IEP Goals New CE Guide

IEP Goals: S.M.A.R.T.E.R. STEPS® Guide is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides a framework for writing legally compliant IEP goals.

IEP Goals: S.M.A.R.T.E.R. STEPS® Guide is a new 2-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that provides a framework for writing legally compliant IEP goals.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings give parents and professionals a chance to work together to design an IEP for children with learning disabilities who have been determined eligible for special education. The goals for academic achievement and functional performance set for each child are the core of the IEP. Goals represent what you and the other IEP team members think the child will be able to accomplish in their area(s) of disability – academic, developmental, and functional – in a year’s time. Annual goals must be written in measurable terms. 

This course will focus on teaching professionals how to write legally compliant IEP goals using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps framework. These steps contain a variety of time-saving tips to help special education professionals understand the legal jargon related to IEP goal development. Examples will be provided to demonstrate the strategy so that participants can have a bank of goals for reference. Real scenarios will be problem-solved within the framework, so participants can have practical advice to share with their IEP teams.

Research on the need for compliant IEP goals will be presented based on the US Deptartment of Education’s findings from the Results Driven Accountability measures. Implications of these findings will be discussed as they relate to federal funding being tied to test results and progress on IEP goals. Recent court decisions will also be reviewed to emphasize the importance of developing compliant IEP goals. Course #21-35 | 2019 | 44 pages | 16 posttest questions

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Course Directions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. The course is text-based (reading) and the CE test is open-book (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

Professional Development Resources is a nonprofit educational corporation 501(c)(3) organized in 1992. We are approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA); the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychology & School Psychology, Dietetics & Nutrition, Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice; the Georgia State Board of Occupational Therapy; the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors (#MHC-0135); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board and Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology; the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs; the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists and State Board of Social Worker Examiners; and are CE Broker compliant (all courses are reported within a few days of completion).

PDR offers over 150 accredited online CE courses for healthcare professionals. 

Target AudiencePsychologistsSchool PsychologistsCounselorsSocial WorkersMarriage & Family Therapists (MFTs)Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs)Occupational Therapists (OTs)Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs), and Teachers

Enjoy 20% off all online continuing education (CE/CEU) courses @pdresources.orgClick here for details.

Earn CE Wherever YOU Love to Be!

Zero Order Skills

Course excerpt from Improving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents

Zero Order SkillsThis subset of skills is best defined as skills that are only significant when they fail to exist. “The ability to follow another person’s gazing gesture (head turn paired with eye gaze shift) or pointing gesture is an important milestone in early communicative development as it serves as a governing factor in both social interactions and referential communication between a young child and an adult” (John & Mervis, 2010).

Many children who have learning disabilities also show soft neurological symptoms. They generally involve coordination and motor skills. Pediatricians will assess soft signs in simple activities, such as “touch your nose with your finger” or “walk on your heels” (Lavoie, 2005, p.13).

These neurological symptoms manifest themselves in the child’s zero order skills. For example, a common soft sign is a child’s inability to track with his eyes without moving his head. When you are having a conversation with others at the dinner table, you make eye contact with each person as he or she speaks. You establish eye contact by moving your head slightly and moving your eyes to meet the gaze of your conversation partner. Children with this soft sign may, instead, keep their eyes fixed and move their head in order to establish and maintain eye contact. As you can imagine, this behavior will be viewed as odd. Although the behavior is normal for an infant, it is uncommon for a school-age child.

The ability to track a conversation as a zero order skill is noticeable only when it does not exist. It is highly unlikely that you would say, “I really like Frank, He’s so social! He always makes eye contact during conversations without moving his head very much.”

Lavoie (2005) lists the neurological soft signs that are commonly found in children with learning disorders and their corresponding zero order skills:

  • Hyper reaction
  • Hypo reaction
  • Attentional dysfocus
  • Perseveration
  • Motor speed problems
  • Bimanual coordination problems
  • Balance problems
  • Mirror movements
  • Copying deficits
  • Echolalia (repetition of speech sounds)
  • Left/right disorientation
  • Immature distance notion


A significant zero order skill that may be missing in children with social skills deficits is the “standing face.” Most people have a standing face that is relaxed and opened. Those with standing face have a slack open mouth look about them; serious or aloof. This type of face alludes to boredom or superiority. It is not attractive to others and is off-putting.

According to Terra (2010), “the goal may not be to adopt an artificial wardrobe of empty smiles, but to master the facial posture of someone who comes across as engaged and relaxed. This can involve ‘cocking’ the head to the side to convey interest, making 8-second interval eye contact, changing physical position (such as leaning slightly forward), gestures of approval such as sporadic smiles, nods, and ‘aha’ looks, and nonverbal cues (‘hmmmm’, ‘uh-huh’ and ‘ah’).”

Basic hygiene is also a zero order skill, only noticeable if it is not there. Effort needs to be made to teach children basic hygiene because of its impact on social relationships.

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Improving Social Skills in Children & AdolescentsImproving Social Skills in Children & Adolescents is a 4-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that discusses the social skills children and adolescents will need to develop to be successful in school and beyond. It will demonstrate the challenges and difficulties that arise from a deficit of these crucial skills, as well as the benefits and advantages that can come about with well-developed social skills. This course will also provide practical tools that teachers and therapists can employ to guide children to overcome their difficulties in the social realm and gain social competence. While there are hundreds of important social skills for students to learn, we can organize them into skill areas to make it easier to identify and determine appropriate interventions. This course is divided into 10 chapters, each detailing various aspects of social skills that children, teens, and adults must master to have normative, healthy relationships with the people they encounter every day. This course provides tools and suggestions that, with practice and support, can assist them in managing their social skills deficits to function in society and nurture relationships with the peers and adults in their lives. Course #40-40 | 2016 | 62 pages | 35 posttest questions


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion.

Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy; the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Suicide Prevention – New Online CE Course

New Online CE Course @pdresources.org

Suicide Prevention: Evidence-Based StrategiesSuicide Prevention: Evidence-Based Strategies is a new 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that reviews evidence-based research and offers strategies for screening, assessment, treatment, and prevention of suicide in both adolescents and adults.

Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In 2015, 44,193 people killed themselves. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes, “Suicide is a serious but preventable public health problem that can have lasting harmful effects on individuals, families, and communities.” People who attempt suicide but do not die face potentially serious injury or disability, depending on the method used in the attempt. Depression and other mental health issues follow the suicide attempt.

Family, friends, and coworkers are negatively affected by suicide. Shock, anger, guilt, and depression arise in the wake of this violent event. Even the community as a whole is affected by the loss of a productive member of society, lost wages not spent at local businesses, and medical costs. The CDC estimates that suicides result in over 44 billion dollars in work loss and medical costs.

Prevention is key: reducing risk factors and promoting resilience. This course will provide a review of evidence-based studies on this complex subject for psychologists, marriage & family therapists, professional counselors, and social workers. Information from the suicide prevention technical package from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be provided. Included also are strategies for screening and assessment, prevention considerations, methods of treatment, and resources for choosing evidence-based suicide prevention programs. 30-97 | 2017 | 60 pages | 20 posttest questions

Click here to learn more
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This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document). Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.
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Professional Development Resources is approved to sponsor continuing education by the American Psychological Association (APA); the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).
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Improving Communication with Your Young Clients – New Online CE Course

By Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP

Improving Communication with Your Young Clients

3-Hour Online CE Course

Improving Communication with Your Young Clients is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE/CEU) course that teaches clinicians effective and practical communication and conversational skills to use with young clients and their families.

Healthy professional and personal relationships rely heavily on effective communication techniques and respectful conversational skills. Clinicians and other professionals who work with children and their families can benefit from adding to their repertoire by learning communication techniques that improve the quality of these relationships. The correct use of language can increase your young clients’ self-esteem, motivate children to learn, engage their willing cooperation, defuse power struggles, and teach conflict resolution skills. With this information, you will also be better prepared to manage difficult conversations. Course #30-79 | 2015 | 52 pages | 21 posttest questions

This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account after purchasing) to mark your answers on it while reading the course document. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

About the Author:

Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, received her master’s degree from Hunter College in New York in Communication Sciences. She is the Director of Parent Outreach for A+ Learning and Development Centers facilitating “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk” workshops as well as workshops based on “Siblings Without Rivalry.” Adina is the founder of ParentingSimply.com, a division of A+ Learning and Development Centers. You can reach her and check out her website at www.parentingsimply.com.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA Provider #AAUM); by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); by the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); by the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); by the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and by the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

 

 

Helping Your Young Client Persevere in the Face of Learning Differences

By Adina Soclof, MS, CCC-SLP

Helping Your Young Client Persevere in the Face of Learning DifferencesClinicians and teachers working with students struggling at grade level are committed to raising their students’ achievement potential by creating opportunities to learn. In order to accomplish this, they need to learn new techniques that can help encourage discouraged students – particularly those who have different ways of learning – by supporting and motivating them without enabling self-defeating habits.

Helping Your Young Client Persevere in the Face of Learning Differences will provide new strategies and techniques for helping students minimize the patterns of “learned helplessness” they have adopted, appreciate and maximize their strengths, develop a growth mindset, value effort and persistence over success, view mistakes as opportunities to learn, and develop a love of learning that will help them take personal responsibility for their school work. Course #30-75 | 2014 | 21 posttest questions

  • CE Credit: 3 Hours
  • Target Audience: Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Marriage & Family Therapists, School Psychologists, Teachers
  • Learning Level: Introductory
  • Course Price: $57


This online video streaming course provides instant access to the course video, course handout and CE test. Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. You can print the test (download test from My Courses tab of your account) to mark your answers on it while viewing the video. Then submit online when ready to receive credit.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC ACEP #5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB Provider #1046, ACE Program); the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA Provider #3159); the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR Provider #PR001); the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (#PCE1625); the Florida Boards of Social Work, Mental Health Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy (#BAP346), Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635), Dietetics & Nutrition (#50-1635), and Occupational Therapy Practice (#34); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).

Professional Development Resources Announces the Addition of Teachers to its Target Audiences

By Leo Christie, PhD

Online continuing education for teachersProfessional Development Resources has announced that it has added a new profession to its list of target professionals for its continuing education (CE) courses – teachers.

Professional Development Resources, a national provider of accredited continuing education units for psychologists, social workers, counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and dietitians, has announced that it is adding – for the first time in its 20-year history – a new profession: teachers.

Teachers need continuing education curriculum that helps them reach and teach the special needs students they have in their classrooms. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.4 million in 2011–12, or about 13 percent of all public school students.

“We have been aware for some time that classroom teachers are on the front lines with other professionals working with children who need special handling,” says Leo Christie, PhD, President and CEO of Professional Development Resources. “Many of our CE courses contain information that is vital to understanding and reaching those children. Conditions like autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, antisocial behavior, anxiety disorders, and many others are seen so frequently in the classroom that teachers find it essential to receive specialized training.”

The company’s new “Teaching” page offers courses like Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Screening and Assessment, Children’s Exposure to Violence, Helping Children Learn to Listen, Anti-Social Youth & Conduct Disorders, and School Refusal Behavior: Children Who Can’t or Won’t Go to School. It also includes courses on reading instruction, adolescent literacy, English language learning, improving communication with children, and what to do when students are defiant.

Teachers can fulfill state requirements for professional development, obtain credits for salary advancement, or simply satisfy a desire to grow professionally and obtain new knowledge and ideas for their students.

What is different about teachers as a new professional group for Professional Development Resources is that their continuing professional development requirements differ from state-to-state and even school district to school district. For its other professions, the company has secured accreditation from national boards in advance. Since each school district has its own policies regarding course eligibility, teachers are encouraged to double-check with their district or department of education regarding eligibility for credit before enrolling in a course.

Professional Development Resources’ courses are self-paced, offering the ultimate in convenience for busy educators. Delivered totally online, participants can work anytime, anywhere, 24/7, as their schedules permit – no commuting, no missed classes and no dress code. The format is engaging and user-friendly, and users find it very easy to navigate. Participants can access and print a completion certificate from their account as soon as they pass a course. The completion certificate reflects the name of the course completed and the number of continuing education hours it represents.

Some of the courses that are most likely to be in demand for teachers are these:

The company hopes that the health and mental health professionals who have been its traditional audience will now be able to refer teachers to the Professional Development Resources Teacher page for help in learning new classroom strategies and techniques they can start using today. Conversely, teachers who find the site useful can inform the health professionals with whom they work about CE credit courses they may need.