TeachersFirst's Resources on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Asperger's

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome diagnoses are on the rise. Many teachers and parents have little experience with the most recent information and research on these exceptionalities, and few regular ed teachers have received any inservice training to help them understand and differentiate instruction for these students. This list of reviewed resources includes explanations of autism and Asperger's along with practical suggestions on ways these students can learn and succeed. Share these reviewed resources with parents and colleagues so you can all work together.

 

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Study Body Language - Study-Body-Language

Grades
1 to 12
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Communicate more effectively with students, parents, and administrators with Study Body Language, a site that promotes nonverbal communication. Discover the many ways people communicate...more
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Communicate more effectively with students, parents, and administrators with Study Body Language, a site that promotes nonverbal communication. Discover the many ways people communicate non-verbally through facial expressions, gestures, touch, tone, volume, the rate of voice, personal space, eye contact, physical appearance, and hygiene. Discover how to hone your skills in reading others' body language. Learn ways to promote yourself using posture and attitude. A collection of videos from various sources helps you see concrete examples of reading nonverbal communications. If your district blocks YouTube, some videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Join the blog and RSS feed to get even more videos and ideas on nonverbal communication.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): autism (22), back to school (56), debate (41), gifted (95), speech (92)

In the Classroom

As a professional educator, nonverbal body language greatly impacts your teaching, communication with students, colleagues, parents, and presentations. Improve your nonverbal communication skills by reviewing different parts of the site. Feature on the interactive whiteboard (or projector) as part of instructions for student presentations to offer important tips for success. Use as a resource for any autistic children or children who have difficulty communicating. Give to parents as a resource for when their student is practicing a project presentation, or with their student who needs extra assistance in communication. Fuel your debate team with these important tips. During leadership classes or activities, these can become important lesson ideas and resources. During practice for job or college interviews, have students discover important ways to communicate.
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OK2Ask'®: Specialized for Special Needs - July 2015 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2015, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using TeachersFirst...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2015, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help students needing emotional support, learning support, speech/language support, autistic support, ESL assistance, and more. Find resources that promote organization, focus, and differentiated learning. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring at least 10 specialized resources on TeachersFirst; Explore and practice with selected resources; Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants; List and discuss other curriculum related projects or activities that could be done using the resources in the teacher's own teaching situation; (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): adhd (28), autism (22)

In the Classroom

Help ALL of your special needs students with the ideas in this session. Learn ways to differentiate to reach them all. Take a look at the resource page full of excellent resources to explore! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask'®: Specialized for Special Needs - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help students needing emotional support, learning support, speech/language support, autistic support, ESL assistance, and more. Find resources that promote organization, focus, and differentiated learning. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring at least 10 specialized resources on TeachersFirst. Explore and practice with selected resources. Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants. List and discuss other curriculum related projects or activities that could be done using the resources in the teacher's own teaching situation. (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c. ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): autism (22), differentiation (47), learning disability (14), organizational skills (117)

In the Classroom

Find new strategies and techniques to use for the special needs in your classroom. Explore various tools for language skills, focus, organization, differentiation, and more. Share some of your favorite sites with families on your class wiki or website. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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My Autism Team - My Health Teams

Grades
K to 12
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic...more
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My Autism Team is a social networking site for parents of autistic children. The site includes four key areas: finding providers, finding and networking with other parents of autistic children, questions and answers, and activities -- with daily updates of triumphs and trials. Register using your email to access most information on the site; however, it is possible to search and browse the question and answers and find local providers without registration. This is NOT a medical or "professional" site, though they do have partnerships with several respected professional autism-related groups (see Partners section).

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have an autism spectrum chid in class, use information and resources on My Autism Team to understand parental concerns and make parent-teacher conferences and communications more effective. Share this site with parents of autistic children as a resource for networking with other parents. Be sure to share this with partner teachers including Special Education teachers. Browse the Question and Answer portion of the site to become familiar with concerns families of autistic children have when working with school systems and IEPs. Help diffuse the feeling of "them and us" by reading what parents say and talking about how you can work together.

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PBIS World - PBIS World

Grades
K to 12
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources,...more
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Find Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports for problem classroom behaviors at PBIS World. This complete and easy to use resource includes hundreds of interventions, resources, and data collection and tracking tools. There are discussions about behavior, behavior analysis, problem-solving, ideas, and more! Start by selecting the behavior you want to address and proceed through the steps to the interventions and directions for using them. Some of the topics tackled include Anxiety, Disorganized, Poor Coping Skills, Lack of Participation, and many others. Explore ways to help students (or even adults) cope with these issues. There are three tiers to the program with different types of interventions.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): autism (22), behavior (46), classroom management (127), emotions (34)

In the Classroom

Think of an undesirable behavior in your classroom, and you will probably find it on the PBIS list. Read a description of the behavior (just to make sure you chose the correct one). Then go on to the interventions. Click to see how and when to use each intervention. Choose from many interventions for each behavior. Use the different forms to keep track of the success (or lack of success) of the intervention over the weeks and months you try it. If the Tier One interventions do not work, proceed to tier two. Share this resource with colleagues and parents to team up for success.

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Iris the Dragon - Gayle Grass

Grades
K to 6
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings...more
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Iris the Dragon offers children's books to educate young children on mental health and wellness. The site has several FREE, downloadable e-books. There are other materials and offerings advertised on the site, but no purchase is needed to obtain the free e-Books. Topics include ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome, School Anxiety, Anger, Worry, and more. A few e-books are also available in French. Fill in the simple form with your name, books desired, and how you plan to use the books. (No email address is necessary, but can be provided if you want email updates from the website.) There is no "wait" period. E-books are available for immediate use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adhd (28), aspergers (6), autism (22), ebooks (40), mental health (25)

In the Classroom

Download books from Iris the Dragon for use in mental health lessons or to address specific classroom concerns. Use books as a read-aloud and display on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meetings. Print and laminate books for use in guided reading lessons. Share this site on your class website for students (and parents) to read together at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learning Difficulties - Great Schools

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. Choose the overview portion of the site for an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability,...more
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. Choose the overview portion of the site for an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability, along with what to look for when considering learning disabilities. Search through resources sorted by grade level or by specific topics such as ADHD and autism. Another interesting section discusses assistive technologies available for reading, writing, and listening.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adhd (28), autism (22), learning disability (14), preK (275), professional development (121)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for understanding and finding resources for learning disabilities. Share articles and information with parents during conferences. Use this site as a resource during professional development sessions.

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Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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Aven's Corner - Preschool Educational Games - Billy Collins

Grades
K to 2
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Aven's Corner is designed by a father as a resource for activities for his autistic son. Find fun and entertaining games and coloring pages for preschoolers and children with special...more
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Aven's Corner is designed by a father as a resource for activities for his autistic son. Find fun and entertaining games and coloring pages for preschoolers and children with special needs. Explore the activity archives to find simple activities to do with young children such as celebrating National Pink Day or taking a number walk. Visit the parent resources portion of the site to read a definition of autism and view a checklist of symptoms. Be sure to check out the Comix creator; use the drag and drop feature to add backgrounds, animals, shapes, and more to your own unique creations. When finished, print, save, or publish your Comix using the links on the page. Publishing requires giving the author's name and a comic title. Some of the pages are slightly slow loading, so a little patience is required (another skill for children to build).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (91), autism (22), comics and cartoons (73), literacy (102), phonics (74), stories and storytelling (31)

In the Classroom

Share this site with special needs teachers, parents of autistic students, or speech teachers. Activities are not just for autistic children. All young learners can benefit from the activities such as popping letter bubbles. Create a link on classroom computers and use as a learning center. Create a Comix creation as a class on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) when creating a class story. Use the Comix feature on your whiteboard to retell a story using the images provided.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Autism Games - Swinburne University's Multimedia Design Program

Grades
K to 5
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This site is for parents and teachers of autistic and ASD children, as well as the children themselves. Find games and background information to support learning. Six games support...more
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This site is for parents and teachers of autistic and ASD children, as well as the children themselves. Find games and background information to support learning. Six games support development of life skills such as coping with change. There are also activities dealing with social interactions, such as taking turns and using eye contact. Information for adults accompanies each game including keywords and specific discussion of skills taught and how they can be used in a classroom setting.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Share games with students on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to discuss or practice life skills taught. Make the games an IWB or computer center for individual practice. Share this site with parents of autistic students as a resource for learning life skills.
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Zac Browser - People CD

Grades
K to 12
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Zacbrowser is a free, downloadable and customizable browser specifically designed to help students with autism, autism spectrum disorder, and other special needs so they have usable...more
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Zacbrowser is a free, downloadable and customizable browser specifically designed to help students with autism, autism spectrum disorder, and other special needs so they have usable access to the Internet. At this time, ZacBrowser is WIndows ONLY. The browser simplifies and controls what you can reach when you click on items on the screens. Many testimonials of families with children with special needs affirm the browser's usability for children who may be confused, distracted, overwhelmed, or frustrated by normal web browsers.

tag(s): autism (22), browser (6)

In the Classroom

Ask your tech department to Install this on your classroom computer if you have students with special needs such as autism. Provide this link to parents who may benefit from the browser. Note that this download is Windows only at this time.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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WeeBehave - Wee Behave

Grades
K to 12
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WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit...more
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WeeBehave is a site that allows you to create behavior, task, or chore charts online. Multiple students can be tracked through one account. Teachers and parents alike would benefit from using this online tool.

tag(s): autism (22), behavior (46), classroom management (127), organizational skills (117), parents (55)

In the Classroom

Start your year off right! Set up an account using WeeBehave. Special education teachers can set up weekly progress monitoring using this website. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students on their roster. Have regular education teachers with these students set up accounts, complete weekly data, and then print or take a snap shot of the week's chart and email it to the teacher in charge of tracking the student's data. Or have students who are struggling with following the rules set up charts to evaluate themselves, comparing their ratings with the teacher's charts. This would allow for a quality discussion about differences between what students think of their behavior and how others see it. Please keep in mind if planning to share charts with anyone other than yourself (teacher) and the student's parents, you should use codes or fictitious names to protect student identity. Assign a code that has no relationship to the child or student ID.

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Autism Speaks, Family Services - Autism Speaks Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Autism Speaks offers many resources for parents and educators. Autism Speaks describes themselves as a "School Community Toolkit" and was designed to provide information to anyone who...more
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Autism Speaks offers many resources for parents and educators. Autism Speaks describes themselves as a "School Community Toolkit" and was designed to provide information to anyone who has or works with autistic children. The site contains downloadable resources and video clips.

tag(s): autism (22), resources (111)

In the Classroom

Teachers, plan professional development using the free videos and resources from the site. Share the web link on your school's webpage for parents to access. In addition, encourage your PTO/PTA to host an Autism Speaks evening for all interested parents. If you are dealing with an autistic child in your own classroom and feel ill-prepared or uncertain of the best strategies to use, the explanations and ideas on this site will definitely help.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Opposing Views - Opposing Views, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements,...more
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements, however the information is still very good and the ads are not overly distracting. NOTE: some content may be too mature for younger readers. See suggestions below.

tag(s): autism (22), debate (41), persuasive writing (54), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site for debate topics for students to see both sides of the argument either before they choose their topic, or as part of their research for the topic. The issues change regularly and could serve a powerful prompts for persuasive writing. Some readings on this site would also work as texts to use on interactive whiteboard for teaching non-fiction reading skills such as main idea, summarizing, or fact vs opinion. Teachers will want to closely monitor students using this site, since sidebars offer links to other topics, and some comments left by readers may not be classroom-friendly. Be sure to visit the link to Civility 101 at the bottom of the page and share it with your students! Have cooperative learning groups choose a side and create a multimedia presentation defending their choice. Use a site such as Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
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Do2Learn - Do2Learn

Grades
K to 8
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn...more
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"This web site is dedicated to those individuals who see the world in different ways." Find activities, printables, and interactive games to help students with exceptionalities learn about basics, master organization, and deal with interpersonal challenges on this site. Many of the resources are useful for "regular ed" as well as special ed. Although the site includes items for sale, there are many lesson plans and interactives offered for free. See the Disabilities menu for quick explanations of various disabilities: OCD, Asperger's, Autism, PDD, Learning disabilities, and more. The Games menu offers interactives to help students learn position words (in/out/left/right, etc), facial expressions, emotions, time, first-then-next sequencing, synonyms/antonyms, and more. Check out the safety songs with animated illustrations (turn up your speakers!). The Get Organized menu has some terrific offerings, including an interactive Emotions Color Wheel.

tag(s): autism (22), emotions (34), safety (103)

In the Classroom

Although intended for students with special needs, this site would also be helpful for teaching basic English vocabulary (emotions, facial expressions, positions), for safety lessons during bus safety week, and for ESL/ELL learners. The many printables in the free areas will also help you teach basics of any primary classroom. Speech/Language teachers, emotional support teachers, and autistic support teachers will appreciate the many ways to share emotion words, including an interactive facial expression tool and the emotions color wheel. Many activities are well-suited for interactive whiteboard with the student navigating using his/her finger or touch tool. Others would make ideal learning centers at a classroom computer with headphones. Share this site with parents, as well, via a link on your class web page, since many of the activities bear repeating over and over.

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Autism4teachers - Autism4teachers.com

Grades
K to 12
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot...more
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This comprehensive website, written by four teachers, offers an excellent starting point and whets the appetite for anyone seriously looking into autism. Autism4teachers offers a snapshot of many of the current and research-based concepts in the area of autism. The information provides enough information to enable you to research even further. There are numerous specific topics highlighted at this website including Communication, Social Skills, Classroom Structure, TEACCH, Inclusion, Behavioral Support, Parent Support, Visual Support, Community Support, Autism Awareness, Assistive Technology, Sensory Based Activity Room, Thematic Units, Data Sheets, & several others. Don't miss the MANY lesson ideas and activities provided with the topics. This website requires Windows Media Player. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22), social skills (21)

In the Classroom

Use this free website (and the many tips) to help your autistic students succeed, whether you are in a regular classroom or special ed. Share this link in your class newsletter and on your class website. Be sure to provide this link to any colleagues helping autistic students in and out of the classroom.

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OASIS: Tips For Teaching High Functioning People With Autism - Susan Moreno and Carol O'Neal

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These...more
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O.A.S.I.S. (Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support) presents this simple list of strategies that work with students who have Asperger's or Autism Spectrum disorders. These explanations and strategies are understandable and practical for classroom teachers and anyone who works with these students, including cafeteria workers or Sunday School teachers! Take the time to help yourself help these enigmatic kids. It will help you understand WHY they do some of the things they do and WHY you should approach tasks a certain way.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

If you have students with autism, ask for some time to review this set of strategies during your next inservice day and brainstorm with other teachers on ways your school building can incorporate some of these more systematically, especially since recent reports have shown drastic increases in autism spectrum disorders in our schools. Special ed teachers will want to share this page with the other adults in their building as an "FYI." Why not provide the link on your class or school website?

Comments

Cindy, KY, Grades: 0 - 12

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Autism Society of America - ASA

Grades
K to 12
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About...more
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About Autism, Life with Autism, Research & Programs, Autism Communities, and more! You can also sign up to receive e-newsletters, learn about fundraising opportunities, and find many tips for parents and teachers. This site is recommended in articles by the National Association of School Psychologists, a helpful endorsement in distinguishing among many web sites dealing with autism.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), behavior (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn the basics about autism. No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding. This is a great resource to provide to parents!

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Autism Spectrum Disorders: Primer for Parents and Educators - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is...more
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This introductory article explains basic characteristics of autism and Asperger's, major treatment considerations, and IEP suggestions. Tough ostensibly for parents, the language is mostly that of educators and psychologists, so some interpretation may be needed for many parents to fully understand. The article includes a few resource links at the end. Note that this article dates form 2004 and does not reflect the 2007 release of new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on autism prevalence. The file requires Acrobat Reader. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Autism Reveals Social Roots of Language - NPR- Jon Hamilton

Grades
K to 12
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research...more
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This article (or online broadcast) from NPR explains new research about autism, language, and social functioning. The article is from 2006. The brain-based approach explains the research in layman's terms. This could be a very helpful article as you struggle to understand an autistic child in your classroom or try to help your teaching peers understand your students, if you are a special ed teacher. There is an attention-grabbing interactive to help you visualize. This site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): autism (22)

In the Classroom

Be sure to list this link on your class website. The interactive would be ideal for an in-service (or independent) exploration.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Organization for Autism Research - Organization for Autism Research

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information,...more
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If you are looking for information on autism or Asperger's Syndrome, this organization's resources and information will be very helpful. You can find general background information, downloadable "guides" and worksheets for parents and educators, and current research. The guides include advice on how to "be a savvy customer of autism sources of information," a wise idea when investigating a topic with such emotion and so much in the forefront at this time. Some of the printables require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22)

In the Classroom

Look under "Resources" for Recommended Reading. The "Education and Service Providers" section offers a great starting point for teachers! These downloadable files can be read only or printed out to share with concerned parties. Share this link on your class website, for parents to easily find and investigate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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