Oregon Program Autism Training Sites and Supports

Spring 2016 Newsletter
 Classroom Highlights:
SAIL Classrooms in Washington County
The Social and Academic Intensive Learning (SAIL) Program, which operates three classrooms through the Northwest Regional Education Service District, is dedicated to increasing independence and engagement with its youngest learners. Serving students ages 3 to 5 years, SAIL utilizes evidence based strategies to teach classroom routines, pre-academics, communication and play/social skills. These classrooms are part of the OrPATS Training Site Network. Nancy Ford and Karen Shepherd of NWRESD are the SAIL Program Administrators. 
Students, in both the initial level and mid level SAIL classrooms, use individualized visual schedules to transition through a variety of learning tasks. All children receive a minimum of two discrete trial sessions and one pivotal response training session daily during one to one sessions with highly trained assistants, teachers, speech language pathologists and occupational therapists. Daily data collection ensures that each child is making progress on learning tasks and that appropriate modifications are being used to meet all students' needs. In addition to using the STAR curriculum, SAIL classrooms utilize a variety of other methodologies and teaching strategies. These include: PECS, Handwriting Without Tears, Creative Curriculum, Advancing Social Communication and Play (ASAP), Second Step, video modeling, social stories, and PBIS. All students attend class four times a week. Initial level students attend for two hours a day, receiving primarily one to one instruction and functional routines. Students in the mid level classrooms attend for three and a half hours a day, receiving one to one instruction followed by a more typical preschool schedule that targets social skills and generalization.
As students acquire skills, opportunities to generalize skills are provided through joining in activities in less restrictive classrooms within the early childhood centers. Peer models are also enrolled to allow students to practice play and social skills during more typical preschool activities.
When children transition to kindergarten, SAIL staff work closely with the school districts to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible for children and families. SAIL supplies the districts with STAR student learning profiles, as well as information about the types of schedules, reinforcers and communication systems that have been successful for each student.
The SAIL Program believes that parents are their child's first and primary teacher. Parents have the opportunity to take part in an evidence-based parent training series on increasing social communication skills (Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism (Ingeroll & Dvortscak 2010)).  The series involves group sessions, as well as, individualized coaching. When caregivers are able to use naturalistic strategies within family routines, a child remains actively engaged in learning opportunities throughout the day, increasing hours of intervention.  Strategies taught in the sessions allow for home to school continuity and the group sessions give parents an opportunity to network with each other.
Ongoing professional development for staff is a key component in maintaining fidelity of implementation. Over the past few school years, the SAIL team has focused training on fidelity of implementation of STAR, maximizing learning time during class sessions, actively fading prompts within routines to increase independence, and PECS. This year, SAIL also focused on accessing the tools and resources available on the STAR Media Center to target generalization of skills across the classroom day.
Currently, the SAIL Program has classrooms in Hillsboro and Tualatin. The NWRESD also has a preschool classroom in Warren that serves as an OrPATS Training Site for Columbia County. The SAIL Program will open another classroom in Beaverton in the fall of 2016. This program, which started in 1997 as a pilot classroom with OrPATS and PSU, has prepared many young students for independence through the dedication of many highly invested staff. Special thanks to the teachers, specialists and assistants for the time and attention spent each day to ensure the success of every child.
Research Report
FO CUS on Kindergarten Transition
As educators and families plan fall transitions, especially those from preschool settings to school-age, they must work together to individualize related activities and supports. A 2010 study, examining teacher concerns and transition preparation practices, found that teachers reported signi´Čücantly more concerns regarding transitions for students with ASD than students with other development disabilities (Quintero & McIntyre, 2010). However, there was no more involvement in the transition process for the group of students with ASD, and individualization of transition supports was not widely reported. Transition practices that preschool teachers reported wanting, but not having, included meeting with receiving teachers, additional classroom visits, and increased collaboration between teams. In an earlier study, researchers included 25 transition elements, identified from previous literature, into a survey instrument which was used with the parents, preschool teachers and kindergarten teachers for a small set of children with Autism (Forest, Horner, Lewis-Palmer and Todd, 2004). Results indicate that although these transition elements were perceived as important by participants, implementation was highly variable.
T eams planning transitions to school-age settings who wish to individualize transition plans and become more familiar with Evidence-Based Practices in the school setting should consider reviewing the National Autism Council's document entitled "Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools". This document, written for school professionals, outlines basic information on ASD, intervention-specific information on Established Treatments, and sections on using professional judgment, working with families, and building capacity.
Forest, E. J., Horner, R. H., Lewis-Palmer, T., & Todd, A. W. (2004). Transitions for Young Children with Autism from Preschool to Kindergarten. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6, 103-112.
Quintero, N., McIntyre, L. (2010). Kindergarten Transition Preparation: A Comparison of Teacher and Parent Practices for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38, 411-420.
National Autism Council (2009). Evidence-Based Practice and Autism in the Schools: A Guide to Providing Appropriate Interventions to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

New Autism Consultant/Specialist Training
Next Workshop: October, 2016
Salem, Oregon 

The OrPATS Project, in collaboration with the Oregon Regional Programs and the Oregon Department of Education, will be offering training for new Autism Consultants or Specialists again this school year.  The first training, to be offered in October, is focused on autism characteristics and the Oregon eligibility procedures. The second training will focus on evidence-based practices for students with autism, effective consultation methods, positive behavior supports and transition planning.  The training is open to any Regional or District Autism Consultant/Specialist. This training provides needed information to new Consultants/Specialists but does not replace the need for Consultants to obtain the TSPC Autism Specialization. Contact Mickey Pardew at Western Oregon University for more information about obtaining your Autism Specialization.   
To register for the workshop go to the OrPATS website and download the registration form and travel reimbursement form. Reimbursement funds are available for participants traveling more than 50 miles to attend the workshops. 

OrPATS Fall 2016 Workshops   
Check the OrPATS website throughout the summer to view upcoming training for the 2016-2017 school year. Workshops are currently being scheduled in collaboration with Regional Programs.

Workshops topics include:
  • Preschool-Elementary: Implementing Evidence-based Practices
  • Secondary: Implementing  Evidence-based Practices
  • Parent Training Support
  • Supporting Students with ASD in Child Care and Head Start Settings
Participants who attend a workshop
offered by OrPATS will receive a link to a follow-up Webinar. Look for an e-mail with login information after attending an OrPATS workshop.
Oregon ASD Program
Self-Assessment and Action Plan: Version 2    
The ASD Program Self-Assessment and Action Plan provides programs with a process to help identify program improvements and training needs based on the recent research for working with students with ASD. The ODE, in cooperation with the Oregon Autism Commission, has put a process in place to produce Version 2 of the Self-Assessment based on the latest research. OrPATS is helping to facilitate the development of the 2nd Version. In collaboration with the Oregon Autism Commission, an Advisory Group was formed.  That group has appointed a writing team to obtain input from the field and suggest revisions to the Self-Assessment items. The ASD Advisory Group will then review the revision suggestions and make the final approval on any changes to the Assessment. The members of the ASD Advisory Group are: Lisa Darnold (ODE), Joel Arick (OrPATS), Lisa McConachie (CRP), Mickey Pardew (WOU), Laura Anderson (NWRESD), Robert Nickel (OHSU), Sharon Lohse (SPED Administrator), Cathy Jensen (NWRESD), Pat Sublette (Autism Commission) and Dave Krug (Parent).
To access the current version of the Self-Assessment go to  http://sa.orpats.org. At this site the user can review a webinar on how to give the Self-Assessment, download a pdf of the Self-Assessment, request a login to the On-line version of the Self-Assessment and access the On-line Self-Assessment.
OrPATS Training Sites
OrPATS, in collaboration with Oregon Regional Programs and School Districts, has established over 40 training sites throughout the state. The 40 training sites include sites at the preschool, elementary, middle school and high school levels. Post-secondary sites are currently being developed. The OrPATS training sites model the use of evidence-based practices appropriate for the age and developmental level of their students. The Training sites are staffed by local LEA teachers and para-professionals. Each Training Site has an Autism Consultant/Specialist that serves as a Training Site Coach. The OrPATS Trainers provide on-going maintenance support to each of the training sites and training site coaches throughout the school year.
As far as we are aware, Oregon is the only state with an extensive network of training sites. A map of the OrPATS Training sites and contacts is available on the OrPATS website at www.orpats.org..

Consider visiting a Training Site to learn from others implementing evidence-based practices. Substitute release funding is available to reimburse your school district. The funds are available on a first come first serve basis.  
Please Download:
OrPATS Staff
Shelby Frantz
Brenda Hancock
Darby Lasley
Shasta Quigley
Karen Shepherd
Jenny Workman
Jennie Willis

Director Joel Arick
Contact Us
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Need more information?

Contact us at information@orpats.org



The Oregon Program Autism Training Sites and Supports (OrPATS) project brings evidence-based practices to Oregon schools throughout the state. More than 40 training sites have been established in Oregon public schools in each region of the state and across all grade levels.