Autism


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ABA and Autism

ABA Resources for Recovery from Autism-Behavioral intervention (ABA) is a teaching method to help children with autism and related disorders develop to their maximum potential. Links to research, service providers, support groups, curriculum, and legal and special education information

ABA approach to Autism-The Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies offers a section of their web site to educating parents and other interested persons about the ABA approach.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism: A general overview of ABA from the Autism Speaks website. 

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Accomodations

ASAN Autistic Self Advocacy Network - Looking for ways to meet the access needs of Autistic individuals? Do you wish to avoid dropping the ball at your function, get-together, or meeting? The autistic spectrum includes a wide variety of persons with a wide variety of support needs. Planning ahead for your Autistic guests will help establish equal participation.

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Adults with Autism

Adults with Autism - A general overview.

A real life story of an adult with autism - Freddie was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 70; this is what he has to say about his experience.

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Advocacy

Articles on advocacy: Successful advocacy depends on having accurate information and knowing how to use it. There are four sections in the Advocacy Library:  Advocacy Articles: FAQs- Letters to Wrightslaw, Newsletter Archives, and Advocacy Tips

Advocacy tips: general tips to follow in becoming your child with Autism's advocate.

Autistic Self-Advocacy Network: ASAN is a non-profit organization dedicated "to empower autistic people across the world."

Autism Speaks article on Housing and Community Living - Help with planning living arrangements for those with autism.

Autism Information-Provides information to parents, doctors, professionals, tutors, caregivers, and anyone interested in learning more about autism and autism spectrum disorders.

US Autism Association -Community for parents, caregivers and educators of people with autism.

Autism Society-Support community for parents and families, news, photo-art gallery, information and interactive features.

Autism Advocacy Organization -Positive support and information regarding autism, pdd, asperger's and all disorders under the spectrum. Siblings, spouses, ABA and other therapies, IEPs, Beginner's Guide to Autism, message board and online club.

Autism and families-A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information and advice to families of More advanced individuals with Autism, Asperger's syndrome, and Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD).

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Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's Disorder: throughout the life span- Diagnosis and multimodal treatment of Asperger's Disorder in different age groups.

Asperger Syndrome Coalition.-The Asperger Syndrome Coalition is a nonprofit organization committed to providing the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on Asperger Syndrome and related conditions

Asperger Syndrome Videos from Coulter Video- Videos with best practices to help people who support individuals with Asperger Syndrome.

Families of Adults Afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome (FAAAS) -A support group that is aimed at the families of those afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome. Especially those whose relative has not been correctly diagnosed until they are well into adulthood.

NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page-Asperger Syndrome information compiled by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Tony Attwood and Asperger Syndrome- A resource for people with Asperger's, their families and professionals who work with them.

What is Asperger Syndrome?- Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, a group of conditions that include autism and other disorders with similar symptoms, such as problems with language and communication, and repetitive or restrictive patterns of thoughts and behavior. People with Asperger syndrome have autism-like problems in areas of social interaction and communication, but have normal intelligence and verbal skills. Asperger syndrome is usually thought to be the mildest of the autism spectrum disorders.

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Assessment

Purpose and procedures: Considering the heterogeneity of characteristics associated with autism spectrum disorders, it is not surprising that questions often arise about how best to evaluate children with this diagnosis.

Diagnostic and assessment instruments: The following instruments are used by educators, clinicians, and researchers to assess children suspected of, or previously diagnosed with, a pervasive developmental disorder.

Screening tests for autism: Screening tests for autism are often used if there is a heightened concern about possible autism, or as part of a general assessment of a child's development. Screening for autism is often done prior to a more specific in-depth assessment for autism.

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Assistive Technology

Overview: This article will discuss how various modes of technology (including technology designed as augmentative communication systems), can be used for children with autism

Assistive technology and augmentative communication: Selective links to assistive technology and augmentative communication resources for children with Autism and other disabilities.

Curriculum wide integration:  The Center for Technology in Education (CTE), a partnership of Johns Hopkins University and the Maryland State Department, is developing a hybrid paradigm that involves infusing technology-based instructional and behavioral supports into existing curriculum activities to help promote gains in communication, social skills, academics, as well as to increase the children's overall involvement in classroom activities.

Video modeling overview:Vidoe modeling has proven very effective in focusing on various skill areas for children with autism.

Assistive Technology Industry Association site: ATiA.org is dedicated to bringing the best products and services to those with disabilities.

Comprehensive assistive technology list :Over 250 links to various assistive technology sites.

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Audio/Video tapes

Audiotapes: A partial list of audiotapes on autism.

Videos on ASD : From the CDC website.

Documentaries : Film/vidoe documentaries on ASD.

Variety of subjects : A list of video tapes and DVD's on all aspects of the Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Autism Educator Information

Teaching Children with Autism - Puzzling Through - New Ways to Teach Children with Autism.

Autism Education - Teachers resources from the Organization for Autism Research, .

Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism - Teaching social skills to children with autism is an area of behavioral treatment that is continuously evolving, perhaps more than any other area. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis alone frequently includes articles discussing the teaching of interactive play skills, the development of creativity and spontaneity, and the development of conversational skills.

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Books and Publications

Facing Autism: Giving Parents Reasons for Hope and Guidance for Help - This is one mother's account of coping with her son's autism. Within two months of his diagnosis, Ryan began intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and with his mother tackled other related issues, including immune deficiency, food intolerance, and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Reports From My Life with Autism - A high-functioning autistic, Grandin presents linked articles on her life and her work as an animal scientist.

Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism and Related Disorders

Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism - A vivid and uplifting story of how a family pulled not one but two children out of the torments of autism--and into a normal life.

A Medical Treatment Guide for Autism Spectrum Disorder - This book written by an experienced clinician that gives a step-by-step treatment guide for parents and doctors based on the understanding that ASD is a complex biomedical illness resulting in significant brain malnutrition.

Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: Teaching Independent Behavior - A thorough introduction to autism, covering diagnosis, assessments, history, prognosis, and methods of education.

My Friend with Autism: A Coloring Books for Peers and Siblings - A coloring book to help peers and siblings understand autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

A Treasure Chest of Behavioral Strategies for Individuals with Autism - A resource manual that provides theory and the best practices in behavior management with individuals with autism. It is an easy reference for using behavioral interventions.

Educating Children with Autism - Educating Children with Autism outlines an interdisciplinary approach to education for children with autism. The committee explores what makes education effective for the child with autism and identifies specific characteristics of programs that work.

Overcoming Autism - Clinician Koegel (cofounder of the Autism Research Center at the University of California Santa Barbara) and novelist LaZebnik (Same As It Ever Was), mother of an autistic boy, team up "to show you how intelligent, well-planned early interventions... can improve the symptoms of autism enormously."

Solving Behavior Problems in Autism - A practical approach to recognizing the complexity of behavior management for students with autism spectrum disorders and other students with communication and behavior challenges. Continuing the approach of supporting communication with visual strategies, this book contains many problem solving techniques.

The Everything Parent’s Guide to Autism - Author Adelle Jameson, the mother of an autistic child and an active participant in the autism community, speaks directly to parents and explains exactly what they can expect after diagnosis, the range of treatments and therapies available, and where to go for advice—both medical and emotional.

Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism - This book discusses the benefits of inclusion, as well as offering exercises and programs that make inclusion comfortable for the child with autism, his teacher and fellow students.

List from TEACCH Program - List of professional book resources on autism

Non-fiction books - List of non-fiction books on autism, listed by title

Non-fiction by topic - List of non-fiction books on autism, listed by topic links

Fiction - List of fiction books relating to autism, listed by author

Children’s autism books - List of children's books relating to autism, listed by author

Autism resources-bibliography: books and articles-extensive - An extensive list of books and articles on autism

Journals and periodicals - List of journals and periodicals dedicated to autism

Journals that often carry articles on autism - A list of journals that often carry articles on autism

Selected articles - A list of selected choice articles on autism

Diagnostic and assessment references - A list of references for diagnosing and assessing autism

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Books and Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders

Are PDD and Autism the Same?: An article on NCBI

The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders - This book is written for parents but should also be required reading for professional workers who see autistic children or adults, especially for its insights into parents' experiences of this strange, frustrating but fascinating condition.

Helping Children with Autism Learn: Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals - This book will be of great interest to teachers, parents, and clinicians in their efforts to facilitate the learning of the child with autism. It draws on the large, and increasing, body of work generated in recent years.

Autism and Childhood Psychosis - Autism and Childhood Psychosis is Frances Tustin first book and the original statement of her views on autistic states of mind and the genesis of varieties of childhood psychosis. In it, she tackles problems of diagnosis as these relate to therapeutic intervention.

The Protective Shell in Children and Adults - We shall come to realize that the protective shell develops as the result of people with autism being in the compulsive grip of overintense 'flight' reactions -- 'fight' reactions not being part of the repertoire of these passive children.

Emotional Development in Atypical Children - Without an understanding of emotional development in children with disabilities we are unlikely to either understand fully the causes of their difficulties or to ameliorate these difficulties.

Music Therapy for the Autistic Child - Music therapy cannot cure such conditions as autism and mental handicap but it can alleviate the negative behaviors when the child is involved in interactive music-making with the therapist. So that the music therapist can meet the child on his or her own terms spontaneously, much of the music is improvised.

A Passion to Believe: Autism and the Facilitated Communication Phenomenon - In this volume Dr. Twachtman-Cullen presents an in-depth analysis of facilitated communication (FC) in the context of the larger movement it represents. Understanding the essence of the controversies, Dr. Twachtman-Cullen continually reminds the reader of the most central issues. Her penetrating analysis of FC is reasonable, logical, and compelling.

Advanced Abnormal Child Psychology (Chap. 17 "Pervasive Developmental Disorders: The Spectrum of Autism") - This chapter of an established textbook on abnormal child psychology provides an in-depth overview of autism.  See Chapter 17.

Causes

General article including causes: It has been over 50 years since Dr. Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, wrote the first paper applying the term 'autism' to a group of children who were self-absorbed and who had severe social, communication, and behavioral problems. 

General article including causes from the National Institute of Mental Health: All these disorders are characterized by varying degrees of impairment in communication skills, social interactions, and restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior.

Excellent overview: everything you ever wanted to know about Autism.

Theories and causes: There is no theory of the cause of autism which everyone has found convincing. There may be multiple causes. Thus we will review some of the proposed causes.

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Characteristics

General article including characteristics: Many autistic infants are different from birth. Two common characteristics they may exhibit include arching their back away from their caregiver to avoid physical contact and failing to anticipate being picked up (i.e., becoming limp). Read more.

Common Characteristics: The symptoms and characteristics of autism can present themselves in a wide variety of combinations, from mild to severe. Although autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors, children and adults can exhibit any combination of the behaviors in any degree of severity.

Rethinking Autism: PBS special "considering characteristics of autism as potential springboards to success."

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The Autism Spectrum

Is there more than one type? : Although there used to be five major categories for autism, in 2013 the American Psychiatric Association combined them under the heading Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Overview of Asperger’s Syndrome: Asperger Syndrome is a neuro-biological disorder named for a Viennese physician, Hans Asperger, who in 1944 published a paper which described a pattern of behaviors in several young boys who had normal intelligence and language development, but who also exhibited autistic-like behaviors and marked deficiencies in social and communication skills.

Autism Spectrum Disorders-Full article on the full spectrum of autistic disorders, and how to sort them out.

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Classroom Management

Lovaas Institute: The UCLA Model of Applied Behavior Analysis was created and developed in the Psychology Department of UCLA under the direction of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas. It is based on extensive clinical experience and more than 40 years of scientific research.

Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis- ABA

All about TEACCH

Educational methods: There are a number of methods & techniques used in the education of autistic children. Many professionals use a variety of combination of methods. Some professionals attempt to identify an individual student's learning style and modify curriculum and materials to suit the student's learning style.

Guidelines for mainstreaming: With the momentum for (mainstream) inclusion of children with special educational needs and the growing realisation that it may not always be in the best interests of children with autism or Asperger syndrome to be grouped together in classes, it is likely that many children at the higher functioning and more verbal end of the continuum of need, who might previously have attended specialist schools, will now be educated in their local, mainstream schools.

Complimentary approaches to the treatment of Autism: While early educational intervention is key to improving the lives of individuals with autism, some parents and professionals believe that other treatment approaches may play an important role in improving communications skills and reducing behavioral symptoms associated with autism. These complementary therapies may include music, art or animal therapy and may be done on an individual basis or integrated into an educational program.

Behavioral and communication approaches to the treatment of Autism: The behaviors exhibited by children with autism are frequently the most troubling to parents and caregivers. These behaviors may be inappropriate, repetitive, aggressive and/or dangerous, and may include hand-flapping, finger-snapping, rocking, placing objects in one's mouth, and head-banging. Children with autism may engage in self-mutilation, such as eye-gouging or biting their arms; may show little or no sensitivity to burns or bruises; and may physically attack someone without provocation.

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Definition

Autistic disorder from DSM V: the diagnostic criteria used by DSM for Autism is listed.

Definition of PDD: Over the past few years, PDD has become a subject of increased attention among parents, professionals, and policymakers across the country.

PDD-NOS: Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder NOS (not otherwise specified) are developmental disabilities that share many of the same characteristics.

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Diagnosis

Diagnostic criteria for Asperger’s Syndrome: The following criterion for Asperger's Syndrome are from the 2000 Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition-Text (DSM VTM).

Tests used in diagnosing PDDs: Hundreds of standardized tests, questionnaires, and observation plans are available for rating behaviors, abilities, and other factors that could be related to pervasive developmental disorders. The lists in the next sections provide a little information about some of the most commonly encountered tests, but they are by no means complete.

Case studies: written by professionals working in autism.

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FAQ

12 questions and answers: an Autism Primer containing 12 frequently asked questions about Autism.

More FAQ's: quick answers to commonly asked questions about Autism.

Autism through the ages: Autism is not a modern problem, even though it has only recently gained vast recognition. It is difficult to discuss the history of autism treatment without paying particular attention to the history of "autism" as a concept and the ways in which autism has been conceptualized and theorized about over the past 100 years.

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Functional Assessments

Functional assessment refers to a variety of approaches used to gather information about the cause of problematic behaviors to enable the design of effective treatment. Functional assessment approaches include descriptive methods (e.g., interviews, rating scales), direct observations (e.g., ABC, time charts) and functional analysis.

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Hyperlexia

What Is Hyperlexia? - An overview of hyperlexia

Hyperlexia and Language Disorders – Articles - A list of various articles on hyperlexia - some in Spanish

ABA Resources for Recovery from Autism/PDD/Hyperlexia - A list of resources from an experienced parent of a hyperlexic child

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Incidence

Incidence and some causes: There has been a lot of advancement in the diagnostic criteria, diagnostic tools and investigations, physician awareness and the confidence among healthcare workers to diagnose Autism at an early age. This has resulted in the revision of statistical data concerning this disorder.

GAO 2005 report on Autism: an excellent report on Autism statistics and information from the GAO and speaks to the 500% increase in Autism diagnosis from 1993-2002. A Pdf file.

GAO 2016 Update on Federal Activities: an update from May 2016 (Pdf file).

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Legal Issues

Your Child's Rights: a basic overview from the Autism Speaks Organization.

A summary of special education law specific to autism. Scroll down to see the following subjects covered: Assessments, IEP, Stay Put, Least Restrictive Environment, Autism Services Parent Attachment to IEP, What is a Free Appropriate Education - FAPE, Extended School Year - ESY, Stay Put, Compensatory Education, Damages, Mediation and Due Process

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Medical Issues

Autism interventions as rated by Research Autism Organization: A visual presentation for different autism therapies.

Autism spectrum medical issues: a family's personal journey in dealing with thetreatment of Autism.

Treatment Options - There is no single best treatment package for all children with ASD. One point that most professionals agree on is that early intervention is important; another is that most individuals with ASD respond well to highly structured, specialized programs.

Allergies and food sensitivities: People with autism are more susceptible to allergies and food sensitivities than the average person.

Concerns about thimerosol:  From the CDC:  "Research does not show any link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder. Many well conducted studies have concluded that thimerosal in vaccines does not contribute to the development of autism. Even after thimerosal was removed from almost all childhood vaccines, autism rates continued to increase, which is the opposite of what would be expected if thimerosal caused autism."  Although the use of thimerosol has been reduced, it was never a part of the MMR vaccines.

Autism and element imbalances: Much concern has been raised over the link between exposure to heavy metal toxins and neurological brain damage associated with learning and behavioral disorders in children. Indeed, research shows that exposure to heavy metals such as lead and mercury can impair brain development at very early ages-even at low doses previously deemed "harmless."1-3.

Gluten and casein-free autism treatment-  There is only minimal evidence to suggest that autism may be aided by a gluten-free, casein-free diet; however, it may be worth considering if your child has GI difficulties.

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Organizations and Resources

Resources by life stages: After clicking the link, scroll down for a comprehensive list of autism resources from Autism Speaks Organization.

National autism organizations: a list of national organizations.

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Overview and General Information

Autism Spectrum Disorder: A very comprehensive and complete overview of spectrum disorders associated with Autism. Includes a detailed summary that describes symptoms, causes, and treatments, with information on getting help and coping.

Autism information page - Brief description with some resources and links, compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified - A brief overview specific to PDD-NOS

PDD guide-Pervasive Developmental Disorder guide written by Dr. Rami Grossmann.

PDD Overview-Provides introduction, and information related to: clinical, differentials, workup, treatment, medication, follow-up, etc.

PDD and your child-Find out all about PDD and autistic spectrum disorders. University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) can help you find all kinds of resources, including local support groups.

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Parent Information

Getting a diagnosis: - Pediatricians should be quick to see the early signs of ASDs and guide parents toward the best medical resources available.  If your pediatrician does not routinely do this, as that a screening be done.

The National Autism Center - "Helping individuals and families pursure a better quality of life."

A Parent's Guide to Autism - A guide to the diagnosis, treatment and education of children with autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.

Growing Minds Autism Programs - Specializes in training parents whose children have autism, PDD, and other autism spectrum disorders. Offers 5-day programs with continuing distance support.

A Guide to Keeping Your Children with Autism Safe - Most parents place their children’s safety as a top priority as a rule. But for parents of autistic kids, the reality is that it can be even more difficult to keep your children safe from themselves and others simply because of the nature of their disorder.

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Prevalence

List of statistics: a comprehensive list indicating all the statistics on Autism

Definition and prevalence: Sixteen studies of the prevalence of autism in childhood, using epidemiological methods in defined populations in Europe, the USA and Japan, in English or with English summaries, were found in the published literature

Why the rates of autism appear to be increasing: Better diagnostic techniques and access to care mean that  diagnosis and not the actual prevalence of autism have been increasing.

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Research

Researchers to Create Autism Databank - Scientists at the University of Michigan and 10 other universities will use a $10 million gift from a New York-based foundation to create a databank of DNA samples from 3,000 autism patients that they hope will help them identify different kinds of autism and develop treatments.

Largest-Ever Search for Autism Genes Reveals New Clues -  The largest search for autism genes to date, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has implicated components of the brain's glutamate chemical messenger system and a previously overlooked site on chromosome 11. Based on 1,168 families with at least two affected members, the genome scan also adds to evidence that tiny, rare variations in genes may heighten risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Autism: It’s Not Just in the Head - The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain.

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Sensory Integration

Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder: Sensory dysfunction is one of the core symptom of autism.

Interview with LornaJean King, OTR, FAOTA : One of the pioneers of sensory integration therapy, international lecturer on this topic, and founder and director of the Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona. Interview was conducted by Stephen M. Edelson (SE).

Sensory integration dysfunction articles:  A series of articles written by parents and professionals on some of the most pressing issues for these children. Links to additional resource sites included.

Sensory Integration Resource Center: Provides a broad range of information and services on sensory integration. Includes sections for parents, children, physicians, educators, therapists, families, and frequently asked questions. Resource, research, and donations links are also included.

Sensory integration and parenting-: Approaches sensory defensiveness (and its treatment, sensory integration) through a variety of articles aimed at helping parents raise and treat sensory defensive children

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