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Services for Children with Autism

Supporting Neurodiverse Students

We are excited to announce a new statewide professional learning system entitled Supporting Neurodiverse Students. This learning system includes trainings to be held at each CESA across the state, as well as online discussion groups, book clubs and other website resources. This system is designed to support educators serving students with disability-related needs in the area of social and emotional learning. Specific topics include self-regulation, social communication, flexibility, resilience, sensory processing and executive functioning. This training is beneficial for all education professionals supporting students with autism, students with emotional behavioral disabilities, or other neurodiverse students, including those who may have a history of adversity or be experiencing mental health challenges. (Parents are also invited to attend at no cost.) Emphasis will be placed on Universal Design for Learning, inclusive practices, self-determination and self-advocacy, College and Career Ready IEP Five Step Process and CCR-IEP Five Beliefs enriched by evidence-based improvement strategies. Additional information including links to registration is available at

The 2019-2020 training schedule is now available:

Registration for these trainings will open July 1.

Meet our Coaches: Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional, and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs

Resa Hawes - Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional, and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs Project (ES3) Coach

Resa Hawes

I am a Program Support Coordinator for the School District of La Crosse. I specialize in autism and intellectual disabilities. This is my third year in this district-wide program support position. Before taking this position, I spent 18 years as an intellectual disabilities teacher in an elementary school. This is my first year serving as a coach. I am excited to learn and grow as a coach with my peers around the state. The possibilities that come along with the ES3 grant are very exciting. I am looking forward to using the grant to grow our district and school-based practices and improve outcomes for all students. My vision is that all students will get to experience a high-quality education, be treated with dignity and live in a world where their talents and skills are appreciated and valued.

Kelli Hutchinson - Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional, and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs Project (ES3) Coach

Kelli Hutchinson

My name is Kelli Hutchinson and this is my first year as a School Counselor and ES3 coach at Trevor-Wilmot School. I received my Bachelor's of Science from UW-Green Bay in Psychology and then received my Master's in Counseling from Adler University in Chicago. My personal goal in life is to positively influence as many individuals as I can by creating opportunities and promoting successful futures. I also really enjoy the outdoors and any outdoor activity with my crazy golden retriever Wrigley.

Maren Slickman - Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional, and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs Project (ES3) Coach

Maren Slickman

Maren Slickman is a Special Education Program Support Teacher for the Two Rivers School District. As a PST, she has had the opportunity and pleasure of learning about the coaching model. This journey began six years ago when the Two Rivers School District was a part of Allies in Autism Education, a three-year coaching partnership through CESA 6. Since that time, her knowledge and passion around coaching has grown and she has become a firm believer in the coaching framework as it applies to teaching. Among authors and leaders who have inspired her are Jim Knight, Elena Aguilar, and Brene’ Brown.

What does coaching mean to me?

First and foremost, coaching should be a choice for all, never a mandate. Coaching is a partnership built on trust and collaboration. When educators are given the chance to intentionally reflect on their practice without judgment, genuine and sustainable growth can occur. Coaches listen reflectively, ignite positive change, and build capacity through collaboration. With guidance and support, coaches allow teachers to work outside of their comfort zones, build personal resilience, and grow in their teaching practice. As a lifelong learner and coach, I look forward to growing and learning alongside amazing leaders and teachers.

Tammy Cooley - Enhancing Sensory, Social and Emotional, and Self-Regulation Skills in Students with IEPs Project (ES3) Coach

Photo of Tammy Cooley

Tammy has been an educator for the past 23 years. She has worked in southwest Wisconsin her entire educational career and has served as a School Psychologist, School Counselor, Elementary Principal, RtI Coordinator, and Director of Pupil Services. She is presently employed with Potosi School District where she is the Director of Pupil Services, ESSA Coordinator, and School Psychologist. Tammy is a passionate advocate for students who strives to foster a collaborative, inclusive and supportive school culture where all students and staff receive what they need when they need it so that each individual can grow and learn to their highest capacity.

ES3: Stakeholder Feedback Summary


The current eligibility criteria for autism under state law is found at PI 11.36 (8), Wis. Admin. Code. If a student is found to have an impairment, the IEP team must also determine the need for special education services (PI 11.35).

NEW DPI Resources

DPI and DHS Joint Guidance

In conjunction with the Department of Health Services, the department has developed joint guidance on providing behavioral treatment for school-age children, covering such issues as school absences and treatment in the school setting. This guidance document clarifies the responsibilities under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and federal Medicaid law, and highlights important considerations for both school districts and behavioral treatment providers.

Special Education PD Calendar

This calendar lists many of the professional development opportunities available across Wisconsin in relation to education and students with IEPs / students with disabilities.  Users can sort and filter trainings, workshops, and conferences by disability area, organization, county/district, or topic.  The calendar allows you to submit an event for consideration to be included in this calendar.

IHE Database

To assist students, families, and educators in finding information about services for students with disabilities in college, DPI created an online database of disability resource center contacts across Wisconsin.

Disability resource center staff in Wisconsin’s technical colleges, independent colleges, and University of Wisconsin System campuses provided DPI with information on contact information for their disability resource center staff that can answer questions about services provided to students with disabilities as well as information students may need to know to be able to qualify for disability services in their institutions.

Many of the disability resource staff also provided information on common programs, services, and accommodations they may be able to provide to students with disabilities in college.  Visitors to this site can also find out about the types of supports various colleges provide to all students such as housing options, health services, transportation, and many others. 

Although this database was originally created with the unique needs of students with autism in mind, the authors feel the content and resources provided may assist students with any type of disability who is seeking a post-secondary education.

This database was created through collaboration between DPI and the Wisconsin Community of Practice on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities and the site is maintained through the Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative.

More information about the IHE database.

Preparing Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities for Life in College

As a companion to the IHE Database, DPI collected 400 video clips of students who attend or graduated from college as well as families, educators, and disability resource center staff at colleges around Wisconsin who shared their ideas, knowledge, and advice on how to support students, families, and educators to assist all students to be college and career ready. 

Although this database was originally created with the unique needs of students with autism in mind, the authors feel the content and resources provided may assist students with any type of disability who is seeking a post-secondary education.

These videos were separated into 17 playlists available on the WDPI Resources to the Field YouTube channel.  Below are links to each playlist. 

Please share these videos and incorporate them in presentations, meetings, and discussions to help prepare students with disabilities for life in college. 


Daniel Parker and co-presenters hosted free webinars based on Evidence Based Practices (EBP) identified by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (

Other webinars are supported by the Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI) and highlight speakers on a variety of topics important to families.

Sign Up for Autism and WSPEI Email Invitations for Live Webinars

Registration links are sent out two weeks prior to each webinar. If you would like to be sent invitations to register for the webinars and email updates, please sign up at or email Jessica Nichols.

You must have a computer, internet connection, and sound capabilities in order to participate.

Additional Recorded Webinar Resources

In this folder you will find the following for each of our recorded webinars:

  • Webinar Guide Providing Table of Contents for Webinar Discussion which Allows You to Move to Sections of Webinar You Wish To View
  • The PowerPoint Handouts for this Presentation
  • Resources Links to Accompany Webinar (these are updated as new resources are sent to DPI)
  • Summary of Feedback and Participant Questions
  • General Family and Autism Resources Folder

Once you click on the resources link above, open the folder and click on the folder with the title of the webinar.

Recorded Webinars:

Recorded WSPEI Webinars:


WDPI SPED Index: A-Z Index of WDPI special education information.

WDPI Special Education Bulletins: Guidance from our department on topics such as transportation, discipline of students with disabilities, use of paraprofessionals, and more.

WDPI Assistive Technology: You can find more information at:

WDPI UDL Web Page: We have transitioned the UDL webpage off of the special education domain. The new webpage has an updated look and feel and can be found at:

Autism Internet Modules: Sign up for a free account on this web site to access several videos of effective interventions for students with autism including several modules designated as Evidence Based Practices from the National Professional Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Several videos also include information about autism.

Organization for Autism Research (OAR) Online Videos and Tool Kits: OAR recently put together online videos intended to assist secondary (high school) teachers with assisting students with autism in general education settings. However, in general, I feel the videos are EXCELLENT for giving educators ideas to support students with autism at any age/setting. 
Direct link to videos
OAR web site with other resources and took kits

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Trainings: Check out Professional Development and Support Groups at Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin (ASW). ASW also has links to regional Autism Society Chapters across Wisconsin which hold regional events, support groups, and professional development opportunities.  
(888) 428-8476 OR (920) 558-4602

Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin Links to Regional Chapters: Several regional chapters of Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin which provide supports, trainings, and resource guides for your area of Wisconsin: 

Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin Trainings and Support: Check out additional Parent and Educator Professional Development, Support Groups, and Sibshop opportunities at Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin:

WSPEI: WSPEI Coordinators are parents of children with disabilities who work for CESAs (Cooperative Educational Service Agencies) through a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). WSPEI services are free to families throughout Wisconsin.

To find out the contact information for your WSPEI CESA Family Engagement Coordinator for your region you can go to:

WI FACETS Free Phone Workshops for Families and Educators and Other Trainings: WI FACETS is Wisconsin’s Parent Training and Information Center and provides several free phone workshops and trainings each year. WI FACETS also provides resources, support, and information to parents of students with disabilities.
Information and registration information at:
(877) 374-0511  

Wisconsin Family Ties: A statewide organization that supports students with mental health care needs.  This organization is a good organization to assist students with Asperger’s.  
(800) 422-7145 (parents only) OR (608) 267-6888

Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs: CYSHCN Regional Centers: Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) has five regional centers to assist families with resources for their children.
Western (800) 400-3678, Southern (800) 532-3321, Northern (866) 640-4106, Northeast (877) 568-5205, Southeast (800) 234-5437

Wisconsin First Step: Wisconsin First Step is a specialized information and referral hotline that assists families who have children, age birth to 21, with special needs and their providers find needed programs and services; such as early intervention screenings, financial resources, advocacy, research, respite care, family support, and transition services. Calls are answered 24/7; parent specialists and professionals who also have a child with special needs answer the hotline between 8am and 4pm Monday through Friday.
(800) 642-7837

Disability Rights Wisconsin: Disability Rights Wisconsin is a private non-profit organization designated by the Governor to ensure the rights of all state citizens with disabilities through individual advocacy and system change, DRW is part of a national system of federally mandated independent disability agencies.
Madison (608) 267-0368, Milwaukee (414) 773-4646, Rice Lake (715) 736-1232

Recorded Presentations: Wisconsin Community of Practice on Autism and Other DD: ​Features topics such as anxiety (Daniel Parker), FBA (Matt Welch), Mental Wellness and Keeping an Even Keel (Dr. Steve Singer), Supporting Challenging Behavior (Paul White), and More!

Community of Practice on Autism and other Developmental Disabilities – Current Trainings and Networking Opportunities: Led by a steering team which includes parents, researchers, physicians, self advocates, and many others, the CoP ASD/DD gathers stakeholders from throughout Wisconsin three times a year to discuss a variety of autism related topics, the CoP ASD/DD has 3 free meetings a year as well as posts several local, regional, and statewide information on their web site.

For main page go to:

For list of upcoming PD / Networking / Resources go to:

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders: They identified more than 20 evidence based practices and have step by step instructions and implementation checklists.

Recorded Webinars from Illinois’ Parent Training and Information Center “Family Matters”: This group has several recorded webinars which may be of interest to families and educators available for FREE on many topics to assist students. Topics include “Creating Positive Behavioral Change”, “Teaching Teens and Adults how to Interact Safely with Police”, “Using Technology to Access General Education Curriculum”, “Being Your Child’s Reading Coach”, and “Drawing a Blank [evidence based strategies to assist students with autism with reading comprehension]”.
Family Matters recorded Webinar site:

Autism Speaks Videos and Tool Kits: Autism Speaks has a selection of videos ranging from descriptions of autism to examples of various common interventions.
Requires signing up for a free account.
100 day tool kit (a great resource for families newly diagnosed):
Other resources and tool kit information:

Updated Next Steps Resource Guide: Next Steps: A Guide for Families New to Autism Spectrum Disorder created by Autism Society of Wisconsin recently updated this guide (9th edition). Includes information about autism and specific supports for Wisconsin families.
Direct Link to Guide:
Link to ASW Web site:

Think College Web Site: Although this is not new, it is something I wanted to highlight and make sure everyone is aware of this great web site and the Think College resources/information in Wisconsin. Think College is a national effort to expand postsecondary educational opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Other Resources

Ongoing Training Opportunities

Early Childhood Seminar Series: Flier in google doc. Talks on a variety of Early Childhood topics including “Effects of Autism on Family Routines (Feb 17)”, “Functional Assessment and Positive Support to Address Challenging Behavior in Young Children (March 17)”, and “Social Influences on Infants’ and Children’s Food Preferences and Eating (April 21)”. 

For more information, contact:
Joan Ershler, (608) 262-4718
Carol Noddings Eichinger, (608) 890-0144

Parents United Trainings in Pewaukee: Parents United is a consortium of school districts to provide high quality speakers on a wide variety of educational topics. Open to parents and professionals, the programs are offered both during the day and in the evening. Go to web site for participating districts.

TIG (Transition Improvement Grant Trainings):  The Transition Improvement Grant website has a new feature: Request a Training. If your local educational agency, school, or organization would like free high-quality professional development in the area of postsecondary transition, visit the grant website: and click “Request Training” at the top of the page and fill out and submit the request form. Use this URL to view a description of available training opportunities:

RTI/PBIS Center trainings: Check out updated Wisconsin RTI/PBIS Center trainings on topics such as Culturally Responsive Classroom Practices, Universal Reading and Math Instruction, and Coaching Trainings.

Waisman Center Connections Selected Upcoming Events: This web site lists many additional training, workshop, and professional development opportunities.