Project ACCESS Professional Development Workshops

Project ACCESS proudly hosted our 2020 Summer Educators' Academy during June and July, a series of one-day trainings centered around evidence-based practices and designed to increase capacity to serve students who experience autism and related disabilities. Each training that was part of the Summer Educators' Academy was converted to an online format due to the evolving COVID-19 situation. We wanted to provide continued access to professional development based in evidence-based practices, so we brought them forward onto a platform that allowed participants to safely do so. 

We are striving to continue to provide our current trainings, including those listed below that were part of the Academy, as well as developing new and/or updated trainings and resources to assist you in the classroom and beyond. 

As we schedule offerings we will post information on all Project ACCESS currently scheduled workshopshere, as well as on our workshop calendar . You may search the calendar to determine availability or search the Project ACCESS catalog at My Learning Plan. You may have received an email announcing a scholarship opportunity. If so, you can apply for workshop scholarships online.

Workshops offered

Contact us at projectaccess@missouristate.edu regarding workshops we offer, including the following (click on the title to go to the full description):

Basic Training Level:

Basic/Intermediate Training Level:

Intermediate Training Level:

Intermediate/Advanced Training Level:

Advanced Training Level:

Full Descriptions of our workshops

(If you don't see what you are looking for, or need a specialized training, contact us at 866-481-3841 or projectaccess@missouristate.edu and we will develop it for you!) 

ABA 101: The Key to Managing Behavior

Attend this one day workshop to learn the basic principles of applied behavior analysis. Learn how to apply the evidence based practices of task analysis, prompting, reinforcement, time delay, modeling, differential reinforcement, and extinction in your classroom.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identify The Seven Dimensions of ABA
  • Understand basic principles of behavior
  • Importance of collecting and communicating data
  • Using reinforcement for increasing and decreasing behavior
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic

Educating Students with High Needs and Cognitive Delays

Attend this one day workshop designed for educators teaching students who experience autism and severe cognitive delays. Your time in this workshop will primarily focus on learning evidence based practices to help increase student independence, task completion, functional skills, and communication. Additionally, you’ll be encouraged to focus on the distant future, as well as on the current year goals. Hints for helping families and other school personnel plan for transitions within the schools and transitions from school to life will be addressed.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understand characteristics of this special population
  • How to leverage students' strengths and interests.
  • Reinforcement: a key component
  • Selecting and Implementing EBPs
  • Practical strategies to utilize in the classroom
  • Preparing future teachers and care providers to support your students
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic

Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism (1-day overview*)
 

This one day training is designed to give educators an overview of autism as an educational disorder. It is not intended to give you everything you ever wanted to know about autism or how to deal with everything you will ever face as you seek to serve them in your schools.  It is an introduction to the Missouri eligibility criteria and the characteristics of autism and a look at some of the best practices that can be used when working with students with autism in the schools.

*If you are interested in more than basics, reference our two day Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism workshop.  

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will learn basic characteristics of autism and the criteria used in Missouri to determine eligibility for special education and related services as a student with autism.
  • Participants will learn basic principles of educating students with autism and some evidence-based and practice-based interventions for working with students with autism. 
Workshop information
  • Duration: one-day workshop
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: any educator or school staff member working with students with autism, parents and administrators.
  • Training Level: Basic

Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism

This two day training is designed to give educators an overview of autism as an educational disorder. Essential methods for assessing behaviors are taught and basic programming strategies are introduced. Topics include: definition of autism and Missouri's educational eligibility criteria for special education and related services; descriptions of sensory issues and related tools for the classroom, communication issues, social and relatedness issues; assessing behaviors for their messages; the social stories teaching strategy; structuring and scheduling in the classroom; and essential features of effective programming for students with autism.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understand definition of autism and Missouri's educational eligibility criteria
  • Classroom structure and scheduling
  • Communication and social skills deficits
  • Sensory needs and related tools
  • Assessing behaviors for messages
  • Effective program planning
Workshop information
  • Duration: two day workshop or online
  • Mode: face-to-face or online
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: any educator or school staff member working with students with autism, parents and administrators.
  • Training Level: Basic

Educating Students with High Needs and Cognitive Delays

Attend this one day workshop designed for educators teaching students who experience autism and severe cognitive delays. Your time in this workshop will primarily focus on learning evidence based practices to help increase student independence, task completion, functional skills, and communication. Additionally, you’ll be encouraged to focus on the distant future, as well as on the current year goals. Hints for helping families and other school personnel plan for transitions within the schools and transitions from school to life will be addressed.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understand characteristics of this special population
  • How to leverage students' strengths and interests.
  • Reinforcement: a key component
  • Selecting and Implementing EBPs
  • Practical strategies to utilize in the classroom
  • Preparing future teachers and care providers to support your students
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic

Few Simple Strategies Bring Big Results: Pivotal Response Treatment

If you knew there was an evidence based practice that easy to implement, could increase communication and socialization, and reduce disruptive behaviors would you want to learn how to use it? Of course you would! You are going to want to check out Pivotal Response Treatment.

Pivotal Response Treatment is an evidence-based practice that has been shown to help children learn faster and has helped interventionists to move away from needing to teach children each individual behavior. In the late 70s and early 80s Dr. Robert Koegel and Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel learned that there are certain pivotal behaviors that, when taught, can result in improvements in many other behaviors that are among the symptoms of autism. One of the best things about PRT is that it is easy to implement.

The Koegels found that children are more motivated to continue learning when they are having steady periods of success. Motivation is a basic pivotal behavior. They also found that when children with autism learn to ask questions such as “What is it?”, “What’s happening?” and “Where is it?” their vocabularies increased dramatically, without the specific vocabulary words being directly taught. The more children are taught to actively find out about their environment, the more they learn, and the better they do in the long run. Self-initiations and question asking are also pivotal behaviors.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will learn basic strategies for teaching motivation
  • Participants will learn basic strategies for teaching self-initiation and question asking.
  • Participants will learn basic strategies to reduce disruptive behaviors.
  • Participants will learn basic strategies for data collection in PRT.
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target audience: Early Childhood Special Educators Teachers, Early Childhood General Education Teachers, Administrators, Related Service Providers, Paraprofessionals.
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

If you're not already using discrete trial, join us to learn a great way to teach new skills. Discrete trial training is based on the principle of breaking down behavior into separate (discrete) steps that have a clear beginning, middle, and end. DTT consists of adult-directed, massed trial instruction, reinforcers, and clear contingencies and repetition to teach a new skill or behavior.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Choose behavior or skill that can be addressed with DTT
  • Identify steps of DTT
  • How to implement DTT in the classroom
  • Data collection techniques
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Let Natural Supports Work for You

This workshop will focus on Peer-mediated and Parent implemented interventions. Peer-mediated instruction and intervention can address social concerns by training peers how to initiate and respond to social interactions of learners with ASD to create positive and meaningful interactions. Many children with ASD have difficulty in their home environments with everyday routines and activities. Parents often desire to gain skills and strategies that they can implement with their children.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Describe 5 types of Peer-mediated instruction
  • Increase students' social interactions
Workshop information
  • Duration: one-day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Para 101

Enhance your skills as a Paraprofessional and become a super Para. Learn how the foundational evidence-based practices such as visual supports, prompting, modeling, discrete trial training, and reinforcement can work for you! In this workshop we will discuss how to address problem behavior and learn how to effectively collect data to support the students you serve today! Join us for this one day workshop and have the best school year yet!

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify the characteristics of autism
  • Participants will learn foundational evidence-based practices
  • Participants will identify how to address problem behavior and collect data effectively
  • Participants will discuss professional development resources
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: online or face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special Education Teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Show Me the Data

Do you struggle to decide which kind of data collection is best, streamline it to IEP goals, and actually keep up with it? Attend this workshop to learn, not only the basics on the different types of data, but also how to create IEP goals that align with your data collection. In this workshop, we will cover many different aspects of data collection, as well as, modern tools for collecting data in the classroom on a regular basis. 

Learning outcomes include: 

  • Participants will learn the different types of data collection and practice using them.
  • Participants will learn how to choose the correct type for the social, academic, or behavior of interest.
  • Participants will learn how to write SMART goals for streamlining of data collection with IEP goals.
  • Participants will learn about relevant apps, tools, and tricks for simplifying data collection in the classroom.
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: online 
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special Education Teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

SpEd 101

Did you Praxis into special education and wonder "now what?" Maybe this is your first year teaching or you have been teaching for years and feel like you need a refresher. Attend this workshop to learn foundational evidence based and sound professional practices that are crucial for classroom success. Learn how these strategies work for students with autism and might benefit ALL your students. 

Attend this one day workshop to learn how to make your year great!

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify characteristics of autism
  • Participants will learn how to implement evidence -based and sound professional practices in the classroom
  • Participants will understand SMART goals
  • Participants will learn how to collect and analyze data
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: online or face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target audience: Special Education Teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Stop Problem Behaviors Before They Start: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

Wouldn’t it be great if those problem behaviors just didn’t happen? YES! This one day workshop can get you on the path to having fewer problem behaviors happen in your classroom. You’ll learn about how Antecedent Based Interventions can equip you with practical ways to set your student with autism up for desirable behavior. Learn how to use these evidence based strategies in your classroom today to decrease interfering behaviors by modifying your classroom environment in easy ways. You’ll find it easy to teach your paraprofessionals these new strategies. And you’ll have fun making these changes and using these new skills!

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding antecedent based interventions
  • Identifying factors that are reinforcing interfering behavior
  • How to modify environment and activities to stop eliciting behavior
  • Practical tips and strategies to implement in your classroom
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target audience: Special education teachers, general education teachers, support staff, and related service providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Technology-Aided Instruction and Intervention

Technology is a powerful natural reinforcer for many learners today.  This workshop will help you create a plan to utilize technology to its highest calling, within evidence-based practices we strive to use everyday with each of our students.  We will also spend considerable time talking about speech generating devices and where to go when your students come in with a new device. 

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify meaningful ways to incorporate technology into multiple evidenced based practices identified as effective for individuals with Autism.
  • Participants will learn about various speech generating devices and their ethical use according to the AAC Bill of Rights.
  • Participants will identify resources for technology, including AAC devices,  locally and beyond. 
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: Please complete AFIRM module over technology and aided instruction prior to attendance.  A link will be sent in a follow-up email to sign up for the module upon registration in this workshop. 
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Turn Your Paras into Para Pros

Do you struggle with knowing how to manage Paraprofessionals effectively? Do feel like they could be more efficient but don’t know where to start? Join us for this one-day workshop on utilizing paraprofessionals in your classroom to increase overall classroom success and make your life easier! 

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will learn how to schedule Paras effectively
  • Participants will identify how to teach Paras to implement behavior support plans
  • Participants will discuss foundational evidenced based practices Paras should be using in the classroom
  • Participants will identify data collection procedures Paras can utilize effectively
  • Participants will learn professional development resources for Paras
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: None
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers and regular education teachers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Visual Supports: More Than Just a Schedule

Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder often struggle with information presented verbally, such as verbal directions for class activities, transitioning between activities and places, or knowing what's expected for specific tasks. However, individuals with ASD have strengths in processing visual detail and visual search skills, when compared to individuals who are typically developing. Research shows by visually presenting information, the learner with ASD might be able to process information more effectively and efficiently. Goals that can be addressed by utilizing visual supports include but are not limited to: decrease time and behavior between transitions, increase independence, increase task completion, increase student understanding of expectations, decrease staff prompts/reinforcement, and increase social interactions.

Come learn about the power of visual supports and leave with a make and take to use in your classroom!  

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify the three categories of visual supports.
  • Participants will learn how utilizing visual supports effectively benefits everyone.
  • Participants will learn appropriate data collection procedures to monitor visual support effectiveness
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Basic/Intermediate

Academically Able Students with Autism

Students who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, but are able to access the regular curriculum, require unique supports. While these students often have social skill deficits that directly impact their ability to profit from instruction, engage with the school community, and make the transition to adulthood, they are under-served. This workshop focuses on identifying these students, but more importantly outlines program supports along with an emphasis on skills necessary to make the transition from school to post-secondary endeavors.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identification of students with ASD who are functioning academically
  • Programming suggestions geared especially to social competence and executive functioning skills
  • Assistance in transition planning for these students
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: completing the Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism training is suggested, but not required
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Functional Behavior Assessment: Behavior Change That Works (FBA)

Previously, traditional methods of dealing with problem behavior focused on consequences (especially punishment) and ignored underlying reasons for behavior. They were generally inappropriate, difficult to implement in classrooms, and highly ineffective. Functional Behavioral Assessment is a process used to gather details about the events that predict and maintain a student's problem behavior. An FBA can be used to help educators develop a hypothesis concerning the reason for the behavior and select effective behavioral supports to address the interfering behavior.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Know the steps of a Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Identify replacement skills for challenging behavior
  • How to select appropriate EBPs to implement
  • Develop and utilize behavior support plans
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: ABA 101: The Key to Managing Behavior; completion of the Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism training is suggested, but not required
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

It's Never Too Early: Supporting Young Children with Autism

This training is designed for educators who are, or will be, working with preschool students with autism, with content specific to communication, behavior, and curricular issues. The focus is on systematic ways to address problem behavior through assessing and altering the environment and/or curriculum, teaching new skills, choosing effective research based methodologies, determining effective intervention strategies and discussing current trends and topics related to early intervention.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identification of young children with ASD
  • Modifying environment to promote behavior change
  • Supporting communication skills
  • Develop strategies to increase social development
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related service providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Self-Management: It's an Intervention and a Skill

Self-management teaches learners with ASD to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate behavior, accurately monitor and record their own behaviors, and reward themselves for appropriate behavior or use of skills. Specific skills and the principles of self-regulation can be taught using self-management.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identify self-management techniques
  • Expanding self-management skills
  • Learn to make decisions about self management materials based on characteristics of learners target skills and the context in which they occur
  • Technology tools for self-management
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Sensory Tools for Your Classroom

Most students with autism spectrum disorder benefit from sensory and motor support. This workshop provides an overview of sensory systems and demonstrates activities to support sensory needs. Previous attendees reported learning important information about how persons with sensory and motor difficulties deal with all the confusing noise and movement in our modern world.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding sensory systems
  • Identifying different types of sensory dysfunction
  • Understanding how sensory and motor difficulties affect cognition and functioning
  • Tips and strategies to address sensory needs on the classroom
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: completion of the Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism training is suggested, but not required
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, general education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and physical and occupational therapists
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Social Skills: How to Plan Accordingly and Implement Successfully

Students across the Autism Spectrum Disorder are known to have difficulty with pragmatic skills. Research indicates the best predictor of positive outcomes (level of educational attainment, employment, criminal activity, substance abuse, and mental health) in young adulthood is their social functioning in Kindergarten, so how do we help? This workshop focuses on the theories behind social skills instruction and how they can work together to improve every student’s social competence. 

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify the evidence supporting the instruction of social skills for all students.
  • Participants will identify key components of behavioral and cognitive strategies for social skills instruction and ways that they may work together.
  • Participants will identify how to incorporate evidence based practices into a behavior skills training framework.
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: Please complete AFIRM module over social skills training prior to attendance. A link will be sent in a follow-up email to sign up for the module upon registration in this workshop.
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

The Road to Independence - A Fresh Perspective on Transition Planning for All Ages

81% of adults with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences in the U.S. do not have a paid job in the community (National Core Indicators). Around one-third of young people with autism now attend college. And only about 17 percent of young adults on the spectrum ages 21 to 25 have ever lived independently. What are some common threads amongst these statistics and how do we address them? This workshop will look at evidenced based practices that can increase success in the areas of employment, post-secondary education/training, and independent living. Let’s talk about bridging the gap and moving students effectively from Form C to the real world.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will identify the three main areas of Form C: Post-Secondary Transition Plan on an Individualized Education Program.
  • Participants will identify key evidence-based strategies for supporting needs in the areas of employment, post-secondary education/training, and independent living.
  • Participants will increase their list of resources and materials available to support the use of evidenced based strategies referenced.
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Video Modeling: Bust a Movie and Develop Effective Behavior Interventions

Video Modeling has shown positive outcomes for all age levels and types of behavior, and it’s easy to do. Many individuals with ASD have strengths in visual learning. Traditional verbal or lecture instruction can be challenging and frustrating for them and may not be the most effective models of teaching for visual learners. VM is a teaching strategy that uses technology (video recording and playback via digital cameras, tablets, laptop computers, desktop computers) as the core component of instruction. In VM, a visual model of the targeted behavior or skill is used to maximize the viewer’s (target student) ability to learn what they have seen.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Explain types of video modeling
  • Determine what behavior/skills can be addressed with video modeling
  • Identify steps to implement in the classroom
  • Available resources to enhance video modeling instruction
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: you will need to bring a device
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers, regular education teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and related services providers
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Working with Students with Autism in the Schools (WASS)

This four-day, face-to-face training is split into two, two-day presentations four to six weeks apart. Collaborative teaming is strongly encouraged.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Analyze and alter classroom environment
  • Effective programming
  • IEP writing
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Determining appropriate interventions
Workshop information
  • Duration: four days of content total
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: Introduction to the Education of Students with Autism
  • Target Audience: Educators working with or supervising work with school-aged students with autism and other developmental disorders.
  • Training Level: Intermediate

Building Effective Behavior Support Plans

Once you have completed your functional behavior assessment it is time to make a plan to teach a more appropriate behavior that serves the same function as the more challenging one.  This workshop is designed to help special educators and related service providers develop behavior plans that actually work to reduce challenging behaviors.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Participants will review the principles underlying the development of function based behavior support plans.
  • Participants will become familiar with the essential components of function based behavior support plans.
  • Participants will become familiar with a simple form for developing Behavior Support Plans.
  • Participants will practice development of a behavior support plan based on a case study.
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • prerequisites:  ABA 101: The Key to Managing Behavior  and Functional Behavior Assessment: Behavior Change that Works
  • Target audience:  Special education teachers, administrators, and process coordinators; related service providers, school psychologists, parents.
  • Training Level: Intermediate/Advanced

Functional Communication Training (FCT)

Many learners with autism display inappropriate, maladaptive, and even aggressive behaviors towards others and themselves. Often, these behaviors stem from difficulties with communication, leading to unexpected and often undesirable methods to obtain certain wants, needs, and interests. Functional communication training addresses these interfering behaviors by systematically identifying the function of the behavior and providing a replacement behavior in the form of appropriate communication that will enable the learner to get his or her needs met in a more acceptable way.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Identifying function of behavior
  • Develop communication based alternative to inappropriate behavior
  • Support use of communicative modalities: speech, sign, AAC, visuals
Workshop information
  • Duration: one day
  • Mode: face-to-face
  • Prerequisite: This workshop assumes you have mastered the content in Functional Behavior Assessment, Behavior Support Plans and ABA 101. If you do not feel you have mastered this content, we strongly suggest you attend the applicable workshop(s).
  • Target Audience: Special education teachers and related service providers
  • Training Level: Advanced