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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Definition: A child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a child with a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal social communication and social interaction, generally evidenced by the age of three. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental changes or changes in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

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ASD Office Hours

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ASD & COVID Resources

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COVID Resources


What's New

ASD Literacy Institute

The CDE Autism Team will be hosting the Tier 1 & Tier 2 Literacy Trainings during the 2022-2023 school year.

2022-2023 ASD Educational Identification Training

The CDE Autism Team is providing three opportunities for certified school professionals involved in assessment for the educational identification of ASD. The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD.

Learn More about the Educational Identification Training

Communication Toolkit Training

Learn more about the Communication Toolkit training.

FAQs for Educational Identification of ASD in Young Learners

FAQ's for Educational Identification of ASD in Young Learners (PDF)

BCBA Conversations

The BCBA Conversations are back for the 22-23 school year. Kate Loving, BCBA & CDE Autism Specialist, will be hosting monthly gatherings of other BCBAs to collaborate, problem solve and share resources. Learn about the BCBA Conversations.

Support - Autism Education Network

The Autism Education Network is designed to provide school teams support, training, and resources to guide services for students with autism. Below are potential offerings autism network team members may provide based on the request. The level of support provided will be based on AU/school team needs as well as autism team availability.

Training (Virtual or In-Person):

The CDE autism team can create targeted, individualized trainings for an AU/school team based on current needs. These trainings can be done virtually or in-person (pending COVID guidelines), and can cover an array of topics related to autism. Trainings can be anywhere from two hours to one full day. The team does not offer individualized versions of currently offered CDE trainings (see training section below).

Field Support:

Field support is intended to offer consultation/coaching services and allows the CDE autism consultants to partner with AU/school teams to address systemic or long-standing concerns. This service supports implementation of evidence-based practices within the school setting. The consultant will work with the team to understand current needs, and then establish goals and a subsequent action plan. This plan may include up to six virtual or in-person visits (depending on need and COVID guidelines).

TeleSchool:

The CDE autism team partners with Children’s Hospital Colorado to offer support in completing functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and developing behavior intervention plans (BIPs) via virtual coaching sessions. This service is designed for teams looking to expand their skills in addressing challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, self-harm, property destruction) and can commit to recurring weekly or biweekly sessions for approximately one to two months. These sessions involve discussions, coaching, and practice implementing various forms of FBA/BIP and analyzing data. This service is recommended for teams addressing unique and intensive behaviors (e.g., considering alternative placement, behaviors that are not responding to intervention over time, behaviors that have injured staff or other students).

Resource Recommendation:

For teams looking to expand knowledge and in need of quick, potentially asynchronous learning opportunities, the CDE autism team can offer recommendations of existing resources to review. Consultants can provide individualized suggestions of webinars, modules, currently offered CDE trainings, and other related resources. To review options, please visit the webinar page to see all archived webinars, or the training section to see currently offered CDE autism team trainings.

Flyer - Network Request (PDF)

Network Request

When completing the field request, you will be prompted to describe the needs of your program and how they relate to Colorado’s Autism Quality Indicators

Quality Indicators

​Questions about the Colorado Autism Education Network? Please contact Brooke Carson (see Specialist Contacts section below) with questions about the Autism Education Network.


Training

Virtual Events 

ASD Educational Identification Training

This distance learning opportunity will be presented over four days, in three-hour segments. The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD. Participants will learn how to build a body of evidence to support the identification of ASD (determining eligibility) in an educational setting (without using the ADOS).

View/Print
Ed ID Flyer (PDF)

Details

  • Registration is limited and will close two weeks prior to the start date. If registration is at capacity a wait list will be opened.
  • Who should attend: certified school professionals involved in assessment for the educational identification of ASD, including school psychologists, social workers, speech/language pathologists, special education teachers, occupational therapists, district administrators, and other certified staff who are part of the evaluation team. This training is not open to paraeducators.
  • Attending all four sessions live is highly encouraged. The training will be recorded, but participants MUST attend at least three sessions LIVE. There will be no exceptions.

Round 1 Training Dates & Times

  • Friday, September 9, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Friday, September 16, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Friday, September 23, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Friday, September 30, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Round 1 is currently full. A waitlist has been started.

Round 2 Training Dates & Times

  • Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 7, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 14, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 30, 2022, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Round 2 is currently full. A waitlist has been started. 

Round 3 Training Dates & Times

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

CDE Certificate

Participants must complete all four virtual sessions to receive a certificate of attendance (12 CDE hours). Partial credit will not be given.

Registration

 

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online Training Opportunity

This RBT training is currently being offered two times a year,  July- December, and January -June. Applications will be open the month prior to the next session, in June and December.  These training events have a limit of 100 applicants per session. Please be advised that the course fills up quickly and we are unable to run a waitlist.  We are also unable to admit new attendees once a session has started.

This course is available to Colorado residents that currently work in a school district, or Administrative Unit (AU) as well as caregivers of students with Autism.

This 40+ hour readiness training is presented in a virtual, self-directed online format that provides content on evidence-based behavior techniques and strategies. Participants who might be interested include School psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators, support staff, and parents.

This training program is based on the Registered Behavior Technician 2nd Edition Task List and is designed to meet the training requirement for the RBT credential. This program does NOT include the supervision and exam portions of the requirements. The program is offered independent of the BACB. For a complete list of requirements for the RBT credential, visit the BACB website (https://www.bacb.com/rbt/​)

Instructional Strategies Course:

If you are not planning to attain the full RBT credential through the BACB, you might be interested in this free online course.  The content is the same, but the RBT certification information has been removed (e.g., ethics, how to write reports, etc).  The Instructional Strategies course is 21 hours vs. the 40 hours.

If you are participating strictly for professional development, you may enroll yourself in the Instructional Strategies course at any time and you have unlimited access to the content.  You can work at your own pace and the books are not required.   

Access the Instructional Strategies Training

About the Instructional Strategies Training:

●      You do NOT have to apply for this course and can create an account at the link below and begin taking modules at any time.

●      There is no timeline for completing the course. You can complete content whenever is convenient for you.

●      The course is completely free.

●      You will receive a certificate of completion for 7-8 contact hours.

●      This course does NOT meet BACB requirements for the 40-hour RBT training.

Both of these courses are  developed and instructed by TASN Instructors:

Peggy VonFeldt, BCBA; Pam Scharping, BCBA; Shana Kaplan, BCBA 

Colorado Department of Education Facilitator:

Cora Nash CDE Autism Team
nash_c@cde.state.co.us 

Face-to-Face Trainings

Communication Toolkit

This one-day training is for team members working directly with students with autism. The Communication Toolkit training is designed to:

  • Discuss communication in children with ASD (e.g., forms, functions, modalities, behavior as it relates to communication, tools)
  • Help participants develop a rationale/framework and plan around “where to start “when developing communication systems for students with all levels including coaching communication partners for success
  • Give participants a variety of interventions to support students with ASD in developing a functional communication system
  • Follow up with participants through virtual coaching (1-hour requirement within 6-8 weeks of the one-day training completion)

View/Print
Toolkit Flyer (PDF)

CDE Certificate

  • 6-hour certificate – attend the full day in person
  • 8-hour certificate - attend the full day in-person PLUS, follow-up ZOOM

Dates & Location

January 31, 2023 - Grand Junction (Round 1) - Round 1 is full a waitlist has been started. 

October 28, 2022 - Denver metro area, location to be determined. (Round 2) - Round 2 is full a waitlist has been started. 

December 12, 2022 - Northeast Colorado, Sterling Area (in the town Illif, CO) (Round 3)

Registration

Register for 1 session only

Grand Junction
Waitlist - Round 1

The waitlist for the Grand Junction Training will close on January 17, 2023, or when the training is full.

Northeast Region
Registration - Round 3

Round 3 registration will close on November 28, 2022, or when the course is full.


2022-2023 Autism Spectrum Disorder Literacy Institute, Tier 1 & 2

Literacy Institute, Tier 1

This statewide institute will be conducted by nationally recognized experts on literacy and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Dr. Christi Carnahan and Dr. Pam Williamson. The institute's content will focus on a balanced approach to literacy including instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. Each aspect of literacy will be linked to the unique cognitive, social, and communication issues inherent in ASD. Assessment strategies will include an overall estimation of the student's literacy abilities from interactive to independent, which will help teachers determine what additional literacy assessments may be needed to inform instruction. Measures of student outcomes and teacher outcomes will be incorporated into the project, developed by the presenters.

This training will be conducted in person for two days in the fall of 2022 followed by two days of in-person training in February 2023 (In the event in-person training is no longer available due to county, state, district, or CDE guidelines the in-person training will change to a virtual format).

Target Audience

The institute is ideally designed for teams of certified school members who work directly with students with autism spectrum disorder. Teams can include general and special education teachers, speech, and language pathologists, reading interventionists or other members who design/deliver literacy instruction. Due to limited space and the need to enroll professionals responsible for delivering/designing literacy instruction, this course is not open to paraeducators. All accepted participants will be asked to share implementation information with parents, paraeducators, and administrators. To ensure fair representation across the state, the number of teams accepted to attend from each district/AU may be limited.

Tier 1 Training Dates

  1. November 8, 2022
  2. November 9, 2022
  3. February 14, 2023
  4. February 15, 2023, 8:30 am-3:30 pm

This training will be held in Aurora, CO and broadcast LIVE to remote sites* around the state.

*Remote sites are designated sites around the state where participants will attend in person and the training will be broadcast live. There is NO Zoom/virtual option for this training.

This training will be conducted in person. In the event, in-person training is no longer available due to county, state, district, or CDE guidelines the in-person training will change to a virtual format.

Meals

A working lunch will NOT be provided at the training, however, plenty of time will be given for participants to leave. Please plan accordingly.

Cost

The Exceptional Student Services Unit of the Colorado Department of Education provides the funding for the presenters. Venue space is provided by the hosting school district/AU. There are no costs to the participant.

Application for Registration

Literacy Institute
Tier 1 Registration Link

Registration will close on October 24, 2022, at 5 pm or when capacity is reached.

Event Flyer

View/Print Tier 1 Flyer (PDF)

Literacy Institute, Tier 2

The Autism Literacy Institute Tier 2 training will build on the content discussed in the Tier 1 training. Participants will develop and bring assessment data from their students and develop balanced literacy lessons for those students indicated by the data.

Target Audience

This institute is designed exclusively for individuals or school teams that completed the Tier 1 ASD Literacy Institute (either in-person or virtually). No substitutions will be accepted.

Training Date

  • February 16, 2023

This training will be held in person in Aurora, CO and broadcast LIVE to remote sites* around the state. In the event, in-person training is no longer available due to county, state, district, or CDE guidelines the in-person training will change to a virtual format.

Meals

A working lunch will NOT be provided at the training, however, plenty of time will be given for participants to leave. Please plan accordingly.

Cost

The Exceptional Student Services Unit of the Colorado Department of Education provides the funding for the presenters. Venue space is provided by the hosting school district/AU. There are no costs to the participant.

Application for Registration

Literacy Institute
Tier 2 Registration Link

Registration will close on February 1, 2023, at 5 pm or when capacity is reached.

Event Flyer

View/Print Tier 2 Flyer (PDF)


Orange Arrow Pointing Right  Tri-State Webinar Series

The Tri-State Webinar Series is made available through collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, Kansas TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports, and the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network.

Anyone with an interest in learning about the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and evidence-based practices is invited to attend any of our webinars. This may include administrators, general education teachers, specialist teachers, family members, paraprofessionals, special education professionals, healthcare, and related service providers.

2022-2023 Webinar Series

The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Anxiety

Originally aired September 21, 2021, from 2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. 

Presented by Kari Dunn Baron, MS

Anxiety is often a part of the autistic profile. Anxiety is also the most contagious of all emotions, and anxiety is personal. Because of these issues, it is essential that all educators, when faced with troublesome, disturbing, or confusing behavior have an objective planning system on hand.
The anxiety curve, as introduced by Buron and Curtis, in 2003 provides just such a system. This webinar will discuss the use of the anxiety curve to both address emotional regulation with students, and as a tool for educational planning. Kari will connect the curve to the Incredible 5-Point
Scale, and illustrate how it relates to other common teaching strategies.

This is a follow-up webinar to a presentation Kari provided in spring 2022 about The Incredible 5-Point Scale. To learn about the 5-Point Scale prior to this webinar check out the following resources: Tri-State Webinar: Using the 5-Point Scale and Kari’s Webpage 5pointscale.com.

Watch The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Anxiety Curve

Sex Education for Individuals with ASD

Originally aired October 12, 2022, from 2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. 

Presented by Kate Loving, M.S., BCBA

Understanding and possessing the ability to express one’s sexuality can be viewed as a basic human right, yet for many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this is not a right afforded to them. Traditional relationship development and sex education curriculum are often inaccessible to individuals with ASD, indicating the need for more person-centered programming that takes into account the strengths and needs of each individual.

Watch Sex Education for Individuals with ASD

Small Group Instruction 101

When: October 26, 2022, from 2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. 

Presented by Sasha Long, BCBA, M.A.

In this webinar, Sasha Long, founder, and president of The Autism Helper will discuss why small group instruction is essential for meeting the diverse needs of learners. She will cover what considerations should be made when establishing small group instruction. Participants will also learn key strategies for scheduling group rotations, para training, and the necessary evidence-based practices to utilize while running groups.

Register for Small Group Instruction101

Administrators and ASD Part 1 & 2

When: January 11 & 18, 2023 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

Presented by Annette Wragge, M.Ed., BCBA; Jamie S. Lewis, MAEd. MSORT/L; and Ashley Bauer M.Ed., BCBA

Are you a School Administrator with Questions about Supporting Students with Autism? If so, you won’t want to miss this two-part webinar series.

In this series, we will answer the most frequently asked questions we receive from school administrators including the following. The interviewees for this webinar will provide succinct, practical ways for school administrators to support students, families and staff in the educational journey of students with autism.

Part 1 will answer the frequently asked questions from Administrators including: What is autism and what is the school’s role in the educational identification process? Do most students with autism need a paraeducator working with them? How do we effectively meet the needs of students with autism, and the staff working with them? What are effective strategies for dealing with problem behaviors and diverse sensory needs? What do we do when things aren’t working?

Part 2 will include interviews and tips from current school administrators and will include topics such as how to support staff training needs, how to help staff individualize programming for students with autism, how to be involved and or lead effective IEP meetings, working with outside providers and more. 

Register for Part 1 - January 11, 2023

Register for Part 2 - January 18, 2023

Understanding and Supporting Executive Functioning in Young Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (Part 1)

When: February 8, 2022 from 2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. 

Presented by: Allison Ratto, Ph.D.: Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor

This two-part series will provide an overview of the development of executive functioning (EF) skills in early childhood (ages 3-6 years), as well as an introduction to strategies to support the early development of EF skills in young children with EF challenges.

After attending this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Describe key principles for conducting executive functioning (EF) intervention in the classroom with young children with DD/ASD
  • Understand the core EF skills to facilitate in young children with EF challenges
  • Identify key intervention strategies to use in the classroom to support EF skills (for push-in and pull-out delivery models)

Register for Understanding and Supporting Executive functioning (Part 1)

Understanding and Supporting Executive Functioning in Young Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities (Part 2)

When: February 22, 2022 from 2:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M. 

Presented by Allison Ratto, Ph.D.: Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor & Abigail Brandt, MA, CCC-SLP: Speech-Language Pathologist

This two-part series will provide an overview of the development of executive functioning (EF) skills in early childhood (ages 3-6 years), as well as an introduction to strategies to support the early development of EF skills in young children with EF challenges.

After attending this webinar participants will be able to:

  • Describe the role of executive functioning (EF) in early childhood development, particularly in developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
  • Identify potential signs of EF challenges in young children with DD/ASD
  • Understand the research evidence for how EF relates to long-term functional outcomes in DD/ASD
  • Explain the transdiagnostic role of EF in common childhood mental health issues

Register for Understanding and Supporting Executive functioning (Part 2)

Past Webinars

A full list of the archived Tri-State Webinars can be accessed from CDE's Professional Development Portal. 

Autism Library of
On-Demand Webinars
 

 


Other Training Opportunities

Instructional Strategies

Due to the high demand of the RBT course, the Kansas Technical Assistance Network created a training geared toward para-educators who want further training on behavior and instructional strategies, but are NOT seeking the RBT credential. The content is based on information covered in the RBT course. If you simply want more information around behavior and instructional strategies, but do NOT want/need the RBT credential, please take this course.

About the Instructional Strategies Training:

  • You do NOT have to apply for this course, and can create account at the link below and begin taking modules at any time.
  • There is no timeline for completing the course. You can complete content whenever is convenient for you.
  • The course is completely free.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion for 7-8 contact hours.
  • This course does NOT meet BACB requirements for the 40 hour RBT training.

Access the Instructional Strategies Training

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive ASD Educational Identification

This workshop will provide school professionals with advanced training pertaining to considerations regarding ASD assessment practices when working with traditionally underserved children, including children that are economically vulnerable, racially/ethnically diverse, linguistically diverse, and females.  See flyer for more information and to register.

More information coming soon! 

 


Join the Conversation & Contact Us

ASD Office Hours

Beginning August 12, 2022, Brooke Carson and the ASD team will host office hours during the school year on the following Fridays from 12:30 - 1:30 PM for: ​

  • January 6, 20
  • February 3, 17
  • March 3, 17
  • April 7, 21
  • May 5, 19

School Year ASD
Zoom Meetings

Meeting ID: 816 3285 8576

View other available ESSU office hours

Please note, during the office hours we will not be able to give legal advice OR be able to discuss student-specific issues (e.g. IEP minutes, service delivery).

BCBA Conversations 2022-2023

If you are a BCBA working in a public or facility school across the state of Colorado, you are invited to a monthly gathering of other BCBAs to collaborate, problem solve and share resources. We will gather from 4:00 - 5:00 PM each month to discuss topics relevant to our work, host guest speakers and collaborate with others around the state doing the same work.

Hope to see you there!

Join us from 4:00 - 5:00 PM on the following dates:

  • September 7, 2022
  • October 5, 2022
  • November 2, 2022
  • December 8, 2022

  • January 4, 2023
  • February 1, 2023
  • March 1, 2023
  • April 5, 2023
  • May 4, 2023

Join BCBA Meeting


Join the Colorado Autism Spectrum Disorder Listserv

To join the Autism Spectrum Disorder listserv please contact Brooke Carson or Rhonda Danner. ​


Contact an ASD Specialist

Brooke Carson, Ph.D.
Phone: 720-215-8647
Email Brooke Carson

Rhonda Danner, M.A.
Phone: 720-460-8368
Email Rhonda Danner


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Email

If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at ESSU@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.