directly focused on supporting the autism community, we are overfilled with joy for dedication of individuals hosting so many activities that occur for Autism Awareness month every April.  Information being spread across the Commonwealth will help to change the lives of individuals with autism and their families; however,  we know these individuals and families deserve more than an awareness month.

 

“Autism is more than April” kept running through my mind throughout the month and inspired me to research awareness activities to suggest.  These activities and probably any autism awareness activities can be implemented across the year, because truly autism awareness is more than a month.

 

1) Using fundraising ideas for awareness activities:

The Autism Awareness Club at Milburn High School in Milburn, NJ has sponsored different activities to both raise awareness and also to raise money for Autism Speaks.  They have held a dance-a-thon collaboratively with the high school dance club, sold blue candy canes during December, and raffled for a basket of Milburn business gift certificates during their school’s annual MHS Battle of the Classes.  During the month of April they raffled off the principal’ parking space for a week, held a Wear Blue to School Day” and read facts about autism each morning during the high school’s daily announcements.

 

How could you translate some of their activities and ideas into your promotion of autism awareness?  Just holding the dance-a-thon outside of April would increase awareness across the year.  Consider donating funds raised to a local school or community program.

 

2) Community Activities:

A popular activity for increasing awareness is to provide a promotion at local restaurants or businesses.  For example, providing a certain percentage off at a restaurant for patrons on a specific day and then providing information for folks visiting the restaurant on that day.  Or simply partnering with a restaurant and having an awareness night without it being advertised would spread the word to random individuals potentially outside of the autism community.

 

Some other ideas include:

  • Hosting a sensory friendly movie, bowling, or roller skating night.
  • Reaching out to your local video store and encouraging them to create a movie display of a movie that features a character who has autism
  • Partnering with a bowling alley, bounce house, etc. to set-up a booth with information
  • Hosting a book discussion for various age group (i.e., young children, young adult literature, adults)
  • “Autismusical” was an event held in Quezon City, Philippines that showcased the talents of individuals’ with autism on stage at a local, popular mall
  • Lancaster Public Library in Lancaster, PA had a program that pairs teen volunteers with children with autism ages five to ten in their program called “Artism”.  These pairs meet twice a month and practice social skills while working on art projects.  Although not appropriate ages for peer interaction, this program provides a nice platform for teaching lots of great skills.
  • The firefighters in Springfield, NJ now wear a modified “On-Duty” t-shirt that includes the Autism Speaks logo.  They are hoping that this change will increase the public to ask questions and therefore learn more about autism.  Also the firefighters have completed the Autism Awareness and Interaction Training Program offered by Prevent-Educate.org to increase their understanding and sensitivity to better support individuals with autism during emergency situations.

 

In your community what can you do throughout the year to help promote awareness and acceptance of individuals with autism? It may be helpful to plot out across the year what activities you are going to do.

3) General Suggestions:

  • Contact your local representatives and have them issue a proclamation supporting autism awareness efforts by the town/city
  • Create some visual supports for a student, teacher, or family who needs them, wrap them up as a present, and give them to the deserving person/persons saying “Happy Autism Awareness”
  • Send an “Autism Awareness e-card from 123greetings.com or bluemountain.com by searching “autism”
  • Have a presence as part of a local or regional festival whenever they occur (i.e., information booth, walk in parade, hand out information, wear awareness paraphernalia)
  • Contact your state, and federal representatives asking them to “Vote 4 Autism” (national advocacy campaign orchestrated by the AutismSociety)
  • Partner with public radio to have a radio series of interviews with individuals with ASD, professionals who work with individuals, and families of individuals with ASD
  • Encourage your public library to expand their resources concerning ASD by providing them with a list of potential books or journals which to subscribe
  • Provide awareness trainings at public locations such as libraries, churches, non-profits, political clubs, etc.  KATC's website has free resources available to help with awareness trainings including awareness brochures, family guide and webinar training videos.

 

“Autism is more than April” should be the theme for you in your professional or personal relationship with individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  These ideas are just that, ideas.  Your creativity makes it “sky is the limit” for what you do and how you promote autism awareness and more importantly acceptance in your community throughout the year.  As you begin to expand your awareness activities beyond April please be sure to contact us at the KATC so we can highlight the work you are doing to promote and support the autism community of Kentucky.

 

Julie Stewart is a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.

KY Autism Training Center Spring 2013 Newsletter May 2013

How to Choose a Summer Camp?

By Heidi Cooley-Cook

 

Summer break is quickly approaching.  Some children are waiting anxiously for the time when they can play outside all day, wake up late, or take a summer vacation. Others are anxious just thinking about leaving school, changing teachers, not having the same routine, and wondering what the summer will hold.

Many parents are savoring these last few days of school and scrambling to find appropriate activities and settings for their child during the break.   Finding a suitable summer camp for a child with special needs including autism can be a daunting task.  Below you will find a few questions to keep in mind when researching summer camps for your child.  You’ll also find the list of summer camps compiled by Diane Cowne, a KATC Board Member.

 

Here are a few questions to ask yourself, your child, and the camp staff:

 

Ideals:

What are my expectations for the summer camp my child attends - academic, social, activities, etc. or a combination?

What does my child want to get out of the camp?  Are there specific activities that he/she really wants to do?  Are there certain activities that would be ‘deal breakers’?

Will there be same age peers present to encourage socialization?

Will my child know someone (adult or child) present at the camp?

 

Logistics:

Where is the camp located? Is it a day or overnight camp?

How will my child get to and from camp each day?

If the camp is half day do they offer aftercare so that it better fits with my work schedule?

Are there other families you know who will be sending their child to the same camp?  If so, is carpooling an option?

How much is the camp - are there scholarships available to offset the cost?

 

Care:

Does the camp have the resources to meet the needs of my child?

If I feel that my child needs additional support (beyond what is available from the camp) - would the camp allow someone to attend the camp with my child (parent, caregiver, interventionist)?

Is the camp comfortable in using my child’s communication system on a consistent basis?

Will my child be paired with the same staff each day he/she attends camp?

If you are using a behavior plan at home, school, and/or community - will the camp also implement it?

What type of experience does the staff have with individuals with special needs or autism?

 

Hopefully you will find the perfect fit for your child where they will learn new skills, make new friends, try new things, and have an all around great time!

 

 

Heidi Cooley-Cook is a Family Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center where she provides direct training and technical assistance to families.

KY Autism Training Center Spring 2013 Newsletter May 2013

Developing Inclusive Classrooms

By Laura Ferguson, M.Ed., BCBA

 

If you are a teacher in any school or classroom you will have individuals in your classroom that will have unique learning needs. It is important that if we are going to fully include everyone we have to make sure that all students in the class are accepting of each other. Here are some tips to encourage all students to be accepting of each other.

 

Lead by example. Teachers have the opportunity to lead by example throughout the school day. If you treat students with special needs differently then the students will follow your lead. Your actions and words will tell your child how to respond to his classmates, so treat them how you would like your students to treat them.

 

  • Point out strengths, not weaknesses. Teach every student that they have unique strengths and weaknesses. Encourage all students to seek strengths in his classmates and to respect each person for who he is.
  • Encourage all students to find items they have in common. Regardless of differences, it's important to encourage children to look for things that they can relate to in others. When they find preferences and activities that they have in common it will strengthen interactions among all students.
  • Teach them that it is fine to ask questions. When students do not fully understand situations or activities adults encourage them to ask questions, the same should be taught with understanding the disabilities of their peers. If students are unaware of certain behaviors their classmate demonstrates we should encourage them to ask questions in a respectful manner. If they better understand their classmate the more they will be respectful of behaviors or differences.

 

Learn about the disability

Reading or learning about a disability is a great way to further understand a student’s experiences. It may also help with any questions other students in the classroom may have. Here are some ways to learn about specific disabilities.

 

  • Read picture books with younger children and discuss them afterward. For older children you can use chapter books with characters that have special needs.
  • Watch programs or videos that show positive portrayals of children with disabilities.
  • Visit Websites that have explanations and activities can help students understand different disabilities.

 

Check out these helpful sites:

http://www.noblenet.org/specials/national-autism-awareness-month/

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-10553

 

 

Laura Ferguson is a certified behavior analyst and a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.

KY Autism Training Center Spring 2013 Newsletter May 2013

School Spotlight: Northern Elementary

By Laura Ferguson, M.Ed., BCBA

 

Northern Elementary EBP2During the 2008-2009 school year, the training site project began in Jefferson County Schools under the guidance and partnership with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum.  The following year the KATC began to expand the project into other areas of the state.  This year the KATC began working in three special education cooperative regions; this includes the Southeast/South central Educational Cooperative (SE/SC). Our work in the classroom involves monthly visits to support the local educational team in planning, implementing, and evaluating instruction. We work with the school team to select objectives and instructional plans for specified students as well as classrooms. Through the project our goal is to increase the school’s capacity for serving children with autism spectrum disorders by supporting their implementation of research-based strategies.

 

Northern Elementary EBP2This year I have had the privilege of working in Northern Elementary in Somerset. The classroom teacher is Elizabeth Wolsey and her paraprofessional is Heather Wells. From the beginning of the year it has been a great opportunity to work with both professionals in the room. The classroom environment displayed the use of evidence- based practices. The classroom implemented the use of visual supports, which included individual schedules for each student, reinforcement and communication systems. The staffs eagerness to work with the project and target specified tasks for each student, was evident from day one of the project. Both individual students and overall classroom goals, because of the enthusiasm of both Elizabeth and Heather, have been achieved.

 

 Northern ElementaryThe teacher Elizabeth Wolsey is involved in many programs to increase her knowledge base in the area of autism and instruction. One of the programs she is involved in is SPLASH. SPLASH is part of an overall Low Incidence Initiative that focuses on supporting new teachers of students with moderate to severe disabilities.  The mission of SPLASH is to provide professional development that promotes high quality instruction and supports for students with moderate and severe cognitive disabilities.  SPLASH supports building the capacity of Kentucky’s teachers to increase academic achievement for students with low incidence disabilities and to increase and retain the number of special education teachers with MSD certification across the Commonwealth. She also attends the autism cadre in Pulaski County. The autism cadre was developed to increase teacher knowledge of evidence- based practices for individuals with autism.

 

I look forward to working with both Elizabeth and Heather and their wonderful students for the remainder of the school year. I am sure with their knowledge and drive their students will reach many accomplishments.

 

Laura Ferguson is a certified behavior analyst and a Field Training Coordinator for the KY Autism Training Center. She provides direct training and technical assistance to education staff, social and community personnel, counselors, job coaches and families.


KY Autism Training Center Winter 2013 Newsletter February 2013