You are here

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Definition: A child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a child with a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal social communication and social interaction, generally evidenced by the age of three. Other characteristics often associated with ASD are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental changes or changes in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Jump To: 


ASD Office Hours

View Office Hours

ASD & COVID Resources

View the Autism &
COVID Resources

Support - Autism Education Network

The Autism Education Network is designed to provide school teams support, training, and resources to guide services for students with autism. Below are potential offerings autism network team members may provide based on the request. The level of support provided will be based on AU/school team needs as well as autism team availability.

Training (Virtual or In-Person):

The CDE autism team can create targeted, individualized trainings for an AU/school team based on current needs. These trainings can be done virtually or in-person (pending COVID guidelines), and can cover an array of topics related to autism. Trainings can be anywhere from two hours to one full day. The team does not offer individualized versions of currently offered CDE trainings (see training section below).

Field Support:

Field support is intended to offer consultation/coaching services and allows the CDE autism consultants to partner with AU/school teams to address systemic or long-standing concerns. This service supports implementation of evidence-based practices within the school setting. The consultant will work with the team to understand current needs, and then establish goals and a subsequent action plan. This plan may include up to six virtual or in-person visits (depending on need and COVID guidelines).


The CDE autism team partners with Children’s Hospital Colorado to offer support in completing functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and developing behavior intervention plans (BIPs) via virtual coaching sessions. This service is designed for teams looking to expand their skills in addressing challenging behavior (e.g., aggression, self-harm, property destruction) and can commit to recurring weekly or biweekly sessions for approximately one to two months. These sessions involve discussions, coaching, and practice implementing various forms of FBA/BIP and analyzing data. This service is recommended for teams addressing unique and intensive behaviors (e.g., considering alternative placement, behaviors that are not responding to intervention over time, behaviors that have injured staff or other students).

Resource Recommendation:

For teams looking to expand knowledge and in need of quick, potentially asynchronous learning opportunities, the CDE autism team can offer recommendations of existing resources to review. Consultants can provide individualized suggestions of webinars, modules, currently offered CDE trainings, and other related resources. To review options, please visit the webinar page to see all archived webinars, or the training section to see currently offered CDE autism team trainings.

Flyer - Network Request (PDF)

Network Request

When completing the field request, you will be prompted to describe the needs of your program and how they relate to Colorado’s Autism Quality Indicators

Quality Indicators

​Questions about the Colorado Autism Education Network? Please contact Brooke Carson (see Specialist Contacts section below) with questions about the Autism Education Network.


Virtual Events 

ASD Communication Toolkit Training

This multi-session training is for team members working directly with students with autism. The Communication Toolkit training is designed to:

  • Support understanding of communication in children with ASD including formal and informal measurement of communication abilities.
  • Help participants develop a rationale and plan around “where to start” when developing communication systems for students with early emerging communication skills including coaching communication partners for success.
  • Discuss Evidence Based Practices (EBPs) and match practice to the characteristics of individual students with ASD.
  • Give participants a variety of interventions to support students with ASD in developing a functional communication system.
  • Follow up with participants through virtual coaching (1 hour requirement within 6-8 weeks of the one-day training completion).

The Communication Toolkit training is designed for those who already have a foundational understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

Communication Toolkit Flyer (PDF)


  • WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Certified school professionals involved in directly with students with ASD, including school psychologists, social workers, speech/language pathologists, special education teachers, occupational therapists, district administrators, and other certified staff who are part of the school team.

Training Dates & Times

  • September 9, 2024, from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
  • September 16, 2024, from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM
  • October 21, 2024 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM

CDE Certificates

Those who attend the 2 half-day training sessions (3 hours each) and 1- hour follow-up meeting will receive a 7-hour certificate of attendance; partial credit will not be given.


This training is currently at capacity & registration is currently closed. In the event there are cancellations a waitlist has been started. 

ASD Educational Identification Training

This distance learning opportunity will be presented over four days, in three-hour segments. The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder, using evaluation tools to assess the triad of characteristics of ASD. Participants will learn how to build a body of evidence to support the identification of ASD (determining eligibility) in an educational setting (without using the ADOS).

Ed ID Flyer (PDF)


  • Registration is limited and will close two weeks prior to the start date. If registration is at capacity a wait list will be opened.
  • Who should attend: certified school professionals involved in assessment for the educational identification of ASD, including school psychologists, social workers, speech/language pathologists, special education teachers, occupational therapists, district administrators, and other certified staff who are part of the evaluation team. This training is not open to paraeducators.
  • This training is not open to paraeducators.
  • Priority will be given to those individuals who have not previously attended.
  • Attending all four sessions is required to receive a certificate of attendance. 

Round 1 Training Dates & Times

Thursdays in August from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm

  • August 8, 2024
  • August 15, 2024
  • August 22, 2024
  • August 29, 2024

Round 2 Training Dates & Times

Fridays in February, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • February 7, 2025
  • February 14, 2025
  • February 21, 2025
  • February 28, 2025

CDE Certificate

Participants must complete all four virtual sessions to receive a certificate of attendance (12 CDE hours). Partial credit will not be given.



Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online Training Opportunity

This RBT training is currently being offered two times a year,  July- December, and January -June. Applications will be open the month prior to the next session, in June and December.  These training events have a limit of 100 applicants per session. Please be advised that the course fills up quickly and we are unable to run a waitlist.  We are also unable to admit new attendees once a session has started.

This course is available to Colorado residents that currently work in a school district, or Administrative Unit (AU) as well as caregivers of students with Autism.

This 40+ hour readiness training is presented in a virtual, self-directed online format that provides content on evidence-based behavior techniques and strategies. Participants who might be interested include School psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators, support staff, and parents.

This training program is based on the Registered Behavior Technician 2nd Edition Task List and is designed to meet the training requirement for the RBT credential. This program does NOT include the supervision and exam portions of the requirements. The program is offered independent of the BACB. For a complete list of requirements for the RBT credential, visit the BACB website.

Instructional Strategies Course:

If you are not planning to attain the full RBT credential through the BACB, you might be interested in this free online course.  The content is the same, but the RBT certification information has been removed (e.g., ethics, how to write reports, etc).  The Instructional Strategies course is 21 hours vs. the 40 hours.

If you are participating strictly for professional development, you may enroll yourself in the Instructional Strategies course at any time and you have unlimited access to the content.  You can work at your own pace and the books are not required.   

About the Instructional Strategies Training:

  • You do NOT have to apply for this course and can create an account at the link below and begin taking modules at any time.
  • There is no timeline for completing the course. You can complete content whenever is convenient for you.
  • The course is completely free.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion for 7-8 contact hours.
  • This course does NOT meet BACB requirements for the 40-hour RBT training.

Both of these courses are developed and instructed by TASN Instructors:

Peggy VonFeldt, BCBA; Pam Scharping, BCBA; Shana Kaplan, BCBA 

Colorado Department of Education Facilitator:

Email Cora Nash, CDE Autism Specialist

Face-to-Face Trainings

Foundations for Instruction

With school districts reporting staff shortages and team members lacking autism training, this content will focus on teaching instructional strategies to IEP team providers newer to the field of ASD (0-5 years). The focus of this in-person training is for participants to learn autism strategies using specially designed instruction for effective programming (student/classroom). This will be a hands-on learning opportunity with embedded coaching and practice on learned content.

View/Print Foundations
Flyer (PDF)

Additional Details:

  • 2 hybrid training dates
  • 2-hour virtual component between Days 1 & 2
  • Registrants are committing to 14 hours of hybrid training:
    • Day 1 will be in person (Fall 2024)
    • Virtual Check-In
    • Day 2 will be virtual (Winter 2025)
  • All 14 hours are required when registration is being determined; partial attendance or credit will not be accepted/granted. 
  • There is no cost for this training. The Exceptional Student Services Unit of the Colorado Department of Education provides the funding for the presenters. 
  • No reimbursement is provided to participants. 
  • In-person dates may be held virtually depending upon total number of registered participants.

Locations & Dates of trainings: 

  • Training 1 - Rifle, CO
    • August 13, 2024 (In-Person Sessions) from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
    • October 7, 2024 (Virtual Check In) from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
    • January 8, 2025 (Virtual Session) from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Training 2 - Limon, CO
    • September 24, 2024 (In-Person Sessions) from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
    • October 7, 2024 (Virtual Check In) from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
    • January 15, 2025 (Virtual Session) from 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM


Registration at each location is limited. Registration for each location will close two weeks prior to the initial session date. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder Literacy Institute

2024-2025 ASD Literacy Institute Information coming soon! 

Orange Arrow Pointing Right  Tri-State Webinar Series

The Tri-State Webinar Series is made available through collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, Kansas TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports, and the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network.

Anyone with an interest in learning about the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders and evidence-based practices is invited to attend any of our webinars. This may include administrators, general education teachers, specialist teachers, family members, paraprofessionals, special education professionals, healthcare, and related service providers.

Tri-State Autism Collaborative Logo

2023-2024 Webinar Series

No webinars are planned at this time. 

Past Webinars

A full list of the archived Tri-State Webinars can be accessed from CDE's Professional Development Portal. 

Autism Library of
On-Demand Webinars


Other Training Opportunities


Join the Conversation & Contact Us

ASD Office Hours

The ASD team has concluded the 2024-2025 ASD Office Hour Sessions.  ASD Office Hours will resume in the fall; please check back for more information. 

BCBA Conversations 

If you are a BCBA working in a public or facility school across the state of Colorado, you are invited to a monthly gathering of other BCBAs to collaborate, problem solve and share resources. We will gather from 4:00 - 5:00 PM, on the first Wednesday of each month, to discuss topics relevant to our work, host guest speakers and collaborate with others around the state doing the same work.

2023-2024 Dates

  • September 6, 2023
  • October 4, 2023
  • November 1, 2023
  • December 6, 2023
  • January 3, 2024
  • February 7, 2024
  • March 6, 2024
  • April 3, 2024
  • May 1, 2024

Join the BCBA Conversation.

Join the Colorado Autism Spectrum Disorder Listserv

To join the Autism Spectrum Disorder listserv please contact Brooke Carson or Rhonda Danner. ​

Contact an ASD Specialist

Brooke Carson, Ph.D.
Phone: 720-215-8647
Email Brooke Carson

Rhonda Danner, M.A.
Phone: 720-460-8368
Email Rhonda Danner

Having trouble with this webpage?


If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact the Exceptional Student Services Unit at Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.