June 3, 2000

Technical Assistance Update

With the promise of warmer weather and summer right around the corner, our cohort two divisions have started to prepare the ground to plant the seeds of change. All of the divisions are in the process of being trained how to administer the Autism Program Environmental Rating Scale (APERS). If you are not familiar with the APERS, it was developed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders and is an environmental rating scale that consists of 11 domains and can be used in both inclusive and self-contained settings.

The new divisions are also participating in a division wide survey that will help identify the priorities, knowledge and skills of the faculty and staff who work with and support the students with autism spectrum disorders within their school division.

Finally, the divisions’ Autism Services Improvement Team will come together for two days in June to review all of the data that has been collected and use it to develop strategic plans to further explore and improve the educational processes.

Register Now for Evidence-Based Practices to Teach Students with ASD Course

Fall will be here before you know it! Register now for the September 15th offering of the Evidence-Based Practices to Teach Students with ASD Course.

This free course provides educators with skills and knowledge to instruct students with ASD in the classroom. Good instruction, appropriate skill selection, and evidence-based practices are all covered in this free online course. A focus of the course is the “foundational five” evidence-based practices. The “foundational five” include: antecedent-based interventions, visual supports, systematic instruction and interventions to promote social and communication skills.

ABA Consortium

VCU-ACE is pleased to announce we have accepted eight students for the ABA Consortium Program. The Consortium is comprised of four cooperating Universities including George Mason University, Lynchburg College, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. These Universities have collaborated to create a unified consortium designed to prepare students to sit for the BCBA examination. The Consortium provides content in Applied Behavior Analysis and offers supervised experience that is consistent with requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Click here for more information about the ABA Consortium.

Communication System Webcast

On July 8th at 3:30 pm, Charlene Wentland, Dawn Hendricks and Selena Layden will be conducting a webcast entitled, “Determining an Effective Communication System for Students with ASD.” This webcast is designed to advance the knowledge and skills of team members in identifying communication goals, implementing communication learning opportunities, and developing a long-term communication system for each child with ASD.

Building effective communication skills is a critical component of the education of all students with ASD. It requires a systematic plan that ensures communication instruction is individualized to fit the short term and long term needs of the student. This involves individualized communication instruction, team collaboration, a system of communication that allows for effective and efficient communication, and implementation of evidence-based strategies and supports.

Please register now to join us for this insightful webcast.

Skill Competencies for Professionals and Direct Support Staff in Virginia Supporting Adolescents and Adults with Autism

The Virginia Autism Council has released the Skill Competencies for Professionals and Direct Support Staff in Virginia Supporting Adolescents and Adults with Autism to guide best practice in supporting individuals with autism across the state. The skill competencies were created to steer personnel development for those individuals who support adolescents and adults with autism and their families in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These competencies address individual needs and program planning for adolescents and adults rather than diagnosis.

The competencies were created for direct support staff and professionals. They are broken down based on the role and experience of the individuals providing service. The Skill Competencies Tracker is provided to monitor growth as you evolve into a more proficient professional or direct support staff. The Tracker can be used by an individual for self-monitoring, by a supervisor to document professional development or by organizers of professional development activities to track training provided to professionals and direct support staff.

Click here to download the Skill Competencies for Professionals and Direct Support Staff in Virginia Supporting Adolescents and Adults with Autism and begin tracking your growth in the field of autism today!

Spotlight on Resources

The Resources section contains a wealth of resources and tools you can use as you further your knowledge of autism. The following categories exist on the website:

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Screening and Diagnosis
Evidence-Based Practices
Early Intervention
Eligibility and the School Aged Child
Adolescence and ASD
Adults with ASD
Technology and ASD
Smartphone Technology and ASD

Click on each link to take you to resources available to you including web links, guides, factsheets, agency information, trainings, videos, and research articles to help you support individuals with ASD.