Upcoming In-Services and Learning Opportunities

These are the upcoming learning opportunities for professionals and parents taking place at Four Rivers.

Priority registration is given to those parents and professionals within the Four Rivers district cooperative.  All others will be considered if there are additional openings.

Please Register using the form at the bottom of the page. Click on the title for additional information

September 09, 2020

Presentation: 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This course will benefit anyone working with a child using WordPower on any Saltillo AAC solution (e.g., TouchChat® app, TouchChat® Express, NovaChat®, Chat Fusion™). It will provide the opportunity for people on the team to work together to learn and brainstorm ideas to move beyond requesting.


This course will infuse learning into hands-on activities with the AAC system. Topics covered will include: core vocabulary, modeling without expectation, WordPower organization, and software features to support early literacy and classroom participation. Participants will explore and learn how to use Saltillo’s implementation tools and resources to help maximize success. Participants will engage in guided discussion to apply the information to individual children/students. Examples of activities include: modeling while reading a book, creating an “Early Book” page to support literacy, using button capture to create quick materials, and saving pictures and sentences for early writing. Fun will be had by all.


This is not a course on programming, so it is strongly recommended that at least one person on the team have basic programming knowledge (e.g., edit a button, open a vocabulary file). Extra devices will be available to share; however, teams are encouraged to bring the child’s AAC system in order to apply learning during the training.

September 23, 2020

Presentation: 1:00 p.m.

Are you new to special education or the Four Rivers cooperative?  Do you have questions now that your school year has begun?  Are you preparing for your first IEP meeting?  Is Embrace confusing?  Then this training is for you.  Register at www.frsed.org under the Professional Development tab.

September 23, 2020

Registration 12:15 p.m. Presentation: 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

October 26, 2020

Making Sure ALL Students Have Equal Opportunities and Access - Remote Learning Training with a Focus on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Differentiation

Presentation: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Virtual Workshop 


This training is for teachers and therapists that find themselves needing to teach remotely or in a blended learning environment. Classroom tools and strategies will be covered with an emphasis on making sure all students have access utilizing the UDL framework and strategies. Options in platforms like Google Classroom and web meeting software (Google Meet, Zoom, etc.) can help you connect and deliver content to whole classrooms while making needed accommodations for students with IEP’s or 504 plans. Participants will gain an understanding of how to create video content, presentations, and lesson ideas designed within the UDL framework.





1. Participants will name and describe the three pillars of UDL.

2. Participants will name three remote learning tools and how they can be used.

3. Participants will create a lesson base on the UDL framework that can be taught using remote learning tools.

October 28, 2020

Presentation: 8:30 a.m-11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Stemming from a wealth of both professional and personal experience, this presentation combines real-life stories of challenges and successes with practical ideas for handling autism, every day. Autism consultant Alyson Beytien outlines over 150 tried-and-true techniques for home, school, and community.

Alyson's three boys cover the whole spectrum of autism--Asperger's syndrome, high-functioning autism, and classic autism. She understands the wide range of needs these children have and has discovered what helps and what hinders. Covering a full gamut of issues--from picky-eating and echolalia to IEPs and "The Woes of Walmart"--Alyson's ideas and interventions will inspire and inform all those who are connected to a person with autism.  Alyson believes that each day brings more opportunities to learn, problem-solve, and celebrate the joys that children with autism bring to our world--after all, today's crisis is tomorrow's humor. Her family's motto will soon become your everyday mantra: "Improvise and Overcome!"

November 17, 2020

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Ask any educator, having a student with social-pragmatic difficulties in the classroom can present numerous challenges. This training will teach participants how to reframe their thinking in addressing students with social deficits thereby enabling them to participate more fully in the educational system so as to achieve social and academic success.


The first part of this session will focus on assessing social-pragmatic skills.  According to law, any diagnostic interpretation must provide valid and reliable measures as well as a Functional Performance Statements. This presentation will discuss the following issues as they relate to qualifying these students. 1) Formal testing of social-pragmatics frequently fails to reveal pragmatic abnormalities. 2) Understanding how the terms Reliable and Valid relate to test Sensitivity and Specificity. 3) Test environments free of distraction – a setting that is perfect for many students with AS/HFA to perform at their best. 3) Cognitive knowledge is not Functional Use of pragmatic skills. Ultimately, the goal is to help districts avoid litigation.


The second part of this session will discuss intervention techniques designed to enhance social pragmatic  communication. Students with these deficits are often unaware of their own limitations and many professionals have struggled in their attempts at helping them. It will provide participants a variety of intervention techniques that truly

address social-pragmatic deficits.

November 18, 2020

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The incidence of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, of which Asperger syndrome is a component, are increasing at an alarming rate. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control reported that autism affects 1in every 110 American children, a 78% increase from 2002 to 2008 and over 600% increase in just the past 20 years (U. S. Centers for Disease Control, 2009). These figures have now been adjusted with 1 in every 88 being diagnosed (U. S. Centers for Disease Control, 2012). These students are now entering the school system. The number of children ages 6 through 21 diagnosed with autism receiving services under IDEA has increased more than 500 percent in just 10 years, from under 20,000 in 1993 to almost 120,000 in 2002, according to data collected for the Department of Education (U. S. Government Accountability Office, 2005). 

Educators are frequently being asked to treat students with Asperger syndrome/HFA yet few of these professionals are adequately prepared for this unique population. Reading comprehension and written expression are two classic areas that often frustrate the student, teacher, therapist and parent in the academic environment.

Excellent fluent reading is often present but is hampered by significantly reduced comprehension skills. Fictional material is often avoided due to the inherent difficulties of characterization, perspective taking, and the reading of emotions and intents – all concepts associated with a faulty Theory of Mind.

Written expression requires the ability to plan, draft, self-monitor, and

revise text, skills that are often deficient in Asperger syndrome/HFA.

Typically students with Asperger syndrome/HFA will produce writing

samples that are brief, less complex, and unfocused. Poor legibility is almost a given.

This session will discuss why traditional techniques designed to address reading comprehension fall short when the student has Asperger syndrome/HFA. It will focus on how the concepts of Theory of Mind and Central Coherence can be employed to more fully appreciate their unique needs. By including these concepts together with visual strategies into intervention more positive outcomes can be seen in reading comprehension

It will also address the inherent difficulty these students have when using written output as a means of assessing academic comprehension. Is the pencil necessary to achieve the process of written expression? Absolutely not! For many students with Asperger syndrome/HFA, writing is not an easy task. The ability to collect thoughts and put them into a well organized format often is a daunting task that overwhelms even the most sincere student. Their tendency for excessive detail and tangential thinking are a function of weak central coherence. The result is typically extreme frustration manifested in a variety of non-compliant behaviors. Homework becomes a battle between the student and the parent and when the work is finally completed, the product is typically anything but stellar. Techniques designed to learn how to remove the pencil from the process and enhance organization will be stressed.

Participants will learn a variety of strategies to address the 3 Rs of Asperger syndrome thereby increasing both reading comprehension and written output as well as reducing rage.

December 07, 2020

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

TRUBY PAYNE WORKSHOP--Boys account for 85% of the discipline problems in schools. They also constitute the largest populations in special education, Title I, and those who have reading and writing problems. Boys are the ones who have committed the violent acts in America’s schools, and they are the most likely to drop out of school. This workshop focuses on the “why” behind male behavior in schools and what schools can do to begin making school more “boy friendly.” Issues that affect boys who come from poverty, as well as middle class, will be explored in this session.

January 04, 2021

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

January 27, 2021

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

SLPs Registration Only

This presentation will discuss assessment and intervention strategies for children with severe speech sound disorders, focusing on linguistically based analysis, target selection, and intervention methods. Practical strategies for implementing assessment and subsequent treatment based on the research of Gierut and colleagues will be reviewed.
Mrs. Farnham has implemented this phonologic selection process in a public school setting, with significant student success in a relatively short time. Key components of effective therapy for severe speech sound disorders will be the primary focus of the session.

Teresa Farnham has more than 40 years of experience working with children and adults with communication disorders as a speech-language pathologist, speech pathology supervisor, and assistive technology consultant. She has experience in both the private sector and public education, and currently is sole proprietor of Clarity for Communication
LLC, a speech-language pathology private practice. Teresa has served as ASHA SEAL from Ohio, and as President, SLP-at-Large and Conference Chair for the Ohio School Speech Pathology and Educational Audiology Coalition (OSSPEAC). She has given numerous presentations at the regional and state level on assistive technology, language and
literacy, and best practices in speech-language pathology. She has also presented at ASHA, and the Assistive Technology Industry Association national conference.

February 24, 2021

Presentation: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

This day-long workshop will address strategies for: teaching and promoting self-care and independence, teaching puberty, emphasizing modesty and privacy, increasing personal safety while reducing fear and confusion and teaching sexuality related issues to children with ASD and related disabilities. The workshop will begin addressing the needs of children from the age of 3 (teaching hygiene, health and self-care) to elementary students (modesty, privacy, pre-puberty instruction and hygiene changes) to teenagers (puberty, personal safety and sexuality).

The target audience for this presentation is parents, social workers, teachers, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, and paraprofessionals, such as instructional assistants, and caregivers.


Mary Wrobel is the author of Taking Care of Myself, a hygiene, health, puberty and personal safety curriculum for students with ASD and related disabilities. Her book won the Autism Society of America Outstanding Literary Work of the Year Award-Educational Division for 2004. Her most recent book, Taking Care of Myself 2  is a guide for teens and young adults with ASD, and covers the topics of hygiene, health, public behavior, relationships, personal safety, and sex and sexual relationships.  She has also contributed to three published books: Autism 101 Manual , Autism and Girls, and A Spectrum of Solutions for Clients with Autism: Treatment for Adolescents and Adults.  Mary also writes articles for a number of autism publications.

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