April is National Autism Awareness Month

Autism Awareness

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Each year, our own Melissa Roush puts together a list of books and resources in honor of Autism Awareness Month. This year, she has gathered a wide and comprehensive list of books ranging from autobiographical tales of autistic children, to memoirs from adults on the autism spectrum, to picture books for children, and workbooks for parents and educators. Keep reading for a list of autism awareness events in Oregon. And for more information on Autism Awareness Month events in your area, visit the Autism Society.


Sensory Story Time at the Eugene Public Library. Every Wednesday from 1:00 to 2:00, the Eugene Public Library hosts a story time specifically geared to children with sensory integration special needs.

Color the Coast for Autism 5K Fun Walk and 5K Color Run. Saturday, April 12th. All registered walkers and runners qualify for a free Friday and Saturday night stay in a rustic cabin or tent at the Clatsop County KOA for the weekend of the fun run.

I Run for Desmond 5K Community Fun Run/Walk. Saturday, April 26th. This fundraiser for the CFT special ed department is a scenic run/walk along a nature trail in Tigard.

12th Annual Autism Walk. Sunday, April 27th at Oaks Amusement Park, SE Portland. Events include 501st Legion of Stormtroopers in Star Wars costume, crafts, magicians, community resource table, face painters, gluten-free snacks, and raffles!

Access Night at the Museum. A night of free play at the Portland Children’s Museum on May 3rd from 5:30-8:00 pm. Open to children with any type of special need, as well as their family & friends.

The Resilient Parent, Less Stress Through Mindful Care of Your Exceptional Child. May 3rd from 7:00-9:00 pm. Led by Manohar (Mantu) Joshi, local author and theologian.

For a complete calendar of events, please visit the Autism Society of Oregon.

Reading List:

Raising Cubby: A Father and Son’s Adventures with Asperger’s, Trains, Tractors, and High Explosives
By: John Elder Robinson

The slyly funny, sweetly moving memoir of an unconventional dad’s relationship with his equallyRaising Cubby offbeat son—complete with fast cars, tall tales, homemade explosives, and a whole lot of fun and trouble.

John Robison was not your typical dad. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of forty, he approached fatherhood as a series of logic puzzles and practical jokes. Instead of a speech about the birds and the bees, he told his son, Cubby, that he’d bought him at the Kid Store—and that the salesman had cheated him by promising Cubby would “do all chores.” While other parents played catch with their kids, John taught Cubby to drive the family’s antique Rolls-Royce. Still, Cubby seemed to be turning out pretty well, at least until school authorities decided that he was dumb and stubborn—the very same thing John had been told as a child. Did Cubby have Asperger’s too? The answer was unclear.

One thing was clear, though: By the time he turned seventeen, Cubby had become a brilliant and curious chemist—smart enough to make military-grade explosives and bring federal agents calling. With Cubby facing a felony trial—and up to sixty years in prison—both father and son were forced to take stock of their lives, finally accepting that being “on the spectrum” is both a challenge and a unique gift. (Publisher’s Marketing)

A Lifetime of Laughing and Loving with Autism: New and Revisited Stories That Will Warm and Inspire You

By: R. Wayne Gilpin

This book will warm your heart! A compilation of the first three Laughing and Loving with AutismA Lifetime of Laughing and Loving books, this “best of” book contains all of your favorite stories, plus some new ones.

The concept for Laughing and Loving came when R. Wayne Gilpin realized how much people enjoyed the stories about his son, Alex, and his unique view of the world. Not only did people love his stories, they usually chimed in with a few of their own. This “light” view of autism contrasted sharply with all of the technical manuals or doom and gloom stories that were in print at the time, so Wayne decided that THIS view needed to be shared.

As a publisher, he printed up 500 copies and hoped he could sell them within a few years. He took them to the National Autism Society of America meeting in 1993 and all 500 were gone within two days. The world needed this kind of book, and it still does. (Publisher’s Marketing)

The Asperkid’s Secret Book of Social Rules: The Handbook of Not-So-Obvious Social Guidelines for Tweens and Teens with Asperger Syndrome

By: Jennifer Cook O’Toole

Being a teen or tween isn’t easy for anyone—but it’s especially tough for Asperkids. I know. I wasThe Asperkid's Secret Book one, I taught a whole bunch, and I am going to be raising three! That’s also why I know that Asperkids deserve their very own guide to all of the hidden social rules that are awfully confusing to us, even if they seem obvious to everyone else.

This isn’t your momma’s Emily Post, and there is no “don’t do this” finger-wagging or patronizing “high and mighty preaching” here. Instead, the Secret Book gives Asperkids (aged 10-17) respectful, funny insights written for Aspies by an Aspie. Chock full of illustrations, logic and even a practice session or six (in comic strip style, thank you very much!), this is the handbook every adult Aspie wishes we’d had growing up, but never did. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World

By: Sy Montgomery

When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later, she wasTemple Grandin diagnosed with autism. While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead.

Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make.

This compelling biography, complete with Temple’s personal photos, takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Different… Not Less: Inspiring Stories of Achievement and Successful Employment from Adults with Autism, Asperger’s, and ADHD

By: Temple Grandin

This book is a compilation of success stories from adults with autism and Asperger’s syndrome.Different...Not Less Each shares what helped them during their childhood and young lives that made them the independent adults they are today. One of the most important missions Temple Grandin has is making sure people with autism and Asperger’s make something of their lives. As Temple says quite bluntly, “Being on Social Security is NOT a job choice.”
These unique individuals often have great potential in parts of their minds that neurotypicals never even start to tap. This needs to be shared with the world.
However, in order to share their hidden genius, they have to overcome many social obstacles. The point of this groundbreaking work is it is possible, and it is WORTH it. Let these crusaders, handpicked by Temple herself, show how it can be done.
Let this work by Dr. Temple Grandin inspire you to your true potential. You will soon see why it means so much to her. (Publisher’s Marketing)

David’s World: A Picture Book about Living with Autism

By: Dagmar H Mueller and Verena Ballhaus

“Sometimes I do not like David. He is so different. He speaks a different language. . .David is my brother.”

Thus begins a moving story about David, who has autism, and his older brother, who is trying toDavid's World understand the world David inhabits. David does not like when people are noisy; he does not like being hugged—not even by his own brother. David does not laugh when happy or cry when sad. He speaks his own language, which is difficult to understand at times. And he eats the same foods almost every day. However, David is a brilliant pianist and seems to have an amazing ability to communicate with the family dog. And even though he is not like most children, through the eyes of his brother we are able to see how he makes progress toward understanding his world.
Dagmar H. Mueller’s moving text paired with Verena Ballhaus’s expressive art help bring to light the notion that there is a lot to learn about spending time with a child with autism. The book’s striking narration—told from the point of view of David’s brother—will help siblings and friends of autistic children better relate to them. This is a must for any home with children with autism and for classrooms that include mainstreamed special-needs kids. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum: Overcoming the Challenges and Celebrating the Gifts

By: Eileen Riley-Hall

Parents of girls on the autism spectrum often wish their daughters were celebrated for their talents,Parenting Girls rather than discouraged for their differences. They recognize that their children’s unique natures may make them distinctive in some ways, but resent labels such as ‘disabled’ and ‘disorder’ being applied to their daughters.

This book is a celebration of all the wonderful and unexpected gifts that having daughters on the autism spectrum can bring to your life. Each chapter explores a topic of concern, offering encouragement and guidance on common issues such as school, friendships, meltdowns, special gifts, family relationships, therapies and interventions. Having daughters on the spectrum presents unique and rewarding challenges, and this book is packed with friendly advice and real life examples from a mother who has experienced it all first hand.

The hopeful perspective given in this book is guaranteed to offer much appreciated comfort to parents, grandparents and family members. (Publisher’s Marketing)

A Parent’s Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive

By: Sally Ozonoff, Geraldine Dawson, and James McPartland

Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism are detected earlier and more accurately todayA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome than ever before. Children and teens with these disorders often stand out for their precocious intelligence and language abilities—yet profound social difficulties can limit every aspect of their lives. This hopeful, compassionate guide shows parents how to work with their children’s unique impairments and capabilities to help them learn to engage more fully with the world and live as self-sufficiently as possible. From leading experts in the field, the book is packed with practical ideas for helping children relate more comfortably to peers, learn the rules of appropriate behavior, and participate more fully in school and family life. It also explains what scientists currently know about autistic spectrum disorders and how they are diagnosed and treated. Real-life success stories, problem-solving ideas, and matter-of-fact advice on everything from educational placements to career planning make this an indispensable reference that families will turn to again and again. (Publisher’s Marketing)

School Successes for Kids with Autism
By: Andrew L Egel, Katherine C Holman, and Christine H Barthold

With the increasing numbers of children diagnosed with autism each year, parents need theSchool Successes valuable information provided in School Success for Kids with Autism to help ensure their children receive the educational programming they need and deserve. By outlining the best practices found in today’s classrooms, School Success for Kids with Autism describes how parents and teachers can work together to create nurturing, supportive, and effective classroom environments from preschool to high school.

The book covers topics such as understanding how schools define autism; helping students make transitions between teachers, schools, and grade levels; finding the best instructional strategies and supports for inclusive classrooms; helping kids with homework; selecting curriculum; and providing interventions in the home to help develop needed skills. With practical tools and advice from leaders in the field of autism education, this book is sure to give these students, their parents, and their teacher’s guidance for success. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step-By-Step Guide for Educators

By: Roger Pierangelo and George Giuliani

Written by experts in special education and psychology, this user-friendly resource summarizesTeaching Students current research and presents a comprehensive overview of how to teach students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The authors discuss intervention strategies for implementing effective educational programs that give youngsters with ASD the opportunity to learn and interact with their peers.

This practical book describes the characteristics of specific disorders, including autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Rett syndrome, and Asperger syndrome. Other topics include: overview of effective interventions; creating quality educational programs and collaborating with parents; strategies for classroom management, communication development, and social skills; characteristics, learning styles, and intervention strategies; behavior and discipline issues; facilitating inclusion; specific instructional approaches; behavioral, skill-based, and physiologically based intervention models; assistive technology options; support services for transition from high school to adult life.

Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders addresses the most significant, everyday challenges that general and special education teachers face in reaching students with ASD. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Asperger Syndrome an Owner’s Manual: What You, Your Parents and Your Teachers Need to Know

By: Ellen Korin

This interactive workbook is designed to help young people, approximately 5th to 8th grade,Asperger Syndrome An Owner's Manual develop their personal profile. By learning to identify their strengths and challenges, they are better able to participate in developing meaningful interventions and future plans, including playing an effective role in their own IEP meetings. With the help of a trusted adult, the child completes a series of exercises related to learning style, sensory issues, emotions, relationships and more, culminating in a written plan for each major area of his or her life that will serve as a constant guide and reinforcement. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Worlds of Autism: Across the Spectrum of Neurological Difference

By: Joyce Davidson and Michael Orsini

Since first being identified as a distinct psychiatric disorder in 1943, autism has been steeped inWorlds of Autism contestation and controversy. Present-day skirmishes over the potential causes of autism, how or even if it should be treated, and the place of Asperger’s syndrome on the autism spectrum are the subjects of intense debate in the research community, in the media, and among those with autism and their families. Bringing together innovative work on autism by international scholars in the social sciences and humanities, Worlds of Autism boldly challenges the deficit narrative prevalent in both popular and scientific accounts of autism spectrum disorders, instead situating autism within an abilities framework that respects the complex personhood of individuals with autism.

A major contribution to the emerging, interdisciplinary field of critical autism studies, this book is methodologically and conceptually broad. Its authors explore the philosophical questions raised by autism, such as how it complicates neurotypical understandings of personhood; grapple with the politics that inform autism research, treatment, and care; investigate the diagnosis of autism and the recognition of difference; and assess representations of autism and stories told by and about those with autism.

From empathy, social circles, and Internet communities to biopolitics, genetics, and diagnoses, Worlds of Autism features a range of perspectives on autistic subjectivities and the politics of cognitive difference, confronting society’s assumptions about those with autism and the characterization of autism as a disability. (Publisher’s Marketing)

The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism

By: Naoki Higashida

You’ve never read a book like The Reason I Jump. Written by Naoki Higashida, a very smart, veryThe Reason I Jump self-aware, and very charming thirteen-year-old boy with autism, it is a one-of-a-kind memoir that demonstrates how an autistic mind thinks, feels, perceives, and responds in ways few of us can imagine. Parents and family members who never thought they could get inside the head of their autistic loved one at last have a way to break through to the curious, subtle, and complex life within.
Using an alphabet grid to painstakingly construct words, sentences, and thoughts that he is unable to speak out loud, Naoki answers even the most delicate questions that people want to know. Questions such as: “Why do people with autism talk so loudly and weirdly?” “Why do you line up your toy cars and blocks?” “Why don’t you make eye contact when you’re talking?” and “What’s the reason you jump?” (Naoki’s answer: “When I’m jumping, it’s as if my feelings are going upward to the sky.”) With disarming honesty and a generous heart, Naoki shares his unique point of view on not only autism but life itself. His insights—into the mystery of words, the wonders of laughter, and the elusiveness of memory—are so startling, so strange, and so powerful that you will never look at the world the same way again.

In his introduction, bestselling novelist David Mitchell writes that Naoki’s words allowed him to feel, for the first time, as if his own autistic child was explaining what was happening in his mind. “It is no exaggeration to say that The Reason I Jump allowed me to round a corner in our relationship.” This translation was a labor of love by David and his wife, KA Yoshida, so they’d be able to share that feeling with friends, the wider autism community, and beyond. Naoki’s book, in its beauty, truthfulness, and simplicity, is a gift to be shared. (Publisher’s Marketing)

The Autism Revolution: Whole-Body Strategies for Making Life All It Can Be

By: Martha Herbert and Karen Weintraub

After years of treating patients and analyzing scientific data, Harvard Medical School researcherThe Autism Revolution and clinician Dr. Martha Herbert offers a revolutionary new view of autism and a transformative strategy for dealing with it. Autism, she concludes, is not a hardwired impairment programmed into a child’s genes and destined to remain fixed forever. Instead, it is the result of a cascade of events, many seemingly minor. And while other doctors may dismiss your child’s physical symptoms—the anxiety, sensory overload, sleeplessness, frequent illnesses or seizures—as coincidental or irrelevant, Dr. Herbert sees them as vital clues to what the underlying problems are, and how to help. Drawing from the newest research, technologies, and insights, as well as inspiring case studies of both children and adults, Dr. Herbert guides you toward restoring health and resiliency in your loved one with autism. Her specific recommendations aim to provide optimal nutrition, reduce toxic exposures, limit stress, and open the door to learning and creativity. As thousands of families who have cobbled together these solutions themselves already know, this program can have dramatic benefits—for your child with autism, and for you, your whole family, and perhaps your next baby as well. (Publisher’s Marketing)

How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl

By: Florida Frenz

With powerful words and pictures Florida Frenz chronicles her journey figuring out how to readHow to Be Human facial expressions, how to make friends, how to juggle all the social cues that make school feel like a complicated maze. Diagnosed with autism as a two-year-old, Florida is now an articulate 15-year-old whose explorations into how kids make friends, what popularity means, how to handle peer pressure will resonate with any pre-teen. For those wondering what it’s like inside an autistic child’s head, Florida’s book provides amazing insight and understanding. Reading how she learns how to be human makes us all feel a little less alien. A teacher guide is available on the Creston website for compassion/empathy curriculum and for modeling journal writing and print copies for major conferences. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Managing the Cycle of Meltdowns for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

By: Geoff Colvin and Martin R Sheehan

Based on Geoff Colvin’s bestselling book, Managing the Cycle of Acting-Out Behavior in theManaging the Cycle of Meltdowns Classroom, this practitioner-friendly guide provides special and general education teachers of autistic students with a six-phase positive behavior support model that includes interventions for each phase. Outlining practical steps for preventing and responding to the various phases of meltdown behavior in students with autism spectrum disorder, you’ll find:
- An overview of ASD
- Examples of meltdown behavior
- Common triggers
- Addressing sensory issues
- Establishing expectations and rules
- Collaborating with parents
- And much more

Teachers will find experienced guidance for providing a supportive environment in which students with ASD can succeed. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Seeing Ezra: A Mother’s Story of Autism, Unconditional Love, and the Meaning of Normal

By: Kerry Cohen

Seeing Ezra is the soulful, beautifully written memoir of a mother’s fierce love for her autistic son, and a poignant examination of what it means to be “normal.”

When Kerry Cohen’s son Ezra turns one, a babysitter suggests he may be “different,” setting herSeeing Ezra family on a path in which autism dominates their world. As he becomes a toddler, and they navigate the often rigid and prescriptive world of therapy, Cohen is unsettled by the evaluations they undergo: at home, Ezra is playfully expressive, sharing profound, touching moments of connection and intimacy with his mother and other family members, but in therapy he is pathologized, prodded to behave in ways that undermine his unique expression of autism.

It soon becomes clear that more is at stake than just Ezra’s well-being; Cohen and her marriage are suffering as well. Ezra’s differentness, and the strain of pursuing varied therapies, takes a toll on the family—Cohen’s husband grows depressed and she pursues an affair—all as she tries to help others recognize and embrace Ezra’s uniqueness rather than force him to behave outside his comfort level. It isn’t until they abandon the expected, prescriptive notions about love, marriage, and individuality that they are able to come back together as two parents who fiercely love their little boy.

Powerful and eye-opening, Seeing Ezra is an inspirational chronicle of a mother’s struggle to protect her son from a system that seeks to compartmentalize and “fix” him, and of her journey toward accepting and valuing him for who he is—just as he is. (Publisher’s Marketing)

How to Talk to an Autistic Kid

By: Daniel Stefanski

Kids with autism have a hard time communicating, which can be frustrating for autistic kids and forHow to Talk to an Autistic Kid their peers. In this intimate yet practical book, author Daniel Stefanski, a fourteen-year-old boy with autism, helps readers understand why autistic kids act the way they do and offers specific suggestions on how to get along with them.

While many “typical” kids know someone with autism, they sometimes misunderstand the behavior of autistic kids, which can seem antisocial or even offensive—even if the person with autism really wants to be friends. The result of this confusion is often painful for those with autism: bullying, teasing, excluding, or ignoring. How to Talk to an Autistic is an antidote. Written by an autistic kid for non-autistic kids, it provides personal stories, knowledgeable explanations, and supportive advice—all in Daniel’s unique and charming voice and accompanied by lively illustrations.

Always straightforward and often humorous, How to Talk to an Autistic Kid will give readers—kids and adults alike—the confidence and tools needed to befriend autistic kids. They’ll also feel like they’ve made a friend already: Daniel. (Publisher’s Marketing)

The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism

By: Ellen Sabin

The Autism Acceptance Book is an activity book, a conversation-starter, and an educational toolThe Autism Acceptance Book that engages children in learning to embrace people’s differences and treat others with respect, compassion, and kindness. It teaches children about autism, helps them imagine how things might feel for those with autism, and lets them think of ways to be understanding and accepting to people with autism. (Publisher’s Marketing)

Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Complete Guide to Understanding Autism (Revised, Updated)

By: Chantal Sicile-Kira

Comprehensive and authoritative, Autism Spectrum Disorders explains all aspects of the condition,Autism Spectrum Disorder and is written for parents, educators, caregivers, and others looking for accurate information and expert insight. Newly updated to reflect the latest research, treatment methods, and DSM-V criteria, this invaluable book covers:
- The causes of autism spectrum disorders
- Getting an accurate diagnosis
- Treatments based on behavioral, psychological, and biomedical interventions
- Coping strategies for families and education needs and programs
- Living and working conditions for adults with ASD
- Community interaction and teaching strategies and resources for educators and other professionals (Publisher’s Marketing)

The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (and Their Parents) (The Free Spirit Survival Guide)

By: Elizabeth Verdick and Elizabeth Reeve

This positive, straightforward book offers kids with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) their ownThe Survival Guide for Kids With Autism Spectrum Disorders comprehensive resource for both understanding their condition and finding tools to cope with the challenges they face every day. Some children with ASDs are gifted; others struggle academically. Some are more introverted, while others try to be social. Some get “stuck” on things, have limited interests, or experience repeated motor movements like flapping or pacing (“stims”). The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders covers all of these areas, with an emphasis on helping children gain new self-understanding and self-acceptance. Meant to be read with a parent, the book addresses questions (“What’s an ASD?” “Why me?”) and provides strategies for communicating, making and keeping friends, and succeeding in school. Body and brain basics highlight symptom management, exercise, diet, hygiene, relaxation, sleep, and toileting. Emphasis is placed on helping kids handle intense emotions and behaviors and get support from family and their team of helpers when needed. The book includes stories from real kids, fact boxes, helpful checklists, resources, and a glossary. Sections for parents offer more detailed information. (Publisher’s Marketing)

House Rules

By: Jodi Picoult

Jacob Hunt is a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressingHouse Rules himself well to others, though he is brilliant in many ways. But he has a special focus on one subject—forensic analysis. A police scanner in his room clues him in to crime scenes, and he’s always showing up and telling the cops what to do. And he’s usually right.
But when Jacob’s small hometown is rocked by a terrible murder, law enforcement comes to him. Jacob’s behaviors are hallmark Asperger’s, but they look a lot like guilt to the local police. Suddenly the Hunt family, who only want to fit in, are directly in the spotlight. For Jacob’s mother, Emma, it’s a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it’s another indication why nothing is normal because of Jacob.
And over this small family, the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder? (Publisher’s Marketing)



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