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Tuesday 22 Jul 2014

Product Watch

Community members are always asking for recommendations for assessments, curriculum, toys, games, and other teaching materials. We’ve compiled a list of our favorites so everyone in the community can access the best products for teaching and learning. Please let us know if there are any products you think the members of the autism community should know about.

Product Categories:
Assessments
Curricula and Treatment Ideas
Technology
Teaching Tools and Toys
Symbol-Based Communication Software
Parent Autism Books
Weighted and Heating/Cooling Animals
Autism T-Shirts

Assessments

Psychoeducational Profile: Third Edition (PEP-3)
The third edition of this popular test allows you to assess the skills and behaviors of children with autism and communicative disabilities with a developmental age between 6 months and 7 years. The profile resulting from the PEP-3 graphically charts uneven and idiosyncratic development, emerging skills, and autistic behavioral characteristics. Individually administered in 45 to 90 minutes the PEP-3 meets the need for an assessment tool to assist in the educational programming for young children (ages 3 through 5) with disabilities and is particularly useful in planning for older students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

The function domains for the PEP-3 have been revised to reflect current research and clinical concerns, especially in the area of social and communication functions. The test yields 3 composite scores (Communication, Motor, and Maladaptive Behaviors) and features 10 Performance Subtests:

  • Cognitive Verbal/Preverbal
  • Expressive Language
  • Receptive Language
  • Fine Motor
  • Gross Motor
  • Visual-Motor Imitation
  • Affective Expression
  • Social Reciprocity
  • Characteristic Motor Behaviors
  • Characteristic Verbal Behaviors

**Information from Western Psychological Services

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Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R)
The ABLLS-R is an assessment, curriculum guide, and skills tracking system for use with children who have autism or other developmental disabilities. It allows you to identify deficiencies in language, academic, self-help, and motor skills and then implement and monitor individualized intervention.

Appropriate for children 3 to 9 years of age, the ABLLS-R includes two components: the Assessment Protocol and the Scoring Instructions and IEP Development Guide.

The Protocol provides precise, criterion-referenced information about a child’s existing skills and the conditions under which the child uses these skills. It also identifies weaknesses that prevent the child from learning new skills, taking into account the child’s motivation to respond, ability to attend to complex environmental stimuli, ability to generalize skills, and tendency to spontaneously use those skills. Once you have recorded the child’s scores, you can use the Protocol to develop an individualized curriculum with concrete, actionable educational objectives. The skills tracking grids included in the Protocol allows you to observe and document the child’s progress in acquiring targeted skills. It provides explicit criteria for the completion of each objective. Each item in the Protocol details the additional materials necessary to assess that particular skill.

**Information from Western Psychological Services

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Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
The VB-MAPP gives educators and parents an effective way to assess the learning, language, and social skills of children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Based on established developmental milestones and behavior analysis, the VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system. It provides a clear and accurate picture of the whole child, identifying barriers that impede learning and informing IEP development. The VB-MAPP Guide and Protocol include the following:

  • Milestones Assessment samples the child’s existing skills in 16 areas, measuring 170 milestones sequenced across 3 developmental levels (up to 48 months).
  • Barriers Assessment focuses on 24 language and learning impediments that may be preventing a child from mastering new skills.
  • Transition Assessment summarizes skills in 18 areas, indicating the child’s readiness to move to a less restricted educational setting.
  • Task Analysis and Skill Tracking analyzes 900 skills that support the milestones, providing a more detailed curriculum guide.
  • Placement and IEP Goals presents programming suggestions for each of the 170 milestones, establishing intervention, curriculum, and IEP goals that are measurable and meaningful.

**Information from Western Psychological Services

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Autism Screening Instrument for Educational Planning (ASIEP-3)
This individually administered instrument helps professionals evaluate children with autism and develop appropriate instructional plans. It can also be used for differential diagnosis, as it distinguishes youngsters with autism from those with other severe handicaps.

The Third Edition can be used with children from 2-0 to 13-11 years of age. Like the previous version, the ASIEP-3 looks at five aspects of behavior, which together provide a clear picture of the individual’s functional abilities and instructional needs. It is composed of five subtests:

  • Autism Behavior Checklist: Used during initial screening, this checklist describes 47 behaviors typical of children with autism.
  • Sample of Vocal Behavior: Measures four characteristics of spontaneous speech–repetitiveness, non-communication, intelligibility, and babbling.
  • Interaction Assessment: Assesses spontaneous social responses and reactions to requests.
  • Educational Assessment: Measures functioning in five areas–receptive language, expressive language, body concept, speech imitation, and staying in seat.
  • Prognosis of Learning Rate: Examines learning acquisition rate, using a discrete trial/direct instruction approach.

**Information from Western Psychological Services

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Curricula and Treatment Ideas

A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies & A Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism
A Work In Progress is a two part manual that serves as a guide for any parent or professional working with Autistic children. The ABA based behavioral intervention strategies and the detailed curriculum focus on facilitating the child¹s development and helping him or her to achieve the highest level of independence and quality of life possible. The book has served as a launching pad for many parents in the beginning stages of diagnosis and has been used as the cornerstone of countless intervention programs, meeting with enormous success.

The first half of the book, entitled Behavioral Management and Teaching Strategies with Autistic Children, gives parents insights and methods for dealing with difficult behaviors and self-stimulation, aiding in the management and reduction of disruptive behavior. These beginning chapters also offer guidelines on how to address and manage sleep problems, toileting issues, eating problems, as well as how to incorporate social skills and play skills.

The second half of the book is a detailed curriculum entitled, Autism Partnership Curriculum for Discrete Trial Teaching with Autistic Children. This is a complete guide that provides step-by-step instructions as well as creative ideas on how to make learning a natural progression. Emphasis is placed on learning in different settings, the importance of learning age-appropriate skills, and creating a home program that emphasizes the joy of learning.

**Information from DRL Books

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Behavioral Intervention for Young Children With Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals
This manual contains chapters on choosing an effective treatment, discusses how to evaluate claims about treatments for autism, and what the research says about early behavioral intervention and other treatments. Subsequent sections address what to teach, teaching programs, how to teach, and who should teach. The curriculum guide is divided into a beginner, intermediate and advanced sections broken down into various skills such as:

  • Attending
  • Imitation
  • Receptive Language
  • Expressive Language
  • Abstract Language
  • Academic
  • Social
  • School Readiness
  • Self-help

**Information from Epinions

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The Verbal Behavior Approach: How to Teach Children With Autism and Related Disorders
The Verbal Behavior (VB) approach is a form of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), that is based on B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and works particularly well with children with minimal or no speech abilities. In this book Mary Lynch Barbera draws on her own experiences as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and also as a parent of a child with autism to explain VB and how to use it.

This step-by-step guide provides an abundance of information about how to help children develop better language and speaking skills, and also explains how to teach non-vocal children to use sign language. An entire chapter focuses on ways to reduce problem behavior, and there is also useful information on teaching toileting and other important self-help skills, that would benefit any child.

This book will enable parents and professionals unfamiliar with the principles of ABA and VB to get started immediately using the Verbal Behavior approach to teach children with autism and related disorders.

**Information from Amazon

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1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s
Winner of Learning Magazine’s Teachers’ Choice Award, the first edition of 1001 Great Ideas has been a treasured resource in the Autism Community since 2004. Now, in this expanded edition, Ellen Notbohm (best-selling author of the revolutionary book Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew) and Veronica Zysk (award-winning author and editor of Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine) present parents and educators with over 1800 ideas—try-it-now tips, eye-opening advice, and grassroots strategies.

More than 600 fresh ideas join tried and true tactics from the original edition, while many ideas pick up where the first edition left off, offering modifications for older kids, honing in on Asperger’s challenges, and enhancing already-effective ways to help your child or student achieve success at home, in school, and in the community.

The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS™) is designed for use with children with autism and related developmental disabilities. It empowers children to proactively engage in communication exchanges by teaching children to approach their communication partner (friend, parent, etc.) and exchange a picture of a desired item in exchange for that item.

Suitable in a variety of settings, PECS™ enables children to calmly and clearly make a request within the first day of training, and requires no extensive equipment, comprehensive testing or expensive training. A DVD is also available.

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Technology

BigTrack
The BIGtrack has a 3 inch trackball which makes it the largest trackball available. The large ball requires less fine motor control than a standard trackball and it is ruggedly built. It has a left and a right mouse click button located behind the trackball to avoid unwanted mouse clicks. The BIGtrack also allows for 2nd Mouse Connection both the BIGtrack and a second mouse can be connected allowing simultaneous participation.

Magic Touch
Magic Touch is a touch screen designed for convenience and accessibility. Just mount it onto your existing monitor! Durable and easy to clean, it functions with both Macs and PCs.

IntelliKeys
The IntelliKeys keyboard is a versatile enlarged keyboard that plugs into any Mac or Windows computer. With IntelliKeys, people with physical, visual or cognitive disabilities can easily:

  • Type
  • Enter numbers
  • Navigate onscreen displays
  • Execute menu commands

IntelliKeys can be easily customized to suit your needs. Just change the look and functionality of the keyboards by sliding in different overlays. IntelliKeys includes six simple overlays and a setup overlay that is ready to use with any software that has keyboard input.

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Teaching Tools and Toys

Language Builder Picture Cards
Includes a set of 350 beautiful, clear photographic images ideal for teaching key language concepts. Photographs are comprised of six basic categories including animals, foods, vehicles, clothing, furniture and toys. Includes fifteen images with an exact duplicate card for matching games, and five similar cards (i.e., five kinds of cats) for generalization activities. Organize the cards to fit your needs with divider cards and stickers.

Conversation Cubes
Spark discussions on the first day of school and beyond using soft, foam Conversation Cubes with different topics printed on each side. These colorful cubes feature engaging questions that will get students talking about their experiences and perspectives.

Learn To Dress Cube
A great new toy that teaches the “tricky” parts of getting dressed. Children will love this 8’’ colorful, soft cotton cube that will allow them to lace, snap, Velcro, button, zip and buckle their way into wardrobe independence. Features a fabric handle for easy transport and is washer and dryer friendly.

Hop Scotch
Bring your favorite sidewalk game indoors with Learning Carpets – Hop Scotch! The perfect addition to any classroom or playroom, students will love working on gross motor skills and practicing numbers while they hop along this colorful carpet. Students can toss a stone, coin or bean bag onto the squares or skip their way through the numerical maze. Plus, the carpet is soil and stain resistant so the fun really is endless!

Let’s Learn to Balance
Award – winning, The Let’s Learn to Balance carpet is the perfect addition to any classroom or playroom. Students will love working on their balancing skills, as they follow the giant footprints through each of the four seasons! A great way to help improve their counting and coordination skills, this carpet is resistant to wear so the fun never has to end!

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Symbol-Based Communication Software

Boardmaker Studio
A new platform with a fresh design, Boardmaker Studio builds on the most popular features of its predecessors, Boardmaker Plus!, Boardmaker and Boardmaker with Speaking Dynamically Pro. Now, with Boardmaker Studio, you spend less time creating more exciting activities for your students!

 

Boardmaker Plus
Your students will get even more out of Boardmaker activities when you add animation and sound to them using Boardmaker Plus! Now, they can perform the same activities on the computer – and participate in exciting classroom exercises! Boardmaker Plus! contains all the same features as Boardmaker for creating printed materials.

 

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Parent Autism Books

Does My Child Have Autism – A Parent’s Guide
A groundbreaking book by one of the foremost experts, teachers and clinicians in the field, Does My Child Have Autism? A Parent’s Guide to Early Detection and Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorders provides a guide for parents about what to look for in their child at twenty-four months or even earlier. Learn what to do, and how to get the right kind of help from doctors, counselors, therapists and other professionals to get the most out of early intervention.

Siblings of Children with Autism – A Guide for Families
Siblings of Children with Autism: A Guide for Families explores the impact of raising a child with Autism on the family, especially on brothers and sisters – what they think about, how they view themselves and what they’re worries are. Provides research and suggestions for supporting your other children, with quotes and examples from families struggling with these same issues. Give siblings information about Autism. Help them cope with anger and other emotions. Encourage them to interact and play with their special siblings.

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Imagine successfully illuminating the minds and hearts of children with autism. Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew defines the top ten characteristics that make this possible. It combines humor and compassion to create a valuable resource guide. It also highlights the authors personal experiences as a parent, an autism columnist and a contributor to numerous parenting magazines.

 

Autism 24/7 – A Family Guide to Learning at Home and in the Community
Is your child over-stimulated by noisy places? Does (s)he have trouble communicating or interacting with people? Does it seem like everyday activities like going to the playground or helping out with household chores may seem outside his/her repertoire? Autism 24/7: A Family Guide to Learning at Home and in the Community may make all the difference in your home. A great tool for reinforcing classroom learning, this easy-to-read book gives families confidence and tools for integrating their child with Autism into life at home and in their community. First, establish concrete goals by identifying times when a child’s challenges interfere with family functioning. Then, choose from an assortment of features tips, techniques and teaching strategies to help you implement motivational strategies and reinforcements (token strategies), teach functional communication skills, create opportunities for learning and more.

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Weighted and Heating/Cooling Animals

Weighted Washable Bear
The Weighted Washable Bear is an adorable, lightly weighted stuffed animal that can help create a sense of calmness for your child. Created by Grampa’s Garden, a company dedicated to all–natural therapy and comfort products, this bear rests on their lap and is a great tool to help children release tension, relax or provide sensory feedback.

 

Thera-Bear
A heatable teddy perfect for cuddling with! Just place the Thera-Bear (or just its belly pac) in the microwave and use it to sooth tension and calm restless young children. Great for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Added bonus – may relieve chest congestion, ear aches and upset tummies as well.

 

Puppy Hugs
Puppy Hugs is a soft, lightly weighted therapeutic toy that can help create a sense of calmness for your child. Created by Grampa’s Garden, a company dedicated to all–natural therapy and comfort products, Puppy Hugs snuggles around their shoulders or across their lap and is a great tool to help children release tension, relax or provide sensory feedback. Place it in the microwave or freezer to soothe stress with different temperatures!

Kitty Kuddles
Kitty Kuddles is a soft, lightly weighted therapeutic toy that can help create a sense of calmness for your child. Created by Grampa’s Garden, a company dedicated to all–natural therapy and comfort products, Kitty Kuddles snuggles around their shoulders or across their lap and is a great tool to help children release tension, relax or provide sensory feedback. Place it in the microwave or freezer to soothe stress with different temperatures!

Dolphin Wrap
Soothe tension, encourage a sense of calmness while providing sensory feedback with this weighted snuggable dolphin. Perfect for wrapping around shoulders and neck, the Dolphin Wrap provides an option for a child to use to calm down, diffuse meltdowns and regain focus. Place the Dolphin Wrap in the microwave or freezer to soothe stress with different temperatures!

 

Snuggle Snake
Promote calmness with this adorable, Snuggable Snake! Perfect for wrapping around shoulders and neck, the Snuggle Snake is therapeutic and weighted to provide a little extra TLC and assist with sensory integration. Place the Snuggle Snake in the microwave or freezer to soothe stress with different temperatures!

 

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Autism T-Shirts Supporting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

“Bee Yourself” T-Shirt
Be who you are without apologies with the”BEE YOURSELF” T-shirt. Soft and comfy – even after they’ve been washed – T-shirts are printed on 100% Gildan”Heavy Cotton”. Shirt design on front, with the b-who-u-r logo on the back.

 

 

“I Ham What I Am” T-Shirt
Let your students tell it like it is with confidence in the”I HAM WHAT I AM” T-shirt. Soft and comfy – even after they’ve been washed – T-shirts are printed on 100% Gildan”Heavy Cotton”. Shirt design on front, with the b-who-u-r logo on the back.

 

 

“I’m Beautifoal” T-Shirt
Encourage students to show their inner and outer beauty with the”I’M BEAUTIFOAL” T-shirt. Soft and comfy – even after they’ve been washed – T-shirts are printed on 100% Gildan”Heavy Cotton”. Shirt design on front, with the b-who-u-r logo on the back.