Autism Pathfinder

Definition of Autism
“Autism is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in reciprocal social interaction, impairment in communication, and the presence of repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities. The onset of symptoms is typically before the age of 3 years. The severity of impairment in the given domains as well as the pattern of impairments varies from individual to individual; That is why diagnosticians refer to a “spectrum” of disability.”–Association for Science in Autism Treatment (

Definition of Asperger Syndrome
“a developmental disorder characterized by impaired social and occupational skills, by normal language and cognitive development, and by restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities often with above average performance in a narrow field against a general background of deficient functioning”–From Merriam-Webster Online at
Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary (‘s+syndrome)

Search Terms and Subject Headings
Asperger’s syndrome or Asperger syndrome
Autism spectrum disorder
Autism in children
Autistic children (this is an older term)

Tip: If you are searching in a database or library catalog, use “autis*” to get more results; use a more specific term to get fewer results.

Related terms that might be useful to know:

Sensory integration disorders
Sensorimotor integration

FAQ About Autism:

Indexes for Articles
SLED’s main page has access to topical links, library catalogs, homework help, and much more:
SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway):
SLED’s Digital Pipeline has links to databases on many subjects, including health and education. Some of these databases have full text articles available for download at no cost. Otherwise, you can contact your local public library. If you have no local library, you can contact Regional Services (
SLED’s Digital Pipeline:
This page of links to databases is available for Alaskan residents (call 1-800-440-2919 for a password). Specific databases that you might find most useful:
Facts on File
Today’s Science
Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection
Health Source
Another valuable resource for education information is ERIC.
ERIC: Educational Resources Information Center:

Introductory Articles on Autism and Asperger Syndrome on the Web
Autism Society of America: About autism:
Alaska Autism Resource Center, located at the Special Education Service Agency:
Autism Research Institute: What is autism
National Institute of Mental Health:
Center for Disease Control: Autism:
Autism Spectrum Connection:
Tony Attwood:

Books and Multimedia

While this list is sorted into sections, many of the ideas in any one book will be helpful for general understanding of the subject area, and useful to parents, family members and educators.

Introductory materials

Asperger’s syndrome : a video guide for parents and professionals. Presented by Tony Attwood. Future Horizons, 1999. (DVD)
Asperger’s syndrome, volume 2. Presented by Tony Attwood. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2003. (DVD)
Encountering autism. Presented by Bill Davis. Akron, Penn. : Discount Learning, 2003.
Notbohm, Ellen, and Veronica Zysk. 1001 great ideas for teaching and raising children with autism or Asperger’s. [Rev. and expanded 2nd ed.] Arlington, Tex. : Future Horizons, Inc., c2010, c2004.
Gray, Carol. Social stories and comic strip conversations : unique methods to improve social understanding. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 1996. (DVD)
Notbohm, Ellen. Ten things every child with autism wishes you knew. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, c2005.
Janzen, Jamice E. Understanding the nature of autism : a guide to the autism spectrum disorders. 2nd ed. San Antonio, TX : Therapy Skill Builders, 2003. (This is a book that might best be taken one chapter at a time.)

Materials for Teachers:

Asperger syndrome : success in the mainstream classroom. Presented by Tony Attwood. Coulter Video, 2000. (DVD)
Bazeghi, Barbara. Recipe handbook of easy to use activities for teaching autistic children and children with autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities : a system for packaging activities to be used again and again. Reach Publications. 2003.
Eckenrode, Laurie. Tasks galore (4 titles). Tasks Galore, 2003-2009.
Kluth, Paula. “Just give him the whale!” : 20 ways to use fascinations, areas of expertise, and strengths to support students with autism / by Paula Kluth and Patrick Schwarz. Paul H. Brookes Pub., c2008. Her other titles are also very helpful.
Leon-Guerrero, RinaMarie S. Show me the data! : data-based instructional decisions made simple and easy / RinaMarie Leon-Guerrero, Chris Matsumoto, and Jaime Martin. AAPC Pub., c2011.
Notbohm, Ellen. Ten things every child with autism wishes you knew. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2005.
Myles, Brenda Smith. The hidden curriculum : practical solutions for understanding unstated rules in social situations. Shawnee Mission, KS : Autism Asperger Pub., 2004.
Myles, Brenda Smith. The hidden curriculum. Shawnee Mission, KS : Autism Asperger Pub., 2005. (DVD)
The New social story book. Revisions by Carol Gray. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2000.
Visual strategies for improving communication : working with autism and related communication and behavior strategies. With Linda Hodgdon. Troy, MI : QuirkRoberts, 2003. (DVD)
Winner, Michelle Garcia. Thinksheets for teaching social thinking and related skills. Social Thinking, 2005. All Her other social thinking materials are also very useful.
The STAR Program. Pro-Ed. Three kits (levels 1-3) with materials for teaching behavioral skills to children in early childhood.

The following are research-based practices as identified by National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders that SESA AI Specialists use and for which they can provide supports.
For educators: Strategies for Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder:

Materials for Parents:

Asperger syndrome for dad : becoming an even better father to your child with Asperger syndrome. Coulter Video, c2004. (DVD)
Attwood, Tony. Asperger’s syndrome : a guide for parents and professionals. London : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 1998.
Boushey, Ann. Parent to parent : information and inspiration for parents dealing with autism and Asperger’s syndrome. Jessica Kingsley, 2004.
Children with autism. 2nd ed. Bethesda, MD : Woodbine House, 2000.
Family to family : a guide to living life when a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Higganum, CT : Starfish Specialty Press, 2004 (DVD)
Latham, Glenn I. The power of positive parenting. P & T Inc., 2000.
Mayerson, Gary. How to compromise with your school district without compromising your child : a practical field guide for parents of children with developmental disorders and learning disabilities. DRL Books, c2004.
Norall, Cynthia La Brie. Quirky, yes–hopeless, no : practical tips to help your child with Asperger’s syndrome be more socially accepted. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2009.
Sicile-Kira, Chantal.Adolescents on the autism spectrum : a parent’s guide to the cognitive, social, physical and transition needs of teenagers with autism spectrum disorders. A Perigee Book, 2006.
Senator, Susan. The autism mom’s survival guide (for dads, too!) : creating a balanced and happy life while raising a child with autism. Trumpeter : Distributed in the United States by Random House, Inc., c2010.
Small, Mindy. Everyday solutions : a practical guide for families of children with autism spectrum disorder. Autism Asperger Pub. 2003.
Stillman, William. The everything parent’s guide to children with Asperger’s syndrome : help, hope and guidance. Adams Media, 2005.
Tilton, Adelle Jameson. The everything parents guide to children with autism : know what to expect, find the help you need, and get through the day. Avon, Mass. : Adams Media, 2004.
Wheeler, Maria. Toilet training for individuals with autism & related disorders : a comprehensive guide for parents & teachers. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2007.

Materials for Children:

Attwood, Tony. Exploring feelings : cognitive behaviour therapy to manage anger. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2004.
Attwood, Tony. Exploring feelings : cognitive behaviour therapy to manage anxiety. Arlington, TX : Future Horizons, 2004.
Autism : being friends. Bloomsbury, Ind. : Institute for the Study of Developmental Disabilities, Indiana Resource Center for Autism, 1991. (DVD)
Bleach, Fiona. Everybody is different : a book for young people who have brothers or sisters with autism. Shawnee Mission, KS : Autism Asperger Publishing Co., 2001.
Bulhak-Paterson, Danuta. I am an Aspie Girl : a book for young girls with autism spectrum conditions. Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2015.
Coe, Julie L. The friendship puzzle : helping kids learn about accepting and including kids with autism. Larstan Pub., 2009.
Crissey, Pat. Personal hygiene? What’s that got to do with me? Jessica Kingsley, 2005.
Grossberg, Blythe N. Asperger’s rules! : how to make sense of school and friends. Magination Press, c2012.
Korin, Ellen S. Heller. Asperger syndrome, an owner’s manual : what you, your parents and your teachers need to know : an interactive guide and workbook. Autism Asperger Pub. Co., 2006.
Madrigal, Stephanie. Superflex books (multiple titles). Think Social Publishing.
Rosenberg, Marsha Scott. Everything you need to know when a brother or sister is autistic. New York : Rosen Publishing Group, 2000.
Sabin, Ellen. The autism acceptance book : being a friend to someone with autism. Watering Can Press, 2006.
Twatchman-Çullen, Diane. Trevor Trevor. Starfish Press, 1998.
Winner, Michelle Garcia. You are a social detective! : explaining social thinking to kids. Think Social Pub., c2008.


Time timer. Autism Resource Network.
A timer that gives a visual indicator of time remaining

For toys and materials to assist with sensory integration issues, please consult an occupational therapist.

PECS : Picture Exchange Communication System
In this system, the child gives a picture to a communication partner, and the partner responds immediately to the request.
Frost, Lori, and Andy Bondy. The Picture Exchange Communication System training manual. 2nd ed. Newark, DE : Pyramid Educational Products, 2002.

PECS book: small three-ring PECS book with velcro strips on pages


The SESA autism specialists have lists of materials that are helpful for particular strategies:

Behavioral Strategies
Communication Strategies
Sensory Strategies


Autism Society of America

National Institute of Mental Health:…
Center for Disease Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:

Library Call Numbers

Dewey Decimal Call Number (this is what the SESA Library uses)
153.85 behavior
362.19685 social services to individuals with autism
371.914 and 371.94 special education
616.8982 general medical aspects
618.92858 pediatric aspects
649 parenting

Library of Congress Classification Numbers
RJ506.A9, RC553.A88

Updated March 2021