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ASD in the Classroom: Visual Supports, Sensory Issues & Executive Function

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Featured Books in this Category / Main Booklist

Featured Books 

Answers to Questions Teachers Ask About Sensory Integration: Forms, Checklists and Practical Tools. Carol Kranowitz et al, $21.00

In this elegant approach to the often-elusive subject of sensory integration, Carol Kranowitz and expert occupational therapists have assembled an extensive and easy-to-use set of checklists and other tools that will be invaluable to every teacher (and parent) who has children with sensory processing challenges. You’ll find tried-and-true instructions for developing fine-motor, “organizing,” and motor-planning skills, and for providing an appropriate “Sensory Diet” that will benefit all your students. Checklists help you identify students who have difficulty processing sensory information. With up to 20% of the students in any given classroom affected by Sensory Processing Disorder, Answers to Questions is an invaluable resource for teachers of preschool through high school.


Apps for Autism: a Must-Have Resource for the Special Needs Community, Revised 2nd Edition.Lois Jean Brady, $50.95

Speech Language Pathologist Lois Jean Brady wrote this book in order to educate parents, teachers, and other professionals about the breakthrough method she calls “iTherapy” — which is the use of Apple products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and various apps (computer applications) in meeting students’ individual educational goals.

Lois believes that all persons on the spectrum can learn how to use technology in a way that is relevant to them. She shares important tips on how to use apps responsibly and effectively by maintaining a child-centered, team approach to teaching and learning, taking into account the individual’s interests, strengths/ challenges, vision, motor planning, attention, sensory processing, memory, cognitive ability, environment, and access to tools. Lois also coaches adults on how they can use prompting and reinforcement techniques to help establish and generalize skills learned, until students are able to consistently demonstrate the skills in various environments (home, school, etc.).

For those who are new to the wonderful world of apps, worry not! Lois provides helpful sections on how to get started, including: Choosing an iDevice, Basic iDevice Operations, Opening an Account, How to Download an App from iTunes, and more. What about apps that released after this book was published? Again — Lois has you covered! Just visit this book’s companion website for reviews of new apps that made the grade.


ASANAS for Autism and Special Needs: Yoga to Help Children with Their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness. Shawnee Thornton Hardy, $19.95

This how-to handbook gives parents, teachers, and yoga instructors step-by-step instruction to teach yoga poses to a child with autism or other special needs. They will learn how to teach yoga in a fun and interactive way using games and activities with numerous benefits to the child from teaching body parts to emotional and sensory regulation.

Breaking down yoga instruction pose by pose, body part by body part, breath by breath, this book uses easy-to-understand language and clear photographs to show parents, teachers, yoga instructors, and other professionals how to introduce the life-long benefits of yoga to a child with special needs. These benefits include gaining greater awareness and understanding of the body, learning to self-regulate the nervous system, and developing coping skills to work through difficult emotions such as anger and anxiety. Creative yoga games, activities, relaxation exercises, and chair yoga poses are included to make learning yoga a fun, interactive, and calming experience for children with a wide range of abilities.

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A Buffet of Sensory Interventions: Solutions for Middle and High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Susan Culp, $28.00

Teaching teens with ASDs to take ownership of their sensory needs by self-advocating and self-regulating is vital as they transition into adulthood. This well-organized, accessible book does just that. Using examples of everyday challenges and proactive strategies for self-regulation, author Susan Culp serves up a fantastic buffet of ways to help sensory-challenged students survive the school environment.


Building Bridges through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders, 3rd Edition. Paula Aquilla, Shirley Sutton & Ellen Yack, $40.95

Written by three experienced occupational therapists, this book offers a combination of theory and strategies. It is a perfect tool for those working with young children, but also broad enough to be adapted for older children and adults. Building Bridges provides creative techniques and useful tips while offering innovative strategies and practical advice for dealing with everyday challenges, including managing behaviors, improving muscle tone, developing social skills, selecting diets, and more. Part one explains the role of the occupational therapists in treatment and examines sensory integration theories. Part two offers methods of identifying sensory problems in children along with numerous strategies and activities. Helpful topics include:

  • What is Occupational Therapy?
  • What is Sensory Integration?
  • What are the Sensory Systems?
  • Identifying Problems with Sensory Integration Strategies for Challenging Behaviors
  • Ideas for Self Care Skills
  • Adapting Home, School, and Child Care Settings

Building Sensory Friendly Classrooms to Support Children with Challenging Behaviors.  Rebecca Moyes, $28.00

Sensory Integration Disorder often manifests as a behavioral problem. This book shows teachers how to incorporate data-driven strategies in designing a classroom that both minimizes stress and improves student productivity.

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Creating Multi-sensory Environments: Practical Ideas for Teaching and Learning. Christopher Davies, $55.90

Multi-sensory environments in the classroom provide a wealth of stimulating learning experiences for all young children whose senses are still under development. CREATING MULTI-SENSORY ENVIRONMENTS is a highly practical guide to low-cost, easy to assemble multi-sensory environments. With a step-by-step guide to each activity, these creative learning environments focus on multi-sensory experiences and are designed to stimulate all the sensory channels — auditory, visual, kinesthetic, olfactory and gustatory.

Theory and background to multi-sensory learning is provided to enable you to adapt the suggested scenarios according to the needs of individual learners. This practical and easy to use book is an essential companion for busy classroom practitioners wanting to create a stimulating and meaningful learning environment.


Flexible and Focused: Teaching Executive Function Skills to Individuals with Autism and Attention Disorders. Adel Najdowski, $55.50

Flexible and Focused: Teaching Executive Function Skills to Individuals with Autism and Attention Disorders is a manual written for individuals who work with learners who struggle with executive function deficits. The manual takes the perspective that executive function skills can be improved through effective intervention, just like any other skills. This how-to manual provides practical strategies for teaching learners to be focused, organized, flexible, and able to effectively manage themselves.

Ready-to-use lessons, data sheets, worksheets, and other tools for practitioners, educators, and parents are provided to help them tackle common problems associated with executive function deficits in learners of any diagnosis, ages 5 to adult. The principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which form the foundation of this manual, are translated into simple, easy-to-use procedures. Lessons for improving executive function skills in real-life everyday situations are provided in the following areas:

  • Self-awareness
  • Inhibition and impulse control
  • Self-management
  • Attention
  • Organization
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Planning
  • Working memory
  • Emotional self-regulation
  • Flexibility

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Forest School and Autism: a Practical Guide. Michael James, $37.95

Forest School's innovative outdoor approach offers specific benefits to learners with autism, including increased social skills, raised self-esteem and improved sensory function. This guide raises autism awareness amongst practitioners by providing practical and easy-to-follow advice for adapting Forest School activities for those with autism.

For those coming from a mainstream Forest School background, the author offers an introduction to autism and shows what Forest School can offer people with autism — both children and adults — with first-person accounts that highlight its success with this group. The guide gives advice on the social and sensory benefits, offers practical advice on safety and on how to set up a Forest School and finally presents specific activities to be incorporated into practitioners' routines.


A Guide to Sometimes Noise Is Big for Parents and Educators. Angela Coelho & Lori Seeley, $19.95

Understand how children with autism experience the world around them with this simple guide. Learn why they might react unexpectedly to lights, noise, and even seemingly simple requests, and what you can do to help reduce sensory overload.

This accompanying guide to the children's picture book Sometimes Noise is Big takes the illustrations and gives a breakdown of what is happening in each picture, with practical tips on how to help children who struggle with sensory issues. This book can also be used as a standalone resource, and is ideal for supporting children aged 5+ with autism at home, in the classroom, and for raising awareness of autism and sensory issues.

Also available: Sometimes Noise Is Big. Angela Coelho & Camille Robertson, $21.95 (ages 5+)

 

Literacy for Visual Learners: Teaching Children with Learning Differences to Read, Write, and Communicate. Adele Devine, $49.95

This book takes a fresh look at approaches to teaching reading, writing and communication skills. It presents a wealth of innovative ideas specifically designed to support visual learners, including those with autism spectrum conditions and special educational needs.

Some children are more responsive to visual stimulation than spoken words, and this book shows how to engage these children in literacy lessons by using strategies that cover everything from the latest assistive technology to getting creative on a limited budget. There are tips for sharing stories with children who find it hard to sit still, supporting reluctant writers, enabling the pre-verbal child to answer questions and helping the child who never stops talking to develop listening skills. The strategies are supported by practical resources, examples and case studies, to show how to instil in children the confidence to create and share their thoughts. This is a must-have resource for special education teachers and coordinators, as well as speech and language therapists, looking for new strategies for teaching literacy.

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Sensory Integration: a Guide for Preschool Teachers. Christy Isbell & Rebecca Isbell, $25.95

Sensory Integration: a Guide for Preschool Teachers helps you identify children who have difficulties with sensory processing, and it offers simple, easy-to-use solutions to support the sensory needs of young children in the preschool classroom. Easy-to-implement solutions include adaptations and activities for children with different types of Sensory Processing Disorder. This book has a bonus chapter with instructions for creating low-cost items to help children with sensory issues.


Show Me! A Teacher's Guide to Video Modelling. Carol Dittoe & Heather Bridgman, $27.95

With the technology we have today (tablets, smartphones, applications), implementing video modeling is easier than ever! This book is meant to inspire readers to think about how they can use video modeling by providing many real-life examples of students who have used and found benefits from watching video to learn social skills, positive behaviors, and academics. A helpful planning guide is provided to help teams get started and more easily implement the video-modeling strategy.


Solving Executive Function Challenges: Simple Ways to Get Kids with Autism Unstuck & On Target. Lynn Cannon, Lauren Kenworthy, Katie Alexander, Monica Adler Werner, Lisa Greenman & Laura Anthony, $37.50 (Grades K-8)

How can you help kids with autism be flexible, get organized, and work toward goals — not just in school but in everyday life? It's all about executive function, and this quick problem-solving guide helps you explicitly teach these critical skills to high-functioning children with autism. Used on its own or in tandem with the popular Unstuck and On Target classroom curriculum, this practical guide shows how to embed executive function instruction in dozens of everyday scenarios, from morning routines to getting homework done. Designed for therapists, teachers, and parents, these highly effective techniques give children the skills they need to navigate each day, reach their goals, and succeed inside and outside the classroom.

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Teach Me with Pictures: 40 Fun Picture Scripts to Develop Play and Communication Skills in Children on the Autism Spectrum. Simone Griffin, Ruth Harris & Linda Hodgdon, $39.95

An easy-to-use resource for professionals and parents, this book provides fun and practical ideas to help motivate and extend communication and play skills in children with autism with the support of pictures.

The book describes how picture scripts can help facilitate play and learning and provides 40 photocopiable scripts across a range of different activities such as drawing, cooking, using construction toys, imaginative play, arts and crafts, and life skills. Tasks are presented in small manageable step-by-step picture sequences and support a range of skills including following instructions, increasing independence, comprehension, story-telling and choice-making. Readers can print copies of the scripts from the CD-ROM that accompanies the book.


Technology Tools for Students with Autism: Innovations that Enhance Independence and Learning. Katharine Boser, Matthew Goodwin & Sarah Wayland, $55.95

Technology holds great promise for helping students with autism learn, communicate, and function effectively in the modern world. Start leveraging that power today with this forward-thinking book, your in-depth guided tour of technologies that support learners with autism and help them fully participate in their classroom and community. You'll learn about readily available technologies you can use right now, and explore next-wave innovations that will help shape the future of autism intervention. You'll also get critical guidance on how to select the appropriate technology for your needs, weave technology into a universal design for learning framework, and conduct effective professional development so teachers make the most of new tools and strategies. Explore the benefits of technologies like:

  • apps for education, communication, behavior regulation, and more
  • video modeling
  • language processing software
  • customized digital stories and book creator apps
  • element cue supports
  • emotional regulation and sensing technologies
  • interactive learning software to improve feedback and metacognition
  • visualization and mind mapping apps
  • text-to-speech and speech to text software
  • e-readers and tablets with integrated multimedia (e.g., cameras, microphones, etc.)
  • electronic data collection forms for use with handheld devices

Unstuck & On Target! An Executive Function Curriculum to Improve Flexibility, Planning, and Organizing, 2nd Edition. Lynn Cannon, Lauren Kenworthy, Katie Alexander, Monica Adler Werner & Laura Anthony, $137.95

For students with executive function challenges, problems with flexibility and goal-directed behavior can be a major obstacle to success in school and in life. With the enhanced second edition of this popular curriculum, you'll explicitly teach flexibility, problem solving, coping, and goal setting through fun, field-tested lessons that work for learners with autism, ADHD, and other challenges that affect executive function. A school-based intervention for students ages 8-11, this evidence-based curriculum gives you 21 ready-to-use lessons that boost cognitive flexibility in everyday situations, from compromising with peers to coping with frustration. And now Unstuck and On Target! is much more than a book — it's a complete multi-component kit that includes the revised curriculum, three classroom posters, two game boards, and more than 50 printables (available online).

  • This proven curriculum is one of the few tailored to the needs of Tier 2 students who need more focused instruction
  • Gives you explicit, step-by-step routines, activities, and scripts to help students improve executive function skills
  • Targets the flexibility and planning skills every student needs to learn effectively, reduce stress, get along with others, problem-solve, and more
  • Can be done in any classroom, by any teacher. Each ready-to-use lesson comes complete with clear instructions, materials lists, and tips for teachers
  • Makes learning fun with engaging games, role plays, stories, and lively class discussions
  • Reinforces new skills through 19 Home Practice handouts

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Video Modeling for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: a Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals. Sarah Murray & Brenna Noland, $27.95

Video modeling takes visual learning to the next level by using new technologies to create an effective teaching tool. This book explains how professionals and parents can use innovative video modeling techniques to support the development of young children with autism spectrum disorders in school, home or community settings.

Offering practical step-by-step guidance, the book shows how to film and edit personalized videos that highlight the exact skill that is being taught. Whether the focus is increasing attention, peer interaction, getting dressed or creative play, these videos are easy to incorporate into daily routines. They allow the child to learn new skills quickly and with less hands-on adult support leading to greater independence. Three video modeling strategies are presented – Basic Video Modeling, Video Self-Modeling and Point-of-view Video Modeling — along with all the information needed for readers to start using the techniques for themselves. The research behind the approach is also discussed and each chapter includes detailed case studies that demonstrate the techniques in action.


Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Practical Supports for School and Home, 2nd Edition. Linda Hodgdon, $60.95

This revised and updated edition of this bestseller is the most comprehensive book to explain the use of visual strategies to improve communication for students who experience moderate to severe communication challenges. It is full of easy-to-use techniques and strategies that will help these students participate more effectively in social interactions and life routines.


Visual Support for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Materials for Visual Learners. Vera Bernard Opitz & Anne Häußler, $55.95

This book offers practical ideas and teaching methods for using visual supports with students with autism spectrum disorders and other visual learners. With hundreds of colorful illustrations and step-by-step directions, this book lays the foundation for how to structure teaching environments, as well as offers countless examples of activities for students, ranging from basic skills, to reading and math, to social behavior.

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Complete Booklist

Answers to Questions Teachers Ask About Sensory Integration: Forms, Checklists and Practical Tools. Carol Kranowitz et al, $21.00

Apps for Autism: a Must-Have Resource for the Special Needs Community, Revised 2nd Edition.Lois Jean Brady, $50.95

ASANAS for Autism and Special Needs: Yoga to Help Children with Their Emotions, Self-Regulation and Body Awareness. Shawnee Thornton Hardy, $19.95

A Buffet of Sensory Interventions: Solutions for Middle and High School Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Susan Culp, $28.00

Building Bridges through Sensory Integration: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders, 3rd Edition. Paula Aquilla, Shirley Sutton & Ellen Yack, $40.95

Building Sensory Friendly Classrooms to Support Children with Challenging Behaviors. Rebecca Moyes, $28.00

Creating Multi-sensory Environments: Practical Ideas for Teaching and Learning. Christopher Davies, $55.90

Flexible and Focused: Teaching Executive Function Skills to Individuals with Autism and Attention Disorders. Adel Najdowski, $55.50

Forest School and Autism: a Practical Guide. Michael James, $37.95

A Guide to Sometimes Noise Is Big for Parents and Educators. Angela Coelho & Lori Seeley, $19.95

Literacy for Visual Learners: Teaching Children with Learning Differences to Read, Write, and Communicate. Adele Devine, $49.95

Sensory Integration: a Guide for Preschool Teachers. Christy Isbell & Rebecca Isbell, $25.95

Show Me! A Teacher's Guide to Video Modelling. Carol Dittoe & Heather Bridgman, $27.95

Solving Executive Function Challenges: Simple Ways to Get Kids with Autism Unstuck & On Target. Lynn Cannon, Lauren Kenworthy, Katie Alexander, Monica Adler Werner, Lisa Greenman & Laura Anthony, $37.50 (Grades K-8)

Sometimes Noise Is Big. Angela Coelho & Camille Robertson, $21.95 (ages 5+)

Teach Me with Pictures: 40 Fun Picture Scripts to Develop Play and Communication Skills in Children on the Autism Spectrum. Simone Griffin, Ruth Harris & Linda Hodgdon, $39.95

Technology Tools for Students with Autism: Innovations that Enhance Independence and Learning. Katharine Boser, Matthew Goodwin & Sarah Wayland, $55.95

Unstuck & On Target! An Executive Function Curriculum to Improve Flexibility, Planning, and Organizing, 2nd Edition. Lynn Cannon, Lauren Kenworthy, Katie Alexander, Monica Adler Werner & Laura Anthony, $137.95

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Practical Supports for School and Home, 2nd Edition. Linda Hodgdon, $60.95

Visual Support for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Materials for Visual Learners. Vera Bernard Opitz & Anne Häußler, $55.95

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For related titles, see our booklists on:

Autism Sensory & Sensorimotor; Autism Visual Supports & Augmentative Communication; Executive Function

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