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.