For those who will be attending the American Library Association (ALA) Conference in Chicago, consider attending a panel discussion entitled, Libraries Taking on Autism: A Movement for Collaborative Solutions on Saturday, June 24th, 8:30-10:00am, McCormick Place, W175a.
Targeting Autism brought Illinois librarians, people with autism and autism experts to the Illinois State Library to learn, share ideas and plan for new projects. Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected provides training and a national clearinghouse. The Autism Welcome Here grant funds library programs or services aimed at people with autism. Learn how to tap into the foundational work of these groundbreaking initiatives to better serve the people with autism in your community.
Panel members pictured above
Carley, Michael John. Asperger’s from the Inside Out: A Supportive and Practical Guide for Anyone with Asperger’s Syndrome. New York: Perigee, 2008.
“An intimate, engaging, and insightful guide to coping with Asperger’s-from one of the condition’s most passionate advocates. Michael John Carley was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at thirty-six-when his young son received the same diagnosis. This fascinating book reveals his personal experience with the confusion and trauma associated with this condition-and offers insights into living an independent and productive life. Now the Executive Director of the world’s largest Asperger’s oranization, Carley helps readers in such areas as: – Social interactions – Nurturing interests – Whom to confide in-and how – Dealing with family and loved ones – Finding work that suits your strengths and talents” –Back Cover
Carley, Michael John. Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum: How to Cope Productively with the Effects of Unemployment and Jobhunt with Confidence. Philadelphia : Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
“Unemployment can be an isolating experience. In this much-needed book, Michael John Carley reassures readers who are unemployed and have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that they are not alone. Offering guidance on how you can cope with unemployment in a constructive and emotionally healthy manner, Michael John Carley writes with a crucial understanding of the isolation and negative emotions that unemployment can bring about if you have ASD. He explains why so many people find themselves out of work and how it’s often not their fault. Providing guidance on how to maintain your confidence and motivation, this book offers advice on how you can pursue other opportunities, such as part-time work or volunteering. The book also features advice on how to manage your finances during periods of unemployment.”—Back Cover
Eldred-Cohen, C., & Joya, A. D. (2016). The fire truck who got lost. San Jose, CA: Colin Eldred-Cohen.
“The Fire Truck Who Got Lost is a wonderful story for children who will meet little Barnabus and the older fire trucks who care for him – Wheelie Dan, Agua, Hogwash, Turpentine and, of course, the Big Dalmatian. Little Barnabus gets lost in the big city and has to find his way back to the fire station. It’s a story about getting lost somewhere big and imposing and finding a solution by being smart. What started as a simple story about the importance of family and perseverance has come to life through Amber De Joya’s beautiful artwork. Your children will love the story and grow to love Barnabus.” –Amazon website
Davin, A. (2016). Being seen: a memoir about me: an autistic mother, a French immigrant and a Zen student. Shippenville, PA: Silverxord Publishing, Inc.
“Being Seen is a memoir about a woman with autism struggling not only to be seen, but to be understood and respected. Anlor Davin grew up in a small town on the Western coast of France. From earliest childhood she was beset by overwhelming sensory chaos and had trouble navigating the social world. Only many years later did she learn that she was autistic. Throughout childhood, Anlor struggled to hold her world together and in many ways succeeded: she became an accomplished young tennis player, competing even at the level of the French Open. However, in addition to her autism a dark history hung over her family—a history that she did not fully understand for years to come. Without yet having a name for her world-shattering condition, Anlor headed to a new life in America. But she now had to contend with the raw basics of survival in a new culture, speaking a new language, and without support from her family. Through incredible effort, Anlor was able to parlay her knowledge of the French language into a job teaching in the notorious South Side neighborhood of Chicago, one of America’s most violent. Anlor married, had a child, and even dreamed that she might be able to pass as a neurotypical person. The grim toll of daily compensating for her autism and “pretending to be normal” proved too great a challenge and Anlor’s life imploded. She spiraled downward into a kind of hell, losing her marriage and her beloved son. Desperate, Anlor moved west to California, where she found a mysterious and ancient tradition of spiritual practice from the Far East—zen. Through this profound meditation and community she was able to slowly rebuild her life, this time with honest acceptance of the challenge she faced. The path took her through extreme emotional and physical duress but—at last—led to proper medical diagnosis and treatment of her autism. Today, Anlor works to help people understand her way of being, and the value of basic meditative practice in living and thriving with autism.” –Back Cover
Donvan, J., & Zucker, C. (2016). In a different key: the story of autism. New York: Crown .
Nearly seventy-five years ago, Donald Triplett of Forest, Mississippi became the first child diagnosed with autism. Beginning with his family’s odyssey, In a Different Key tells the extraordinary story of this often misunderstood condition, and of the civil rights battles waged by the families of those who have it. Unfolding over decades, it is a beautifully rendered history of ordinary people determined to secure a place in the world for those with autism–by liberating children from dank institutions, campaigning for their right to go to school, challenging expert opinion on what it means to have autism, and persuading society to accept those who are different. It is the story of women like Ruth Sullivan, who rebelled against a medical establishment that blamed cold and rejecting “refrigerator mothers” for causing autism; and of fathers who pushed scientists to dig harder for treatments. Many others played starring roles too: doctors like Leo Kanner, who pioneered our understanding of autism; lawyers like Tom Gilhool, who took the families’ battle for education to the courtroom; scientists who sparred over how to treat autism; and those with autism, like Temple Grandin, Alex Plank, and Ari Ne’eman, who explained their inner worlds and championed the philosophy of neurodiversity. This is also a story of fierce controversies–from the question of whether there is truly an autism “epidemic,” and whether vaccines played a part in it; to scandals involving “facilitated communication,” one of many treatments that have proved to be blind alleys; to stark disagreements about whether scientists should pursue a cure for autism. There are dark turns too: we learn about experimenters feeding LSD to children with autism, or shocking them with electricity to change their behavior; and the authors reveal compelling evidence that Hans Asperger, discoverer of the syndrome named after him, participated in the Nazi program that consigned disabled children to death. By turns intimate and panoramic, In a Different Key takes us on a journey from an era when families were shamed and children were condemned to institutions to one in which a cadre of people with autism push not simply for inclusion, but for a new understanding of autism: as difference rather than disability” – Jacket
Farmer, Lesley S. J. Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Chicago: American Library Association, 2014.
“Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability, and the number of children identified as autistic continues to grow. Introducing what autism spectrum disorders are, and identifying the great need to build and manage programs for different youth with these disorders, Farmer offers librarians in or outside a school environment all the information they need to build a library literacy program geared towards these children. Designed to both awaken sensitivities of library staff and address the questions of those who are already aware of the issue, this book
- Shows how children with this diagnosis are increasingly mainstreamed into traditional library and school programs and identifies the special needs and issues they face in a library setting
- Equips readers to meet the needs of young library users who are autistic with practical tools for training library staff, teachers, and volunteers
- Explains hyperlexia, the main barrier to the development of literacy among these children, and how programs using sensory experiences can strengthen both literacy skills and socialization
- Proposes strategies for using library design to ensure that materials and resources are accessible to all patrons
Including a glossary of terms and bibliography of additional resources, Farmer’s book is an important tool for raising awareness and supporting literacy development for children with these disorders in the library setting.” – Amazon website
Feinberg, S., Jordan, B. A., Banks, C. S., & Banks, C. (2014). Including Families of Children with Special Needs A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians, Revised Edition. New York: American Library Association.
“More than 6.5 million children in the US receive special education services; in any given community, approximately one child out of every six will get speech therapy, go to counseling, attend classes exclusively with other children with disabilities, or receive some other service that allows him or her to learn. This new revised edition is a step-by-step guide to serving children and youth with disabilities as well as the family members, caregivers, and other people involved in their lives. The authors show how staff can enable full use of the library s resources by integrating the methods of educators, medical and psychological therapists, social workers, librarians, parents, and other caregivers. Widening the scope to address the needs of teens as well as preschool and school-age children, this edition also discusses the needs of Spanish-speaking children with disabilities and their families, looking at cultural competency as well as Spanish-language resources. Enhanced with checklists, stories based on real experiences, descriptions of model programs and resources, and an overview of appropriate internet sites and services, this how-to gives thorough consideration to
- Partnering and collaborating with parents and other professionals
- Developing special collections and resources
- Assessing competencies and skills
- Principles underlying family-centered services and resource-based practices
- The interrelationship of early intervention, special education, and library service
This manual will prove valuable not only to children s services librarians, outreach librarians, and library administrators, but also early intervention and family support professionals, early childhood and special educators, childcare workers, daycare and after school program providers, and policymakers.” –Amazon website
Hodgdon, L. A. (2000). Solving behavior problems in autism: improving communication with visual strategies. Troy, MI: QuirkRoberts Publishing.
“Learn to use simple tools to manage the behavior challenges common in students on the autism spectrum. Linda Hodgdon’s book provides a very effective, practical approach to recognizing the complexity of behavior challenges with autism and other students with communication and learning dificulties. These strategies help you to help students to participate in their life opportunities in a positive way. Continuing the approach of supporting communication with visual strategies, this book is packed with problem solving techniques. You will find many samples and examples of visual tools and strategies that have been used effectively to solve behavior problems. This is the second book in the Visual Strategies series. It follows the same style and format as the bestselling Visual Strategies for Improving Communication. It is another resource guaranteed to provide practical help for every educator or parent who faces students with behavior and self-management challenges. This book will delight you!” –Amazon website
Hodgdon, L. A. (2013). Visual strategies for improving communication: practical supports for autism spectrum disorders. Troy, MI: QuirkRoberts Publishing.
Visual Strategies provide practical support to help students participate successfully in their life opportunities
- Packed with visual supports to enhance communication interactions for students with autism and related communication challenges
- A “how-to” book, designed to assist teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, parents and other communication partners in creating solutions to student communication and self-management challenges
- Full of sample visual tools that capitalize on the visual strengths and learning styles of these individuals” – Back Cover
King, Brian R. Strategies for Building Successful Relationships with People on the Autism Spectrum: Let’s Relate!. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2012.
“Containing life-changing strategies and solutions, this book will enable everyone who knows, lives with or works with an individual with autism to achieve a positive relationship that fosters cooperation and mutual respect.
The author has dedicated over 20 years to studying, observing and implementing communication strategies that help him, his wife, their three children and his clients experience positive relationships. His immediate family are all on the autism spectrum and they work together to understand one another, resolve misunderstandings, and help each other feel important, loved and respected. Sharing their inspirational personal experiences and interweaving every chapter with practical hints and tips, the book looks at how to get communication working for everyone and emphasizes the importance of laying down ground rules and building confidence.
This book will be essential reading for family, friends and professionals who wish to communicate more effectively with those on the autism spectrum.” –Amazon website
Klipper, Barbara. Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 2014.
“Those who understand the unique sensitivities of young people with autism spectrum disorder, now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability, know that ordinary library programming guides are not up to the task of effectively serving these library users. Klipper has presented at conferences and trained librarians from around the country in autism awareness, and the grant-funded Sensory Storytime programming she developed at The Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut is a model for reaching children with autism spectrum disorder. Her complete programming guide, ideal for audiences ranging from preschool through school-age children, teens, and families,
- Provides background information on the disorder to help librarians understand how to program for this special audience
- Features step-by-step programs from librarians across the country, adaptable for both public and school library settings
- Suggests methods for securing funding and establishing partnerships with community organizations
- Includes a list of additional resources that will prove valuable to librarians and parents/caregivers alike
Klipper’s deep knowledge and experience on the subject makes her guidance on serving these library users and their families invaluable.” –Amazon website
Presentations from all the authors listed are archived on the Targeting Autism YouTube Channel
2017 “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant Winner Honored at Targeting Autism Forum
Wisner Public Library was the 2017 winner of the “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant. Representing the Wisner Library at the Targeting Autism Forum was YA Librarian, Dianne Aimone.
The Wisner Library will receive $5,000 for their project, “Improve Your Social Library: Social Skills for Tweens and Teens with Autism. The grant funds will be used to provide a series of workshops designed to support the development of social skills for teens and tweens with ASD. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the library, form a book group, enhance their social media etiquette, express themselves through art projects, play board games, take part in a group dance, and more. The program has three primary goals: introduce and encourage social skills that teens and tweens can apply in the library and beyond; provide those on the spectrum and their families a safe and familiar place in the community; demonstrate respect for neurodiversity and inclusion.
Barbara Klipper, creator of the grant program was delighted at this year’s pick.”…Their parent-initiated proposal was well-written, is easily replicable and serves an often overlooked subgroup of the ASD population…”
The 2017 Targeting Autism Forum, held on May 11-12 was educational and offered a group of library staff, autism and other disabilities service providers, teachers and therapists from Illinois, as well as, nationwide and Canada, an opportunity to network with over 80 “like minded” people who share their vision of a world that is inclusive of autism and other hidden disabilities. While the forum included a variety of topics pertaining to all ages, many of our speakers and panels addressed the issue employment and support for individuals who are transitioning out of high school.
The following includes photos from the forum. All sessions were recorded and are available on the Targeting Autism YouTube Channel. Links to individual presentations are highlighted below:
Michael John Carley — author of Asperger’s From the Inside Out and Unemployed on the Autism Spectrum. Carley was also the founder and first Executive Director of GRASP an former Executive Director of ASTEP. Click here to view presentation, Part I and Part II.
Employed and on the Spectrum — A panel discussion with Philip Zupon, Librarian, Ionia Correctional Facility; Dan O’Hara, Librarian, Midlothian Public Library; Ata Bird, Teacher/BCaBA, Champaign, IL; Tina Dolcetti, Librarian, Moose Jaw Public Library. Moderated by Russ Bonanno, The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP). Click here to view the presentation, Part I and Part II.
The Role of Relationships in Successful Adulting with ASD. Brian R. King, author of Strategies for Building Successful Relationships with People on the Autism Spectrum. Click here to view the presentation.
Sparking Creative Expression for Adults on the Spectrum and Ideas for Libraries. An engaging presentation about the path to creative writing, publishing and the special difficulties that creative people on the spectrum face and how libraries can support them. Colin Eldred-Cohen, author of children’s book, The Fire Truck Who Got Lost and Anlor Davin, author of Being Seen. Click here to view the presentation Part I and Part II.
5 Essentials for Engineering the Library Environment to Meet the Needs of the Autism Community. Linda Hodgdon, author of Visual Strategies For Improving Communication, autism consultant, referred to as “The Queen of Visuals,” shares how a few easy accommodations can provide significant opportunity for patrons to benefit from libraries. Click here to view the presentation.
Inclusion in the Library: Making it Real presented by Carrie Banks, Director, Brooklyn Public Library’s Inclusive Services and author of Including Families of Children with Special Needs. Click here to view presentation, Part I and Part II.
Exploring Library Services for Underserved Populations. Debra Vines, Founder & Executive Director of The Answer, Inc., along with Keisha Hester and Katrina Thompson explore the impact of autism in communities of color and the important charge for libraries to engage all members of their community. Click here to view presentation.
Tu Y Yo’s Dream Libraries. Tu Y Yo is Grupo Salto’s peer mentorship group for adolescents and adult autism self-advocates serving the Chicagoland area. The group name Tu Y Yo is the Spanish phrase for “you and I’ which expresses connection to the Spanish speaking cultures many of the participants come from. Their panel shares ideas to make libraries more inclusive learning environments. Click here to view the presentation.
Libraries Providing Work Experiences for Those on the Spectrum — A Report by Magi Henderson, Glen Carbon Centennial Library and Janet McAllister, Rochester Public Library. Click here to view the presentation.
Library Departments Working Together Toward Inclusion — A Report by Beth Paoli, Literacy Consultant, IL State Library, and Debra Aggertt, Associate Director for Library Development, IL State Library. Click here to view the presentation.
Only one more week until the 3rd annual Targeting Autism Forum at the Illinois State Library. The national forum promises to be a wonderful event that engages librarians from all types of libraries with a diverse group of service providers, educators, authors and other autism advocates and experts.
A number of the speakers during the two-day event, May 11-12, are professionals and/or authors who are also on the autism spectrum. This provides a great opportunity to learn from individuals who experience autism first-hand every day.
For those not attending in person, all presentations will be recorded and made accessible on the Targeting Autism YouTube Channel.
The Literacy Office of the Illinois State Library (ISL) included autism on the list of important topics addressed at this year’s “On the Road to Literacy” Conference held at the University of Illinois, Chicago, on Saturday, April 8. Mary Pelich, Autism Trainer & Consultant, *Targeting Autism Project, ISL; Suzanne Schriar, Associate Director, Library Automation & Technology, ISL, and Principle Investigator, Targeting Autism Project; and Debra Vines, Illinois State Library Advisory Committee Member and Founder & Executive Director of The Answer, Inc. had the privilege of delivering presentations at the event. April, designated as Autism Awareness Month, contributed to the focus and timeliness of the content.
Mary and Suzanne shared their knowledge of the highly individualized and often hidden characteristics of autism. They provided many suggestions and examples of ways to overcome the learning obstacles and challenges faced by individuals with autism, including: (1) physical and spatial accommodations, (2) visual aids, (3) format adaptations of reading materials, and (4) practical advice for ensuring inclusive and welcoming interactions. Debra shared her personal story as the mother of an adult son with non-verbal autism and how her experience led her to start her own not for profit organization, The Answer, Inc., in 2007. The Answer supports parents and caregivers by providing case management/referral services, resources, tutoring and recreational opportunities for individuals with autism and their families. Debra addressed the major issue of young adults on the spectrum who experience unique challenges in finding work or enrolling in appropriate education opportunities after leaving high school due to poor literacy skills; and she shared how The Answer, Inc., is addressing this need with their “Spectrum University Tutoring Program”.
In addition to these workshops, Mary and Suzanne led a lunchtime discussion with literacy tutors on how the ISL Literacy Office has added autism-related books to their adult new reader collections and story kits. Both also provided a demonstration of sensory activities added to the story kits to engage new readers on the autism spectrum. General information and instructions on borrowing the materials and working with new readers was also shared. For more information about the Literacy Office at the Illinois State Library, contact Beth Paoli.
*Targeting Autism is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Secretary of State/Illinois State Library.
There are still some openings to attend the Targeting Autism Forum, May 11-12th at the Illinois State Library, but we are quickly reaching our attendance limit. The complete agenda is available here:
If you are interested in attending, please send an email to Suzanne Schriar with a brief statement about what you hope to gain from the forum.
If you are unable to attend, all forum sessions will be recorded and archived for viewing after the event.