As we know, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) over the past decade. Yet, compared to estimates, identification rates have not kept pace in our schools. It is not unusual for children with milder forms of autism (e.g., Asperger syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder-NOS, high-functioning autistic disorder) to go undiagnosed (if at all) until well after entering school. Likewise, despite a marked increase in the percentage of children receiving special educational services under the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA, 2004) definition of autism, there are substantial numbers of children who have not been identified, especially more capable students on the spectrum.
Our increased awareness of autism, together with the clear benefits of early intervention, have created an urgent need for school professionals to identify children who may have an autism spectrum condition. As a result, school psychologists are now more likely to be asked to participate in the screening and identification of children with ASD than at any other time in the past. School psychologists are especially well prepared to conduct behavioral screening of students who have risk factors and/or present with warning signs of a spectrum condition. They play a critical role in case finding and by contributing to diagnostic activities, conducting psychoeducational evaluations, and guiding educators and parents to empirically supported interventions. Therefore, it is critically important to remain current with the research and up to date on scientifically supported “best practice” approaches that have direct application to the educational setting. By being knowledgeable about assessment and intervention and treatment approaches, including their strengths and limitations, school psychologists can help to ensure that children with ASD are being identified and provided with the appropriate programs and services.
Wilkinson, L. A. (2010). A best practice guide to assessment and intervention for autism and Asperger syndrome in schools. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Brock, S. E., Jimerson, S. R., & Hansen, R. L. (2006). Identifying, assessing, and treating autism at school. New York: Springer.
National Research Council (2001). Educating Children with Autism. Washington, DC:
National Academy Press.
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Best Practice Books
- Attwood, T. (2006). The complete guide to Asperger’s syndrome. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Baker, J. (2008). No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.
- Baron-Cohen, S. (2008). Autism and Asperger syndrome: The facts. New York: Oxford.
- Bashe, P. R., & Kirby, B. L. (2005). The OASIS guide to Asperger syndrome: Advice, support, insight, and inspiration. New York: Crown Publishing.
- Bellini, S. (2006). Building Social Relationships: A Systematic Approach to Teaching Social Interaction Skills to Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Social Difficulties. Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Company.
- Gabler, Martha (2014). Behavior Basics: A Primer for Autism Parents [Kindle Edition]. TAGteach International.
- Gaus, V. L. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for adult Asperger syndrome. New York: Guilford.
- Grandin, T., & Moore, D. (2015). The Loving Push: How Parents and Professionals can Help Spectrum Kids Become Successful Adults. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons.
- Hammer, C. (2016). Autism Parenting: Practical Strategies for a Positive School Experience: Over 300 tips for parents to enhance their child's school success. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
- Klin, A., Volkmar, F. R. & Sparrow, S. S. (Eds.). (2000). Asperger’s syndrome. New York: The Guilford Press.
- Koegel, R. L., & Koegel, L. K. (2006). Pivotal response treatments for autism: Communication, social, and academic development. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
- National Research Council (2001). Educating children with autism. Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism. C. Lord & J. P. McGee (Eds). Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
- Ozonoff, S., Dawson, G., & McPartland, J. (2002). A parent’s guide to Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism: How to meet the challenges and help your child to thrive. New York: Guilford Press.
- Stone, W. L. (2006). Does my child have autism? A parent’s guide to early detection and intervention in autism spectrum disorders. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.
- Twachtman-Cullen, D., & Twachtman-Bassett, J. (2011). The IEP from A to Z: How to create meaningful and measurable goals and objectives. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Twachtman-Cullen, D., & Twachtman-Reilly, J. (2003). How Well Does Your Child's IEP Measure Up? Quality Indicators for Effective Service Delivery. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Volkmar, F. R., Paul, R., Klin, A., & Cohen, D. (Eds.) (2005). Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders (3rd. ed.) (Vols. 1 & 2). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Wilkinson, L. A. (2010). A Best Practice Guide to Assessment and Intervention for Autism and Asperger Syndrome in Schools. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Wilkinson, L.A. (Ed.). (2014). Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention in Schools. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Wilkinson, L. A. (2015). Overcoming Anxiety and Depression on the Autism Spectrum: A Self-Help Guide Using CBT. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Wilkinson, L. A. (2017). A Best Practice Guide to Assessment and Intervention for Autism Spectrum Disorder in Schools (2nd edition). London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Wilmshurst, L. & Brue, A. (2010). The complete guide to special education: Expert advice on evaluations, IEPs, and helping kids succeed (Second Edition). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Best Practice Resources
- American Psychiatric Association
- Autism Society of America
- Autism Speaks
- Best Practice Autism
- Cambridge University, Autism Research Centre
- Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- First Signs
- Indiana University, Indiana Resource Center for Autism
- Living Autism
- National Autism Center
- National Autistic Society
- National Institute of Student Health and Human Development Autism
- National Institute of Student Health and Human Development Autism
- National Institutes of Health Autism Research Network
- National Professional Developmental Center for Autism
- National Research Council
- Nova Southeastern University, Mailman Segal Institute
- Organization for Autism Research
- Parent Coaching for Autism
- Research Autism
- Sensory Bounce® Therapy
- University of California, M.I.N.D. Institute
- University of Kansas, Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support
- University of Michigan, Autism and Communication Disorders Center
- University of North Carolina, Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication
- Yale Student Study Center Developmental Disabilities Clinic