MAIER announces fall 2022 professional development opportunities

The Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) is offering three new online training modules for educators, service providers and others interested in boosting their knowledge and skills for meeting the needs of individuals with autism and other developmental conditions.

The first training, available now, is the MAIER Transition to Adulthood Training Modules. University of Maine College of Education and Human Development assistant professor of special education Joshua Taylor leads the training with help from colleagues across the country. The transition from school to adulthood is an important stage in the lives of young people, when the focus of education, planning, and support of individuals should center around their goals and aspirations for the future. The training focuses on why transition is important, what success looks like, and how educators and caregivers can use effective strategies for getting students prepared for the future. Individuals who complete the training modules are eligible to receive 12 contact hours.

MAIER will begin offering two additional trainings later this fall:

October 2022
De-escalation of Challenging Behavior (3-hour mini-module)
Courtney Angelosante, M.Ed., BCBA

This module is designed to provide professional learning in the cycle of escalating behavior. Participants will learn the seven phases of escalation and the adult strategies that promote de-escalation, as well as the responses that tend to inadvertently escalate the undesirable behavior in duration, frequency, and intensity. Participants will be guided through how to develop an individualized de-escalation or safety plan to promote the implementation of evidence-based strategies and positive behavior supports.

Courtney Angelosante is the PBIS initiative coordinator with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development. A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst with experience teaching elementary education and special education, before joining the faculty at UMaine, she spent years as a district-level behavior consultant. Her continued practice and research interests include challenging behaviors, inclusive education, and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). She is coordinator for PBIS within the Maine Department of Education and represents the state in the Northeast Advisory Group for PBIS. She has strong partnerships with over 35 schools providing training and technical assistance. She is a member of several regional and national organizations related to school-wide climate and behavior.

November 2022
PEERS® Dating Bootcamp (6-hour module)
Elina Veytsman, Ph.D.

This Dating Bootcamp is open to all including teens, young adults, parents and professionals. Attendees are presented with targeted skills through didactic instruction, and role-play demonstrations, and have the opportunity to practice newly learned skills through behavioral rehearsal exercises. During these rehearsals, attendees are divided into small breakout groups to practice with direct coaching. Topics covered:

  • Flirting
  • Letting someone know you like them
  • Choosing appropriate people to date
  • Handling rejection
  • Turning someone down
  • Planning and going on dates
  • Dating Do’s and Don’ts
  • Handling Pressure from partners

Elina Veytsman is a postdoctoral psychology fellow at the UCLA PEERS Clinic, where she conducts young adult and parent social skills groups focused on developing friendships, dating and romantic relationships, and finding and maintaining employment for young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She also provides certified trainings and workshops for mental health professionals and educators seeking to implement the PEERS intervention. Additionally, she provides individualized social skills, career skills, and dating skills coaching for teens and adults with a range of neurodevelopmental conditions at the Center for Pediatric Neuropsychology in Los Angeles.