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From Emotions to Advocacy: The Special Education Survival Guide

By Pam Wright and Peter Wright

Summary From Emotions to Advocacy is a comprehensive reference book by the nation’s foremost special-education law experts to help parents navigate the special education system. This book prepares parents to be the best, and best prepared, advocates for their children that they can be as central members of the IEP team.

Why we recommend this book: Managing the education of a child with autism can be overwhelming for parents and teachers alike, but it can be easier when everyone is organized and working toward the same goals. This essential book provides a step–by–step process for organizing information and making sure that the law is being followed. The authors explain why parents need to be the experts about their children and how to effectively use that expertise, whether during a crisis or during day-to-day interactions with the school.

Read our detailed review here
Visit the Wrightslaw website—The definitive source for understanding the special education process and special education law
Also see the companion website for From Emotions to Advocacy: www.fetaweb.com

How Well Does your IEP Measure Up?: Quality Indicators for Effective Service Delivery

By Diane Twachtman-Cullen and Jennifer Twachtman-Reilly

Summary This informative guide helps teachers and parents write specific, meaningful and measurable goals—the cornerstones of a good IEP—for students on the autism spectrum.

Why we recommend this book: Goals are the basis for planning a student’s educational programming; better goals mean better directed teaching and better student outcomes. Writing measurable IEP goals for students with autism can be difficult, since the areas targeted are generally outside the scope of more traditional learning challenges. The authors offer a methodical and precise guide to writing measurable goals and discuss the importance of data collection in the measurement of a student’s progress. Templates are provided that set out sample goals and objectives that utilize present levels of performance in setting future goals and objectives.

No More Victims: Protecting Those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams

By Jed Baker

Summary: Like all kids, children with autism enjoy using the internet for learning and entertainment. Notwithstanding all the benefits the internet provides, it can present dangers as well, especially to those who may have challenges with social perception and understanding. No More Victims is directed to parents of children on the autism spectrum, though parents may find some sections of the book appropriate for pre-teens and teens to read. The book covers common threats, such as cyber bullying, online predators, and financial/identity theft scams. This book highlights specifically how people with autism may be more vulnerable than neurotypical internet users to dangers associated with internet use and provides concrete strategies for reducing an autistic child’s vulnerability to each threat. The appendices supply readers with useful contracts that kids can sign to promote safe use of phones and the internet and to prevent cyberbullying.

Why we recommend this resource: This book goes beyond the conventional internet safety paradigm to shed light on internet safety as it relates to how individuals with ASD think, perceive social information, and interact with the internet, with helpful strategies to stay safe online. One chapter is written by autism self-advocate Jennifer McIlwee Myers who explains from the first-person perspective of an autistic adult how the ASD mind might perceive specific content or interactions on the internet differently. McIlwee explains four internet safety concepts that have helped her stay safe online. Our review of this resource provides links to additional internet-safety resources from governmental or non-profit organizations.

Read our detailed review here

Perfect Targets: Asperger’s Syndrome and Bullying: Practical Solutions for Surviving the Social World

By Rebekah Heinrichs; with a foreward by Brenda Smith Myles

Summary: This book deals specifically with the issue of bullying, particularly as it occurs in school settings. It examines the root causes of bullying and offers solutions that look at the role of the whole community rather than focusing solely on the victims themselves.

Why we recommend this resource: One of biggest stumbling blocks that face those with HFA/Aspergers is finding social acceptance amongst their peers. By understanding what drives bullies to act out, parents and schools can act in a proactive manner to not only keep students with HFA/Aspergers from becoming victims, but to also make the school environment more welcoming for all. Ms. Heinrichs’ book lists resources to consult, specific strategies to discuss with HFA/Aspergers students, and a checklist for schools to use to help understand where and when bullying is taking place.

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