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Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders

Teaching Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders
A Step-by-Step Guide for Educators

June 2008 | 224 pages | Corwin
'Gives general educators the precise information needed to work with children on the autistic spectrum. The range of topics covered makes this book a great resource for professionals looking for an overview of autism spectrum disorders and how to work effectively with this population. I particularly like the chapter on collaborating with parents—a much needed, but often neglected area' - G. Richmond Mancil, Assistant Professor, University of Central Florida

'Most comprehensive. Teachers in today's classrooms are faced with the challenge of educating all children, and this book provides an easy-to-understand reference for a traditionally misunderstood disability' - Vicki McFarland, Special Education Director, Learning Matters Educational Group

A user-friendly, comprehensive look at teaching students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Written by experts in special education, this resource presents a complete overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The authors discuss ways to create an appropriate learning environment and essential strategies for implementing effective educational programs.

The book also explains the use of:

Assistive technology options for children with ASD

Behavioural, skill-based, and physiologically-based intervention models

Ways to evaluate interventions

Effective assessments for student behaviour, skills, and deficits

A comprehensive team approach that includes parents as part of a quality educational program

Specific instructional approaches for students with ASD

About the Authors
1. Introduction to ASD
IDEA Definition of ASD

Overview of ASD

Causes of ASD

Prevalence and Incidence of ASD

Age of Onset of ASD

Gender Features of ASD

Cultural Features of ASD

Familial Pattern of ASD

Educational Implications of Students With ASD

Evidence-Based Practice in Working With Children With ASD and Their Families

Research Basis for Services to Children With ASD in the Home, School, and Community

2. Characteristics of Children With ASD
Possible Early Indicators of ASD

Patterns of Development

Impairments in Social Skills

Impairments in Communication Skills

Unusual and Repeated Behaviors and Routines

Additional Disabilities and Co-Morbid Conditions

Associated Features

3. Types of ASD
Autistic Disorder (Classic ASD)

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Rett Syndrome

Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Asperger Syndrome

4. Eligibility Criteria for Children With ASD
Review of the Characteristics of Children With ASD

Determination of the Procedures and Assessment Measures to Be Used

Determination of Eligibility for a Diagnosis of ASD

5. Overview of Effective Interventions
Behavioral Approaches

Relationship-Based Models

Skills-Based Interventions

Structured Teaching

Physiologically-Based Interventions

6. Creating Quality Educational Programs for Children With ASD
Family Involvement

Comprehensive Assessment of Skills and Deficits

Plan Development/Clearly Defined Goals and Objectives

Effective Teaching Strategies

Assessment of the Intervention

Structuring the Environment

Applying Functional Behavior Assessment to Problem Behavior


Opportunities With Peers

Comprehensive Team Approach

7. Collaborating With Parents
Obtaining a Diagnosis

Adjusting to the Diagnosis

Developmental Stages and Family Stresses

Creating a Collaborative Home-School Partnership

Building an Informed Partnership

Establishing a Team Approach

Planning for Communication

Facilitating Collaborative Relationships

When Collaboration Becomes Difficult

8. Effective Programming for Young Children With ASD: Ages 3-5
Curriculum Content

Highly Supportive Teaching Environments

Need for Predictability and Routine

Functional Approach to Challenging Behaviors

Transition Planning From Early Childhood Program to Elementary School

Family Involvement

9. Teaching Students With ASD: Instructional Approaches
Visual Approaches

Providing Precise, Positive Praise While the Student Is Learning

Using Meaningful Reinforcements

Planning Tasks at an Appropriate Level of Difficulty

Using Age-Appropriate Materials

Providing Opportunities for Choice

Breaking Down Oral Instructions Into Small Steps

Paying Attention to Processing and Pacing Issues

Using Concrete Examples and Hands-on Activities

Using Task Analysis

Using Discrete Trial Methods

Introducing Unfamiliar Tasks in a Familiar Environment When Possible

Organizing Teaching Materials and Situation to Highlight What Is Important

Encouraging Independent Effort and Incorporate Proactive Measures to Reduce the Likelihood of Becoming Dependent on Prompts

Directing and Broadenening Fixations Into Useful Activities

Knowing the Individual and Maintaining a List of Strengths and Interests

Developing Talent and Interest Areas

10. Teaching Students With ASD: Strategies for Classroom Management
Providing a Structured, Predictable Classroom Environment

Providing a Customized Visual Daily Schedule

Noting Aspects of the Tasks and Activities That Create Frustration

Providing Relaxation Opportunities and Areas

Providing Opportunities for Meaningful Contact With Peers Who Have Appropriate Social Behavior

Planning for Transitions and Preparing the Student for Change

11. Teaching Students With ASD: Strategies for Communication Development
Learning to Listen

Developing Oral Language Comprehension

Developing Oral Language Expression

Developing Conversation Skills


Using Alternative or Augmentative Communication Systems

12. Teaching Students With ASD: Strategies for Social Skills
Using Social Stories

Teaching Key Social Rules

Using Cognitive Picture Rehearsal

Using Peer Support

Using Social Skills Training Groups

Integrating Play Groups

Teaching Self-Monitoring/Managing Skills

Supporting the Development of Friendships

13. Teaching Students With Asperger Syndrome

Characteristics and Learning Styles

Social Relation Difficulties

Social Communication Difficulties

Language Comprehension/Auditory Processing Difficulties

Sensory Processing Difficulties

Difficulty Representing Language Internally

Insistence on Sameness

Poor Concentration/Distractibility

Emotional Vulnerability

Restricted/Perseverative Range of Interest

Theory of Mind Deficit--Difficulty Taking the Perspective of Others

14. Assistive Technology for Children With ASD
What Is Assistive Technology?

Visual Representation Systems

Low-Tech Strategies

Mid-Tech Strategies

High-Tech Strategies

15. Behavior and Discipline Issues for Students With ASD
Developing Appropriate Behaviors for Students With ASD

Behavior Plan Key Idea: Use a PROACTIVE Approach

What to Do When a Student With ASD Engages in Inappropriate Behavior

Specific Behaviors of Concern

Other Possible Reasons for Problem Behaviors

16. Facilitating Inclusion
Teacher Preparation

Preparing Students With ASD

Promoting Understanding

Adapting Instruction

Adapting Equipment

Adapting the Physical Environment

Adapting Evaluation Methods

Adapting Assignments

Adapting Input Methods

Adapting Output Methods

Modifying Content and Difficulty Levels

Promoting Organization

One-to-One Instruction

Promoting Positive Peer Interactions

17. Transition Planning for Students With ASD
Strategies to Help With Transitions Between Activities and Settings

Transitions Between Grade Levels

Transitions Between Schools

Transition from High School to Adult Life


"Gives general educators the precise information needed to work with children on the autistic spectrum. The range of topics covered makes this book a great resource for professionals looking for an overview of autism spectrum disorders and how to work effectively with this population."

G. Richmond Mancil, Assistant Professor
University of Central Florida

"Teachers in today’s classrooms are faced with the challenge of educating all children. This book provides an easy-to-understand reference for a traditionally misunderstood disability."

Vicki McFarland, Special Education Director
Learning Matters Educational Group

"An excellent guide for any special education collection."

The Bookwatch, July 2008
Midwest Book Review

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412917087
ISBN: 9781412917070