Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
I personally love workbooks that have blank forms for me to reproduce and utilize for my children. These are also very useful to share with teachers, aides, therapists and other families. They can be adapted for children with different disabilities and those who are in Elementary and Secondary school based on their individual levels.
Some of the following books have been addressed with my thirteen year old son while others are not really suited for his particular needs. Since I am the parent to two boys on opposite ends of the autism spectrum some of the books I obtain are not conducive to their learning or beyond their limitations at the moment. I often go back to the bookcase and file cabinet to search through my book collection to see what issues can be addressed, especially now with summer season in full swing and school on break.
The Incredible 5-Point Scale - Assisting Students with autism spectrum disorders in understanding socail interactions and controlling their emotional response. This workbook contains 73 pages by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis.
The scales were first tested with kindergarten students with autism and teenagers with Asperger Syndrome. The book is aimed at students who already have some social readiness skills and can identify numbers and colors. The scales can be taught at first in a 1:1 teaching ratio before moving onto small groups in the home and at school. Stories can be introduced with the scales as well.
There are many examples with students and their behavior challenges and how the scales are utilized to their specific problem. A 2 could mean a whisper or a soft voice, a 4 could be an upset voice and also the recess voice on the playground, depending on the circumstances and location. A 1 is no voice or talking at all. A 5 is characterized as an emergency, swearing or yelling.
I know that many parents have that one really loud voice they save for when their child is running into the street or down the block. I have used that one a few times at school when Matthew tried to get away and some people were quite surprised to hear it. We parents can explain to people or onlookers that this is necessary to get our child's attention and make sure they do not wander off. That would be a good definition of an emergency for an Adult. The same could be said for the child that has gotten lost and needs to use a loud emergency voice to get heard and set the adult into action.
The Incredible 5-Point Scale also has examples for the touching and talking scale where a 3 means talking in a friendly way or 5 is considering punching and kicking. There is an Obsessional Index with a 5 at losing control and 4 being nervous and needing support. At home a 5 could indicate the child hurts people and is not really aware of it.
Meeting and Greeting Others scale has talking friendly at 3 and saying mean things a 4. A control scale can be tailored for the child to have three columns with the scale - looks like, feels like and I can try to. An example from page 29 has a 5 as kicking or hitting, my head wil probably explode and cal my mom to go home. I really like this scale and could adapt it for both of my children and can see it utilized in the school setting.
There is also a touching scale for what parts of the body the person can touch and where this can be done, like private or anywhere. Inside your nose would be reserved for bathroom or bedroom but you can touch your legs or hair anywhere. Icons and pictures can be used with the scales to help the child or person with Asperger Syndrome understand their feelings, know their anger or anxiety level.
At the back of the book are some blank scale pages and visual promos for tearing off and carrying the numbers 1-5 with you. These are colored light to dark to help convey the meaning of the number. One example was to have the teachers and aides carry the 1-5 letters so they can redirect students when they are out of the classroom. The person on the autism spectrum or with Asperger Syndrome can also help determine what level they are at, which would help with self regulation.
Inclusive Programming for Middle School Students with Autism/Asperger's Syndrome. I now have two children that will be attending Middle School in the fall of 2008. I like the forms in the Appendix section, especially the evaluation form for inclusive program, motivational survey and the behavior tracking form. There is also a weekly performance chart, phone log and student self rating for behavior, work and participation.
Some topics that are of interest to me within Inclusive Programming for Middle School Students with Autism/Asperger Syndrome include - Middle School Students from Self-Contained Classrooms, Non-verbal and Pronounced Autism Disability, Budding Sexuality and Raging Hormones, Student Progress Reports, Homework Issues and Family Incentive Program, Diplomas - What Colleges Want and the entire section on behavior programming.
There is a list of abbreviations at the front of the book with resources at the end. You will find many examples of social skill objectives for the IEP and an introduction to Middle School, as well as cliques and a transition into High School. There are ten chapters within this 212 page book written by Sheila Wagner, M.Ed.
Asperger Syndrome: An Owner's Manual 2 For Older Adolescents and Adults - What You, Your Parents and Friends, and Your Employer Need to Know. This 121-page book is loaded with graphs, charts and checklists that will help the person with Asperger Syndrome fulfill their goals in life through self awareness with practice utilizing this interactive workbook. Volume One was written for Middle School students with this Volume 2 for those 16 and older who are on the upper end of the spectrum.
Ellen S. Heller Korin, M.Ed. has organized Asperger Syndrome: An Owner's Manual 2 for Older Adolescents and Adults into two sections. First is about compiling all the data like areas in need of further development, sample vision statement and a reality checklist on Independent life skills. The second portion of the book is a guide to help readers achieve said goals and assist them by having a personal emergency kit, scheduling their week, managing obsessions and anxiety, hygiene checklist, clothing worksheet,dating, getting work and success.
I really like how this book focuses on setting goals and developing relationships. Families will learn about the PAPI model Predict, Anticipate, Plan and Implement. There are tips to explain not to wear white to a wedding since the bride will, give the toast at wedding if you are the bestman and to wear appropriate clothing at church. There is a useful guide in a Venn diagram for making conversational small talk like movies, books and computer gaming.
Life Skills Activities for Secondary Students with Special Needs - Including 190 ready-to-use lessons with reproducible worksheets to help children develop the basic skills necessary to experience independence and success in everyday living. This 524 page book is massive in size and covers everything from writing a check, applying for a loan, keeping a math journal, writing clearly, reading on the job, living with step siblings, making friends, maintaining a car, preparing a meal, home repairs, interviewing, changing jobs, smoking, exercise, teenage pregnancy, coping with stress, suicide and time management.
Darlene Mannix had written a book that will be in my household for many years since it covers academic and school skills plus communication skills, interpersonal skills, practical living skills, vocational skills, lifestyle choices and problem solving skills.
During spring break I had my son Nicholas who is thirteen look through the book to find some pages of interest and tag them for future reference. He went shopping with me for a car and I have taught him about credit scores and credit reports. There is even a section on preparing for speaking in public, which he has done when he was Treasurer of the Student Council. This is a book not to be missed for any household.
The Hidden Curriculum - Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations. This is a companion book to the Hidden Curriculum in the One A Day Calendar. Authors Brenda Smith Myles, Melissa L. Trautman and Ronda L. Schelvan teach the hidden curriculum items, cover the impact of the hidden curriculum along with a listing of the items. These include birthday parties, life skills, figurative speech and idioms, slang terms and at the swimming pool.
These tips include to always wear underwear when trying on bathing suits in dressing rooms, wear sunscreen when in the sun, get out of the pool to use the restroom and do not drink from the pool water when thirsty. There is an organized table that has examples of body language with the action and interpretation.
Explanations for casual business dress, how long is a work break and how do you negotiate a raise and social narratives and video modeling. The first book in this list is discussed on pages 33-35.
There are more terms to learn - SOCCSS, which helps students understand a social situation after the fact. Situation, Options, Consequences, Choices and Strategies. SOLVE - Seek, Observe, Listen, Vocalize and Educate.
One of the items for airplane trips is no longer valid - " Soft drinks and snacks are usually free on airplanes" This has changed in the spring/summer of 2008 with the cost now being an average two dollars per drink. Some other rules for an airplane trip mentions no smoking and not to tell the person next to you that they are too fat. Rules for using the bathroom include washing hands and flushing the toilet after use. Birthday party themes are also discussed in detail. Talking on the telephone, prank calls, locker room rules, when to talk to the teacher,tattling and telling jokes are also found in the list of curriculum items.
Each of these books has their niche for the families, teachers and therapists to work on with students, children and youth. Some can be worked on over school breaks and in social skills groups or one on one with a therapist.
Educational Autism Tips for Families 71 page resourceful ebook for families entering the school system with a recent autism diagnosis. Find out what issues take place over the course of a school day and meet these challenges head on.