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RITA-T Training Course

We have developed an online training program to improve access, while providing at same time educational material on early signs of autism, different models that have integrated the RITA-T, including the system that the Early Intervention Program at THOM in Worcester, MA have developed and integrated.

Course Structure

The training includes three sets of educational power point on the background for early signs of ASD, the concept of a level 1 and level 2 screener as well as data on the development of the RITA-T. We followed somewhat the structure we have in the live trainings to remain faithful to validation data. The RITA-T items are reviewed along with their administration and scoring in a short video along with the manual and scoring sheet.

The training program includes training videos (step by step training) and scoring and practice videos. The step by step training includes description and videos on administration and scoring of each item by itself. Three videos are used per item demonstration and training. The trainee will need to view the video then score the item and then check if their scoring was correct and receive correct answer.

After completion of the step by step training, the trainee then will need to view three different full administration of the RITA-T and score the whole administration. The trainee then checks their results and learns about the feedback. Multiple times are possible for this administration and scoring.

A pre – test, at the beginning of the course to have a baseline, and a post test are required at the end of the training. At the completion of the training and of the post test, we will receive notification and we will be emailing the trainee a certificate of completion for the training. Trainees have access to the online training for 3 months after enrollment.

Rapid Interactive screening Test for Autism (RITA-T) in Toddlers

How much does the course cost and what is included in the pricing?

The course total cost is $250 and this includes:

  1. Educational course on the early signs of Autism
  2. Data on the RITA-T Test
  3. An overview of the administration of the RITA-T
  4. A step-by-step training on all the RITA-T items
  5. Independent practice
  6. Manual and scoring sheets to download/keep
  7. The RITA-T Kit
  8. Shipping and handling in the US

If you are several in the group who wish to take the training but only buy 1 kit, then you need to check for the RITA-T kit that costs $75 and then check the box for the Training adding how many are taking the training. The training costs $175 per person.

For Shipping & Handling information, please refer to our FAQs page.

Technology Requirements for the RITA-T Course

Course Faculty

Roula Choueiri, MD is a Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Pediatrician with expertise in Autism. She specializes in the early screening and identification of Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorders. She has completed her medical school, pediatrics and child neurology trainings at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, before moving to Boston where she completed a Pediatric Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Choueiri has been developing and testing the RITA-T for the last 7 years. She initially developed it with Dr. Sheldon Wagner, Child Psychologist, and they published preliminary data in 2015 (Article in the articles and Resources section). She has been developing it, expanding it and collaborating with local and international groups for the further testing and validation of the RITA-T in different clinical settings, and studying and its integration in different systems to improve the triaging of referred toddlers, the early detection of autism and access. She is also interested in cultural factors that affect the screening of autism, and she has co-authored educational material for healthcare providers on considering culture in autism screening.

The RITA-T scoring sheet and manual is being translated to different languages and being validated as well in different cultural settings. Dr. Choueiri is currently the CDC (Center for Disease Control) Act Early Campaign Ambassador to MA and she has organized local workshops to early childhood providers for improved developmental and autism screening. She is the division director for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at UMass Memorial Children's Hospital. 

Ryan Shafer, BS is an Early Childhood Educator and Developmental Specialist who has worked in early intervention for the past seven years. He has worked with children in a variety of settings and has a special interest in sensory integration and anxiety in early childhood. He is trained in ABA, floor time, play therapy, and aspires to one day practice medicine as a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician.

Faculty Course: Early Intervention Model

Jeanine Mindrum, M.A.  CCC-SLP, CEIS is a Speech/Language Pathologist and Certified Early Intervention Specialist at Thom Worcester Area Early Intervention, Worcester, MA.  She received her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts and studied with Barry Prizant, PhD.  at Emerson College. She has provided services to children and their families in Early Intervention for 28 years.

Jeanine provides services to toddlers and their families and is especially interested in the role of play and music in the development of social communication skills.  She is co-author of the Universal Screening Program at Thom Worcester area Early Intervention and serves as the clinical coordinator for the program’s Support Team for Autism Resources and Training.

Chantal Royer-Haig, M.A., LMHC, CEIS is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Early Intervention Specialist at Thom Worcester Area Early Intervention, Worcester, MA.  She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College and has provided Early Intervention services for 15 years.

Chantal specializes in working with young children and families, is a co-author of the Universal Screening Program developed at Thom Worcester Area Early Intervention, and serves as the coordinator for the program’s Support Team for Autism Resources and Training.

Acknowledgements:

This course would not have been possible without the help, support, advice, and patience, of a whole team that includes:

  • All the families, parents and children, who have participated in this course so that other families and children benefit from improved screening
  • THOM Early Intervention Program in Worcester, MA
  • Dr. William Garrison , for advice, reviewing material, assisting in planning and development of the course and of the RITA-T
  • The IT team at UMass Medical School for their help in developing this course, their support, patience and their advice: Andrea Delaney, Scott Dziewietin, David Anavim, and Stanislav Prodanov
  • Reda Fayad, for editing clips and technical assistance
  • Cheryl Fitzgerald, Denise Leary and Lynn Hancock, from the CME (continuing medical education) department at UMass Medical School 

Next Step:

Sign Up for the Training

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