Sunday, April 1, 2007

Therapies and Support

Getting A Diagnosis
Why Get a Diagnosis?
Multidisciplinary Autism Clinics
Autism Testing Instruments - become familiar with all the testing options.
At Home Screening - Does not replace a multidisciplinary evaluation. 

Behavioral Intervention
Parent communities, schools and govt., and early intervention programs all agree that behavioral intervention is vital. Early Intensive Intervention is the key to maximizing the outcome of an ASD child. Indeed, what this early intensive intervention entails comes down to economics and resources. It's critical to choose the most experienced team rather than the brand. According to research, ABA is the most viable option we have today. Behavioral intervention is a huge category. 

 ABA Applied Behavioral Analysis

PRT Pivotal Response Training

VBA Verbal Behavior Analysis

RDI Relational Development Intervention

ABA-DTT and ABA-NET Comparison Chart Contains definitions of terminology. If you have outgrown your ABA program or it needs a tune-up, consider looking at ABA-NET as an option.

Cost-Benefit Studies: Reinforcement Unlimited provides a compilation of studies that demonstrate how much one saves per pupil by investing in early intervention.

FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment)

Lovaas ABA

Descriptions of ABA: Discrete Trial Training and Natural Environment Training (DTT and NET). Also look around their website, in particular the Presentations section.

Guidelines for Choosing a BCBA This handbook isn't parent friendly at all but may be useful when educating or advocating for services at your school district or 0-3 program.

ABA Providers that have Theory Of Mind and Executive Functioning Expertise:
Leo's ABA team continues to work at the Center For Growth &Development.  Many providers will travel to provide consulting to local therapists and parents.

Center for Growth & Development, Inc.
84 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT 06897
Phone: 203-563-9360
Fax: 203-563-9356

C.U.S.P. (California United Service Providers) - located in the Orange County area of CA.

C.A.R.D. Center For Autism and Related Disorders - national company HQ in CA.

Tri-State Learning 
Scroll to bottom of page. Keith Amerson is the founder. Like the people at C.A.R.D., he trained directly from the horse's mouth, Ivar Lovaas.



ABA Books
There are numerous ABA books out there. Since each child is so different, carefully evaluate what books and materials make sense for your individual child. However, I have included the ABLLS link, a test I highly recommend using for designing goals and objectives for your program.

ABA Manual: Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities, by Mark L.Sundberg, PhD, and James W. Partington, Phd (Behavior Analysts, Inc, Pleasant Hill, CA).Behavior Analysts.  Authors of the testing instrument - ABLLs

Verbal Behavior Manual by Mary Barbera

Social Books

(Explanation for root of Autism)
Autism: Explaining the Enigma (Cognitive Development) by Uta Frith This clinical book provides an explanation for the root of autism. Parents that understand the core deficits of ASD will increase parents' understanding of the effects that we all know too well - speech, communication, social, and sensory deficits among others. Parents can make better choices for treatment. Simon Baron-Cohen worked with Uta Frith and went on to create groundbreaking work in this area. Because of them, my son now leads a typical life.

(Psychology behind Mindreading)
Mindblindness: An Essay on Autism and Theory of Mind By: Simon Baron-CohenSimon Baron-Cohen argues that we mindread all the time, effortlessly, automatically, and mostly unconsciously. It is the natural way in which we interpret, predict, and participate in social behavior and communication. We ascribe mental states to people: states such as thoughts, desires, knowledge, and intentions. Building on many years of research, Baron-Cohen concludes that children with autism, suffer from "mindblindness" as a result of a selective impairment in mindreading. 

(Theory Of Mind Manual)
Teaching Children With Autism to Mind-Read : A Practical Guide for Teachers and Parents By: Patricia Howlin, Simon-Baron-Cohen The difficulties experienced by children with autism and related conditions in inferring the thoughts, beliefs, desires and intentions of others are well documented in numerous studies. It now seems that these deficits underlie many of the social and communication problems that are characteristic of autism. Teaching Children with Autism to Mind-Read explores the relationship of "theory of mind" deficits to other areas of children's functioning and describes existing experimental work that has attempted to enhance the skills associated with understanding others' minds. The authors provide practical guidelines for helping children with autism spectrum conditions to improve their understanding of beliefs, emotions and pretence. The authors tackle specific problematic issues including:

* how to interpret facial expressions
* how to recognise feelings of anger, sadness, fear and happiness
* how feelings are affected by what happens and what is expected to happen
* how to see things from another person's perspective
* how to understand another person's knowledge and beliefs

This easy-to-follow graded teaching guide is of particular relevance to special needs teachers, educational and
clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, and carers of children with autism spectrum conditions.

What is Perspective Taking and Executive Functioning? 
needs updating....

(Emotions CD)
University Of Cambridge Emotions Library CD; Buy at JKP Publications website. Mind Reading is a CD or DVD, designed to help people learn about emotions. It contains 412 different emotional concepts, each one expressed by six actors using the face and the voice. There are also mini-stories to provide contexts. So there are 2472 faces, 2472 voices and 2472 stories, all about emotions on this one DVD-ROM.

The New Social Story Book : Illustrated Edition by Carol Gray This technique helps address executive functioning deficits in ASD. As we know, our kids have trouble accessing information about their environment. These tools help our children become more internally organized.

Navigating the Social World: A Curriculum for Individuals with Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Related Disorders By: Jeannie McAfee, Dr. Tony Attwood This book is an excellent resource for charts and other materials that assist monitoring a child in school and at home. Jeannie offers sound tools for Theory of Mind, executive functioning, abstract thinking, and sensory issues. Excellent for an older child on the
Jeanie's website has TONS of excellent links geared towards adults and teens.

RDI executional)
Relationship Development Intervention with Children, Adolescents and Adults: Social and Emotional Development Activities for Asperger Syndrome, Autism By: Steven E. Gutstein, Rachelle K. Sheely. This social curriculum is very similar to Teaching Children with Autism to Mindread (above). Another flavor to address social deficits in ASD.

(RDI theory)
Autism/Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle By: Steven E. Gutstein Another approach to describe theoryof mind and relationship/social deficits in ASD. Theory of Mind is referred to as Primacy of Minds. Whatever!

Figure Of Speech
There's a Frog in My Throat: 440 Animal Sayings a Little Bird Told Me by Loreen Leedy Perfect for the visual learner. Can explain the meaning of everyday expressions, and it makes a good language reference tool. Readers might come to this book for a specific saying that the child is exposed to.

Leonard The Leopard That Lied
The Boy Who Cried Wolf Depending on the age and level of your child, search for the "just right" book that your child can relate to the best.

The Hidden Curriculum Handy as a checklist or test to see what your child is missing. This book doesn't appear to assist the child in the fundamentals of Theory Of Mind, but provides the answers that the child will eventually have to learn how to find on their own.

Advocacy and Research

The Schafer Report The most read Autism publication. Read synopsis' of articles published daily. An Autism clipping service. Saves time for busy parents - all of the news in one document delivered via email. Database excellent for researching.

SPEDNET of Wilton, Connecticut. A very special group of parents that provide ongoing seminars and presentations from the best of the best. An excellent resource for parents living in the CT area or nearby NY or NJ.

NPR: Mainstreaming Autism Discussion, blog feedback

Educating Children With Autism:National Research Council. Excellent book that supports intensive early intervention by federal government.

PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950's. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources.

PDD Fact Sheet National Institute of Health descriptions of all the PDDs

True Parenting, help in the UK


Other Recovery Accounts

NY Times Recovery Article

A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism, Early Intervention, and Recovery by Christina Adams May'05. This book describes what happens most of the time with ASD, regardless if the child recovers, makes little progress, or makes dramatic progress. And what happens? Parents utilize biomedical and intensive one-to-one therapies from several philosophies/training. More importantly, Christina demonstrates how every kid is different and maximizes her son's potential by leaving no stone unturned. Her child's therapy consisted of a unique blend of ABA and the popular "diet" among others. Most people are not pure Republicans or Democrats, but a blend of both. And like politics, what works for all kids is a program designed specifically for that child, and more often than not it's a blend. A wonderful example of utilizing Theory Of Mind.

Let Me Hear Your Voice : A Family's Triumph over Autism by CATHERINE MAURICE See link below to buy. The ultimate recovery account - mid-90's. Catherine tells her story with amazing clinical detail. Her famous intervention summary has helped countless families. Intervention is ABA based. See more of Catherine's writing under Therapy Bashing and Discrimination pages on this site. She has no official site, but has written several ABA books as well.

Unraveling the Mystery of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder : A Mother's Story of Research & Recovery. by Karyn Seroussi. See link below to buy. Mid 90's. Karyn recovered her son by utilizing dietary and nutritional intervention. Karyn is one of the most amazing mothers you can ever come across. She continues to support other parents by giving them sound information and points in the right directions. Karyn and Lisa Lewis, another parent, founded "the diet" and run the AutismNDI website. Because of Karyn, we have biomedical intervention such as the GFCF diet to try. Amazing - it helps 48% of all ASD kids!

Mary Romeniec's Recovery Story of Daniel. Published in Mothering Magazine. Mercury induced Autism recovered by
biomedical and therapeutic interventions.

Recovered From Autism, Erica's Story. Okay, she may not have a book, but she should! Click through her site for the homeopathy books she used, including the Impossible Cure. Both Erica and Amy Lansky, the author of Impossible Cure, recovered their boys utilizing homeopathy.

Autismland: Charlie On My Mind Okay, this isn't a site about recovery. But, this is a very inspirational intellectual haven for any ASD mom. Kristina Chew is a fantastic writer and her ideas and links can't be missed.Testing: Understand any test prior to having it done. Know what is available! Read descriptions of various testing at these sites. Go into a meeting knowing just as much as they do about the tests you are offered.

University of Cambridge
Assessment Descriptions; A MUST READ for any parent getting an eval done. Advocate for the right test that makes sense to YOU, the parent.

Autism Spectrum Publishing Companies Browse their sites, order their catalogues - free!
Future Horizons
Jessica Kingsley Publishing

Sensory Integration
The Out Of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. My hero!
Sensory Integration and the Child, by A. Jean Ayres, Ph.D

Teen/Adult Support
What Does Everybody Else Know That I Don'T?: Social Skills Help for Adults With Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder 
Focusing on social skills training for adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders (AD/HD), this book offers solutions for tackling behavior that is often inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Advice is given on how to handle common social problems such as manners, etiquette, communication, subtext, listening, and interpersonal relationships. The format of the book is designed for AD/HD learning styles and includes true
stories, practical exercises, and tips that keep those with AD/HD reading. Adults with AD/HD learn how to identify behaviors in themselves that can cause problems in social relationships. THIS BOOK WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME BY AN ADULT WITH ADD.

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships By: Ashley Stanford
Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger's Syndrome by Liane Holliday Willey
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence By: Luke Jackson, Tony AttwoodAsperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living with the Ups, the Downs and Things in Between By: Liane Holliday Willey, Luke Jackson
Right Address ... Wrong Planet: Children with Asperger Syndrome Becoming Adults By: Gena Barnhill
Our Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome: A Roadmap By: Linda Andron
Your Life is Not a Label: A Guide to Living Fully with Autism and Asperger's Syndrome by Jerry Newport, Ron Bass
Look Me In The Eye; My Life With Aspergers by John Elder Robinson

The First Autism Child, article from The Atlantic. This is a fascinating read. What an incredible person that has been through so much.

Asperger's and Girls I am breaking my own rule of never posting books that I haven't read! But, my friend Mary told me this was her favorite book. So there you go!

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Vintage Contemporaries) by Mark Haddon

Equipment & Materials
School Outfitters School furniture company. Any company is fine! Look for who has sales or free shipping! Try CraigsList, your local public school for sales. You can buy school tables, chairs, and other furniture for your home program. We've used our table for years - raising it to fit as he's grown. Surface is washable from paint, food, you name it. Indestructable from being thrown and pushed over. I've purchased chairs over time to fit my child ergonomically, so he is less fatigued, more comfortable, and can last longer for sessions. He loves his table and chairs, and so did his tutors.

Baby Sign Language This is a cute and practical website for parents that want to have flash cards, wall posters, and other materials for their child learning sign language. Sign language is a very common thing for speech paths and parents to teach their non-verbal children.