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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Top Five Autism Books for Parents and Educators

By Lorna d'Entremont
April 05, 2013  

Parenting or teaching a child with autism spectrum disorder is both challenging and rewarding. The adults in the lives of children with autism have to organize their home or classroom environment to make it a pleasant place where these kids can thrive. 

Caregivers have to understand the characteristics of kids on the spectrum and know what the children are trying to communicate by their unexpected or different behaviors. Knowing all this is a tall order and there is no better place to start than with a good book. 

We often hear that knowledge is power. That information is power. Good books can arm you with the strategies and information you need. Helen Exley said, “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.”

Add a parent’s love and a teacher’s dedication to the mix and we have folks that truly can make all the difference in a child’s life! 

Here are a few books about autism that I recommend:

By Ellen Notbohm

Ms. Notbohm, a mother of sons with autism and ADHD, writes from experience and from the heart. Her positive messages cross over to families of children with many special needs. Many of her suggestions are simple and just plain common sense; however, many need to read her book to realize it is true. 

Don’t be fooled by the title’s use of the words, “Ten Things”. The book has ten chapters, each one dealing with one of the “ten things”. This updated edition of her book has a section called Ten Things I Want My High School Senior with Autism to Know. 

You will find very important advice about raising young adults as they transition into adulthood. The advice is not autism-specific…proving once more that this book if for everyone. Detailed chapter titles and an index make this book a resource you will return to time and time again. Read the full review.

By Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zisk

This book should be required reading for all those who love, work, live, and care for children, especially those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Riding on the huge success of their first edition, in this revised and expanded edition, authors Notbohm and Zysk now offer over 1800 effective, immediately useful ideas. 

This new book offers modifications and accommodations for older kids. It has fresh ideas on Asperger’s syndrome challenges and updated ideas among the tried and true tactics of the first edition to effectively parent and teach kids so they achieve success at home, in school, and in the community. 

The detailed Table of Contents and thirty pages of Index allow you to quickly locate and reread information. This is a go-to resource book to be kept at arms’ reach in your home or classroom during all the years of teaching and raising children with autism spectrum disorder. Read the full review.

By Kathy Labosh and LaNita Miller

 Kathy Labosh, mom of two sons with autism, and LaNita Miller, a special needs teacher, have successfully written this ‘book of instructions’ for parents, grandparents, friends and professionals on how to make life easier for the caregiver and easier for the child. 

This go-to guide is divided into two parts filled with advice on issues happening in the home and trail markers for when families venture into the community. The authors go right through a house giving efficient tips for the problems confronting families in each area from picky eating, to shampoos, to opening doors to run away. 

Readers learn what to do to enjoy the community playground, restaurant, mall, grocery store, movie theatre, library, sporting events and all the health caregivers’ offices. Once you have enjoyed a first reading of this easy-to-read, instructional guide book, keep it handy to refer to it often. The detailed index will let you find exactly the tip you are looking for to take on the issues and challenges of home life and outings to make your day or your child’s day a better one. Read the full review.

By Beth Aune, OTR/L, Beth Burt and Peter Gennaro 

The authors have used language that all can understand. It is not technical, not filled with acronyms or professional jargon but great on-the-spot, doable solutions to make better the life of a child, his classmates, his parents, and his teachers. After having been read once, so you know the many behaviors and solutions included, this book belongs close at hand to be consulted numerous times. 

The authors found a very simple and effective format which they use throughout the book. The behavior and possible causes of the behavior are explained clearly in less than twelve lines on one page and the next page or two have bullet form solutions. These solutions are practical, tactful and immediately doable without expensive, extra teaching tools. The detailed Table of Contents and eleven pages of Index makes it a breeze to find solutions to your problems. Read the full review.

Be sure to check out the second book by Aune, Burt, and Gennaro, More Behavior Solutions IN and BEYOND the Inclusive ClassroomIt has the same features and excellent information. Inclusive classrooms are found in most school districts; therefore, this book has new ways of doing things to accommodate children with special needs in the general education classrooms and surrounding areas. Read the full review.

Edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham and Carol Greenburg

 Fifty-five essays written by contributors from the autism community in all walks of life.

This collection of stories was written by autism parents about the ups and downs they experience every day. Some are written by professionals who care for and counsel autistic children and others are by autistics themselves who bared their souls so others will understand. 

Every essay touched my heart. The teacher in me wants to shout out "A+" for all these essays, and congratulations for this outstanding book! Once you have enjoyed this book, keep it handy to reread a favorite essay. Also, with its comprehensive index, you can locate important information for quick reference. Read the full review

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