K-12 Training Curriculum

The Intensive Training offered to schools is based on "effective practices." We believe that effective practices are proven practices chosen for students based on sound professional judgement and regular data analysis and review. We are not endorsing a particular program; rather, we review the research literature to identify the best practice strategies. Although we may specify strategies, we are not endorsing a single approach, and presentations reflect an emphasis on the use of evidence based strategies. We also emphasize teaming and collaborating and partnerships in the form of parent-school and community-school partnerships as a means to better serve children with ASD.

Intensive training sites will have access to a START Autism Education Specialist who will be assigned to their site for technical assistance. START will assist the district in organizing functional teams, applying new learning, and assessing their supports for students with ASD and their families.


K-12 Modules

K-12 Year 1 Modules

This module provides participants with an orientation to the START Project and an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) including current characteristics and definitions; learning characteristics associated with ASD, etiologies and research in the area of ASD. The module also includes information on evidence-based practices for students with ASD as well as the importance of family involvement in educational planning. The Teaming Process includes a problem solving format that can be applied to team decision making efforts, and participants will learn how this process can be readily applied to student educational planning and behavior plan meetings

This module is a team-based training on a multi-tiered system of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Participants will gain an understanding of PBIS and learn to use the principles of behavioral science to develop and implement preventative evidence-based interventions and scripts including visual schedules and functional communication systems. Participants will also learn to use to data to participate in function-based problem solving meetings and learn the process of developing and implementing quality Positive Behavioral Support plans and emergency procedures for students with unsafe behavior. Evaluation procedures and processes will also be discussed.

This module provides participants with a foundation of educational strategies that build upon the strengths of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and lead to successful learning. Participants are provided an opportunity to experience ASD through sensitivity awareness activities which lead to a better understanding of the learning challenges for these students. Participants learn to provide curricular accommodations and modifications so students with ASD have access to appropriate grade-level curriculum. A framework for developing an individualized academic modification and grading plan for a student with ASD as well as practice in creating such a plan is provided.

This module provides participants information about systems for establishing a peer to peer support program to increase opportunities for students with ASD to access general education settings and curriculum. Peers model typical academic and social behavior in educational environments throughout the school day and provide support for students with ASD to promote independence and socialization. Peer to peer support programs and inclusion of students with ASD not only impacts outcomes for students with ASD, but has a powerful impact on typical peers and at risk students. The specific steps for developing a peer to peer support program will be presented including: recruitment, training and maintenance and includes the concept of medium of exchange as a way to connect students.

This module focuses on the process of developing an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that incorporates the legal requirements of LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) and embeds established evidence-based practices for students with ASD. Participants complete an Educational Benefit Review that addresses the effectiveness of previous IEPs in order to enhance the future IEP process. Participants learn how to write an effective Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) statement as well as develop observable and measurable goals and objectives related to the student’s progress in the general education curriculum and setting. Strategies for implementing the IEP with fidelity and data collection procedures for monitoring progress toward goals and objectives are also covered including a process for successful yearly transition.

The administrative module presentation will provide a fast-paced overview of the START intensive training components. This module will suggest strategies for positive administrative support of effective practices in supporting students with ASD. Expected outcomes for administrators may include:  a general understanding of the START grant, strategies to positively respond to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and support their educational and social growth, and clear expectations for staff working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

K-12 Year 2 Modules

This module highlights the essential components for quality special education eligibility determination under Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The presentation includes a detailed review of the characteristics of ASD as outlined in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) criteria and recommended evaluation processes and procedures as outlined in the Michigan Autism Council’s Education-Based Evaluations for ASD guide. Related evaluation materials and tools also are provided in addition to a review of effective report writing, differential eligibility decision-making and addressing disagreements among evaluators both within and outside of school. 

This module is intended for participants educating students with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS). The module explores characteristics of students with AS and effective practices identified in the literature to support students in their school environment. Relevant theories are covered, including social attribution theory and theory of mind, which are critical to supporting the social, emotional and behavioral development of students with AS. The Path A/Path B strategy is used to teach participants how attributions impact decision-making and responses to the behaviors of students with AS.

  • Attribution, Advocacy, and Accountability: Supporting all Students with ASD (The module formerly known as Asperger) handouts and materials

Self-management strategies have been used for students with a wide range of academic and behavioral challenges, including students with ASD. Teaching self-management is a pivotal behavior for students to learn how to independently regulate their behavior across many situations. Although teachers and family members may initially play a major role in the implementation of the system, ultimately, the responsibility for ongoing use of the system should be passed to the student as much as possible. This material provides information about how to individualize a self-management system for a student with ASD. This will include the steps needed for a student to learn to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, monitor and record their own behaviors, and reward themselves for meeting a specified goal.


K-12 Team Binder