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Educational Manuals and Curriculum Guides

Here are some good books that may help you increase your knowledge and teaching abilities. You might try ordering them from your local library if available to stretch your therapy dollars. Links to Amazon.com are provided for your convenience and are not meant to imply that you must buy these books to be successful teachers (OK, except for those we strongly urge you to buy!). We have tried to include books which have positive, practical tips and limit negative comments about other methodologies (which, unfortunately, has not been entirely possible). Autism Teaching Tools supports the notion that every intervention technique considered, should be evaluated pro and con for applicability to a specific child. Any blanket expressions of negativity about any specific interventions are not endorsed by Autism Teaching Tools. As always, we welcome any suggestions of books you have found indispensable or particularly useful, whatever the background. If you are the author of a book on autism, and would like us to review it on our site, please contact us at info@autismteachingtools.com. Please send materials to Autism Teaching Tools, c/o Juliet Burk, 1 Plaza South PMB 317, Tahlequah, OK 74464.

Note: Many of these books are also available at the following publishers of autism related materials. You may also be interested in other products in their catalogs or on their sites.

The following books are listed in no particular order.

  1. Educate Toward Recovery: Turning the Tables on Autism by Robert Schramm. 2006. Available at Lulu.com . This book was written by one of the most sensitive and compassionate behavior analysts I have ever known. He used his years of experience and wisdom to explain ABA and particularly verbal behavior to parents in clear words and easy to follow examples. Robert has included a chapter on "Control Children"--those children deemed resistant to typical ABA methods. That chapter helps make this book solid gold and a great value for parents. A great buy if you want to really understand ABA rather than just blindly use procedures that have worked for other kids.
  2. A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and a Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism by Ron Leaf and John McEachin. 1999 DRL Books.

    This book has been instrumental in helping us target specific goals. The curriculum is comprehensive and the examples of how to teach the missing skills are clear and helpful. Together with the ABLLS assessment, this tool can help curriculum programmers find nearly all of the imaginable goals for discrete teaching. This book is a MUST HAVE.

  3. Read, Play and Learn! : storybook activities for young children by Toni W. Linder. 1999 Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Baltimore, Maryland.

    Description: This curriculum guide is based on the Transdisciplinary Play-Based Assessment (TPBA), and seeks to provide developmentally grounded activities and experiences for young learners based on storybooks.

  4. Transdisciplinary Play-Based Intervention: Guidelines for Developing a Meaningful Curriculum for Young Children by Toni W. Linder. 1993 Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Baltimore, Maryland.

  5. The Power of Positive Parenting by Glenn Il Latham, Ph. D. 1990 P & T Ink

    Description: This book is an excellent behavior analysis primer for parents. Written for parents of regular kids, it nevertheless has lots of application for our special students. And it also helps parents understand that our kids share a lot of similarities with regular kids, and that good parenting can be a terrific therapy tool.

  6. When Everybody Cares: Case Studies of ABA with People with Autism By Bobby Newman, Ph.D., C.B.A. 1999 Dove and Orca

    Description: Demystify Applied Behavioral Analysis. Dr. Newman skillfully and humorously describes how thoughtful manipulation of consequences provides a framework for children's learning. Nothing is better than real examples to increase comprehension of this often misunderstood and misapplied science of behavioral analysis.

  7. Words From Those Who Care: Further Case Studies of ABA with People with Autism. by Bobby Newman, Ph.D, C.B.A., Ed. by Dana R. Reinecke, C.A.B.A. and Leo Newman. 2000 Dove and Orca.

    Description: More great case studies illustrating learning breakthroughs with children with autism.

  8. Applied Behavioral Analysis by Cooper, Heron and Heward. 1987 Prentice-Hall, Inc.

    Description: The college textbook of choice for many behavioral analysis classes. For serious students (especially parents) who want to understand the big picture of ABA, this book is a good tool to help you evaluate your children's programming. It opens your eyes to the breadth of behavioral analysis and helps you steer clear of too narrow programming and unscientific practitioners.

  9. Asperger's Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns by Brenda Smith Myles and Jack Southwick.

    Description: For parents of higher functioning kids and Asperger's kids who already have some language comprehension. It is a good source of information and tips on how to deal with some of the higher level deficits that linger for communicative learners.

  10. Teaching Language to Children With Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities by Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D. and James W. Partington, Ph. D. 1998 Behavioral Analysts, Inc.

    This volume is not available at Amazon.com, but can be ordered from Different Roads to Learning or Behavior Analysts, Inc.

    Description: This manual describes the teaching procedures we use in The Early Learner at Home as well as the procedures that brought about Evy's Progress. It is simply the best language manual for Autistic learners that we have found. It is a great guide for transitioning a child from picture exchange to Sign Language or Vocal communication. Highly recommend actually buying this one.

  11. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-R (The ABLLS-R): An Assessment, Curriculum Guide, and Skills Tracking System for Children with Autism or Other Develpmental Disabilities. by James W. Partington, Ph.D. and Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.

    This volume is not available at Amazon.com, but can be ordered from Different Roads to Learning or Behavior Analysts, Inc.

    Description: It must be possible to run a program language intervention successfully and completely without the aid of this assessment, but why would you want to when the ABLLS makes it so easy! It seems to cover nearly every target skill imaginable to insure that child has the necessary pragmatic language use to succeed in social and academic situations. Includes a guide to turn each assessment item into a curriculum goal. A must have for Early and Intermediate Learners. In 2007, the ABLLS was updated with the ABLLS-R, which is supposed to be more developmentally sequential and more comprehensive. Although we have not yet reviewed it, we imagine it is as helpful as the first.

  12. Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood

    Description: This guide is very positive and helpful, as is Dr. Attwood himself. It does a really good job of explaining higher level deficits that act as social barriers to our older children. We highly recommend buying this guide if you are parenting or working with a learner with Asperger's Syndrome or High Functioning Autism.

  13. Teach Me Language: A Language Manual for Children with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Related Developmental Disorders by Sabrina Freeman, Lorelei Dake

    Description: This manual is recommended by several educators for teaching skills beyond the ABLLS. Consider this guide if your child has successfully completed the ABLLS and is needing more language goals.

  14. Language Targets to Teach a Child to Communicate: A Resource to Manage Language Instruction by Diana Luckevich.

    Description: I really could have used this book EARLIER! Basically, it is a manual for tracking language skills acquisition much like those that I painstakingly made myself for my kids. What I really like about it is that Language Targets seems to go into just enough detail without being too much to overwhelm a program. It tracks essentials. In fact, I'm now using it to double check whether my learners learned enough targets. Great to make sure you haven't left any language gaps. A perfect complement to DTT and VB programs. Great job, Diana!!!

  15. Relationship Development Intervention with Young Children: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism, PDD and NLD by Steven E. Gutstein, Rachelle K. Sheely

    Description: The Parents who love Dr. Gutstein's relationship book tell us that this manual is a good place to get practical tips for how to implement his relationship strategies. We'll tell you more after we review it ourselves. Based on other parent's recommendations, it's a good buy.

  16. Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals (A Guide to Autistic Learning Disabilities and Finding the Right Method for Your Child's Learning Style by Bryna Siegel, Ph.D

    Description: I have always found that the more parents know and understand autism in all of its nuances (not just the diagnostic criteria) the better they will be able to understand and teach their children. This thoughtful book by Dr. Siegel does an excellent job describing autistic learning styles and the various treatment methods available. This book serves as a really good reference for understanding the different behavioral and educational methods. That said, I do not agree with every opinion in the book. Nevertheless, Dr. Siegel does a good job describing the most current thoughts and opinions about autism by the autism educational community.