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Book Recommendation for Parents of Children with Autism

By Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Director of Research and Clinical Services Trumpet Behavioral Health and Alice Walkup, M.S., BCBA

Must Read Books for Parents of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders Part II: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention

This edition of the best books series focuses on books that can assist your family as you make important decisions about pursing behavioral treatment options. The sheer number and diversity of books available may seem daunting. So this series of articles is designed to provide guidance about trustworthy sources of information to help you feel more knowledgeable and confident about the future.

autism bookCatherine Maurice, a parent of a child with autism and the author of Let Me Hear Your Voice, co-edits Making a Difference: Behavioral Intervention for Autism with experts Dr. Gina Green and Dr. Richard Foxx. This book is intended to serve as a manual for parents and professionals to guide their pursuit of Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI). Various experts in the field provide chapters that guide the reader through choosing an effective treatment and understanding scientific support, determining what to teach and how to teach, determining who is qualified to provide services, working with providers from various disciplines in integrated teams. Although this text was written several years back, the material is still relevant and the information is useful for giving families a big picture perspective on how to approach coordinating their child’s programming.


verbal-approach-bookMary Lynch Bambara, a parent of a child with autism and a professional in the field, collaborates with Tracy Rasmussen on The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children with Autism and Related Disorders.  This book describes an applied behavior analysis (ABA) intervention called the Verbal Behavior (VB) approach. This approach is based on B. F. Skinner’s writings about language. The application of these ideas to teach children with autism was developed at Western Michigan University by Jack Michael and Mark Sundberg, who writes the Foreword for the book. Barbera draws upon her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explain VB and how to use it in understandable terms. The text provides a step-by-step guide for how to begin helping children develop better language and speaking skills or sign language. The text also addresses useful topics such as reducing problem behavior, establishing toileting skills.

Autism BookDr. Sandra Harris and Dr. Mary Jane Weiss provide a great place to start your child’s journey to recovery with Right from the Start: Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism, second edition. Parents are often overwhelmed with the amount of information that exists on autism. These authors use a very accessible writing style to outline how parents can evaluate the quality of various intervention programs and the research supporting them. Desirable characteristics of professionals, assessments, programs, sample developmental goals, etc. are clearly organized for the reader’s reference. Drs. Harris and Weiss have created an exceptionally clear, concise, readable resource to guide parents in their search for quality autism intervention services.
Autism BookDr. Ronald Leaf, Dr. John McEachin, and Dr. Mitchell Taubman clear up misconceptions regarding autism treatment in Sense and Nonsense in the Behavioral Treatment of Autism: It Has to Be Said. The authors address misconceptions about applied behavior analysis (ABA), summarize the scientific research supporting various autism interventions, and teach readers how to analyze the research for themselves. These authors prepare readers for the type of resistance parents often encounter when dealing with schools by providing fact-based responses to the most common arguments. This resource provides valuable information on how to advocate for your child’s needs and services.

We hope you enjoy these books and find them useful. The next edition of this series will focus on recommendations for books that are suitable for children and adolescents to read about their peers or their own conditions.

We’d love to hear from you. Do you have any books or other resources you found helpful? Please share in a post.