Shortly after the explosion of the number of cases of children and adults with autism came the explosion of books on the subject. At the time of this writing a search of Autism on Amazon.com yields over 21,000 results.
All this information can be intimidating to a person interested in learning more about autism or the many intervention strategies. Another contributing challenge is that the causes and intervention strategies are under constant debate. Every year or two a new strategy is created promising significant growth or cures.
Families, friends and allied professionals should use caution when exploring the latest cure. We know that autism will leave a unique mark different individuals will require different supports.
Some will propose what may appear as outlandish ideas. Some proposals will offer potential negative side effects which should be carefully considered. When we examine history we find that many of those instrumental in establishing a better understanding of life pushed outside what was commonly accepted as wisdom. Unless a few brave individuals offer up outside the box ideas we are likely to fail to achieve answers to the questions.
So we encourage each person to be thoughtful in their research. Examine the alternatives, speak with others, and see what pieces of this complex puzzle makes sense for their particular situation.
We offer the following list of resources that we and others have found helpful in this journey.
Spectrum Disorders by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk
Just what the title says. Straightforward advice on simple solutions to challenging problems.
A CD-rom is included with samples of data collection systems to assist in managing the data of an ABA program. This book includes a chapter on planning appropriate group instruction and inclusion.
Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism by Catherine Maurice, Gina Green and Stephen Luce
This is a manual for setting up in-home intensive Applied Behavior Analysis programs for young children with autism. While it is not a replacement for having a trained experienced behavior analyst on the team, it is a resource that is invaluable to many.
Fictional story highlighting a character with autism.
Could Thomas Jefferson been struggling with Aspergers?
Commissioned by the National Academy of Sciences, this book describes the common characteristics of effective interventions compiled from a review of much of the major published research.
The author, Temple Grandin gives us her first person insights into autism.
Functional Assessment and Program Development for Problem Behavior by Oneil, Horner, Albin, Spraque, Storey and Newton
A handbook for those who are involved in assessing problem behaviors to determine the function of those behaviors in order to select effective intervention strategies.
This children’s book written for ages 8 to 12 is a great opportunity for children and adults to learn more about sensory challenges for children with autism.
This is a book of practical solutions for helping people with autism understand social rules. It includes strategies such as Power Cards, 5 Point Scales and Social Autopsies.
The author wasn’t diagnosed until age 40 but looking back at this collection of unusual life experiences explain why today this diagnosis is accurate.
Suggestions by parents for parents on a wide range of topics
Positive Behavior Support – Including People with Difficult Behavior in the Community by Lynn Kern Koegel, Robert L. Koegel and Glen Dunlap
The authors offer positive behavioral support techniques that can be used to facilitate inclusion at home, at school and in the community. It covers important family concerns, socialization issues and related matters in educational systems.
More than just playdates and random inclusion activities, this book is a field manual that provides the tools and information to help form integrated social skills playgroups with meaningful instruction.
The social skills checklist provides an informal assessment tool. This book looks at intervention strategies for skills such as knowing when to tell on someone, how to compliment others, and gaining attention in positive ways.
This book offers a collection of photographs of children with autism and their loved ones. It includes beautiful camera work of wonderful faces.
Students with Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel by Lorraine E. Wolf, Ph.D., Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D., and Ruth Bork, Ms.Ed.
A great guide with practical information for helping students with Asperger’s survive their college experience.
Dr. Luke Tsai offers insight on the medications often used with autism and factors to consider.
We often say that children learn through play. With so many individuals autism, play is repetitive and no longer a learning situation. This book looks at the development of play and how to teach and support those skills.
We’ll do better helping people with autism when we see the world the way they see the world.
The techniques in this book have been shown time and time again to effective steps in training individuals with and without disabilities to become toilet trained.
A comprehensive guide with over 200 toilet training tips.
This old book is now out of print but it was the foundation for a lot of applied behavior analysis movement and communication.
How to incorporate visual cues to help individuals with autism better understand the world around them.
This curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment for children with autism includes behavior management strategies and a sample curriculum.
Contact The Homestead for other recommended reading on autism.