MN Statewide ASD Newsletter

November 2021 MN Low Incidence Projects

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Welcome to the ASD Statewide Newsletter!

This newsletter is designed to provide all MN educators the necessary resources to increase their skills in teaching students with ASD. Special education teachers, related service providers, administrators, and paraprofessionals alike are encouraged to subscribe to this monthly newsletter. The MN Low Incidence Project is here to support you!

Letter from the Editor

Hi! I am Tam Childs and I am the Statewide Low Incidence Specialist for Autism Spectrum Disorders here in Minnesota. I am excited to share our first statewide newsletter with you!

In future newsletters, I hope to include a brief welcome video and announcements such as exciting happenings in the field and drawing winners! For now, please read and share this 1st newsletter and let us know how we can make it better to help you all out in the field!

I'm so glad our first newsletter is in November so we can take the time to say THANK YOU to all educators for your dedication and hard work during these challenging times! You are making a difference! (Now take a couple of days off to eat turkey and nap! You deserve it!)

Thank you,

Tami Childs

What's in this Issue?

  • Monthly Featured Highlight!
  • MN ASD Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • MN ASD Updates
  • ASD Teacher and Related Service Provider Resources
  • New Teacher/Educator Support & Training (NEST)
  • MDE News and Resources
  • Assistive Technology Tip of the Month
Monthly Feature Highlight! in a red & blue box

Meet Jen G!

Jen is a special education teacher in St Paul Public Schools who has spent several years developing her ASD program to incorporate high leverage and evidence based practices!

We asked Jen to snap some photos of the visuals that are most important in running her classroom. We hope these tips are helpful! Click below to browse the photo gallery.

Jen has also created several videos for us that help educators understand how to plan and deliver instruction as well as what skills to focus on at the middle and high school level.

MN ASD Upcoming Events & Opportunities in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box

STAR Media Center and STAR Online Learning System (SOLS) for the Classroom

The STAR Online Learning System (including the STAR Media Center) is FREE To anyone in MN for the 2021-2022 School year!

Click here for more information about these tools

STAR Support Quarterly Webinars

These webinars are open to all MN educators who are using or planning to use the STAR curriculum. In these quarterly webinars, we will provide guidance on the steps of implementing STAR as well as share resources and answer individual questions.

STAR Webinar #2

December 7, 2021 3p.m.- 4p.m.

Star Webinar #3

March 1, 2022 3p.m. - 4p.m.

Star Webinar #4

May 3, 2022 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.

STAR/LINKS Midyear Training (In person)

Join us at Metro ESCU on February 2, 2022 from 9-3 pm for the STAR/ LINKS Midyear Training! This training is free of charge and open to all MN educators interested in or currently implementing STAR or LINKS.

Midyear STAR/LINKS Training

February 2, 2022 9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Save the Date: Minnesota Autism Conference in Person!

Save the Date: Save the date! The 2022 Minnesota Autism Conference will be held April 27-29, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency in Bloomington, Minn. For more information:

Apply to present a breakout session at the conference:

Proposals due by December 17, 2021. If you need help, contact

Register for the Minnesota Autism Conference

April 27 - 29, 2022 8 a.m. - 4:00 p.m

MN ASD Updates  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
The Statewide ASD Updates presentation is updated two times per year and available to all MN educators. Please feel free to share this presentation with your staff.

ASD Teacher and Related Service Provider Resources  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
For those teachers looking to build on their practices for teaching students with autism and other developmental disabilities, the following resources are excellent and free of charge.

Autism Internet Modules

The Autism Internet Modules (AIM) include 50 free, self paced modules on evidence based practice strategies for individuals with ASD. They include case studies, instructional videos, discussion questions, activities and more.

Check out the modules that are labeled “Autism in the Classroom”!

Click here to view

AFIRM Modules

The Autism Focused Intervention Resources & Modules (AFIRM) are free, self paced modules on evidence based practice strategies for individuals with ASD. These modules include step-by-step guidance on each of the EBPs from the National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence & Practice (formerly NPDC-ASD). These modules include activities, case examples, and videos as well as resources such as an implementation checklist and data collection sheets.

Click here to view

NEW!!! Autism Center Grab and Go Resource Gallery of Interventions

These interventions support all learners, including those with ASD. Completed and blank templates are free and available to download. Each intervention has a how-to explanation so it can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual you support.

Click here to view

New Teacher Educator Support & Training (NEST)  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
The NEST is designed specifically for all of you teachers out there who are new to working with students with ASD. Feeling overwhelmed? We get it and want to help!

The best tip we can offer is to START SMALL! For example, look at one routine in your day and break it down into steps, then make it into a picture or word schedule and practice it with your students. You can videotape them doing it and show it back to them so they can see themselves being successful in this routine!! Make sure they can see the visual schedule so they can follow along!

Here are 4 one-page resources to get you started!

Creating a mini schedule for your chosen routine

One page description on how to teach functional routines

Task Analysis Blank Template (Write down the steps of the routine here)

Tips for creating a Task Analysis (examples on here are for home but you can use school routines instead)

If you try this, please let us know how it goes by emailing and we will enter your name in a drawing for a Different Roads Reinforcement Kit!!

STAR/LINKS  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
MN has a STAR/LINKS Resource webpage available to assist educators in implementing these programs. Check it out at

Additionally, there are opportunities for educators to receive training, coaching, and free resources for STAR/LINKS implementation. For more information, contact Tami Childs at

MDE News and REsources  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
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Research Project Opportunity for Teachers and Paras! Free Training!

The University of Washington School Mental Health, Assessment, Research, and Training (SMART) Center has an amazing opportunity for MN paraprofessionals!

A new research study entitled “Supporting Paraeducators of Autistic Children to Engage! (SPACE! Study)” for the 2021-2022 school year. The goal of this study is to look at how a new intervention, the RUBIES program, works when paraeducators use it with their autistic students who have disruptive behaviors in the classroom.

Click here for more information.

Minnesota Accessibility Center aka MAC

The Minnesota Department of Education is excited to announce a new initiative aimed at addressing questions and issues experienced by educators regarding equitable access to education; the “Minnesota Accessibility Center” aka MAC.

The MAC Open Office Hours will provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions, discuss issues, and connect with specialists, colleagues, and vendors. Office hours are for listening, discussing, and problem solving. Issues are discussed and resources shared in large groups and/or in breakout rooms.

MAC OOH are scheduled for the first and third Tuesdays of the month during the school year from 3:15-4:15 pm.

Click here for more information

MTAS Field Auditors Needed - Please share with people you know who may be interested

Each year, MDE employs Field Auditors to observe MTAS administrations in selected schools around the state and gather evidence to evaluate the validity and reliability of the assessment. . For 2021-22, MDE is looking for auditors to work with MDE to do between 4-7 days of work from February-May 2022.

Click here for more information

Assistive Technology Tip of the Month  in Blue and surrounded by Red and Blue Box
AT TIP: Time Management Tools

Executive Function tools for time management