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
- Association for Science in Autism Treatments
- Autism Speaks
- Autism Society
- Autism Society of Indiana
- CDC - Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Council for Exceptional Children
- The Gray Center
- HANDS in Autism
- Indiana Resource Center for Autism
- Center for Disability Information and Referral
- National Autism Association
- National Autism Center
- 4 Paws for Ability
- Lighthouse Autism Center
- Social Thinking
- Sonya Ansari Center for Autism
- The Watson Institute
- University of North Carolina TEACCH Autism Program
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
- Mrs. Riley - custom make your own visual support cards using provided library of images
- Building Blox - free activities, cards, etc.
- Boardmaker Achieve - free Boardmaker activities aligned to Common Core Standards
- Victories and Autism - downloadable visual tools (schedules, cards, etc.) and other resources
- Picture Set - downloadable visual tools for expressive and receptive communication
- Jill Kuzma's SLP Site - downloadable visuals, teaching ideas, etc. focused on social/emotional skills
- Visuals.autism.net - visual schedule templates, choice boards, cards, activities, etc.
- TASN Autism and Tertiary Behavior Supports - materials catalog for visuals, teaching ideas, etc.
- Cindy's Autistic Support - printable schedules, file folder activities, etc.
- Timer Countdown -- customizable timers
- Practical Autism Resources - printable cards, behavior rating scales, templates, games, and more
- Speaking of Speech -- Materials Exchange; printable materials related to language, social skills
- Positively Autism - flashcards, materials, etc. related to various content areas
- Autism Teaching Strategies - free downloadable social skills activities
- Incredible 5-point Scale -- More Sweet Scale Ideas
Bibliography of Recommended Books
Children's Books Featuring Children with Autism and Sensory Integration
In 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 included.
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
- Autism Internet Modules (AIM)
- NPDC on ASD: Foundations of ASD Online Course
- IIDC Modules on Evidence-based Practices
- HANDS in Autism webcasts