Autism PD opportunities

AutismPro features an online professional development component that provides a cost-effective way to train educators and support staff to teach students with autism. The component, AutismPro Workshops, enables educators to learn techniques specifically related to their students' needs, increasing educator effectiveness when working with students with autism.

Featuring up to 45 hours of online content, including the most commonly used concepts and strategies in the field of autism intervention, AutismPro Workshops is a comprehensive, yet flexible professional development program in which educators learn a range of evidence-based strategies that can be applied to real-world school situations. Educators can easily digest and apply fundamental concepts and techniques through easy-to-read instruction, video demonstrations and case examples from across the spectrum.

AutismPro Workshops demystifies autism by providing examples of real-life scenarios that can be duplicated in the classroom. As an example, when dealing with undesirable behaviors, the appropriate response depends on the reason for the behavior and the support strategy the educator has chosen to address the situation. For instance, a student whose anxiety leads to frequent challenging behaviors may be scheduled to do a Calming Activity (e.g., using a squeeze ball) before or during situations that are stressful for him such as completing an assignment or walking along crowded hallways.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides unique opportunities for school districts to invest in innovative tools, and AutismPro Workshops can be used to address ongoing challenges and improve outcomes for students with autism. The solution offers professional development that allows educators and teaching assistants to become more comfortable with teaching students with autism. Through consistent expert-authored training district-wide, these critical resources will ensure job retention and lower turnover rates, alleviating these serious problems for administrators.

This May, Virtual Expert Clinics will host a special Webinar highlighting the use of AutismPro Workshops as a professional development tool in real schools and districts. The Webinar will take place on May 13, 2009, at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Eligible for IDEA funds and recently endorsed by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE), AutismPro is designed to help educators and administrators improve learning experiences for students with autism through the effective use of technology. Strengthening the effectiveness of a dedicated educator, it provides the means for general education teachers to learn about autism, and to embrace proven methodologies that help students with autism learn successfully in the classroom. Members of a professional advisory board, including Dr. Kathleen Quill of the Autism Institute, Dr. Cathy Pratt of the Autism Society of America, and Dr. Brenda Smith Myles, assisted in the development and review of AutismPro.

AutismPro Workshops is available for $75 per teacher for district implementations.