Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Autism Initiative: Training Series


As the increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) mature and seek independence in their adult lives, OPWDD anticipates an ongoing need to provide evidence-based training to staff of all levels.   OPWDD, in collaboration with Binghamton University’s Institute for Child Development, developed a staff training curriculum that augments training for state and voluntary agency staff working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities (DD).  This training series helps to standardize and update the ASD/DD training in practice throughout the OPWDD system.  

Target Audience for Autism Training

The target audiences to use the staff training curriculum are clinical and direct support professionals of all levels. While this curriculum targets ASD in particular, it is relevant to individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities.

Description of Materials

The Autism Initiative Training Series is a no-cost online training that is available without registration.  The training materials can be accessed via the links found at the top right of this page.

The content is based on current research literature on best practices for serving individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities, with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis (ABA). It consists of six modules that are available in video and pdf formats. Trainees are encouraged to take the Self-Assessment at the end of each Module to further enhance their understanding and comprehension of the content.  The modules are as follows:

Six modules:

  1. Overview of Autism in Adolescents and Adults
  2. Key Components in Residential Service Provision
  3. Skill Development and Learning for Life
  4. Monitoring and Evaluating Individual Progress
  5. Communication in Social Interaction
  6. Issues in Relationships and Sexuality

Materials available in pdf format:

  • Table of Contents
  • Modules
  • Activities
  • Self-Assessment
  • Reference List

Suggested use of materials:

  • View the modules in Video format.
  • Read the Table of Contents, Modules, Activities, Self-Assessment, and Reference List in pdf format.
  • Use Activities and Reference List to reinforce and enhance learning.
  • Complete Self-Assessments found at the end of each module to integrate knowledge of materials, topics, and techniques.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and supervisors to discuss materials and practice techniques.

For questions regarding the Autism Initiative: Training Series, contact

Dr. Alan Galgana at (518) 473-8227 or  or

Dr. Helen Yoo at (718) 494-5295 or


The Autism Initiative Training Series provides evidence-based training for clinical and direct support professionals who work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.  Please note that this program is not intended to be used as a stand-alone training.  It was designed to be supported and supplemented by supervisory discussion, experiential practice, and supplemental learning. If you have any questions about the training program, always seek the advice of a competent behavior analyst or other behavioral health professional trained in evidence-based practices for individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities. 

The information in this training program is for educational purposes only.  No information provided is intended to diagnose or cure any disease or condition.  All guidance and training given should be considered as advice.

OPWDD expressly disclaims any and all responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which may be incurred as a consequence of the use and application of any of the materials included in this training program.