Archived News: What's New
August 2014

Cohort 2 Off to a Productive Start!

Since the six school divisions were selected earlier this year, our Technical Assistance and Training Associates have been busy working in each division completing baseline assessments to prepare for our recent Summer Academy. The Summer Academy for Cohort 2 consisted of two days, packed with intensive, division focused team facilitation. During this time, teams met in Richmond to review baseline data, develop vision, mission, and beliefs that address the unique aspects of the division, and conducted a gap analyses to ensure SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals.

Each division will have four to five goals in each of the following topic areas: Classroom Content, Classroom Evidence Based Practice, Policy and Procedure, and Division Coaching. While the goal areas are the same, the specific goals, initiatives, and action plans will vary by division.

Over this summer, school division Autism Service Improvement Teams (ASITs) have been meeting to continue their rigorous work on their goals, develop a list of training needs for their teams, and outline their plans for the upcoming year. Additionally, many ASITs have conducted meetings with division administrators to share their vision, mission, and beliefs, and to being to develop a partnership and collaboration to ultimately improve educational services for their students with Autism.

We would like to congratulate our Cohort 2 divisions (Alexandria City, Bedford, Chesapeake City, Franklin, Spotsylvania, and Warren) for their focused work at the Summer Academy and their “Hit the Ground Running” attitude that they have demonstrated over the spring and summer. We look forward to the 2014-2015 school year!


New Webcast Schedule Released

Our upcoming schedule of live webcasts was just released!

Progressing Through Transition explores the transitions of middle school, high school and college through the eyes of 19-year-old Justin George. Justin is a young man with autism spectrum disorder. He speaks of the unique challenges and opportunities he has faced.

In Using the Autism Program Environment Rating Scale in VCU ACE Model Classrooms, Dr. Carol Schall presents the APERS pre and posttest data to demonstrate the change that occurred in classrooms as a result of its use. In addition, she discusses the APERS tool and how it can be useful to other divisions wishing to use it as a standard program evaluation tool.

Lori Ernsperger, Ph.D. delves into the often ignored topic of girls with autism in her webcast series, Girls Under the Umbrella of ASD. In her first webcast, Diagnosis and Gender Differences, Ernsperger explores why girls are often undiagnosed or fail to receive appropriate services upon diagnosis. In her second webcast, Interventions and Practical Strategies Across the Life Span, she provides effective interventions and strategies for addressing specific issues which include friendship making, social communication skills, hygiene, personal safety, and self-determination skills.

Elizabeth Getzel provides the results of a study on the career planning experiences and overall college experiences of students on the Autism Spectrum in her webcast, In Their Own Words: The Career Planning Experiences of College Students with ASD.

These are just some of the upcoming webcasts. Check them all out on our Upcoming Webcasts page.