Eight Indispensable Resources for Teaching Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
How one mother’s teaching style made an incredible impact on her son
Thomas Alva Edison, one of the world’s greatest inventors, is believed to have had an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). He disliked traditional learning methods and his teachers often complained of behavioral problems at school. Subsequently, Edison’s mother decided to home-school him.
She introduced him to books that were at a far higher level than those that would have been prescribed for him at school. Because of his mother’s keen efforts, Edison gained proficiency in various subjects including Philosophy, English, and History. He eventually went on to invent the light bulb and became one of the world’s most prolific inventors.
Just like Edison, many children with ASD do not respond well to regular teaching styles.
But with the right environment and the right person to guide them as they grow, the transformation in a child’s learning abilities can be incredible.
Every child diagnosed with ASD is unique and thus, needs a unique approach to teaching. Parents and teachers who are involved in teaching a child with ASD should first take the time to understand his/her specific needs.
Fortunately, today parents and teachers have access to several wonderful resources to guide them. They can discover and adopt unique and engaging teaching styles for children with ASD. Books and blogs mentioned in this blog have been written by experienced clinicians, researchers, parents and teachers of children with ASD. These are designed to help parents, teachers and/or mentors involved in teaching a child with ASD understand the worldview of someone with ASD.
We have put together a list of such resources for your reference. We believe these books will provide you with tremendous insight into various teaching methods that you can implement in your journey.
1. ‘1001 Great Ideas for Teaching & Raising Children With Autism or Asperger’s’ - by Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk.
This book features 1001 ideas for working with children who have ASD. It categorizes various problems that are typically faced by children with ASD and suggests an appropriate solution to each one. Its sections span across various areas such as communication and language support, daily life skills, sensory integration, strategies for teaching social skills and tips for managing behavior. If you need a solution to a particular behavior problem, you can simply refer to the table of contents and find the relevant section for it.
2. ‘Special People, Special Ways’ - by Arlene Maguire.
This picture book discusses problems that children with an ASD or other special needs experience. The illustrations in this book depict how these disorders affect the life of an individual with special needs. It helps neuro-typical individuals to understand why some children might act differently or need different things. This book also reveals how the behavior of other students in a class impacts the success of children with ASD.
We recommend sharing this book with your child’s friends and peers in order to give them a better understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder and help them learn to appreciate diversity.
3. ‘The survival guide for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder( And their parents)'- by Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve M.D.
This is a straightforward book written by two mothers who have sons with ASD. It teaches children with ASD how to manage their daily challenges. This includes equipping children with tools, strategies, and tips in order to have better communication skills and succeed in school. The authors have written the book in a very simple and engaging manner, in order to speak directly to children with ASD. The book seeks to answer their questions and help them build a positive approach towards dealing with ASD in their day to day life.
4. 'The Way I See It' - Dr.Temple Grandin
The author is a vivid ASD researcher and has previously written books such as Different...Not Less, Thinking in Pictures, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across The Spectrum, and several others.
This book was the first of its kind and explained ASD in a very relatable manner. She used a first-person perspective in order to give a glimpse into her psyche, allowing the reader to understand how students with ASD process information. This book would be a great addition to your library of resources for ASD.
In her blog, Flappinessis, Leigh Merryday (a mother of a 3-year old son who has ASD), discusses the adventure of raising her son. She blogs on Autism Positivity, Autism Shine and also shares her opinion on how ASD needs to be viewed in a positive perspective. She works hard to raise awareness and to educate her readers about new research and information around ASD, in order to spread ‘Autism Positivity.’
This is the right blog for you, if you are curious and want to stay updated on the latest advancements in the field of ASD research. Shannon Des Rosa, an eminent speaker, and writer for several international ASD organizations, created this blog. She continues to provide up-to-date information on ASD and evolving therapeutic practices. It is a great referral guide for parents and teachers who want to learn more about ASD, and features several evidence-based treatment options.
The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis is an academic journal that publishes research about applications of the experimental analysis of behavior related to problems of social importance. It is published every quarter by the Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Inc. and provides valuable applications and strategies.
In fact recently, The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis announced their latest virtual issue on applications to higher education. The Journal’s editors have included exemplary research on a wide range of applications of behavior technology in improving school performance.
Founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with an ASD, Autism Speaks not only sponsors research about ASD, but it also conducts various awareness activities that are targeted towards parents, government and the public. Their efforts towards advocating for the needs of individuals with an ASD, as well as their families, has been remarkable. On the Autism Speaks website, you will find an abundance of information on various aspects of ASD - research, services, technology and so on. It is extremely beneficial for parents, teachers and students alike, to stay updated and to learn new and effective treatment methods available for children diagnosed with ASD.
This is our list of favorite resources for teaching children with an ASD. Do you think you can add to the list? Share your recommendations with us.