I recently became aware of AAPC Publishing. The company specializes in books and multi-media on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related exceptionalities for individuals on the spectrum, their parents, families, peers, educators and other professionals. They take pride in “offering practical solutions that translate research into practice at affordable prices.” Their goal is to provide books and other materials designed to promote awareness and acceptance of children, adolescents and adults with ASD as well as provide ready-to-use information related to: sensory issues, self-regulation, behavior, vocational skills, academics, and more. I was particularly interested in the materials published by this company because I worked with children on this spectrum as a Speech-Language Pathologist in a large city public school system and I have a neighbor whose nine-year old son was recently diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Having worked at a time when there was a dearth of appropriate materials available, it is amazing to see the quality and range of materials this company offers.
The company’s website (http://www.aapcpublishing.net/) and catalog display a broad selection of materials, two which caught my attention. They are: “Successful Problem-Solving for High-Functioning Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders” by Kerry Mataya, MSEd and Penney Owens, Med, BCBA and “I HATE TO WRITE!” Tips for Helping Students With Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders Increase Achievement, Meet Academic Standards, and Become Happy, Successful Writers by Cheryl Boucher, MS, OTR and Kathy Oehler, MS, CCC-SLP.
When I shared the problem-solving book with my neighbor, she said that it looked great to her. She really liked its clarity and the way that it offers choices. Though the choice of “Let it bother you” is probably not the one we hope a child will choose, she felt the fact that there are several choices is a very good approach. She did not have any experience with the “I Hate to Write!” book although her son does hate to write and she felt that it would be confusing to introduce this book when her child is involved in a specific program at his school.
So, I consulted with my friend and former colleague, Ellen Lunz who is currently a Speech and Language Pathologist in the Chicago Public Schools. She thought that both books were very good but that the “I Hate To Write!” book related to the work she does more directly while the problem-solving book is directed more toward classroom teachers, parents and other related services. Ellen had some very helpful comments and suggestions.
RE: “I Hate To Write!”. I agree with Ellen that this book is overall attractive and appealing, well organized and easy to use. She also confirmed my sense that books related to helping children with a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome, are very hard to find. (Until now Ellen hasn’t found one she really likes using.) This book is practical and user friendly for the Speech/ Language Therapist as well as anyone else focusing on language use and self-expression.
There are very useful technical features of the book such as the inclusion of the “common core” which is required by most states by September 2014, and evidence based practice. She was very pleased to note that the appendixes had extremely helpful information on the brain and sensory processing information. On page 167 she noted there is detailed information on Assistive Technology Writing Support including websites. She was also very interested in page 145 where there is a very helpful list of suggested readings.
RE: “Successful Problem-Solving for High-Functioning Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders”. Ellen feels this book is very user friendly and helpful for team collaboration, especially the classroom teacher, the Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist. Some of the aspects of the book that she felt were particularly helpful included “Common Indicators of Deficits in Problem-Solving Skills” (page 4), a section on prompt questions (page 14) and what she regarded as superb suggested IEP Objectives (page 26). Another very helpful section is the appendix with a section that includes reproducible forms. Ellen was especially pleased to learn about this company.
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Photos: B. Keer