Interesting Articles and Studies/ Autism Spectrum Disorder

Factsheet for autism therapy: picture exchange communication system (PECS) | Healing Thresholds

Healing Thresholds. (n.d) Fact sheet for autism therapy:picture exchange communication system (PECS). website:

This site gives a basic explanation of PECS as an augmentative and alternative communication system.

Stokes – SLP Institute

Stokes, S., K.L. (2006) Practical Instructional Strategies & Behavior Management for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. PESI website:

I have a copy of Ms. Stokes notes that she used in a conference that I attended on ASD. It was one of the best conferences I have had the privilege to attend. These notes are bound, but technically not a book. She was a speaker for PESI at this conference.

With Autism Spectrum Disorders in… preview & related info | Mendeley

Shumway, S., & Wetherby, A. M. (2009). With Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Second Year of Life. October, 52(October), 1139-1157. Retrieved from

This is a study that examines the communication profiles of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Using Computer-Presented Social S… preview & related info | Mendeley

Sansosti, F. J., & Powell-Smith, K. A. (2008). Using Computer-Presented Social Stories and Video Models to Increase the Social Communication Skills of Children With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 10(3), 162-178. SAGE Publications. Retrieved from

This study investigated the effect of using social stories on the computer. The children in the study were high functioning Asperger’s students.

Social Skills Interventions for C… preview & related info | Mendeley

Schreiber, C. (2010). Social Skills Interventions for Children With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 13(1), 49-62. Retrieved from

This article discusses social strategies/interventions to use with school age children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Social stories, written text cues… preview & related info | Mendeley

Thiemann, K. S., & Goldstein, H. (2001). Social stories, written text cues, and video feedback: effects on social communication of children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(4), 425-446. Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Retrieved from

This study is about teaching communication skills to children with ASD as they communicate with typical peers.

Assistive Technology for Children with Autism

Stokes,S. (n.d) Assistive Technology for Children with Autism. website:

“Written by Susan Stokes under a contract with CESA 7 and funded by a discretionary grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. ”

Ms. Stokes discusses various types of assistive technology that can be used with children that have autism.

Is the iPad a ‘Miracle Device’ for Autism? | Fox News

Brandon, J. (2011, March 9). Is the iPad a ‘Miracle Device’ for Autism?. website:

This article discusses the benefits of children with autism being able to use iPads on a regular basis. iPads have been a miracle for some ASD children.

Language Development: Receptive, Expressive, Pragmatic, Oh my!

Fish, J. (2012, September 24) Language Development: Receptive, Expressive, Pragmatic, Oh my! . Lewis & Lewis. website:

This is a business site. A speech/ language pathologist gives definitions of receptive, expressive, and pragmatic communication..

Individual Communication

Note: This letter is an example based on a fictitious student profile.

Mr and Mrs. Jones,

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your son, Eric. The assessments, observations and interviews we conducted were extremely helpful in being able to gain a better understanding of Eric’s current levels of receptive and expressive communication skills. We, at Gibson Academy, believe that every child has unique abilities and we strive to help each student reach their full potential.

As you know, Eric’s physician evaluated him for possible autism spectrum disorder. We appreciate you giving us a copy of his findings. His evaluation was helpful as we began to assess Eric’s communication skills.

We gained knowledge about Eric by using the Autism Diagnostic Interview- Revised along with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (Lord, Rutter, DiLavore, & Risi, 2005). These two assessments are considered the gold standard of diagnostic processes. These interviews/observations are used with toddlers through adulthood. They gave us an accurate idea of both Eric’s strengths and weaknesses in communication. Once we understood where he was functioning, we created a communication profile that will help him to meet his educational goals with success. We observed Eric’s words, phrase speech, and fluent speech. He was observed playing, his responses to joint attention, construction type tasks and descriptions of pictures. He was asked questions about friends, emotions and stories. We also gathered information from the observations of Eric’s teachers pertaining to these same types of things already mentioned. Eric’s teachers, saw him on a daily basis, and gave us insight into his behaviors and skills in the classroom setting. As Eric’s parents you were also asked to answer some questions about your sons ability to communicate, socialize, and whether you observe that he has restricted types of behaviors. You were asked to complete the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales. Your insights into your son’s behavior was so valuable. Thank you so much for your assistance.

At his previous school, Eric was receiving speech and language services three times a week for thirty minutes each time. These speech and language classes were in small groups of 3-5 children in the speech room. After looking at the data collected and obtaining valuable input from Eric’s teachers, therapists, and you, his parents, we believe Eric would benefit from having two small group classes in the speech room to work on specific skills, and one period of working on language in his second grade classroom, with his peers. This would allow for him to engage in age appropriate, real life, opportunities in language. He would also continue some direct instruction language programs with his special education instructor Mrs, G.

Eric was spending much time standing in the outer boundaries of his physical education class. He did not appear to understand the rules that the coach was explaining during structured play. Mr. T, the physical education teacher, has agreed to practice some instructional support strategies to assist Eric in his class. Since visual memory is a strength for Eric and learning through auditory is a weakness, Mr. T will begin using more visuals in his class, such as using markers on the floor to show Eric where he needs to be standing. He is also going to have a peer buddy help Eric learn the rules of the games and partner with him to help him stay connected.

Eric had been receiving occupational therapy twice a week for thirty minutes each time. Eric appears to be very anxious in most school situations, so Mrs. H is going to work with Eric’s special education instructor to incorporate more heavy work tasks into Eric’s time at school. Making muscles and joints work, can help with focus, increase on task behavior and most importantly can be calming. Mrs. H has many creative ideas to use with Eric. She feels he will really enjoy these new ways to work.

Mrs. G, Eric’s special education instructor, will be working closely with Mrs. W, Eric’s general education teacher, in order to allow smooth transitions from one classroom to the other. Both teachers will have a consistent behavior management plan in their classrooms. Eric will continue using a picture exchange communication system. His routine will be kept simple, with only two tasks given at a time. As Eric is able to use his schedule/picture exchange more consistently and show success, more tasks will be added. There will be consistent rewards and consequences, to allow for predictability. This scheduling will allow for Eric to work on cause and effect and on attending skills.

Since Eric is passionate about numbers and counting, we would also like to try having Eric participate in his second grade classroom for math instruction. Eric will be allowed to use the classroom computer to type his answers to math problems.

When Eric becomes stressed by his environment he requires some quiet time. These sensory breaks will consist of a place where Eric can go to be alone. He likes to sit in a bean bag chair during these times. The occupational therapist will also provide “stretchy cocoons” for him to use, Eric appears to like the pressure from these pieces of stretchy nylon. It is like getting a hug.

Eric enjoys using technology in the classroom. We feel that this will be an excellent reinforcer for your son, when he finishes the tasks on his picture schedule. These reinforcers will be built into his schedule.

Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, for your participation in creating Eric’s communication profile and for your continued confidence in his abilities. Autism brings with it many challenges, but we believe that if we all work together Eric has a bright future ahead. We look forward to watching Eric progress at our school!


Dawn Gibson



Lord, C., Rutter, M.A., DiLavore, P.C., & Risi, S. (2001). The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule. Los Angeles, CA: Western Psychological Services.