You are here

Professional Learning (Autism Spectrum Disorder)

COVID-19 and Special Education

View information for educators and parents to support students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 resources for special education

Training and information is available in various formats noted below.  Please note that these training workshops are reserved first for Colorado School District and Administrative Unit personnel who work directly with children with autism spectrum disorders and parents of those children. All other reservations have been added to the waiting list and you will be notified at the registration deadline if there are open spaces.

Virtual Events 

An Evening with Temple Grandin

We invite you to join us for a FREE virtual evening with world renowned Dr. Temple Grandin on February, 11th, 2021. Temple will share a video of a recent presentation discussing her book, “Calling All Minds” among other thoughts on working with individuals with ASD. Following the video, we will offer a Q & A session with Temple.

Dr. Temple Grandin is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Beyond her impressive work in animal behavior, as an individual on the autism spectrum, Temple has provided incredible insight into working with individuals with autism through national lectures to parents and teachers.

Her articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, and on National Public Radio, 20/20, The View, and the BBC. She was also honored in Time Magazine’s 2010 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.” We are fortunate to have Temple’s expertise here in Colorado for not only our ranching and animal science community, but also for the families and professionals living and working with autism.


ASD Educational Identification

The training is designed to support districts in understanding how to identify students suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 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).

This distance learning opportunity will be presented over four days, in three-hour segments.

View the ASD Ed ID flyer (PDF) for more details! 


Thursday, January 7, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, January 19, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Thursday, January 28, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, February 9, 2021
4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Attending all four sessions live is highly encouraged. The training will be recorded, but participants MUST attend at least three sessions LIVE. There will be no exceptions.


Registration is currently at capacity.

To join the waitlist please fill out brief survey (Google Form)

Educational Identification of Complex ASD Cases: Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Evaluations

Children from culturally and linguistically minoritized populations are more likely to be misidentified or receive a delayed educational identification of ASD. This workshop will provide school professionals with advanced training pertaining to considerations regarding ASD assessment practices when working with traditionally underserved children, including children that are economically vulnerable, racially/ethnically minoritized and linguistically diverse. In addition, participants will receive training in differentiating ASD from other disabilities. Further, information will be shared regarding laws and recommendations pertaining to addressing significant disproportionality among children with ASD. This training will be presented by Dr. Bryn Harris from the University of Colorado Denver. Dr. Harris has extensive expertise in this content area.

See the flyer for more information! 


April 13, 2021 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM

April 20, 2021 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM


This training is ONLY available to those who have completed a 2-day CDE educational Identification of ASD Toolkit training. Confirmation emails will be sent to registered individuals who meet this requirement. Registration is limited. 

Application for Registration.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Literacy Institute, Tier 1

This statewide institute will be conducted by nationally recognized experts on literacy and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Dr. Christi Carnahan and Dr. Pam Williamson. The institute content will focus on a balanced approach to literacy including instruction in phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and writing. Each aspect of literacy will be linked to the unique cognitive, social, and communication issues inherent in ASD. Assessment strategies will include an overall estimation of the students' literacy abilities from interactive to independent, which will help teachers determine what additional literacy assessments may be needed to inform instruction. Measures of student outcomes and teacher outcomes will be incorporated into the project, developed by the presenters. Adapting to virtual literacy instruction and assessment will be addressed.

View the Literacy Institute, Tier 1 (PDF) for more details! 


All sessions will be from 12:30-3:30 (MT) on the following days:

November 2, 2020 (Monday) 

November 19, 2020 (Thursday) 

December 4, 2020 (Friday) 

December 15, 2020 (Tuesday)

January 20, 2021 (Wednesday)

February 4, 2021 (Thursday)

February 17, 2021 (Wednesday)

February 26, 2021 (Friday)

Attending all eight sessions live is highly encouraged. The training will be recorded, but participants MUST attend at least six sessions LIVE. There will be no exceptions.

Application for Registration

Application for Registration will close on October 19, 2020 at 5:00 PM

Apply for Tier 1 Literacy Institute


Orange Arrow Pointing Right  Tri-State Webinar Series - Upcoming

The Colorado Department of Education is partnering with the Kansas TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports Group and the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network to bring a comprehensive series of webinar trainings to their educators, families, and related service professionals.

All webinars are offered on the day scheduled:

2:30pm – 3:15pm MT

Fall 2020

November 4, 2020 

Social Engagement & The Steps to Being Social
Presenters: Marci Laurel, MA, CCC-SLP & Kathleen Mo Taylor, OTR/L

November 11, 2020

Strategies to Support Better Student Behavior
Presenters: Ashley Bauer, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA & Meggin Funk, M.S.Ed, CCC-SLP, BCBA

December 2, 2020

Mental Health & Autism Spectrum Disorders: Identifying and Meeting the Needs of Students
Presenters: Teri McGill M.Ed., BCBA/ Annette Wragge M.Ed., BCBA

Spring 2021

January 27, 2021

Masking and Mental Health
Presenter: Jacquelyn Fede, Ph.D.

February 10, 2021 

Changing Mindsets to Prepare Students with Disabilities for Integrated Employment and Success in Adult Life
Presenter: Beth Clavenna-Deane, Ph.D.

February 17, 2021

Down Syndrome and ASD Tips and Strategies with Focus on Digital Solutions
Presenter: Sean J. Smith, Ph.D.

March 3, 2021 

Practical Strategies for Obtaining Critical Mass
Presenter: Kerry Mataya, M.S. Ed.

March 17, 2021

Evaluating Autism in Young Children: Identifying Diagnostic Features
Presenter: Susan Hepburn, Ph.D.

Other Training Opportunities

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online Training Opportunity

This 40+ hour readiness training is a free, self-directed, online training which fulfills the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's (BACB) eligibility training requirements toward attaining a Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBTTM) credential. Please note this course is for staff or families working/living in Colorado,
January 7, 2021 - July 5, 2021
*Please note the application for registration for the January - July session is CLOSED.*
May 17, 2021 - November 11, 2021
*Please note the application for registration for the May - November session will open on April 19.*


RBT Application

More information regarding the May 17, - November 11, 2021 RBT Online Training Opportunity (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the RBT Course

New Training Opportunity: Online Para-Educator Training

Due to the high demand of the RBT course, the Kansas Technical Assistance Network created a training geared toward para-educators who want further training on behavior and instructional strategies, but are NOT seeking the RBT credential. The content is based on information covered in the RBT course. If you simply want more information around behavior and instructional strategies, but do NOT want/need the RBT credential, please take this course.

About the Para-Educator Training:

  • You do NOT have to apply for this course, and can create 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.

Online Para-Educator Training

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive ASD Educational Identification

This workshop will provide school professionals with advanced training pertaining to considerations regarding ASD assessment practices when working with traditionally underserved children, including children that are economically vulnerable, racially/ethnically diverse, linguistically diverse, and females.  See flyer for more information and to register.

More information coming soon! 

Orange Arrow Pointing Right  Face-to-Face

Face-to-Face trainings are currently on hold for the 20-21 school year. 

Specialist Contacts

Brooke Carson, Ph.D.
Phone: 303-866-6691
Email Brooke Carson

Rhonda Danner, M.A.Ed - Email Rhonda Danner

Kelsey Young, Ph.D. - Email Kelsey Young




Find what you were looking for?


If you have problems with broken links or accessing the content on this page, please contact our web content coordinator Amanda Timmerman at Please copy the URL link for this page into the email when referencing the problem you are experiencing.