ASD Roadmap

ASD Roadmap - 2011---

Providing comprehensive and targeted training to increase capacity and expertise

The lack of effective training programs is one of the biggest barriers to increasing capacity and expertise:  they do not always reach everyone affected by ASD; they may fail to convey the ways that ASD is uniquely challenging; they do not always emphasize evidence-based practices, or build upon the examples of model programs, and; those that consist solely of isolated workshops may promote knowledge but rarely ensures skill.

I help agencies to discover and design comprehensive and integrated programs of training.  I focus on the latest, evidence-based practices, drawing from model programs, building cross-domain networks and cross-disciplinary models of care, and focusing on outcomes that improve quality of life by considering the unique needs and challenges faced by parents.

I then help agencies how best to deliver these programs; whether to utilize in-house workshops or adapt university-based courses or certificates, and how to build expertise in delivering training and coaching. Examples of training programs I have helped to develop are listed below, and described in my 2013 book.


ASD Identification

Effective treatment begins with early screening and diagnosis.

Screening: I led efforts to develop and publish a bilingual training kit (including a video and manual) for the Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, and provide training to community-based practitioners.

Diagnosis: I developed a comprehensive training model for community-based early screening and diagnosis, and implemented at least 6-10 hours of training, coaching, and consultation in ASD diagnosis across 5 different sites in Pennsylvania). I also helped design and deliver an introductory and an intensive  training program in screening and assessment at a hospital-based LEND program.

Educational classification: I developed, led, and maintained intensive and comprehensive programs of training for almost 100 professionals involved in the educational classification of ASD across a statewide public school program.

Behavior Support

Problem behavior is the single factor most likely to lead to exclusion from the community and placement in specialized programs.

In hospitals: I was responsible for developing and delivering intensive and specialized training to all staff members in an in-patient treatment program for young people on the autism spectrum in behavioral crisis.

In schools: I developed and implemented comprehensive, grant-funded programs of training and technical assistance in behavior support to psychologists and related training to other staff and parents across a statewide public school program.

Crisis management: I helped to coordinate programs to train front-line staff in managing behavioral crises across hospital and school settings, and integrating these with policy and oversight in a statewide public school program and an in-patient treatment program for young people on the autism spectrum in behavioral crisis.

Comprehensive Planning

Success requires matching a broad set of goals to powerful methods, delivered by a team with a a shared vision shaped with advocates.

Awareness and advocacy: Across many school and hospital settings, I have designed and delivered training to raise awareness about the challenges of living with autism, and the need to engage advocates.  At an autism research center for example, I led efforts to substantially revise and then lead one-day intensive workshops for parents of newly diagnosed children and the professionals who serve them..

Comprehensive programs: I have helped to develop, coordinate, and deliver many different comprehensive training programs  for educators. For example:

  • I substantially revised the core courses for a required graduate teacher certificate in autism to align with current practices, and then taught these courses to teachers. I also helped to develop a mentor/coach program.
  • For a community-based early intervention provider, I helped to develop a series of trainings to revise core teaching methods as part of the broad program changes.
  • I revised the syllabus for an Introduction  to Autism graduate seminar to prepare teachers to evaluate and utilize current practices.  I then adapted the course to a hybrid format to increase access.

Extended supports for quality of life: I designed and delivered a 6-hour training program for more than 80 community-based in-home behavioral providers to address the specific needs of children and adolescents with ASD, to take full advantage of Pennsylvania’s autism insurance legislation.

Coordinated care: As ASD Training Director for a hospital-based LEND program, I developed an 18-hour program for all LEND fellows, and intensive training for ASD LEND Fellows including experience in ASD assessment and parent training.

Transition planning: I designed a comprehensive two year, college transition program for youths on the spectrum that introduced a number of training innovations (like ways to incubate professional development for community partners).

The logo is adapted from Joaquim Alves Gaspar's drawing of Pedro Reinel's compass rose.