February 2022 Montana Autism Education Project Compass Update

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Montana Autism Education Project text with Montana OPI logo

January 28, 2022

LAMP training   (virtual training) 

February 10th, 2022.   8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.     

Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) is an augmentative alternative communication approach designed to give non-verbal students a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves through a speech generating device. 

This course will cover the components of LAMP: readiness to learn, engaging the learner through joint engagement, and learning language through a unique and consistent motor plan paired with an auditory signal and a natural consequence. Discussion will include how this approach addresses the core language deficits of autism, device features that are beneficial to teaching language, and how to use those features to implement LAMP components. Videos will be used to illustrate the treatment components. (LAMP web page)

You can register for a LAMP training here


Challenging Behaviors – How to Prevent, Reduce and Replace (In-person training)

Bozeman February 15, 2022     8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Using case studies and examples from your setting we begin the workshop highlighting the key concepts of applied behavior analysis, helping you to understand why challenging behaviors occur. We discuss the importance of designing supportive learning environments based upon the Pyramid Approach to Education® framework. 

The next step in the workshop is to define behaviors which require intervention and establish the function of these behaviors. These skills are put into practice using our own case studies and furthermore applying this to your own learners. The second half of the workshop addresses strategies which can be used proactively and reactively to decrease the challenging behaviors which you see in your setting. As we investigate each strategy to replace or reduce a behavior you will have the opportunity to assess if that strategy will be suitable for your learner and identify the next steps to take when you return to your setting. The workshop concludes by demonstrating how you and your team can evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of your behavior plans as you put your new strategies into practice. (full description)          

Register here. 


ADOS Toddler Module Training  (virtual training)

February 17, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The ADOS-2 toddler module may be used on children between the ages of 12 and 30 months of age. This workshop will use a lecture format and video demonstrations to introduce the basic principles of administering and scoring the ADOS-2 toddler module. Attendees must have previously completed training in the administration of the ADOS-2.

Register here.


Social-Emotional Development in Children with Language Delays and Autism Spectrum Disorder  (virtual training)

March 3, 2022   9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.      

Young children with language delays are at risk for persistent developmental and behavioral difficulties. This presentation will focus on the assessment of social-emotional development in children with language delays and autism spectrum disorder as well as the emerging evidence supporting effectiveness of interventions.

Six OPI renewal units will be provided.

Register here.


Teaching Critical Communication Skills   (In-person training)

Bozeman  March 10, 2022     8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

You will learn how to teach critical communication skills that lead to greater independence in the home, work, school and community settings. We review nine specific skills: requesting reinforcers, requesting help, requesting a break, indicating yes and no, waiting, following directions, schedule-following and transitioning. Through lecture, demonstrations, video and participatory activities, you will acquire specific teaching strategies that are relevant for anyone who has limited communication skills, regardless of their communicative modality (e.g., Picture Exchange Communication System [PECS], signing, device use, speech).     (full description)

Register here. 


Assessment Strategies for Autism and Communication in Middle and High School Students            (virtual training)

April 21   1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

May 4      1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

(same content each date)

This virtual training will address: 

  1. breaking down male and female presentation of autism in adolescents;
  2. understanding the impact of previous interventions on current presentation;
  3. assessment strategies that align with the OPI autism criteria;
  4. Does the student have autism, emotional disturbance or both? 
  5. What's next? --what types of interventions are available, why interventions are necessary (poor outlook for job acquisition/retention, post-secondary education and emotional health, etc.)

You can register for this training here.


Social Thinking Recorded Trainings

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project has a limited number of scholarships for Montana public school educators to view on-demand trainings from Social Thinking. These recordings will be available until March 18, 2022. 

No OPI renewal units are available for watching these recorded trainings. ASHA CEUs are available through Social Thinking. 

Only three trainings (total) are available per person. You can find training descriptions here

Please follow the links below to register for up to three Social Thinking trainings.

Social Topics: Social Thinking / Social Emotional Learning

Other Topics: Behavior / Teenagers / Executive Thinking


If you have questions about any of the above trainings, please email Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov


You can always find our upcoming trainings on the OPI Montana Autism Education Project blog under the, “Training” tag.

For more information, contact: 

Doug Doty, Statewide Coordinator, OPI Montana Autism Education Project

Direct replies to this email will not be forwarded or received by Doug.

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The OPI is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, require an alternate format, or have questions concerning accessibility, contact the OPI ADA Coordinator, 406-444-3161, opiada@mt.gov, Relay Service: 711.