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 My Favorite Autism/ABA Books

NBC Admin - Monday, November 16, 2009
Here is a list and description of my favorite Autism/ABA books. I have chosen these books because i have read them or am planning on reading them and found them to be: informative and easy to read. 

1. The Verbal Behavior Approach by Mary Barbera and Tracey Rasmussen. This book is an excellent resource for parents and providers. I read it in a day. The author is a parent and she does an excellent job explaining what a "verbal approach" is and how to start using it with your child. She also explains very well functions of behavior and some other behavioral terms. This is a must read!!! 

2. Educating Toward Recovery by Robert Schramm, BCBA. I have not read this book yet but I have read the author's website numerous times. He has a very easy to read writing style and explains behavioral terminology in an easy to understand way. I am waiting anxiously for my copy to arrive in the mail! The book is described as a handbook for learning to use the Verbal Behavior Approach. 

3. Controversial Therapies for Developmental Disabilities: Fads, Fashions, and Science in Professional Practice by John Jacobsen, James Mulick, and Richard Foxx. This book is another must read for parents and providers. It is very hard to look at all of the available treatments for autism and determine which treatments to use with each child. This book does an excellent job of presenting the current literature for several of the popular treatments and examines which treatments are fad and which are science. 

4. Teaching Language to Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities by Sundberg and Partington. This book is very helpful for learning how to use the ABLLS assessment with your child. It explains how to set up goals and work the goals into an IEP. It is very helpful for structuring your programming.

5. The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (Revised) - ABLLS-R by Partington. This is the assessment book that goes with the above mentioned book. This book provides a wonderful breakdown of skills and separates the skills by different functional and developmental areas. 

6. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Protocol - VB-MAPP by Sundberg. This is Sundberg's revised assessment that comes from his early work described in book number 4. This assessment also provides a wonderful break down of skills separated by function and developmental area. The VB MAPP also has a focus on developmental age so you can see what your child should be able to do at which age and how skills progress. The VB MAPP also includes a transition assessment, barriers assessment, and echoics assessment. The VB MAPP has an assessment protocol and guide. I highly recommend buying both as it is impossible to do the assessment without the guide. 

7. There's a Boy in Here by Judy Barron and Sean Barron. Words cannot even explain how much I loved this book. The mom and son both reflect on what it was like for them while Sean was growing up. It is amazing to read Judy's interpretation of his behavior and Sean's reasons for doing the behaviors. Just keep in mind that his experience cannot be applied to every autistic person. 

8. The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron. This is another excellent read written by two autistic writers. It is very helpful to read about the unwritten rules so that you can work on teaching your child those rules if they have difficulty with the areas described. Temple and Sean see the world differently too so it is great to get each of their perspectives. Once again, their experiences cannot be applied to every autistic person. 

9. Anything by: Temple Grandin, Donna Williams, Sean Barron, and Donna Prince Hughes. Some of their books talk about their experiences being autistic and some of their books talk about other items so make sure you look to see what the book is about. While their experiences do not represent every autistic person, their stories are still moving and inspiring. 

10.Toilet Training in Less than a Day by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx. This book is a must read for parents trying to potty train their children. Every successful potty training I have done with a client was because of the procedures described in this book. Sometimes it is still hard to implement the procedures though without the supervision and guidance of a BCBA or someone trained in the field because it takes some time and effort at first. 

11. BehaviorAsk: Straight answers to your ABA programming questions by Bobby Newman, Dana Reinecke, Tammy Hammond. This is another excellent resource for parents. The book goes through questions that all parents will have when first finding out their child is diagnosed and when starting a behavior analysis program. The book will help parents know what to look for and expect in a well designed behavior analysis program. The book is also written in a very easy to read manner. 

12. Let me Hear your Voice by Catherine Maurice. This is a classic Autism/ABA book and a must read for all parents. Catherine does a wonderful job explaining what she went through and what worked and didn't work for her. It is always helpful to read about people going through similar experiences. 

13. Teach Me Language by Sabrina Freeman This book is more a resource for teaching than an book but I use the worksheets and manuals frequently with my clients who need to learn more advanced language concepts. 

This is just my short list of resources. If you have any books that you would like to add, please leave a comment or email me and I will add the book. I will try to write another blog in the near future about books, curriculums, and resources for teaching autistic children.


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