Great Neck Adult Program-Autism Class

Registration: By phone with VISA/M/C, or by mail with check or

fax to 516-482-8685 with a credit card number. 

Great Neck Adult Program/Great Neck Public Schools, 30 Cumberland Avenue, Great Neck, NY 11020

Phone number : 516-773-1713. 

The course is given at 30 Cumberland Avenue, Great Neck, NY 11020. 

The location is south of Northern Blvd., off  Lakeville Road, Great Neck.

Autism: Robert Krinsky Memorial Series Behavioral Treatment of Autism
& Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Prerequisite: Previous course on autism or some background on the basic learning characteristics of children with autism.

This course is designed for parents, grandparents, caregivers, clinicians, and therapists. The objective is to provide participants with the skills necessary to facilitate social interaction and to enhance speech and language, as well as to understand and manage challenging behavior.
Particular attention will be paid to the implementation of behavioral techniques in real-life settings (including the regular classroom, home, and community).

Randy Horowitz & Eden II/Genesis School Staff

Nine Mondays, Oct. 20 - Dec. 15 (no class Oct. 6 & 13), 7 - 9 p.m.

Cumberland. $65



Software Review by Patricia Romanowski Bashe

Mind Reading: The Interactive Guide to Emotions

One of the greatest challenges persons with autism spectrum disorders face is learning to understand the nonverbal aspects of communication. Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen, the lead developer of this program, has long been a leader in the research exploring the concept of theory of mind and the consequences of deficits in this “innate” ability. Although initially designed to meet the needs of persons on the autism spectrum, Mind Reading is also recommended for those with nonverbal learning disability, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning and emotional problems, and other disorders. 

Available on CD-ROM or DVD, it presents 412 distinct human emotions, grouped into twenty-four different categories, and presents them with facial expression, tone of voice, and inclusion in a brief, simple story. The design of the program is clean and bright; it is easy to navigate and fun to use. You begin by choosing from among three different areas: the Emotions Library, Learning Centre, and Games Zone. Unlike earlier attempts at “emotion teaching” computer programs, which used drawings or amateurish video clips, this one is sleekly professional. The faces are those of professional actors—both American and British, which offers a wide range of different accents—including Daniel Radcliffe, a.k.a. Harry Potter.

In the Emotions Library, each of the 412 emotions is accompanied by video clips, each showing different types of people (male, female, young, old, of different ethnic backgrounds) and audio clips, in which an actor speaks using that emotion. The Learning Centre contains lessons and quizzes specifically tailored to meet the needs of persons with ASDs.  

You can test and order this program at its easy-to-use Web site: It is available in three versions: a home Emotions Library, which does not contain the Learning Center or the Games Zone, at $49.95 (and is the only version not also available on DVD); the Mind Reading System, which contains all three major elements seen on the online demo as well as a teaching guide and resource kit, at $149.95; there is also a multiple-user Mind Reading System, at $395.95. 

This is an impressive program, and while parents might be tempted to stop at the basic Emotions Library, after trying the on-line demo, I recommend the pricier System version, which contains all three components.


Recommended Books


There are dozens of fine books on all aspects of autism spectrum disorders. This is a highly selective list of those that may be of special interest to educators. You can find most of these at Other sources for privately published or hard-to-find titles include:
Autism Asperger Syndrome Publishing Company publishes the work of Brenda Smith Myles and others:
Future Horizons publishes and carries an extensive selection of ASD-related books, computer software, and videos, including the full catalogue of Carol Gray.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Pro-Ed is a leading publisher of educational books and assessment instruments.
Starfish Specialty Press is owned and operated by Diane Twachtman-Cullen.

Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders: Good Places to Start

Asperger Syndrome. Ami Klin, Fred R. Volkmar, Sara S. Sparrow, eds. Guilford Press, 2000. This is the closest thing to a textbook on AS there is, much of it based on the intensive research currently being conducted at the Yale Child Study Center. An essential addition to every school district’s professional library. Web site:

Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for Educators and Parents. Brenda Smith Myles and Richard L. Simpson. Pro-Ed, 1998. This school-focused overview of Asperger Syndrome includes important information on assessment, teaching academic content, and transition.

 Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Tony Attwood. Jessica Kingsley, 1998. Clear, concise, and just over 200 pages, Dr. Attwood’s book is the classic first book for many parents and professionals when it comes to Asperger Syndrome and high-functioning autism. Dr. Attwood is a true advocate for persons with ASDs and any chance to catch him in a conference or seminar should not be missed. Web site:

 Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Uta Frith, ed.  Cambridge University Press, 1991. Frith provided the first translation of Dr. Hans Asperger’s 1944 paper “‘Autistic Psychopathy’ in Childhood,” wherein he first described children we now recognize as having Asperger Syndrome. This book includes that fascinating translation, as well as chapters examining the relationship between AS and other ASDs and other topics.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Transactional Developmental Perspective. Amy M. Wetherby, Barry M. Prizant, eds. Brookes, 2000.This is a textbook that will provide educators will a sound basic grounding in the communication and behavioral challenges of students with ASDs. Includes extensive references.

The Autistic Spectrum: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Your Child. Lorna Wing. Ulysses, 2001. Dr. Wing, who is also the parent of a child with autism, has a sensitive, easy-to-read style perfectly suited to this introductory book. New and highly recommended.

The OASIS Guide to Asperger Syndrome. Patricia Romanowski Bashe and Barbara L. Kirby. Foreword by Tony Attwood. Crown, 2001. Cowritten by the co-owners of the world’s biggest and most often visited Asperger-related Web site, this is one of the newest and biggest general overviews of AS. It is the first to include up-to-date information on special education law as it pertains to students with AS, medication, and interventions, including ABA, AIT, socialization therapy, etc. Web site:

The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Bryna Siegel. Oxford University Press, 1996. This comprehensive overview of the entire autism spectrum can be useful to both parents and professionals, though some will take issue with the author’s position on so-called alternative treatments and the information on psychopharmacology is somewhat outdated.

 Autism in History, Theory: Going Deeper

 Targeting Autism: What We Know, Don’t Know, and Can Do to Help Young Children with Autism and Related Disorders. Shirley Cohen. University of California Press, 1998. This sensitive, thought-provoking book takes a hard look at what educators and other professionals know (or think they know) about treating autism. Parents will appreciate Cohen’s evenhanded exploration of various philosophies and interventions (her chapter on Lovaas is recommended). Educators can gain much from her conviction that more can — and should be — done.

Autism: Explaining the Enigma. Uta Frith. Blackwell, 1989. This fascinating book is less devoted to explaining “how to” than to exploring “why.” It covers the history of autism, in both fact and fiction, and discusses what autistic behaviors and tendencies reveal about the autistic mind. Beautifully written.

Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Older Student or Adult

Asperger Syndrome and Adolescence: Practical Strategies for School Success. Brenda Smith Myles and Diane Adreon. Autism Asperger Publishing Company, 2001. Strategies for understanding and supporting the older child with AS. Complete with forms, checklists, and case studies.

Autism: Preparing for Adulthood. Patricia Howlin. Routledge, 1997. This award-winning book combines solid research and hard data with practical information.

Autism Spectrum Disorders in the Classroom

Asperger Syndrome: A Practical Guide for Teachers. Val Cumine, Julia Leach, and Gill Stevenson.  David Fulton, 1998. This slim book from the U.K. is cleanly organized, easy to read, and packed full of practical strategies for teachers. Because it is written for a British readership, some of the terminology and information regarding special education laws will not apply. However, it is a must-have for parents and teachers. It comes with very wide margins, and one parent we know, “customized” a copy by indicating what in it pertained to her child and adding information where relevant. That copy has “traveled” with him from teacher to teacher for about four years.

 Asperger’s: What Does It Mean to Me? A Workbook Explaining Self-Awareness and Life Lessons to the Child or Youth with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers. Catherine Faherty. Future Horizons, Inc., 2000. (Note: Remind teachers that they are not to use the book to inform a child of his/her diagnosis.) The author is a therapist in North Carolina’s renowned TEACCH program, and she wrote this to help children understand their diagnosis and themselves. Sensitive, beautifully designed, and including exercises as well as extensive notes for parents and other professionals at the end of each section, this is a must-have for every family and every school psychologist. Also includes information on ASDs in the classroom.

Autism: Identification, Education, and Treatment. Dianne E. Berkell Zager, ed. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999. Dr. Zager is the director of the CASE (Competencies in Autism for Special Educators) program at C. W. Post, one of only four special education graduate programs in the country concentrating on autism. This collection of articles by top scholars on topics ranging from the history of autism to curriculum provides a thorough overview.

Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Patricia Howlin. Wiley, 1998. For reasons unknown, Patricia Howlin is not as widely known here in the States as she deserves to be. All of her books offer clear, practical information backed by research. Her discussions of “alternative” and augmentative therapies is refreshingly evenhanded.

Do-Watch-Listen-Say: Social and Communication Intervention for Children with Autism. Kathleen Ann Quill.  Brookes, 2000. This oversized paperback is chockfull of information, specific goals and  techniques for achieving them, sample forms and checklists, as well as resource lists on suggested children’s books and music and sources for software, special toys, and materials.

Educating Children with Autism. National Research Council. National Academy Press, 2001. This is highly recommended for educators and administrators. Compiled by the National Research Council (which is part of the National Academy of Sciences), this book addresses everything from how to prepare staff to work effectively with students who have ASDs to the role of federal, state, and local policies.

How to Be a Para Pro: A Comprehensive Teaching Manual for Paraprofessionals. Diane Twachtman-Cullen. Starfish Specialty Press, 2000. Don’t be misled by the title. Although written specifically as a training manual for the paraprofessional, or aide, this book could serve as the basic introduction for anyone — parent, family member, educator, therapist — dealing with a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Clear, concise, and easy to read, it includes chapter summaries and “take home” messages that boil down the complexities nicely. The book’s second half deals specifically with issues paras encounter.

Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism. Sheila Wagner. Future Horizons, Inc., 1999. Based on the Emory Autism Resource Center model, this guide to inclusive programming is written specifically for educators. Covering everything from an explanation of ASDs to practical responses to problem behaviors, suggestions for games and activities, and forms in a straightforward, friendly style, this belongs in every district's library.

 Teach Me Language: A Language Manual for Children with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, and Related Developmental Disorders. Sabrina Freeman and Lorelei Drake. SKF Books, 1996. This book can be used by parents, therapists, and teachers to help children across the autism spectrum learn language skills. Also available: Companion Exercise Forms for “Teach Me Language,” by the same authors.

 Teaching Children with Autism: Strategies for Initiating Positive Interaction and Improving Learning Opportunities. Robert L. Koegel and Lynn Kern Koegel. Brookes, 1996. The Koegels are respected researchers and authorities on teaching children with autism. This book combines the “big picture” of interventions and education, practical strategies and the data to back them up. Excellent.

A Work in Progress: Behavior Management Strategies and a Curriculum for Intensive Behavioral Treatment of Autism. Ron Leaf, John McEachin, Jaisom D. Harsh. DRL Books, 1999. This comprehensive book on applied behavior analysis for autism treatment covers it all: from the history of ABA to specific techniques for everything from teaching pronouns to managing a successful play date. More than half of the book is devoted to a full ABA curriculum. Includes samples of data tracking sheets and other forms. 

Goals and Objectives

Creating a “Win-Win IEP” for Students with Autism. Beth Fouse. Future Horizons, 1999. Fouse brings a broad range of experience — teacher, administrator, auditory training therapist — to a book that brims with understanding and a “can-do” spirit. With its special emphasis on parental and district obligations and responsibilities under IDEA, this is must-have for educators.

 How Well Does Your IEP Measure Up? Diane Twachtman-Cullen and Jennifer Twachtman Reilly. Starfish Specialty Press, 2002. This brand-new title proceeds from the premise that a solid IEP, with clearly written and specific goals and objectives, is the cornerstone of any sound, effective educational program. Although there are many books out there about special education and the IEP process, this is the first we’ve seen to include examples and templates for the goals and objectives children with ASDs need but which are too often missing from most school district’s “banks.”

Social Skills/Behavioral Issues

 Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments. Brenda Smith Myles and Jack Southwick.  Autism Asperger Publishing, 1999. For those faced with AS and  HFA students with challenging behaviors (tantrums, etc.), this wonderful little book explains the AS characteristics that impact such behaviors, functional assessment of behaviors, strategies for teaching students self-awareness and self-management, and special tips on how to respond to such behaviors to help students gain self-control.

 Autism Aspergers: Solving the Relationship Puzzle: A New Developmental Approach That Opens the Door to Lifelong Social and Emotional Growth. Steven E. Gutstein.  Future Horizons, Inc., 2001. Dr. Gutstein’s Relational Development Intervention program for teaching social skills provides a detailed, step-by-step series of exercises and activities aimed at helping children with ASDs learn to develop genuine reciprocal relationships.

Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism : A Manual for Parents and Professionals. Catherine Maurice et al., eds. Pro-Ed, 1996. The author of the groundbreaking, award-winning Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism provides a highly recommended, thorough guide to setting up and running an ABA program.

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, “Chronically Inflexible” Children. Ross W. Greene. HarperCollins, 1998. Although not written specifically about children with ASDs, many parents and professionals have found this book to be very helpful.

Inside Out: What Makes the Person with Social Cognitive Deficits Tick? Michelle Garcia Winner. SLP, 2000. Order through This book addresses social skills issues for children of middle-school age and older. Available only through the Web site.

Solving Behavior Problems in Autism. Linda A. Hodgdon. QuirkRoberts, 1999. Hodgdon’s books are always practical, readable, and indispensable. This is highly regarded among teachers and parents for its advice on how to use visual strategies to deal with challenging behavior.

Teaching Children with Autism How to Mind-Read: A Practical Guide. Patricia Howlin, Simon Baron-Cohen, and Julie Hadwin. Wiley, 1999. This fascinating book provides a thorough explanation of theory of mind, the role of TOM deficits in the behavior and learning of persons with ASDs, and a clearly outlined, step-by-step program (complete with pictures and teacher/parent “scripts”) for teaching mind-reading skills. Highly recommended.

A Treasure Chest of Behavioral Strategies for Individuals with Autism. Beth Fouse and Maria Wheeler. Future Horizons, 1997. Practical and insightful information from educators experienced in working with students with ASDs.

Sensory Issues

Asperger Syndrome and Sensory Issues: Practical Solutions for Making Sense of the World. Brenda Smith Myles, Katherine Tapscott Cook et al.  Autism Asperger Publishing, 2000. This slim (about 130 pages), cutely illustrated volume is chockfull of insights and tips for helping students deal with sensory integration problems. It is especially strong on pinpointing the possible sources of sensory discomfort and providing creative, simple suggestions easily implemented in the classroom.

The Out-of-Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Carol Stock Kranowitz. Skylight Press, 1998. The first book written on SID for a lay audience, this remains one of the best-selling books for children with special needs, and no wonder. Kranowitz provides insight and practical, usable solutions for helping children cope with sensory issues.

Visual Learning, Visual Supports

Activity Schedules for Children with Autism: Teaching Independent Behavior. Lynn E. McClannahan and Patricia J. Krantz. Woodbine House, 1999. An illustrated guide to creating activity schedules.

Making Visual Supports Work in the Home and Community: Strategies for Individuals with Autism and Asperger Syndrome. Jennifer L. Savner and Brenda Smith Myles. Autism Asperger Publishing, 2000. Lavishly illustrated and concise, this provides a quick but thorough overview of the art and science of creating visual supports.

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication: Practical Strategies for School and Home. Linda A. Hodgdon, 1995. This is the “big” book of using visual devices for everything from schedules to social skills. Full of information and tips, supply lists, and countless illustrations.



The Work of Carol Gray

An internationally recognized authority on students with ASDs and particularly the social challenges they face in the classroom, educator Carol Gray literally wrote the book (actually many books) on teaching socialization skills. Any and all are recommended for school district libraries. All available through Future Horizons.

Comic Strip Conversations: Colorful, Illustrated Interactions with Students with Autism and Related Disorders. Carol Gray. Jenison Public Schools, 1994.

The New Social Story Book: Illustrated Edition. Carol Gray.  Future Horizons, 2000.There are several Social Stories volumes, but this one includes Gray’s latest guidelines.

Taming the Recess Jungle: Socially Simplifying Recess for Children with Autism and Special Needs. Jenison Public Schools. This book includes information on giving a presentation to teach typical students about “invisible disabilities” and the “social sense.”

What’s Next? Preparing the Student with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities for Success in the Community. Jenison Public Schools.

Also consider subscribing to Gray’s acclaimed quarterly journal, The Morning News. Print out and fill out the subscription form at the Web site for the Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding, and mail to the address indicated there. Past issues have covered such topics as bullying, learning to give and receive compliments, and other social skills.