Information about the OPI Montana Autism Education Project


The Montana Autism Education Project is part of the Special Education Professional Development Unit.

OPI created the Montana Autism Education Project (MAEP) in 2010 in response to a growing number of technical assistance and training requests by schools educating students with autism spectrum disorder and Asperger’s syndrome.

The Statewide Coordinator for the MAEP is Doug Doty (ddoty@mt.gov). 

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project provides the following services to Montana public schools:

Consultation services for students identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD.)

Trainings in Autism Spectrum Disorder and related topics.

Online training in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Behavior Management.

A web site (blog) which provides information on autism-related trainings in Montana, current research news, archived webinars and resources for educating students with ASD, their teachers and their peers.

A monthly newsletter of upcoming trainings, recent blog posts of interest and upcoming/archived webinars.

Consultation Services

Public school staff can contact Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov to request a consultation visit. Please include a brief description of why you would like a consultation. We will then assign an OPI Autism Consultant to visit.

Post-visit the district is given a written report of suggestions. Follow-up visits are available.

Post-consultation survey results show that 99% of respondents rated the consultation visit as useful or very useful.

Trainings

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project provides numerous types of in-person trainings:

District PIR Trainings:  At the request of a district, MAEP staff will provide a district in-service on topics related to autism.

Regional Trainings/Conferences: MAEP staff provide in-person trainings across Montana. We also present at conferences including the CEC special education conference and the MEA and MCEL conferences.

Sponsored Trainings: The MAEP has Montana and sometimes out-of-state presenters to provide topic-specific autism trainings across Montana.

Training Scholarships: We provide a limited number of registration scholarships for educators and pre-service education, psychology and speech-language pathology students to attend the CEC conference, the Montana Speech Hearing Association conference and the Montana Association of School Psychologist conference (when the latter two have autism-related topics.)

Please contact Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov to request a district or regional training. Other training activities can be found on our blog under the Training tag.

Online Autism Training

We offer an online autism and behavior training curriculum. Any person working in a public school district can take the training for free. The training consists of 55 hours of videos showing educators working with students on specific learning objectives. Each short video is followed by a short multiple-choice quiz. The training is offered for OPI renewal units and American Speech and Hearing Association continuing education units.

We conduct an online survey of those who completed the training. Some of the survey results are:

98% of respondents say that online training is an effective or extremely effective way to learn new information.

87% say they are better at understanding and preventing problem behaviors.

83% say they are better at teaching students with autism. 

You can find out more about the training here .

Newsletter

Our monthly newsletter includes information on upcoming autism related training opportunities, recent blog posts of interest and information about upcoming and archived webinars. The newsletter also includes information on how to enroll in the online autism training and how to request an autism consultation visit.

You can sign up for the autism and other OPI newsletters here