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 https://tinyurl.com/neurodiversitywi.
The 2019-2020 training schedule is now available:
Registration for these trainings will open July 1.
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).
- Autism Eligibility Checklist: PDF Eligibility Checklist - Fillable Word Eligibility Checklist - Spanish-Fillable Word Eligibility Checklist
- Autism Evaluation Guide, Spring 2009
- Guidance and Worksheet for Obtaining a Valid Cognitive Abilities Assessment
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.
Preparing Students with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities for Life in College
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 (http://autismpdc.fpg.unc.edu/evidence-based-practices).
Other webinars are supported by the Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI) and highlight speakers on a variety of topics important to families.
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 WSPEI Webinars:
- An Overview of Universal Design for Learning
- An Overview of Wisconsin's Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Rule
- Friendly and Productive College and Career Ready IEP Team Meetings
- How to Conduct Functional Behavior Assessment and Develop Behavior Intervention Plans
- Rethinking Family Engagement: New Efforts in Wisconsin
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: http://www.wifacets.org/training
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.
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: https://www.waisman.wisc.edu/connections/currentinterests.php
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: http://www.asw4autism.org/pdf/Next_Steps_Booklet_2014_2015.pdf
Link to ASW Web site: http://www.asw4autism.org/new_to_autism.html
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.
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)”.
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: www.wsti.org 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.