Autism Spectrum Disorder has been prevalent since 2000. In the United States, for instance, from 1985 to 2015 the cases escalated from 1 in every 2500 children to 1 in every 65. According to the data of Scientific American, from 1993 to 2003, the figures increased by 657 percent. The number can be alarming, yet the condition is hard to control.
Genetic and environmental factors are both culprits for this disability. At first, medical professionals only use the word “autism” when referring to a child with repetitive behavior and difficulty socializing. Until a broader spectrum has been diagnosed which include struggling with academic performance, unable to make friends and excellent intellectual interests like sports stats for a baseball team.
Parents and caregivers should be given the right education and information to appropriately handle children diagnosed with ASD. They too should be adept to help others be fully aware of this disorder.
Treatment can cost a fortune. Given the extensive awareness and education, at-home treatment is also effective. There is also a wide selection of resources that can be readily accessed both online and offline. Most of these cover a wide spectrum and comprehensive evaluation of all information about this disorder. Aside from books, there are journals, booklets, brochures, tool kits, and magazines that can be utilized.
Choosing The Right References
Although there are thousands of sources available, especially on the internet, not all are useful and credible. Some are ambiguous, while others are even harmful. Identifying the right sources can be challenging and stressful particularly for mothers, who are more likely affected by their children’s condition. Studies were showing that mothers with ASD children are more vulnerable to a high level of stress compared to mothers who have children with other disorders. They also need social support.
A good resource material should provide a broad understanding of the autism spectrum, including diverse treatment options, services, and supports that are advantageous to both children and parents.
The Association for Science in Autism Treatment compiled a lengthy list of resources for parents and most of which are non-profit organizations and research centers:
➔ American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
➔ Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)
➔ Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA)
➔ Autism New Jersey (Autism NJ)
➔ Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)
➔ The Autism Science Foundation (ASF)
➔ Autism Wandering Awareness Alerts Response Education (AWAARE)
➔ Autism Speaks
➔ Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families
➔ Wrights Law
➔ Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence
➔ Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
➔ The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
➔ NIH National Institutes of Health (NIH)
➔ National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC)
➔ National Autism Center (NAC)
➔ The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
➔ Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
➔ Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA)
➔ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
In a blog, “The top Five Autism Books for Parents and Educators”, the author recognizes the importance of resources like books in understanding the behavior of children with ASD and at the same time builds effective communication with them. These are the books recommended by the writer:
1. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition
Author: Ellen Notbohm
The book talks about the author’s real experience. Ellen Notbohm is a mother of sons with ADHD and autism. Wrapped with both compassion and humor, the reference defines the top ten characteristics that enlighten the minds and hearts of children with autism. Her heartwarming messages connect to all families of children with exceptional needs. Most of her suggestions are plain and simple. Yet, it is better to read the book to catch the drift.
2. The Child with Autism at Home & in the Community: Over 600 Must-Have Tips for Making Home Life and Outings Easier for Everyone
Authors: Kathy Labosh and LaNita Miller
This is another book that is based on experience. LaNita Miller is a teacher for children with special needs, while Kathy Labosh has two sons with autism. There are professional resources for parents of autistic children, immediate family members, and friends on how to better handle children with ASD. It tackles issues at home and in the community or the outside world. This provides a complete guide on how to manage children with autism at home and handle challenges in public places like restaurants, playgrounds, malls, movie theaters, and many more.
3. 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching & Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s
Authors: Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk (Expanded 2nd Edition)
This succinct and insightful book provides page after page of try-it-now solutions that have worked for several children grappling with sensory, behavioral, social, and self-care issues, and many more. The success of the first edition implies the efficiency of the ideas. The book accommodates both ASD and Asperger syndrome disorders. The facts are followed by concise, common-sense advice from the authors’ experiences and knowledge combined with expert tactics from credible professionals.
4. Behavior Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom: A Handy Reference Guide that Explains Behaviors Associated with Autism, Asperger’s, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and other Special Needs
Author: By Beth Aune, OTR/L, Beth Burt and Peter Gennaro
This contains simple, limited jargon, easy to understand, and non-technical language. The objective of the authors is to provide practical and doable solutions. The behavior and potential causes of the behavior are explained carefully in less than twelve lines on one page and the next page or two have bullet form solutions.
5. Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism
Authors: Edited by Shannon Des Roches Rosa, Jennifer Byde Myers, Liz Ditz, Emily Willingham, and Carol Greenburg
This contains fifty-five essays and a collection of stories from contributors from the autism community in all walks of life. Parents of autistic children shared their experiences, including the struggle they face in their everyday life. Some contributors were professionals. This book will surely touch your heart.
Acquiring help from professionals and experienced parents is one of the most effective ways to deal with ASD children. There are also thousands of lists from the internet providing basic knowledge and information. However, not every reference is credible. Parents should be meticulous in choosing the right references.
Featured photo by Syd Wachs on Unsplash.