A Parent's Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Autism Awareness

Books and Videos on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Topics: ABA, Sensory, Social Skills, Speech, Therapies and Children's Books

Our reviews of the best books and videos on autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome, grouped by categories. For more topics, click here or see the list box in the left column.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior (VB)

The Verbal Behavior Approach for AutismThe Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children With Autism and Related Disordersverbal behavior by Mary Lynch Barbera, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and parent of a child with autism, and Tracy Rasmussen. One of the few parent-oriented books about using Verbal Behavior to teach communication, speech, self-help skills, potty-training and more.

A Work in Progress: Behavior Management StrategiesA Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism edited by Drs. Ron Leaf and John McEachin. This ABA classic provides practical advice and easy-to-understand explanations about how to set up an ABA program. It discusses how to teach toilet training, social skills, play skills and conversation, along with how to address eating problems and disruptive behavior.

Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child's Life by Lynn Kern Koegel Ph.D. and Claire LaZebnik. Koegel uses a form of applied behavior analysis called Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT). PRT targets certain pivotal skills, such as motivation, that affect development in many other areas. Dr. Koegel says PRT is a more "child-friendly" form of treatment. Her book has chapters on teaching communication, breaking the cycle of meltdowns, repetitive behaviors like flapping, social skills, battling fears and fixations, school placement and family life.


Speech Therapy

Baby Babble by speech therapistsBaby Babble - Speech-Enhancing DVD for Babies and Toddlers. Created by speech pathologists, this  DVD uses sign language, facial exercises, and speech sounds and words to promote speech development in babies, late talkers and kids with developmental delays. Volume 2 is Baby Babble 2 - First Words: P B Mbaby babble sounds.

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Practical Supports for Autism Spectrum Disordersspeech therapy book. Speech therapist Linda Hodgdon explains how to help kids with autism, ADHD and other disabilities improve their ability to express themselves and understand social situations.


Therapies and Teaching Methods

An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn by Drs. Sally Rogers, Geraldine Dawson and Laurie Vismara. A parent's guide to how to incorporate behavioral therapy and social strategies into their daily lives with their young child on the spectrum.

Engaging Autism: The Floortime ApproachEngaging Autism: Using the Floortime Approach to Help Children Relate, Communicate, and Thinkengaging autism. Stanley Greenspan M.D. and Serena Wieder Ph.D. explain the Floortime method of playing with a young child in order to teach social interaction and communication skills. They encourage a broader view of autism along with a play-based learning method.

Floortime Strategies to Promote Development in Children and Teensnew floortime user manual  This new "user's guide to the DIR® Model" includes a forward by Dr. Wieder and lots of practical information about the Floortime method.

Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD Dr. Steven E. Gutstein developed the Relationship Development Intervention Program (RDI) to help children become excited about expanding their world, rather than to be afraid of it. Many families are using RDI in addition to ABA and other teaching methods.


Social Skills

Model Me Kids: Videos For Modeling Social Skills for children and teens with autism and Asperger's. Model Me Confidence DVD teaches self-esteem; topics include peer pressure, self-advocacy, choosing friends and group discussion. Time For School features a child narrator and elementary school children modeling conversation and behavior. Topics include saying hello, listening to the teacher, showing interest in others and playground behavior. Time for a Playdate shows how to greet your guest, talk about a topic and more.

The New Social Story Book, 15th Anniversary Editioncarol gray social stories for autism, by Carol Gray. Gray helps parents and teachers create stories to teach children and adults with autism and Asperger's how to act in different social situations. This new edition has more than 180 stories that explain how to listen, respond to a bully, switch to a new activity, and more. Includes a CD with stories that you can edit to fit your child's or student's needs, and then print.

Autism Social Skills BookThe Autism Social Skills Picture Book by Jed Baker Ph.D. Aimed at elementary and middle schoolers, it teaches skills such as how to maintain and end a conversation, how to greet someone, how to interrupt someone, how to accept "no" for an answer, and what to do when feeling frustrated by an assignment. Kids will like the photos showing the right and wrong ways of handling common social situations.

The Asperkid's (Secret) Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome Jennifer O'Toole, who is on the spectrum and a parent herself, provides social skills help to middle school and high school students with ASD.

Join In and Play and other children's books by Cheri J. Meiners are designed to teach kids social skills. They show what children should do and say in common social situations. Other books in this series include Share and Take Turns, Understand and Care and Be Polite and Kind. Siblings will enjoy these, too.


Sensory Integration

The Out of Sync ChildThe Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Kranowitz. Does your child spin, fear swings or refuse to eat certain textures of food? This popular book explains sensory integration disorder in children who may or may not have another diagnosis. Includes suggestions for activities you can provide at home to help your child learn to regulate his senses. A companion book by Kranowitz is:

Early Intervention Games for Children with Autism and Sensory Processing DisordersEarly Intervention Games: Fun, Joyful Ways to Develop Social and Motor Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorders by Barbara Sher, an occupational therapist. Includes games parents and teachers can play with kids to teach social skills, beginning and end, hand-eye coordination and language skills.

101 Games and Activities for Children With Autism, Aspergers and Sensory Processing Disorders by occupational therapist Tara Delaney. Recipes for fun activities to improve sensory, communication, social and motor skills. Includes a section for adapting popular board games for a special child.

Dr. Lucy Miller, an occupational therapist, has researched Sensory Processing Disorder. See her book, Sensational Kids: Hope and Help for Children with Sensory Processing Disordersensory processing book by dr. lucy miller.


Children's Books about Autism and Asperger's

autism survival guide for children and parentsThe Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents)children's autism book Read this popular book with your child to help both of you better understand his or her autism.

My Friend Has Autismautism children's book by Amanda D. Tourville. Excerpt: "My friend Zack has a disability called autism. But that doesn't matter to us. We talk about airplanes, build models, and enjoy hanging out at each others house."

My Friend with Autismautism children's book. This new, enhanced edition by Beverly Bishop includes a free CD of coloring pages.

Everybody Is Different: A Book for Young People Who Have Brothers or Sisters With Autismautism book. Art therapist Fiona Bleach promotes acceptance of autism. For ages 4-8.

What It Is to Be Me!: An Asperger Kid Bookasperger book for kids by Angela Wine, mom of a child with Asperger Syndrome.


Special Education Law and Advocacy

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guidelaw. A must-read for every parent trying to get the best program possible from the school system. Lawyer Peter Wright and Pamela Wright explain special education law, how to interpret and and use test scores, how to write letters to school officials, and how to be an effective advocate. Easy to understand. Includes sample letters for you to use.

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