nancy turner

Nancy Turner, Ed.D., is a professor in

the Education Department at Saint Mary's.

She teaches courses in the elementary education major 

and in the Mild Intervention program.


What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

In May of 2013, the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - 5 (DSM - 5) made changes to the way that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined.  Autism Speaks has provided a summary of the diagnostic criteria for ASD and autism-related disorders.

Links to Helpful Organizations

Evidence-based Practices

In 2009, the National Autism Center (NAC) initiated the National Standards Project to identify the level of research support for interventions used for children with ASD and to identify evidence-based practice guidelines and give professionals important information for making treatment decisions.  The manual can be downloaded at the above link and is an invaluable tool for teachers, parents, and other service providers.  At approximately the same time, also applying rigorous criteria, the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC on ASD) identified 24 evidence-based practices; the sessions offered through the Autism Internet Modules (see below) currently address some of these practices, while some modules are still being developed. (See summary of each of the 24 practices under the EBP Briefs link.) Both the NAC and the NPDC offer assistance in selecting practices or treatments appropriate for specific individuals.  This chart identifies the overlap between evidence-based practices identified by the two groups.

Sites with Printable Materials


Bibliography of Recommended Books

Autism - Bibliography


Children's Books Featuring Children with Autism and Sensory Integration


book coverIn an inclusive classroom, it is important that all students are empathic towards students with disabilities. Sometimes the use of children's literature featuring children with disabilities can be an way to teach important lessons that promote understanding, communication, and social interaction.  This annotated bibliography of books features children with autism and sensory integration disorder.  Response activities and discussion questions are cover


Finding apps for students with disabilities can be difficult, as there are so many possibiities.  BridgingApps is an invaluable online source that bridges the gap "between technology and people with disabiities."  Providing reviews of apps by special education teachers and therapists, this site allows one to search for apps based on the specific age and learning needs of the targeted individuals.

Online Modules/Classes on Autism Spectrum Disorder



4 Steps of Communication with Michelle Garcia Winner and Casey Baird

Carly Fleischmann -- ABC News

Introduction to TEACCH

My Experience with Autism -- Dr. Temple Grandin

DIR Floortime -- Short Introduction with Dr. Stanley Greenspan

The Greenspan Floortime Approach

Verbal Behavior approach - ABA

Visual Supports -- First/Then, Matching Schedules