Oregon Program Autism Training Sites and Supports

May 2015 Newsletter
OrPATS Early Childhood Training Site


Brooke teaches an intensive class at the Willamette Education Service District, Early Childhood Center.  Brooke and her team went through the complete process of creating an OrPATS training site.  Initially staff attended a 2 day workshop followed up by on-going support and training from one of the OrPATS Autism specialist's. The students are young so they are learning the beginning skills of attending, imitation skills, and matching skills. In expressive language many are working on sound pairing and imitation of words. Support was given in multiple areas within the class: direct instruction, small group instruction, visuals, schedules, pivotal response training, independent work systems and other areas of instruction. Brooke and her team worked (and continue to work) diligently to effectively use many research-based strategies. Once all the members of the team felt comfortable with the functioning of the class, the team moved forward to the next phase of the training process.  One of Brooke's colleagues was invited to visit the site to receive training. The purpose of this initial visit is to practice training a new team to implement the evidence-based practices. This allows both the coach at the site and the staff to gain an understanding of what takes place when providing training to others. During this visitation the visiting teacher was able to observe how Brooke's class was run, how student schedules were being used, along with staff schedules.  The teacher was able to observe the "rotations," which included discrete trial teaching, pivotal response training, independent work routines and small group instruction.  Follow-up training was then provided by both Brooke and an OrPATS Autism specialist to the visiting teacher. Brooke and her staff run a nice program and are officially open for visits!

Research Supports Parent Education

A recent research study was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry examining the impact of parent education and its effect on increasing functional communication skills with children ages 2-6 years. Two types of parent education was provided.  One group with instruction specific to Pivotal Response Training (PRT) and the second group instruction with existing autism parent psycho-educational program.  Both groups included parent-only group meetings and training with parent-child dyads.  Children whose parents received instruction specific to PRT demonstrated improvement in frequency of functional utterances and greater improvement in adaptive communication skills.  Consistent with recommendations regarding the critical role of parent education in early intervention (National Research Council, 2001), this study provides support for the model of training parents to implement PRT (Hardan, A., Gengoux, G., Berquist, K., Libove, R., Ardel, C., Phillips, J., Frazier, T., Minjarez, M. 2014). The National Standards Project, Phase 2 identified Parent Training as an Established Intervention. 


Oregon ASD Program Self-Assessment and Action Plan


The ASD Program Self-Assessment was developed by the Oregon ASD Commission to assist school districts with the following:

  • Analysis and review of current delivery of services and practices
  • Determine the level of implementation of critical evidence based practices
  • Develop an action plan for system improvements
The assessment and the online data entry and reporting system can be viewed and accessed through sa.orpats.org.  Regional programs and OrPATS staff are available to help introduce the assessment to school district teams and are available to help facilitate the assessment process. An ASD Program Self-Assessment and Action Plan Information and Training webinar is available for further information about the assessment and the online system. Oregon educators can request a Login for the On-line Self-Assessment by sending an e-mail with your name, role and agency affiliation to [email protected]



This project is a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Autism Spectrum Disorders Commission, Oregon Regional Programs and Oregon Program Autism Training Sites and Supports.

The Oregon Program Autism Training Sites and Supports (OrPATS) project brings evidence-based practices to Oregon schools throughout the state. More than 40 training sites have been established in Oregon public schools in each region of the state and across all grade levels.
OrPATS Presents at 13th Annual Northwest PBIS Conference
In March, Dr. Sheldon Loman and Dr. Joel Arick presented at the 13th Annual Northwest PBIS conference. They presented on "Using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in Teaching Students with ASD". Participants were able to learn how the practices of SWPBIS can be implemented in conjunction with evidence-based strategies for students with ASD and other developmental disabilities.  Click here for more information about the conference.
National Standards Project, Phase 2 
The Findings and Conclusions:  National Stands Project, Phase 2 is now available.  Established Interventions have been identified.  OrPATS training sites use a majority of the Established interventions identified, such as Behavioral Interventions, Modeling, Schedules, Pivotal Response Training, and many more. Listed are also Emerging Interventions and Unestablished Interventions. The NSP2 Report is now available on the National Autism Center website.
Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism

Parent Training Curriculum
Many educators attended this workshop throughout the year.  This workshop uses a "trainer of trainer" model. It focuses on direct and indirect strategies and techniques for coaching families with children with ASD and communication and social interaction delays. This workshop is appropriate for EI/ECSE staff planning to implement the parent training with families.

Serving Students with Autism in General Education Settings:
A Training for Special Educators
This training was provided in all 8 regions across the state.  Visit the OrPATS website to gain access to the resource and the downloadable forms.  Limited sub-reimbursement funds are available to help educators attain this professional development opportunity.
Workshop's for the 2014-2015 school year have concluded.  Over 700 educators participated in the training this school year.  Continue to check the OrPATS website to view upcoming training for the 2015-2016 school year. . 
Reimbursement Requests
Remember to submit your substitute reimbursement request for an OrPATS workshop or training site visit. There is a limited amount of funds available on a first come first serve basis.  Please click here to download the substitute reimbursement request form. 
Contact Us
Have a question?
Need more information?

Contact us at [email protected]
OrPATS Staff
Brenda Hancock
Darby Lasley
Karen Shepherd
Jenny Workman
Jennie Willis

Joel Arick