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Special Needs Network, Inc.

Parents’ Corner

Autism Symptom Checklist

What should you look for in a child who may have autism?

Here is a checklist of common traits that indicate a child may have a diagnosis of autism.  By checking off the behaviors that apply, a parent can help get a head-start on intervention by bringing this list to a healthcare provider, along with a complete medical and developmental history, of the child. The healthcare provider will then conduct further observations and assessments in order to make an authentic diagnosis.

 

Early signs of Autism

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html

 

First Signs

https://www.firstsigns.org/

 

 

 

Symptom checklist


Infant / Baby checklist:

___    Does not smile or engage in social behavior (clapping, chasing bubbles)

___    Avoids eye contact; only peers at parent or others out of corner of eye

___    Seems overly sensitive to being touched or to certain, often loud, noises

____  Under-responsive to pain unless acute

____  Focuses on objects instead of people

____  No pointing or gesturing by 12 months

____  No babble by 12 months

____  Lack of imitation (stacking blocks, stirring spoon, clapping)

____  No interest in peers

____  Does not respond to name or attempts to get his/her attention

____  Doesn’t like to cuddle

____  No spontaneous two-word phrases by 12 months

____  Stares at unmoving object for long periods of time

____  Does not make attachments to cuddly toys or people

____  No interest in or ability to crawl or walk

 

 

 

 

Toddler/Child

____  Any loss of skills or language; the child appears to be “going backwards” in development

____  Echolalia (repeats what others say)

____  Delayed fine motor skills (ability to hold crayons, pencils, work with clay)

____  Dislike of certain textures (sand under feet, play-do, clay)

____  Aversion to certain smells, textures and appearances of food

____  Inability to ask for what he wants; tantrums to get what he wants

____  Prefers to be alone

____  Spins self or objects for long periods of time

____  Runs back and forth for no purpose

____  Seems to be in “own world”

____  Has increased sensitivity to light and loud noises

____  Reduced sensitivity to pain; cannot tell when he is sick

____  Insensitive to extreme heat, extreme cold

____  Minimal or no response to others’ emotions

____  Inappropriate responses to others’ words or emotions

____  Inability to initiate play or conversation

____  Louder than usual voice; robotic or singing voice

____  Overly formal language and mannerisms

____  More comfortable with adults than peers

____  Doesn’t understand imaginary games or jokes

____  Repetitive play with toys; lines up toys or other object’s time after time

____  Hits or bites other children to get the preferred object away from them

____  Turns light switch on and off or rewinds video over and over again, ignoring pleas to stop

____  Does not respond to others’ smiles or overtures

____  Hurts self by biting, scratching, hitting head on the wall or floor

____  Oppositional to adults

____  Does not like new situations; gets extremely agitated to change in routine

____  Difficulty making friends

____  Excluded by other children; teased and/or bullied

____  Talks about the topics over and over again and doesn’t seem interested in anything else

____  Unable to converse with others

____  Unable to relate to others on an emotional level; establishes relationships in order only to get what he needs

____  Walks on tiptoes

 

 


 

 

California Regional Center Directory

Introduction to California Regional Centers:

http://www.vistacba.com/California-Regional-Center-Autism-support-services-/

Requirements for Regional Center Eligibility 

 

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Alta California

2241 Harvard Street, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95815-3305
916.978.6400
916.489.1857 FAX
http://altaregional.org

 

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Central Valley
4615 N. Marty Avenue
Fresno, CA 93722
559.276.4300
559.276.4450 FAX
http://cvrc.org

 

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Eastern Los Angeles
1000 S. Fremont Ave.
Alhambra, CA 91803
P.O. Box 7916
Alhambra, CA 91802-7916
626.299.4700
626.281.1163 FAX
http://elarc.org

 

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Far Northern
1900 Churn Creek Rd, Ste. 319
Redding, CA 96002
PO Box 492418
Redding, CA 96049-2418
530.222.4791
530.222.6063 FAX
http://www.farnorthernrc.org

 

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Golden Gate
875 Stevenson Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.546.9222
415.546.9203 FAX
http://ggrc.org

 

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Harbor
21231 Hawthorne Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90503
310.540.1711
310.540.9538 FAX
http://harborrc.org

 

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Inland
1365 South Waterman Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408
P.O. Box 6127
San Bernardino, CA 92412-6127
909.890.3000
909.890.3001 FAX
http://inlandrc.org

 

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Kern
3200 North Sillect Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93308
661.327.8531
661.324.5060 FAX
http://kernrc.org

 

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Lanterman
3303 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 700
Los Angeles, CA 90010
213.383.1300
213.383.6526 FAX
http://lanterman.org

 

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North Bay
10 Executive Court
Napa, CA 94558
P.O. Box 3360 Napa, CA 94558
707.256.1100
707.256.1112 FAX
http://nbrc.net

 

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North Los Angeles

15400 Sherman Way, Suite 170
Van Nuys, CA 91406
818.778.1900
818.756.6140 FAX
http://nlacrc.org

 

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Redwood Coast
525 2nd Street, Suite 300
Eureka, CA 95501
707.445.0893
707.444.3409 FAX
http://redwoodcoastrc.org

 

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Regional Center of Orange County
1525 N. Tustin Avenue
Santa Ana, CA 92705
P.O. Box 22010
Santa Ana, CA 92702-2010
714.796.5100
714.547.4365 FAX
http://rcocdd.com

 

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Regional Center of East Bay
500 Davis Street, Ste 100
San Leandro, CA 94577
510.383.1200
510.678.4100 FAX
http://rceb.org

 

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San Andreas
Campbell, CA 95008
PO Box 50002
San Jose, CA 95150
408.374.9960
408.376.0586 FAX
http://sarc.org

 

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San Diego
4355 Ruffin Road
San Diego, CA 92123
858.576.2996
858.576.2873 FAX
http://sdrc.org

 

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San Gabriel/Pomona
761 Corporate Center Drive
Pomona, CA 91768
909.620.7722
909.622.5123 FAX
http://sgprc.org

 

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South Central Los Angeles
650 West Adams Boulevard, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90007
213.744.7000
213.744.8494 FAX
http://sclarc.org

 

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Tri-Counties
520 East Montecito Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
805.962.7881
http://tri-counties.org

 

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Valley Mountain
702 N. Aurora Street
Stockton, CA 95202
P. O. Box 692290
Stockton, CA 95269-2290
209.473.0951
209.473.0256 FAX
http://vmrc.net

 

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Westside
5901 Green Valley Circle
Suite 320
Culver City, CA 90230
310.258.4000
310.649.2033 FAX
http://westsiderc.org

 

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Download list

california-regional-center-directory

 

 


 

 

Glossary of Special Needs Terms

AAC

(Augmentative and alternative communication; augmentative communication) Refers to the ways (other than speech) that are used to send a message from one person to another. We all use augmentative communication techniques, such as facial expressions, gestures and writing, as part of our daily life. In difficult listening situations (noisy rooms, for example), we tend to augment our words with even more gestures and exaggerated facial expressions.

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ADHD
(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) A Neuro biological condition seen primarily in the school-aged population that affects one’s ability to maintain attention.

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Aphasia
A disorder that results from damage to the language centers of the brain. Individuals who were previously able to communicate through speaking, listening, reading and writing become more limited in their ability to do so. The most common cause of aphasia is stroke, but gunshot wounds, blows to the head, other traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, and other sources of brain damage can also cause aphasia.

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Apraxia
Apraxia (also referred to as apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia or dyspraxia) is a speech disorder characterized by deficits in motor planning for speech.

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Articulation
Articulation refers to speech sound production. Speech sounds are classified according to the place of articulation, manner of articulation and presence or absence of voice.

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Articulation disorders
Disorders of speech sound production characterized by substitution, omission and/or distortion of sounds.

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Audiologists
A professional who identifies and manages hearing problems. They assess the presence and extent of hearing loss and recommend appropriate treatment that may include the selection of a hearing aid or training in speech production.

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Auditory processing
In general, auditory processing is viewed as what a person does when his/her ear receives an auditory message and the central nervous system extracts the meaningful information from that message, eventually, comprehending or putting meaning to the message. Auditory processing, then, can be viewed as the various steps or “processes” involved once an auditory message leaves the inner ear and travels from the inner ear (known as the cochlea) through the central nervous system to the brain and then is acted upon by various components of the brain.

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Auditory processing assessment
Testing which is done to determine if a student is processing auditory information (that which he/she hears) effectively. This testing can take 1-2 hours to complete.

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Auditory processing disorder
Auditory processing is a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you. Humans hear when energy that we recognize as sound travels through the ear and is changed into electrical information that can be interpreted by the brain. The “disorder” part of auditory processing disorder means that something is adversely affecting the processing or interpretation of the information. (National Institute of Health definition)

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Auditory processing skills
The processes used to organize incoming (receptive) verbal or nonverbal auditory information. These skills include auditory discrimination between sounds, auditory memory, auditory perception, auditory synthesis and auditory figure-ground.

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Auditory processing therapy
Therapy designed to help a student overcome an auditory processing disorder. Students attend 1-3 hours of individual therapy sessions per week to re-train the pathway to the brain that transmits auditory information. This process can take from 12-20 weeks depending on the severity of the disability.

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Augmentative and alternative communication
(AAC; augmentative communication) Refers to the  ways (other than speech) that are used to send a message from one person to another.

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Central Auditory Processing Disorder
(CAPD) A condition in which one has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information when presented in a less than the optimal listening environment; difficulty understanding and/or processing spoken language in the absence of hearing loss. CAPD is diagnosed by an audiologist.

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Central Auditory Processing
(CAPD) A condition in which one has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information when presented in a less than the optimal listening environment; difficulty understanding and/or processing spoken language in the absence of hearing loss. CAPD is diagnosed by an audiologist.

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Cognition
The mental process of knowing, thinking, learning and judging.

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Communication
A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.

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Comprehensive educational assessment
Testing which is done to determine where a student is performing in comparison to other children his/her age. A comprehensive assessment includes cognitive as well as academic testing. Many different types of tests are used, and it takes several hours to complete.

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Developmental delay
Behind schedule in reaching milestones of early childhood development.

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Developmental screenings
Children are evaluated in a number of different areas including: motor skills (walking, hopping, skipping), language acquisition (how many words they know), speech (how clearly they can say words), understanding of concepts (colors, parts of their body, numbers, letters), social development, self-help skills, vision and hearing. Children are compared to children their same age to determine if their development is on track.

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Dysfluency
Disruption in the smooth flow or expression of speech.

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Expressive language
The ability to express our ideas with words.

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Hearing aids
Devices which amplify sound to help persons with hearing loss.

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Hearing impaired
Any degree of loss of hearing that has an impact on one’s activities of daily living or that requires special assistance or intervention.

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Hearing loss
A reduction in the ability to perceive sound; may range from slight to complete deafness.

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Hyperlexia
Most notable for incredible rote reading skills starting at an early age.

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Hyponasality
Hyponasality refers to a lack of air exiting through the nose during speech production, which can make overall speech difficult to understand. Hyponasality usually results from some sort of blockage in the nasal area, often due to enlarged adenoids or some other source of nasal congestion. In English, “m”, “n’ and “ing” are sounds where clear production depends upon the free passage of air through the nose.

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Language
Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; a symbolic system for representing thoughts and ideas. Language can include spoken words, written words, signs, gestures, picture systems and facial expressions.

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Language delay
Language delays, refer to difficulties people exhibit and experience in learning to talk, understand, or use any aspect of language appropriately as compared to expectations for typically developing individuals at similar developmental levels and in similar environments.

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Language disabilities/disorders
Disabilities related to both the sensory and motor aspects of language; include impairments in understanding of written and spoken language and impairments in speaking and writing the language.

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Language-based learning disabilities
Language-based learning disabilities interfere with age-appropriate reading, spelling, and/or writing. Most people diagnosed with learning disabilities possess average to superior intelligence. Learning disabilities are caused by a difference in brain structure that is present at birth, is often hereditary, and often related to specific language problems.

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Language therapy
Rehabilitation of persons with language disorders or training of children or adults with language disorders.

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Late talker
Late talker is a term used to describe children between the ages of 18 to 20 months who have fewer than 10 words and children between the ages of 21 to 30 months who have fewer than 50 words and/or no two-word combinations. These children are, however, typically developing in the areas of comprehension, play, motor or cognitive/learning skills

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Learning disabilities
Disorders in one or more of the basic cognitive and psychological processes involved in understanding or using written or spoken language; may be manifested in age-related impairment in the ability to read, write, spell, speak or perform mathematical calculations.

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Multi-sensory program
Learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. Links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell.

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Orton-Gillingham methods
The Orton-Gillingham methodology utilizes phonetic and emphasizes visual (what we see), auditory (what we hear) and kinesthetic (what we touch/feel) learning styles. Instruction begins by focusing on the structure of language and gradually moves towards reading. The program provides students with immediate feedback and a predictable sequence that integrates reading, writing, and spelling.

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Occupational therapy
A form of therapy that encourages and instructs manual activities for therapeutic or remedial purposes in mental and physical disorders. Occupational therapy also encompasses sensory regulation and processing.

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Oral Motor Deficits
Problems with movements of any muscles in the mouth and throat that my cause problems with swallowing, eating, speaking.

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Orofacial myofunctional disorder
With an orofacial myofunctional disorder (OMD), the tongue moves forward in an exaggerated way during speech and/or swallowing. The tongue may also lie too far forward during rest, or may protrude inappropriately between the upper and lower teeth during speech, swallowing, and at rest.

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Otitis media
Infection and inflammation of the middle ear space and ear drum. Symptoms include earache, fever and in some cases, diminished hearing.

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Phonation
The process of producing voice or vocal sounds by means of vocal fold vibration in an expiratory blast of air.

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Phonology
Phonology is the sound system of language and includes the rules for combining sounds together in meaningful syllables, words and sentences. The phonology of language tells us how sounds fit together in words.

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Pragmatic language
The practical ability to use language in a social setting and changing social situations. Knowing what is appropriate to say, where and when to say it; and the give and take nature of conversation.

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Reading therapy
Therapy designed to help a student overcome a reading disability such as dyslexia. Students attend individual or small group therapy sessions 1-3 hours per week to retrain the pathways to the brain that process auditory and visual (letters and words) information. This process can take from 20-100 weeks depending on the severity of the disability.

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Research-based curricula
Any materials used to teach, which have been studied and shown to be effective.

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Receptive language
The ability to understand words and ideas.

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Research-based curriculum
A specific set of materials which have undergone rigorous evaluation and have been shown to be effective.

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Screening
Simple, informal and gross assessment of skills. Screenings identify individuals who are in need of more formal, comprehensive evaluation.

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Sensory integration
The way the senses are used to understand the environment; the taking in and processing of sensory information, and then formulating an appropriate response.

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Speech
The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words; the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds; the power of speaking.

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Speech and language pathology
The study of speech or language disorders and their diagnosis and correction. Speech-language pathology is a field dedicated to the development and improvement of skills for individuals with communication and swallowing difficulties. Such impairments can include aphasia, dysarthria, apraxia, cognitive impairments, dysphagia, articulation and phonological disorders, language delays and disorders and pragmatic language deficits.

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Speech delay
In general, a child is considered to have a speech delay if the child’s speech development is significantly below the norm for children of the same age. A child with speech delay has speech development that is typical of a normally developing child of a younger chronological age; the speech-delayed child’s skills are acquired in a normal sequence, but at a slower-than-normal rate.

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Speech disorders
Long-term disorders in speaking or in perception of speech.

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Speech-language pathologists
(SLP, also referred to as speech-language therapist) Professional who assesses, identifies and treats problems related to communication and/or swallowing.

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Speech-language therapy
Why any therapy intended to correct a disorder of speech, language or communication.

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Stuttering
(Also called disfluency) A disorder of speech fluency that interrupts the forward flow of speech. All individuals are disfluent at times, but what differentiates the person who stutters from someone with normal speech disfluencies is the kind and amount of the disfluencies.

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Tutoring
See intervention.

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Therapy
See intervention.

 


 

Government Departments

 


 

Marriage Resources

 

Marriage Resources

Domestic Violence

 


 

 

SNN Recommended Books

 

The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up for Your Child with Autism or Other Special Needs
Author: Areva Martin
Buy

 

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Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story
Author: Monica Holloway
Buy

 

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Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child’s Life
Authors: Lynn Kern Koegel and Claire LaZebnik
Buy

 

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The PRT Pocket Guide: Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders
Authors: Robert L. Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel
Buy

 

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Pivotal Response Treatment for Autism: Communication, Social, & Academic Development
Authors: Robert L. Koegel, Lynn Kern Koegel, Rosy Matos Fredeen and Quy H. Tran
Buy

 

Other books by Robert L. Koegel

 

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Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom
Authors: Elaine Hall, Diane Isaacs and Stephen Shore
Buy

 

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Now I See the Moon: A Mother, a Son, and the Miracle of Autism
Author: Elaine Hall
Buy

 

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A Full Life with Autism: From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieving Independence
Authors: Chantal Sicile-Kira, Jeremy Sicile-Kira and Temple Grandin
Buy

 

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Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Author: Ellen Notbohm
Buy

 

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School Daze – Autism Goes to School
Author: Dr. Sharon A. Mitchell
Buy

 

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Autism: A Practical Guide for Parents
Author: Alan Yau
Buy

 

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Thinking in Pictures, Expanded Edition: My Life with Autism
Author: Temple Grandin
Buy

 

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A Full Life With Autism
From Learning to Forming Relationships to Achieve Independence
Authors: Chantal Sicile-Kira and Jeremy Sicile-Kira. Forward by Temple Grandin
Buy

 

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Self-Calming Cards
Authors: Elizabeth Crary and Mits Katayama
Buy

 

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Superflex Takes On Rock Brain And The Team Of Unthinkables
Authors: Stephanie Madrigal. Illustrated by Kelly Knopp
Buy

 

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Autism: Sensory-Movement Differences And Diversity
Authors: Martha Leary and Anne Donnellan
Buy

 

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I Am Intelligent
From Heartbreak to Healing–A Mother and Daughter’s Journey through Autism
Authors: Peyton Goddard and Dianne Goddard with Carol Cupec
Buy

 

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The Zones Of Regulation
A Curriculum Designed to Foster Self-Regulation and Emotional Control
Author: Leah Kuypers
Buy

 

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Other autism related books