One book that many of us buy in bulk to give away is, "You're Going to Love This Kid," by Paula Kluth PhD. It's about inclusion in a school setting.
I've seen Dr. Kluth present three times, and she always amazes me! Kluth is one of the most understanding professionals in terms of understanding the blessings and the challenges that come with autism and describing those characteristics to people who teach or live with an individual on the autism spectrum. She can step into the shoes of a student on the autism spectrum and understand behaviors that other professionals label as "non-compliant" or "maladaptive" or "manipulative", interpret the behaviors for the rest of us. She is able to teach us about what she sees through their eyes so that we can be better parents and teachers to our kids.
She creatively addresses challenges and supports students on the autism spectrum and shares her successes with the world.
I've known of John Shouse for several years, having "met" him (online) when I was a chapter leader for my local ASA chapter. He has a child on the autism spectrum and is an incredible resource and advocate for families like mine in Tennessee.
Kluth and Shouse have teamed up to write, "The Autism Checklist: Practical References for Parents and Teachers" and when I read about the book before it was released, my expectations were high.
I was not disappointed. (Two thumbs up!) You'll need a highlighter and your sticky notes to mark pages, if you're like me. This is one you're going to want to order in bulk, so you have one to keep and some to loan or give to teachers, church staff, coaches, and others who interact with your family member who is on the autism spectrum. You might even make it required reading for anyone who interacts with your child!
What's inside? The book is filled with practical tips and strategies that can be implemented immediately. Do's, don't's, some answers to "why does he do that?", with idea after idea for setting an individual up for success.
The book is organized for easy access to specific information, offering five broad categories (Basic Info, Parents, Teachers, Helpful Strategies for Home and School, Resources) and within each category are short sections that are simple to search in terms of finding specific information and that are easily read in a few minutes. The table of contents is here if you'd like to take a peek; some chapter excerpts are available here. Most of the classroom tips and strategies are applicable to homeschoolers. I like the fact that Kluth and Shouse include a lot of information on sensory challenges and movement differences in autism, two topics that are sometimes shortchanged in books about autism.
The resource section is impressive. There are products, organizations and web sites that are new to me (and I thought I knew them all!).
The book is definitely one to recommend or to own to loan to individuals who work with your child, especially those who are brand new to autism.
Here's ordering info:
The Autism Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers ($15.95)
September 2009, Jossey-Bass
GIVEAWAY for US Readers: I have one copy of The Autism Checklist: A Practical Reference for Parents and Teachers to give away to a reader. Leave a comment on this post indicating you'd like to enter. I'll do the drawing Friday, 18 Sep 09. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you. ;)