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Archived News: What's New
November 2013

Register NOW for the November VCU-ACE Webcast on Bullying and ASD!

Register today and plan to join us on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. for the airing of an informative webcast on Bullying and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience difficulties in communication, interaction, and imagination, and often find the social world difficult and confusing. Students with ASD often struggle with social norms and relating to peers. This can lead to children with ASD being picked on, tormented, and bullied. Research in public schools comparing kids with ASD to their peers finds that children with ASD are more likely to be rejected by their peers, receive less social support from their friends and classmates, spend more time alone at recess and lunch times, chat and play less with others, be verbally abused, to react aggressively, and are three times more likely to be bullied. During this webcast, Staci Carr, Ed.M., M.S. will discuss the ways bullying happens (from teasing to cyberbullying), describe what can be done to help children cope with bullying, and provide strategies to address bullying.

If you are unable to view this or any VCU-ACE webcast on the date it airs, remember all VCU-ACE webcasts are archived for later viewing at your convenience.


Check it Out!! New Course Schedules are Now Available for VCU-ACE Online Courses!

The schedules for two VCU-ACE online courses are now available through April 2014! Please check our website for available dates and register soon, as classes fill quickly! Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Strategies for Supporting Positive Behaviors in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder are just two of the VCU-ACE online courses available to Virginia residents for FREE! Each course requires participation in a discussion board and successful completion of quizzes at the end of each module. For more information about VCU-ACE online courses, contact Taryn Goodwin at


VCU-ACE “Train the Trainer” Workshop Helps Divisions Meet Training Standards for Paraprofessionals!

In addition to providing a monthly online course for paraprofessionals and limited live trainings, VCU-ACE has developed a “Train the Trainer” Model Training to help school divisions meet the requirements of H.B. 325 and insure all paraprofessionals receive training on autism spectrum disorder by September 2014. On October 30-31, VCU-ACE provided this 2-day training to twenty participants from across Virginia. This training will allow the participants to provide live paraprofessional training in their divisions using the materials VCU-ACE offers through its online course and live training opportunities. The “Train the Trainer” workshop includes a review of the VCU-ACE paraprofessional training materials, information on adult learning principles, and ways to make the live training more informative and applicable. Those participants who completed the training are now able to provide the live training to the paraprofessionals in their division. These new trainers will also participate in follow up activities with VCU-ACE to ensure fidelity of the training and promote better application of skills for paraprofessionals. For more information on VCU-ACE PARAPro initiatives, visit the VCU-ACE website, or contact Dr. Selena Layden at


VCU-ACE Opens Call for Applications for Technical Assistance in Cohort 2!

The Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) is currently requesting applications from school divisions who wish to become exemplary sites in the provision of high quality educational services and supports for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Through a competitive review process, VCU-ACE will select four to six Virginia school divisions for Technical Assistance in Cohort 2. Successful applications will demonstrate a clearly defined strategy for long-term systemic changes across the entire school division with a clear understanding and plan for focused work in three key areas: Divisionwide Coaching, Administrative Knowledge and Support, and Fidelity of Implementation of Evidence-Based Practices.

VCU-ACE Technical Assistance Associates will assist selected school divisions in completing a self-assessment and facilitating a divisionwide Autism Services Improvement Team (ASIT) to develop an Autism Services Improvement Plan (ASIP). These plans will provide additional data-based targets and define the exact technical assistance and training activities that will take place in the school division. While school divisions will self define their own plans, VCU-ACE will help guide the development of the plans to result in systems change across the entire age range and ASD spectrum.

School divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia that were not included in Cohort 1 are eligible to apply for Cohort 2. Evidence must be presented in the application that demonstrates the school division’s capacity for participation as an exemplary autism site. It is expected that applicants will engage in meaningful planning with autism stakeholders in the preparation of the application. A school division must apply as a single entity; combined division applications will not be considered. Regional programs are encouraged to apply, however technical assistance will only address the regional program, not the practice of the cooperating divisions which the regional program serves.

Important Dates to Consider:
Application Available November 1, 2013
Application Due January 15, 2014
Notice of Selection March 1, 2014
Division Assessment March-April, 2014
Duration of Technical Assistance: Three years, as funding is available.
All applications are due on January 15, 2014 by 5 pm.

The entire application is available for review and download on the VCU-ACE website or on the ASD page of the VDOE website. For more information, contact Dr. Carol Schall at or Staci Carr at


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