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Autism Spectrum Disorder Archive 2015-16

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Ann England, M.A. CCC-SLP-L
Speech-Language Pathologist
Assistant Director Diagnostic Center, Northern California

Ann has 27 years of special education experience and has extensive training and certification in the assessment and teaching of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (e.g., TEACCH, PECS, ADOS, etc.) She participates on a multidisciplinary assessment team at the Diagnostic Center to determine if students have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also provides the all day training “Teaching Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder” to school staff throughout northern California. Additionally, she provides onsite consultation and mentoring to school district administrators and teaching teams to assist in the development and implementation of evidence-based public school programs for students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ann has served on several California Department of Education committees related to Autism Spectrum Disorders and most recently was invited to participate on the Task Force on Education and Professional Development of The Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

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Click a topic below to expand the full question and answer.

 

  • Daycare Provider and Early Identification of ASD

Question:

Ann,

I’m so glad I found your website. I’ve been running a daycare center for many years and I’m pretty good at knowing when a child is developing differently. Are there any materials I can give parents since I’m just a daycare provider?

Barbara


Answer:

Hi Barbara,

First, please don’t say that you’re “just” a daycare provider because you absolutely play a critical role in the well-being and health of the children in your care. In addition, you are in a great position to help identify children who might need support. It is so important for children with an ASD (and other developmental disabilities) to be identified as early as possible because with the right intervention we can improve outcomes.

The CDC has put out a FREE online training course, Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns, which will help you fulfill this important role as a daycare provider. This training course provides tools and best practices for monitoring the development of children in your care and talking about it with their parents. In this online course, you will learn:

  • Why monitoring children’s development is important
  • Why you have a unique and important role in developmental monitoring
  • How to easily monitor each child’s developmental milestones
  • How to talk with parents about their child’s development

You can even get Continuing Education (CE) credit!

Thank you for taking such good care of our children.

Ann

RESOURCE:

Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/watchmetraining/index.html

  • Parent Resource for Understanding Puberty and Adolescence in Individuals with ASD

Question:

Parent Resource for Understanding Puberty and Adolescence in Individuals with ASD


Answer:

New Autism Speaks Tool Kit Released: “Puberty and Adolescence Resource”


Autism Speaks has just recently released a resource to help parents understand puberty and increase their ability to adapt to these changes with confidence.  Some parents may feel unsure of how to explain these changes to their child and this resource is designed to give strategies to ease the transition that can be directly applied to pre-teens with ASD.  
Topics include:

  • Body changes
  • Self-care and hygiene
  • Public vs. private rules
  • Staying safe: Strangers, secrets and touch
  • Elopement
  • Safety planning for increased aggression
  • Internet safety


You can download this resource and other Autism Speaks resources on the Tool Kits page:
https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits

  • Autism Fact Sheets in many languages

Question:

Dear Ann,

I am a school psychologist in a California county school program.  As you know, California is a very diverse state and my caseload has families from a lot of different backgrounds.  Do you have a resource that I can give my families so they understand ASD?

Thanks,
Jason


Answer:

Dear Jason,

Great question! The USC UCEDD (University of Southern California, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities) works on numerous projects in areas of importance to people with disabilities across the lifespan and their families, such as ASD. They have developed Fact Sheets about ASD in many, many languages including but not limited to, Arabic, Farsi, Tagalog, Vietnamese, just to name a few!
You can access these Fact Sheets from:

CAPTAIN website at: www.captain.ca.gov

USC website at: www.uscucedd.org/publications-resources/autism-pubs/autism-fact-sheets

Thanks for being so culturally responsive about those you serve!

Ann

  • New, Free Online Learning Modules Available for Evidence-Based Practices for Individuals, Ages Birth to 22

Question:

Dear Ann,

When is the NPDC going to come out with online learning modules for those newest evidence-based practices released in March 2014?

Thanks!

Karen


Answer:

Hi Karen!

The National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD just recently developed a brand new website called AFIRM (Autism Focused Intervention Resources and Modules) at http://afirm.fpg.unc.edu or you can use the Quick Link on the CAPTAIN website at www.captain.ca.gov

AFIRM offers you the opportunity to access free online learning modules for each of the 27 evidence-based practices (EBPs) for individuals with an ASD.  The AFIRM team has just launched the website so right now there are four EBP learning modules:

  1. Peer-Mediated Instruction and Intervention
  2. Prompting, Reinforcement
  3. Time Delay
  4. Visual Supports

The AFIRM team is currently working on developing the remaining modules for each EBP for individuals with ASD ages birth to 22 years. When you create your free account you can receive e-mail updates when a new EBP is available. Right now, the next upcoming modules are: Exercise, Social Narratives, and Task Analysis. 

Each AFIRM online learning module includes: case examples that demonstrate the behavior or practice in use, multimedia presentation of content with audio and video clips, and interactive assessments that provide you with feedback based on your responses. 

Each AFIRM module offers an option to earn a free professional development certificate. All you have to do for each module is to select either a Certificate Track or Non-certificate Track. How great is that?

I think these online learning modules are really great and are very accessible to professionals, paraprofessionals, parents and others who work and interact with individuals with an ASD.

Ann

REFERENCES/RESOURCES:
Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM) is an extension of the National Professional Development Center (NPDC) on ASD http://afirm.fpg.unc.edu

  • Vision Exam; Resources; Toolkits

Question:

Dear Ann,

I am the parent of a 16 year old high functioning son with ASD.  We have a terrible time when we need to go get his vision checked.  I know he needs his glasses changed but it’s so difficult I hate to put us all through this again.  Do you have any suggestions?

Kirsten


Answer:

Hi Kirsten!

Thank you for your question.  I get asked a lot about by parents as to how to help their medical appointments go well with their children with an ASD.  Fortunately, Autism Speaks has developed a variety of Tool Kits to help make these necessary medical visits go more successfully.  There is actually a new Tool Kit about vision exams that incorporates the use of the evidence-based practice (EBP) of Social Narratives.  Here’s a sample of this Vision Exam Tool Kit:


 

There are lots of other Tool Kits available on a variety of topics: medication, blood draw, dental visits, getting a haircut, sleep issues, pica, toilet training, feeding issues, behavior, and more!

I think these Tool Kits are well-developed and will be helpful.  Let me know how it goes, okay?

Ann

RESOURCE:

Autism Speaks Tool Kits: https://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/tool-kits