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Archived News: What's New
October 2011

Don’t Miss the November ACE Webcast on “Smartphones, iPads and Tablet PCs as Cognitive-Behavioral Aids in Autism”

Dr. Tony Gentry will present information on how Smartphones, PDAs, iPads, and tablet computers can be powerful tools for managing cognitive-behavioral challenges experienced by people with autism on Tuesday, November 8th from 3:30-4:30p.m. He will share how these tools can be easily customized to support just-in-time activity cueing, task-sequencing, wayfinding, communication assistance, and behavioral coaching, among other uses. This presentation will examine consumer platforms, applications, and strategies for implementing individualized cognitive-behavioral suites, providing real life case studies, practical examples, and outcome measures to assure success. Register NOW so you don’t miss this valuable information!! And if you are unable to watch on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 8th, remember all of the webcasts are archived on the ACE website for future viewing!


VDOE and VCU-ACE will Present on Statewide Collaboration Efforts at National Conference in Chicago, October 18, 2011

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Education and VCU-ACE have been invited to present at the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) 74th Annual Conference and Business Meeting. This year’s NASDE Conference, will be held October 15-18, 2011 in Chicago and is focused on “Connectivity in Practice." The mission of the conference, as stated by Bambi Lockman, LL.D., NASDSE President, is to “focus on how WE can develop collaborative partnerships and critical strategies and initiatives to support teachers, administrators and related services providers who serve children with disabilities.” VDOE and VCU-ACE are pleased to present “Connecting to Higher Education for Training and Technical Assistance in Autism: The Virginia Department of Education – Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence Collaboration.”

More information:

NASDSE Conference Information


Tune in to our Webcast on October 11, 2011 as Dr. Oswald Discusses Eligibility

Last month, Donald Oswald, Ph.D. presented an informative webcast “From Diagnosis to Intervention for Individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.” (If you missed it, check out the Archived Webcast!) Tune in on October 11, 2011 at 3:30p.m. as he continues the conversation, addressing the topic of “Eligibility for Special Education Services under the Category of Autism: Key Considerations.“ In this webcast, Dr. Oswald will describe how an educational eligibility differs from a medical diagnosis and will outline how information derived from one evaluation can inform the other. He will provide information on eligibility testing completed in public schools to determine whether a child meets criteria for special education services. The eligibility process, why it is completed, and who should participate in the process will also be explained. With more than 30 years of experience working with children with autism spectrum disorders, Dr. Oswald is the Director of Research and Diagnostics at Commonwealth Autism Service in Richmond, Virginia.

Click here for more information on the Webcast and to register! While you are there, don’t forget to check out our Archived Webcasts and Upcoming Webcasts - all free and open to anyone in the Commonwealth of Virginia!


VCU-ACE Online Courses Continue to be Met with Great Success!

VCU-ACE is working hard to bring information on autism to individuals throughout the Commonwealth through our online courses, “Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders” and “Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.” We are so excited to share this information with families, teachers, paraprofessionals, related service providers, and administrators! The interest and demand for this training has been overwhelming. Our first offering of the Educator’s Coursework filled up within two hours, almost 300 people have participated in the Foundations of ASD series, and over 550 people across the state have enrolled in one or both of the courses! To better meet this expressed need, we have increased the size of the classes and created additional sessions, which still continue to fill quickly.

Thank you to all who have participated for showing your interest in learning more about individuals with ASD and how best to support them! If you haven’t had the chance to join us yet, remember both courses are free to citizens of the Commonwealth. Check out our Online Courses webpage for full course descriptions and upcoming registration dates.


VCU-ACE and Commonwealth Autism Services Provide Critical Training to Administrators on ASD

VCU-ACE and Commonwealth Autism Service (CAS) collaborated to present a workshop on Autism Spectrum Disorders for school administrators in Regions 1 and 8 on September 28, 2011. Adam Dreyfus, ACE Technical Assistance Associate, and Kate Masincup, CAS Behavior Analyst, shared information with 38 representatives from 9 divisions on the increasing prevalence rate of autism spectrum disorders and the need to build statewide capacity to serve students with ASD in public schools using evidence-based practices. Administrators were given a brief introduction to autism and the diverse needs of this population of students. Several examples of necessary components in a strong autism program were provided and explained: organized classroom environments, class and individual schedules, communication tools, motivational systems, and data collection techniques. The importance of identifying and using evidence-based interventions and supports and including families in regular team meetings was also emphasized.


Greensville County Public School Personnel Receive Training on Evidence-Based Practices

VCU-ACE provided a two-day staff training on evidence-based practices in September, as part of their on-going partnership with Greensville County Public Schools. Evidence-based practices are scientifically validated interventions that help students diagnosed with autism succeed academically and socially in our public schools. Administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service providers participated in the 2-day training. This was the initial phase of an extensive capacity-building sequence of trainings and collaborative activities designed to help Greensville County become a model school division for delivering services to students on the autism spectrum. VCU-ACE, in partnership with Commonwealth Autism Service, also facilitated a presentation by Dr. Donald Oswald on early assessment and identification of ASD. Dr. Oswald is a recognized expert in the field of early intervention. He conducted a 2-hour workshop aimed at assisting Greensville County Early Intervention teams in developing robust early detection protocols.

Click here to read more about the collaboration between Greensville County and VCU-ACE.


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