January 5, 2015


Register Soon for January ADOS-2 Training!

A Level 1 Workshop on the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2 (ADOS-2) will be held in January. The ADOS-2 is an instrument for diagnosing and assessing autism spectrum disorder. ADOS-2 is a semi-structured, standardized assessment of communication, social interaction, play, and restricted and repetitive behaviors. It presents various activities that elicit behaviors directly related to a diagnosis of ASD. By observing and coding these behaviors, you can obtain information that informs diagnosis, treatment planning, and educational placement.

Workshop attendees are typically professionals who will be qualified to use the ADOS-2 in practice - that is, professionals who, prior to the workshop, have education, background and experience in using individually administered test batteries and who have background and experience in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Some examples of clinicians include clinical and school psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, and speech and hearing professionals. In some cases, schools and clinics will send additional staff to a workshop with a view that a better understanding of the instrument will help their teachers, counselors, special educators, or other program staff make better use of reports based on ADOS-2 results.

  • January 26 and 27
  • 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • The Welcome Center in Bedford, Virginia
  • $225 for the training, light refreshments will be provided
  • Space is limited!
  • Participants must have access to an ADOS manual (purchase through WPS for $99)


For more information and to register for this workshop, please visit the VCU-ACE website Live Training page or contact Wendy Kulpa, VCU-ACE Adminstrative Coordinator, at wakulpa@vcu.edu or 855-711-6987.

The New Look of Communities of Learning in Autism

Are you an autism leader within your division? Are you interested in accessing and sharing resources? Would you like to engage in shared problem solving and group brainstorming? Then the Communities of Learning in Autism (CoLA) may be for you! The CoLAs are for:

  • autism specialists
  • instructional specialists
  • master teachers
  • individuals in administrative roles

who provide in-division consultation and support to teachers with caseloads and/or classrooms.


VCU-ACE in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Centers (T/TACs) hosted seven regional CoLA meetings this fall. We were excited to see our number of participants continue to grow! There was rich discussion and sharing around such topics as:
• Social skills programs being implemented successfully with in our public schools
• Teaching social emotional competence in the general education setting
• Specially designed instruction for students with ASD with in a multi-tiered system of supports
• Identifying functions of problem behavior using FACTS Functional Assessment Checklist for Teachers & Staff (or students)

CoLA members now have the option of attending a CoLA meeting in a neighboring region if that meeting is closer or the topic is more relevant! In addition, a Statewide CoLA Schoology site is now active. As a member of the Statewide CoLA Group you will receive invitations to upcoming meetings, alerts when new resources are posted, and notifications when colleagues post to the discussion boards. If you are autism leader in your division and have not taken advantage of all of the resources we offer you can contact your regional CoLA contact:
Regions 1 & 8 - Emily Helmbolt at echelmboldt@vcu.edu
Region 2 – Charlene Wentland at chwentland@vcu.edu
Region 3 – Noel Wollard at woolardn@vcu.edu
Region 4 – Sue Palko at palkosm@vcu.edu
Region 5 – Sue Palko at palkosm@vcu.edu
Region 6 – Cyndi Pitonyak at crpitonyak@vcu.edu
Region 7 – Cyndi Pitonyak at crpitonyak@vcu.edu

Virginia ABA Consortium

In mid-02015, the Virginia ABA Consortium will be accepting applications for the next cohort starting in September 2015! The Virginia ABA Consortium is a collaborative effort between four Universities; George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Lynchburg College, and Old Dominion University. This Consortium offers courses in Applied Behavior Analysis as well as supervised experience designed to prepare participants to apply to sit for the BCBA examination.


The coursework is provided by each of the universities and students are able to attend classes at George Mason University, Lynchburg College, Old Dominion University, or Virginia Commonwealth University. The professor for each course will teach class from any one of the four locations. Courses will be offered using interactive videoconferencing and web conferencing technology so all sites may see, participate, and interact with the professor and fellow students. Students will attend a class each week at one of the four University locations.


Students interested in the program will be in a cohort of students, completing the courses as a group. A new cohort is scheduled to begin during the Fall 2015 semester. Courses would be taken across six total semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer, Fall, Spring, Summer). Students with master’s degrees in Education, Psychology, or Behavior Analysis will be given preference for admission.


You must apply and be admitted to the Virginia ABA Consortium to participate. Applications will be accepted using rolling admission but preference will be given to individuals who apply prior to April 1.
For more information on the Virginia ABA Consortium, please visit our website.

Cool Tools for School Success

School success depends on a student’s ability to plan, organize and prioritize tasks, materials, and information; separate main ideas from details; think flexibly; memorize content; and monitor progress toward completing tasks. This webcast will introduce strategies using low tech to high tech tools for developing these executive functioning skills for students on the autism spectrum. This webcast, entitled Cool Tools for School Success will air on January 13 at 3:30 pm. Register now to be a part of this webcast, our upcoming webcast series or view archived webcasts.

Verbal Behavior-Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) Seminars

Three new seminars have been released on verbal behavior and the VB-MAPP assessment. The Verbal Behavior-Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is an assessment and skill-training tool based on the analysis of verbal behavior. The VB-MAPP assesses skills within a number of areas including mand (request), tact (label), listener responding (receptive language), intraverbal (conversational skills), and echoic skills.

  • Part I: An overview of verbal behavior. The presenters define each verbal operant and the function of each verbal operant.
  • Part II: An overview and the purpose of the VB-MAPP. This is followed by a case example showing how the VB-MAPP is used with a student with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Part III: A case study of a student with autism spectrum disorder is provided. The presenters review the three main components of the VB-MAPP and demonstrate how to interpret results from each component. Along with interpreting assessment results, the presenters provide considerations for goal development and the assessment tool itself.


IMPORTANT: In order to fully benefit from these seminars, you must have a VB-MAPP protocol and manual. VCU-ACE does not provide these materials. To purchase these items, visit: www.avbpress.com The VB-MAPP was designed by Dr. Mark Sundberg and Associates. The seminars offered through VCU-ACE are not intended to train on implementing the VB-MAPP assessment and are not affiliated with Dr. Sundberg.