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Archived News: What's New
April 2014

April Is Autism Awareness Month!

Exciting events are happening all over Virginia to promote Autism Awareness in April! Autism Society Affiliates are hanging ribbons of autism awareness in town halls and organizing walks and other events to share information about autism and to show support for individuals with autism and their families. Some individuals are showing their support by wearing blue on April 2nd, World Autism Day. Whatever you do, April is a great month to get involved and to educate those who are not familiar with autism!

VCU-ACE endeavors to help educate and provide resources to support autism awareness every day. Thanks for your help in sharing information about the free family and professional development opportunities VCU-ACE provides to residents of Virginia through online courses, webcasts, seminars, and live trainings. The Resources section of the VCU-ACE website also contains helpful information on a variety of topics for educators and families. In addition, VCU-ACE Technical Assistance Associates are imbedded in public school divisions across the state implementing a division-wide systems change process resulting in improved services at every level of the school division for students with ASD and similar educational needs. For more information on VCU-ACE please visit our website or call us toll-free at 855-711-6987.


Registration Now Open for Strategies for Supporting Positive Behaviors in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder Course

Have you ever had a student with a behavior that interfered in their learning or the learning of others in the classroom? If you have, or if you are just curious about behavior, then this is the course for you. The Strategies for Supporting Positive Behaviors in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder online course will provide participants with information and strategies to incorporate into their daily activities to proactively support students with ASD demonstrating interfering behaviors. The course begins by addressing the fundamentals of behavior and the relationship of behavior to the core deficits of ASD. Once learners have a solid understanding of how and why behavior develops they will explore and break down the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) process. Learners will navigate their way through the process learning to define behaviors, observe behaviors, and develop a hypothesis statement about the behavior. Participants will then investigate strategies that can be used when developing a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) for students with ASD.

Throughout the course, learners will follow three individuals with ASD who demonstrate behaviors by completing Think about It! and Apply It! activities. These activities will provide the learner an opportunity to apply the information they are learning in the course. Upon completion of the activities in the course, including a quiz to assess acquired knowledge, the learner will receive a Certificate of Completion. The next course starts August 18th and registration is open now on the VCU-ACE website. Be sure to register early to guarantee yourself a spot in this valuable course!


News from the PARAPro Project!

VCU-ACE has been busy training paraprofessionals across Virginia! Over 4,000 people have completed the VCU-ACE online course, Autism Spectrum Disorder for Paraprofessionals: Providing Effective Instruction and Supports, since it was launched in April 2012. This course meets the requirements of the Training Standards from the Virginia Department of Education that were initiated by House Bill 325. HB 325 requires that by September 1, 2014, paraprofessionals assigned to work with a teacher who has primary oversight of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) receive training aligned with the Training Standards from the VDOE.

The VCU-ACE online course includes five modules that cover topics including: Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dignity and Respect, Social and Communication Strategies, Instructional Strategies, and Behavior Intervention. The online course runs on a monthly basis and registration for July and August is now open. If you are a paraprofessional in a Virginia public school and wish to receive this training, register now and don’t delay! With September 2014 coming soon, we anticipate continued high registration numbers and the courses will fill quickly. For more information and to register, please visit the VCU-ACE website.


Don’t Miss the VCU-ACE April Webcast - My Journey to Self-determination by Tori Saylor!

Please note the change in the air date of this special webcast! Register now and tune in on Tuesday, April 8th at 3:30pm to hear Tori share the struggles, triumphs, and tools she used to survive each day as a person living with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). This webcast allows for an opportunity to walk a mile in her shoes as she journeys through life from childhood to adulthood. Tori's message will leave you curious, motivated, and with a heightened awareness of ASD. Just when you think you know all about ASD, Tori's story may surprise you! If you miss the webcast when it airs, remember you can find this and all previously aired VCU-ACE webcasts on the Archived Webcasts page of our website.


Check Out the VCU-ACE Factsheets and Briefs!

VCU-ACE has developed numerous Factsheets and Briefs on a variety of topics, which may be helpful to individuals with autism, their families, and the professionals who support them. Our newest Factsheet, Autism Q and A: Just the Facts: The DSM-5 and Autism Spectrum Disorder, provides information on the new definition of autism spectrum disorder as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5.) The DSM-5 is a manual clinicians and researchers use to classify and diagnose disorders. To view this and all of the VCU-ACE Factsheets and Briefs, please visit the Resources page on our website!


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