An Autism and Inclusive Practices Series


    Autism in the Classroom:
    Practical Strategies for General Education Teachers
    Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School  

    9.20.23  •  10.18.23  •  1.24.24  •  2.21.24     3.20.24    4.17.24     5.15.24     6.5.24
    11:30 AM to 1:00 PM   VIRTUAL


    This virtual series is offered at no charge, and was developed specifically with upper elementary, middle school and high school teachers in mind. The series is open all Oregon public school  professionals who are interested in inclusive practices for children, teens and young adults on the autism spectrum and those with related social-emotional, learning or behavioral needs. 


    Every session is offered live on the following dates: 9.20.23, 10.18.23, 11.15.23, 1.24.24, 2.21.24, 3.20.24, 4.17.24, 5.15.24, 6.5.24. Each session will be recorded and the recording links will be published on this page. Click here for information on accessing video recordings.  


    Upper elementary teachers (3rd, 4th, 5th grade), middle school, and high school general education teachers. Paraeducators working in these settings will also benefit from the information. Other school-based professionals with an interest in successfully supporting neurodivergent children and youth in general education classrooms are welcome to attend. Please note that for seasoned special education professionals, some of the information may be review. 


    A Certificate of Participation is available following completion of each session along with submission of a brief feedback and learning check form. For teachers who complete the entire series, a special Certificate of Completion in Inclusive Practices for Early Learners will be issued. 


    It is free and easy to sign up. Separate registration is required for each session. Click on the event listed below. This will take you to our events calendar where you can register for the session. Note that you must create a free account on our website. This is a one-time process after which you will be able to sign in and register for other events. 


    Please contact Darthea Park at


    Session 1
    Understanding Autism: Essential Concepts for Teachers, Paraeducators and other School-Based Professionals
    Presented on September 20, 2023

    Description: To truly help our autistic students, we must take an imaginative leap and try to understand the world from their point of view (paraphrased from Dr. Lorna Wing). Children and youth on the autism spectrum think, process and experience the world in ways that are fundamentally different - different, but not less.

    During this presentation, we will guide general education teachers (and others) beneath the surface to develop a deeper understanding of autism and the underlying characteristics that influence how students learn and respond in the classroom. Then we will provide teachers with practical guidance on how to support the neurodivergent learners in their classroom; strategies that teachers can start using right away to support student success and develop trusting relationships.  

    watch video  Session 1 Recording

    Session 1 Slides

    Session 2
    Setting the Stage for Success: Classroom Setup, Structure and Visuals to  Support Autistic Students (and everyone else too!)
    October 18, 2023
    3:00 PM to 5:00 PM   

    Description: Teachers will discover best practices for arranging classroom furniture, materials, and sensory spaces that support all students, including autistic learners. Learn how to use visual supports to help students understand classroom expectations, to know what to do, and to increase independence. Develop effective strategies for establishing routines, systems and clear expectations in the classroom. Discuss how structure, systems, and routines enhance learning outcomes for all students.

    watch video  Session 2 Recording

    Session 2 Slides

    Session 3
    Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom: Practical Strategies in Preventing and Responding to Those Difficult Moments
    January 24, 2024 (New Date! Rescheduled from 1.17.24)
    3:00 PM to 5:00 PM  

    Description: Sometimes the demands placed on students overwhelm their ability to cope and challenging behaviors occur. During this session, teachers will learn how to greatly reduce the frequency and intensity of challenging behaviors through the use of research-based strategies that set students up for success. We will also explore how to know when a student has been triggered and the practical techniques teachers can use to de-escalate a situation and help students return to a state in which they are happy, relaxed, engaged and available for learning.

    The concept of "behavior as communication" will be explored, and the ways in which students are attempting to get their needs met via maladaptive behaviors - and how we can help them learn new skills and self-regulate so that they're less likely to engage in challenging behaviors.

     watch video  Session 3 Recording

    Session 3 Slides

    Session 4
    Autism and Literacy: Strategies for Success with Reading and Writing
    February 21, 2024
    3:00 PM to 5:00 PM      

    Description: Teaching reading and writing to autistic students is more effective when teachers utilize strategies that are responsive to the different ways in which students think and process information. During this session, teachers will learn a variety of specific classroom strategies tailored to neurodivergent learners including the use of visual tools (e.g., semantic webs, mind maps, story diagrams), responding to sensory processing and motor challenges, use of assistive technology, and more!

    watch video   Session 4 Recording

    Session 4 Slides

    Supplemental Resources

    Supporting the Literacy Development of Students with Autism

    Session 5
    Making Learning Meaningful: Strategies to Motivate and Engage Autistic Students in the Classroom
    March 20, 2024
    3:00 PM to 5:00 PM    

    Description: How do we make learning and participation meaningful from the student's point of view? Teachers often wonder how they can motivate students and get them actively engaged in learning. During this session, participants will learn how to create a reinforcement structure that encourages active participation (i.e., active student responding) and persistence in learning tasks. Explore strategies for keeping your neurodivergent students engaged in activities and instruction.

     watch video  Session 5 Recording

    Session 5 Slides

    Session 6
    Building Relationships and Social Emotional Learning for Your Students on the Autism Spectrum
    April 17, 2024
    11:30 AM to 1:00 PM     

    Description: While trusting relationships and rapport are important for all teacher-student relationships, they are essential when working with autistic children and youth. During this session, teachers will learn about neurodiversity-affirming approaches to not only build relationships with students but also how to help students develop and maintain healthy peer relationships. It's a damaging myth that autistic people are less interested in social connection and friendship. They often desperately want to connect with peers but may struggle with the social understanding and skills needed to make and keep friends. We'll explore ways to help students improve their social understanding and relationship skills.

     watch video  Session 6 Recording

    Session 6 Slides

    Session 7
    Helping Students Focus, Organize, and Complete Tasks: Executive Function Supports for Autistic Learners
    May 15, 2024
    11:30 AM to 1:00 PM   

    Description: Learn how to help students with organizational skills including time management, task prioritization, and setting achievable goals. Examine strategies to promote cognitive flexibility, enabling students to adapt to changes and transitions more effectively. Gain insights into helping autistic students develop self-regulation skills, which are vital for managing emotions and avoiding overwhelm. Discover how to tailor executive function supports to meet the unique needs of each student, ensuring personalized progress.

    Registration: Click on the title to go to the event page. Look for the "Register" button (you'll need to be logged in via your account to see it).

    Supplemental Resources

    Get Ready, Do, Done: Helping Students Envision and Achieve their Goals

    watch video  Session 7 Recording

    Session 7 Slides

    Session 8

    Creating Inclusive Classrooms: Combating Ableism for Autistic Learners + Interactive Discussion and Series Q & A
    June 5, 2024

    11:30 AM to 1:00 PM 

    Description: In this eighth and final session in the series, we are going to wrap things up by presenting information on ways in which teachers and staff can combat ableism and create instructional environments that are inclusive and supportive of all students, including those who are neurodivergent.

    Then we will transition to open, interactive dialogue with attendees during which we will respond to questions related to any of the content covered throughout this series. Do you have any questions or specific topics that you would like us to address? We would love to hear from you!

    Please use this form if you have questions or topics that would would like us to address on June 5th. Thank you for taking a moment to submit a question or topic of interest! 

    Registration: Click on the title to go to the event page. Look for the "Register" button (you'll need to be logged in via your account to see it). 

    Supplemental Resources