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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

COVID-19 and Special Education

View information for educators and parents to support students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 resources for special education

Definition: A child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a child with a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal social communication and social interaction, generally evidenced by the age of three. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental changes or changes in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

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ASD Office Hours

View Office Hours

ASD & COVID Resources

View the Autism &
COVID Resources


What's New

FAQs for Educational Identification of ASD in Young Learners

FAQ's for Educational Identification of ASD in Young Learners (PDF)

ASD Literacy Institute 

Dr. Christi Carnahan and Dr. Pam Williamson will be presenting at the 2021-2022 Autism Spectrum Disorder Literacy Institute. This statewide institute will focus on a balanced approach to literacy including instruction. 

Tier 1 will focus on From September 2021 through February 2022. Over five virtual and in-person sessions, the institute content will focus on a balanced approach to literacy including instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. 

Learn More about Tier 1

The Autism Literacy Institute Tier 2 training will build on content discussed in the Tier 1 training. Participants will develop and bring assessment data from their students, and develop balanced literacy lessons for those students indicated by the data. Completion of Tier 1 is required before attending Tier 2. 

Learn More about Tier 2

BCBA Conversations

The BCBA Conversations are back for the 21-22 school year. Kate Loving, BCBA & CDE Autism Specialist, will be hosting monthly gatherings of other BCBAs to collaborate, problem solve and share resources. Learn about the BCBA Conversations

ASD Educational Identification Training Opportunities

 The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD. Participants will learn how to build a body of evidence to support the identification of ASD (determining eligibility) in an educational setting (without using the ADOS).

Virtual Options

Round 1 - Tuesdays from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM from August - September 

Round 2 - Wednesdays from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM from October - November

View the ASD Ed Id Virtual Flyer (PDF)

Spring 2022 - March 1, 3, 6, 10 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

View the ASD Ed ID Spring Flyer

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online Training Opportunity

Due to course maintenance the fall 2021 session has been postponed. The RBT course will begin January 5, 2022. Application for next RBT course will open at 9:00 a.m. on December 6, 2021.

Online Para-Educator Training

If you simply want more information around behavior and instructional strategies, but do NOT want/need the RBT credential, please take the Online Para-Educator Training. 

Learn More About
Online Para-Educator Training.
 

Support - Autism Education Network

The Autism Education Network is designed to provide school teams support, training, and resources to guide services for students with autism. Below are potential offerings autism network team members may provide based on the request. The level of support provided will be based on AU/school team needs as well as autism team availability.

Training (Virtual or In-Person):

The CDE autism team can create targeted, individualized trainings for an AU/school team based on current needs. These trainings can be done virtually or in-person (pending COVID guidelines), and can cover an array of topics related to autism. Trainings can be anywhere from two hours to one full day. The team does not offer individualized versions of currently offered CDE trainings (see training section below).

Field Support:

Field support is intended to offer consultation/coaching services and allows the CDE autism consultants to partner with AU/school teams to address systemic or long-standing concerns. This service supports implementation of evidence-based practices within the school setting. The consultant will work with the team to understand current needs, and then establish goals and a subsequent action plan. This plan may include up to six virtual or in-person visits (depending on need and COVID guidelines).

TeleSchool:

The CDE autism team partners with Children’s Hospital Colorado to offer support in completing functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and developing behavior intervention plans (BIPs) via virtual coaching sessions. This service is designed for teams looking to expand their skills in addressing challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, self-harm, property destruction) and can commit to recurring weekly or biweekly sessions for approximately one to two months. These sessions involve discussions, coaching, and practice implementing various forms of FBA/BIP and analyzing data. This service is recommended for teams addressing unique and intensive behaviors (e.g., considering alternative placement, behaviors that are not responding to intervention over time, behaviors that have injured staff or other students).

Resource Recommendation:

For teams looking to expand knowledge and in need of quick, potentially asynchronous learning opportunities, the CDE autism team can offer recommendations of existing resources to review. Consultants can provide individualized suggestions of webinars, modules, currently offered CDE trainings, and other related resources. To review options, please visit the webinar page to see all archived webinars, or the training section to see currently offered CDE autism team trainings.

Flyer - Network Request (PDF)

Network Request

When completing the field request, you will be prompted to describe the needs of your program and how they relate to Colorado’s Autism Quality Indicators

Quality Indicators

​Questions about the Colorado Autism Education Network? Please contact Brooke Carson (see Specialist Contacts section below) with questions about the Autism Education Network.


Training

Virtual Events 

ASD Literacy Institute, Tier 1 

What: 

This statewide institute will be conducted by nationally recognized experts on literacy and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dr. Christi Carnahan and Dr. Pam Williamson. The institute content will focus on a balanced approach to literacy including instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. Each aspect of literacy will be linked to the unique cognitive, social, and communication issues inherent in ASD. Assessment strategies will include an overall estimation of the students' literacy abilities from interactive to independent, which will help teachers determine what additional literacy assessments may be needed to inform instruction. Measures of student outcomes and teacher outcomes will be incorporated into the project, developed by the presenters.

This training will be conducted in a virtual format in the fall followed by two days of in-person training in February, 2022 (In the event in-person training is no longer available due to county, state, district or CDE guidelines the in-person training will change to a virtual format).

When:

Virtual Sessions

  • Session 1: September 29, 2021 (Wednesday)
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm (MT)
  • Session 2: October 21, 2021 (Thursday)
    12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (MT)
  • Session 3: December 8, 2021 (Wednesday)
    12:00 pm - 3:00 pm (MT)

In Person Sessions: 
Location in Denver Metro To Be Announced (Will be broadcast to sites around the state)

  • Session 4: February 16, 2022 (Wednesday)
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm (MT)

  • Session 5: February 17, 2022 (Thursday)
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm (MT)

Application for Registration

Registration will close on September 14, 2021, at 5pm.

ASD Educational Identification Training 

 The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD. Participants will learn how to build a body of evidence to support the identification of ASD (determining eligibility) in an educational setting (without using the ADOS).

This distance learning opportunity will be presented over four days, in three-hour segments. Participants who complete all four sessions will receive a certificate of attendance for 12 CDE hours. Partial credit will not be given. 

Details:

  • Confirmation emails will be sent one week prior to the training.
  • Registration is limited and will close two weeks prior to the start date.
  • Who should attend:
    • certified school professionals involved in assessment for the educational identification of ASD,
    • school psychologists, school social workers,
    • speech/language pathologists,
    • special education teachers,
    • occupational therapists,
    • district administrators,
    • certified team members who are part of the evaluation team.

Round 1 

Tuesdays from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Dates: 

  • August 24, 2021
  • August 31, 2021
  • September 7, 2021
  • September 14, 2021​

Round 1 has reached capacity. Join Round 1 waitlist

Learn More
About Round 1

Round 2

Wednesdays from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM dates: 

  • October 10, 2021
  • October 27, 2021
  • November 3, 2021
  • November 10, 2021​

Round 2 has reached capacity. Join the Round 2 waitlist.

Learn More
About Round 2

Tier 2, Literacy Institute

WHAT:

The Autism Literacy Institute Tier 2 training will build on content discussed in the Tier 1 training. Participants will develop and bring assessment data from their students, and develop balanced literacy lessons for those students indicated by the data.

WHEN: 

  • February 18, 2022
    8:30 am - 3:30 pm

WHERE: 
Denver Metro - To Be Announced Virtual
As of November 2021 this training is no longer in person but has been switched to an online training.  

Application for Registration

Registration will close on February 4, 2022, at 5pm.

ASD Educational Identification

The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD. Participants will learn how to build a body of evidence to support the identification of ASD (determining eligibility) in an educational setting (without using the ADOS).

March 2-3, 2022 in Grand Junction, CO 

As of November 2021 this training in Grand Junction is no longer in person but has been switched to an online training.  

Training Dates are now: 

March 1, 3, 8 & 10 from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM. 

Those who attend the full 12-hour requirement will receive CDE hours in the form of a certificate of attendance; partial credit will not be given. Both in-person days are required.

Details:

  • Confirmation emails will be sent one week prior to the training.
  • Registration is limited and will close two weeks prior to the start date.
  • Who should attend:
    • certified school professionals involved in assessment for the educational identification of ASD,
    • school psychologists, school social workers,
    • speech/language pathologists,
    • special education teachers,
    • occupational therapists,
    • district administrators,
    • certified team members who are part of the evaluation team.

Register

Registration is currently closed. 

This training is currently at capacity. 

Join training
waitlist

​View the Spring
ASD Ed ID Flyer

Face-to-Face Trainings

Currently there are no face-to-face trainings scheduled. 

Orange Arrow Pointing Right  Tri-State Webinar Series

The Tri-State Webinar Series is made available through collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, Kansas TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports, and the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network.

Anyone with an interest in learning about the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and evidence-based practices is invited to attend any of our webinars. This may include administrators, general education teachers, specialist teachers, family members, paraprofessionals, special education professionals, healthcare, and related service providers.

The Fall 2021-2022 Webinar Series schedule

Fall Flyer (PDF)

All webinars are offered on the day scheduled:

2:30pm – 3:30pm MT

Getting Ready for a New Student with Autism - August 25, 2021

On August 25, 2021 from 2:30 - 3:30 pm Teri McGill will give an overview of common characteristics and provide some helpful tips and strategies for those working with students with autism. Learn more about this webinar. 

You Have to Build the Plane as you Fly It!: Core Components of an Evidence Based Behavior Support Program

This four-part series will support teachers faced with the immense challenge of providing a free and appropriate public education to learners with a wide variety of needs that often manifest in significantly disruptive behavior. Each ninety-minute session will involve practitioners who have many years of combined experience developing and leading evidence-based behavior support programs across the state of Nebraska. Free resources and ongoing consultation for effective implementation will be provided.

Part 1 - September 1, 2021

Register & learn more about You Have to Build the Plane as You Fly It - Part 1!

Part 2 - October 6, 2021

Register & learn more about You Have to Build the Plane as You Fly It - Part 2!

Part 3 - November 3, 2021

Register & learn more about You Have to Build the Plane as You Fly It - Part 3!

Part 4 - December 1, 2021

Register & learn more about You Have to Build the Plane as You Fly It - Part 4!

ABLLS-R, AFLS, VBMAPP, ESDM, PEAK!?!? Choosing the Right Assessment for Your Learner with Autism (3-Part Series)

A variety of assessment options exist for identifying skills to target for learners diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Many practitioners are trained on a specific assessment with little regard to the appropriateness of that assessment for the learner. This presentation discusses how to individualize the assessment process to create the most effective intervention program for each learner. Additionally, video examples are provided that demonstrate how to observe a learner and assess skills without using a commercially available assessment.

The Assessment Process (Part 1) - September 8, 2021

In this session, we will discuss a general framework for conducting assessments regardless of the materials being used. This session introduces the concept of “core assessments” and how to apply this with different learner profiles. The content of this session is applicable to any setting or assessment materials.

Learn more about Choosing the Right Assessment for your Learner with Autism Part 1.

Application of the Assessment Process (Part 2) - September 15, 2021

In this session, we will apply the content from session 1. Video examples will be used to explore how to complete the general assessment process with different learner profiles.

Learn more about Choosing the Right Assessment for your Learner with Autism Part 2.

Best Practices in Assessment for Early Learners (Part 3) - September 22, 2021

This session focuses on some of the key aspects of developmental research that we should be familiar with when conducting assessments in Early Intervention settings. This session will also include resources relating to assessment and intervention for early learners ages 3-5.

Register & learn more about Choosing the Right Assessment for your Learner with Autism Part 3.

An Evaluation and Curriculum Guide for Teaching Basic and Advanced Language Skills - September 29, 2021

PEAK (Promoting Emergence of Advanced Knowledge) is an evidence-based assessment with a corresponding curriculum. PEAK is based on traditional ABA approach combined with the science of Derived Relational Responding, which teaches the ability to make relations between concepts. Improving the ability to make relations helps children to acquire skills they were never directly taught to them, which can reduce the amount of time the child needs ABA therapy. It also helps with teaching problem solving skills, advanced language skills, and reduces rote memory which is a common criticism of the traditional ABA approach.

The PEAK Relational Training System was developed so that it could be used by teachers, parents, caregivers, and behavior analysts. Although PEAK was created from behavior analytic foundations, instructions are written in a non-technical way so that everybody can understand. The PEAK Relational Training System includes four training modules. The four modules of PEAK provide a comprehensive and individualized curriculum that can help an individual acquire new skills and learn the important ability to make relations that can be applied to a variety of scenarios encountered throughout life.

This session will provide an overview of the PEAK Relational Training System and Assessment. It will also provide a brief overview of the 4 PEAK modules and data collection system. At the end of the session, teachers currently using PEAK will share their experiences getting started with this system.

Register & learn more about an Evaluation and Curriculum Guide for Teaching Language Skills.

A Spectrum of Voices: Listening to Young Adults with ASD - October 13, 2021

For an individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the transition from adolescence to young adulthood can create new challenges, as there is a continuing need for support, often with limited available resources. This is a time in which changes take place in development (e.g., emergence of different types of relationships) and when different life skills are necessary for success (e.g. maintaining a job). Many dynamics of social communication and social interaction also shift, depending on the individualʼs needs and goals. Therefore, supports for those with ASD should look different to reflect this movement into adulthood. Listening to those who are on the autism spectrum can help professionals be more sensitive to their goals, needs, concerns, wishes, and preferences. Often, the element of seeking individuals' input about programming, educational issues, independent living, employment, or housing is not included. Each young adult brings a unique perspective to this transition into adulthood.

Register & learn More about A Spectrum of Voices.

Interoception Assessment and Curriculum - October 27, 2021

Interoception is an important sensory system that helps us to feel internal body signals like a full bladder, growling stomach, tense muscles or speeding heart. Research indicates that our ability to clearly notice and interpret these internal body signals enables us to accurately identify and manage how we feel: Are we anxious? getting frustrated? hungry? full? in pain? needing the bathroom? Interoceptive differences are very common in a variety of students including those with autism, but also in co-occurring or stand-alone conditions such as trauma and attachment disorders, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression and behavioral challenges. Interoception is emerging as a key factor in the development of emotional well-being and healing from trauma. Given the potential impact of the current pandemic on areas such as regulation and mental health, understanding interoception is more important than ever. A systematic evidence-based approach for assessing and supporting interoception will be shared with a special focus on The Interoception Curriculum.

Register & learn more about Interoception Assessment and Curriculum.

 

Past Webinars

A full list of the archived Tri-State Webinars can be accessed from CDE's Professional Development Portal. 

Autism Library of
On-Demand Webinars
 

Early Identification of Autism in Girls

On March 17, Susan Hepburn presented a webinar where she presented a summary of the current research concerning early emerging markers of autism in girls. She discusses the possible implications of this research for improving early childhood autism assessments in girls.

View the Early Identification of Autism in Girls webinar

Dr. Susan Hepburn


Other Training Opportunities

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online Training Opportunity

This 40+ hour readiness training is a free, self-directed, online training which fulfills the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's (BACB) eligibility training requirements toward attaining a Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBTTM) credential. Please note this course is for staff or families working/living in Colorado. 
Due to course maintenance the fall 2021 session has been postponed. The RBT course will begin January 5, 2022. Application for next RBT course will open at 9:00 a.m. on December 6, 2021.
Dates:
May 17, 2021 - November 11, 2021
  • Please note the application for registration for the May - November session is closed. 
 
January 5, 2022 - July 1, 2022
  • Application for registration for the January - July session will open at 9:00 a.m. on December 6, 2021. 

More information regarding the May 17, - November 11, 2021 RBT Online Training Opportunity (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the RBT Course

Online Para-Educator Training

Due to the high demand of the RBT course, the Kansas Technical Assistance Network created a training geared toward para-educators who want further training on behavior and instructional strategies, but are NOT seeking the RBT credential. The content is based on information covered in the RBT course. If you simply want more information around behavior and instructional strategies, but do NOT want/need the RBT credential, please take this course.

About the Para-Educator Training:

  • You do NOT have to apply for this course, and can create account at the link below and begin taking modules at any time.
  • There is no timeline for completing the course. You can complete content whenever is convenient for you.
  • The course is completely free.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion for 7-8 contact hours.
  • This course does NOT meet BACB requirements for the 40 hour RBT training.

Access the Online Para-Educator Training

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive ASD Educational Identification

This workshop will provide school professionals with advanced training pertaining to considerations regarding ASD assessment practices when working with traditionally underserved children, including children that are economically vulnerable, racially/ethnically diverse, linguistically diverse, and females.  See flyer for more information and to register.

More information coming soon! 


Join the Conversation & Contact Us

ASD Office Hours

Brooke Carson will be offering ASD office hours on following Fridays from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM:

  • September 3, 17 
  • October 1, 8, 29
  • November 5, 12
  • December 3, 10, 17

Beginning in January 2022, ASD Office Hours will be offered on Fridays from 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM. 

Join the ASD
Zoom Meetings

Meeting ID: 932 1846 7451

View other available ESSU office hours

Please note, during the office hours we will not be able to give legal advice OR be able to discuss student-specific issues (e.g. IEP minutes, service delivery).

BCBA Conversations 2020-2021

If you are a BCBA working in a public or facility school across the state of Colorado, you are invited to a monthly gathering of other BCBAs to collaborate, problem solve and share resources. We will gather from 4:00 - 5:00 PM on some Wednesdays each month to discuss topics relevant to our work, host guest speakers and collaborate with others around the state doing the same work.

Hope to see you there!

Join us from 4:00 - 5:00 PM on the following dates:

  • September 8, 2021
  • October 6, 2021
  • November 3, 2021
  • December 1, 2021

  • January 5, 2022
  • February 2, 2022
  • March 2, 2022
  • April 6, 2022
  • May 4, 2022

Join BCBA Meeting


Join the Colorado Autism Spectrum Disorder Listserv

To join the Autism Spectrum Disorder listserv please contact Brooke Carson or Janet Zimmermann. ​


Contact an ASD Specialist

Brooke Carson, Ph.D.
Phone: 303-866-6691
Email Brooke Carson

Rhonda Danner, M.A.
Phone: 720-460-8368
Email Rhonda Danner


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Email

If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact our web content coordinator Amanda Timmerman at Timmerman_A@cde.state.co.us. Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.