2017-18 MALT Application and Agreement

Maine Autism Leader Team

Overview for Application for Evidence‐Based Autism Team Training

This notice is to invite your district’s participation in the Maine Autism Leader Team training hosted by the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research (MAIER) and the Maine Department of Education.

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics stating that 1 in 68 children are now being diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Each year this incidence rate increases, as does the complexity of these children. As a result, schools are stretched to educate and support children in an effective way.

In response to this need MAIER will be providing six (6) days of Autism Team training (three two‐day training sessions) for six to eight school‐based or agency‐based teams that represent educators working with children, birth to age 20, with autism. Members of the teams should include general and special educators, related services staff, and general and special education administrators.

One central training will be held to accommodate teams statewide at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. All trainings take place 8:00am to 3:00pm, with one hour allowed for lunch. Teams will commit to attending 6 days of training.  E-Coaching with an autism specialist will be provided to teams following training.

Training Dates – Thomas College, 8:00-3:00pm

  • 2-Day Session 1: September 18-19, 2017
  • 2-Day Session 2: October 10-11, 2017
  • 2 Day Session 3: November 13-14, 2017

Each team will be asked to focus on individuals with autism in their district/agency for the purposes of collecting data, implementing evidence‐based practices, and measuring outcomes. In addition, participants will be challenged to consider how these strategies can be implemented for other students within their schools and school‐wide, as research supports that evidence‐based practices for students on the autism spectrum can be universally beneficial for many students. These evidence‐based practices complement PBIS and RTI initiatives.

Using rigorous research guidelines, the evidence‐based practices that will be presented were selected by the National Professional Development Center‐Autism Spectrum Disorders and the National Standards Project and have been supported through documented research. Specific topics addressed will include: Overview of ASD, Functional Behavioral Assessment, Social Skills Instruction, Communication Programming, Visual Supports, Educational Approaches and Building a Comprehensive Plan, which will include the appropriate and adequate training and supports for paraprofessionals working with children with autism spectrum disorder in the least restrictive environment.

The overall goals of the training are to:

  • Build local capacity to establish and implement proactive and positive programming with fidelity for children with ASD.
  • Build regional and state experts, trainers and supports for Maine’s educators working with students with ASD.
  • Foster the development of observational skills for working with children with autism spectrum disorder.
  • Provide current information about the diverse range of individuals who exhibit characteristics associated with ASD.
  • Ensure that Maine teachers and paraprofessionals are appropriately and adequately prepared to work with children with ASD.
  • Provide participants with sufficient current and evidence‐based information that enables them to share materials with others in their district.

Professional Development Project Goal: The project goal is to work in collaboration with schools and/or districts to create sustainable change. Schools receive training in implementing evidence‐ based practices (EBP) with fidelity and with a focus on student outcomes. It is anticipated that an additional outcome of this project will be the adoption of practices focused on students on the autism spectrum.  These practices can be used universally to benefit all students (universal design), and promote educating students in general education settings alongside non‐disabled peers (inclusion).

To date, 42 teams have been trained.  An outgrowth of this team training has been the creation and ongoing support of an autism leadership network across the state. Over 450 autism leaders are employed by agencies and school districts across the state to promote sustainability and to scale up efforts. This team model is based on the work of Dr. Cathy Pratt of the Indiana Resource Center on Autism. Dr. Pratt’s team training has served as a model for other states, including Illinois, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

The format of the training will be as follows:

  • Teams commit to attending 6 days of training. E-coaching will be provided.
  • Ongoing technical assistance in subsequent years will be provided by the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research at the University of Maine.

In order to be part of this training process the team will need to:

  1. Identify 6‐10 staff members who are able to commit to participation in all training sessions and all coaching sessions. Staff members should represent various disciplines, including therapists, general educators, special educators, psychologists, and administrators. All team members need to be identified at the time of submission of the application.
  1. Complete the Application and Agreement included below and submit to the MAIER no later than August 15, 2017. To submit via email: maineautisminstitute@maine.edu
  1. Commit to active participation and engagement including training, coaching, mentoring, evaluation, completion of tasks as assigned, and technical assistance for all ongoing autism team leader training activities associated with the statewide autism team leader evidence‐ based practice comprehensive professional development.
  1. Commit to participant costs associated with travel, meals and lodging, as outlined in the chart below. It is the understanding that the MDOE and the University of Maine will supplement administrative and fiscal support for SAUs to attend training sessions.
Autism Team Leader Training Evidence-Based Practice Professional Development and Cognitive Coaching and Mentoring For Maine Educators
Training Coaching/
Mentoring Costs
Mileage Accommodations Graduate Credit Course Substitute Pay Meals
MAIER & MDOE 6 days of training, Trainers, and all coaching/ mentoring costs n/a n/a n/a n/a Continental breakfast
MAIER Material Preparation
& Venue
n/a n/a Offering SED 528 n/a n/a
n/a Per district contract Per district contract Optional or per district contract Per training date Meals as needed
Individual n/a Per district determination Per district deter-mination Optional Per district deter-mination Per district deter-mination
The Maine Autism Institute will provide 6 days of training, training materials, forms, articlesl, contact hour certificates.
The Maine Autism Institute will provide E-Coaching and Mentoring Model:on site district/school visits to include: observations, cognitive coaching and coaching strategies, ongoing consultation and check-ins, resources, facilitation of logic model activities for evaluation process, and an autism leader website for year one, followed by ongoing technical assistance in subsequent years. An optional 3 graduate credit course will be offered through the University of Maine.

Participation in this process is being offered statewide to school districts and agencies that support individuals with autism. Only 6-8 teams (depending on the size of each team) will be accepted. To be considered for participation in the training sessions, the following form must be completed no later than August 15, 2017. You will be notified by September 1st of your team’s status.

Complete Application Online


Download Application and Agreement (PDF)

Mail, Email or Fax Application and Agreement no later than August 15th, 2017 to:

Deborah L. Rooks‐Ellis, PhD
Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research, Director
Assistant Professor of Special Education
College of Education and Human Development
The University of Maine
5766 Shibles Hall, Room 303
Orono, ME 04469‐5766
Phone: 207‐581‐ 2352
Fax: 207‐581‐2428