Autism in Lockdown: Expert Tips and Insights on Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Autism in Lockdown: Expert Tips and Insights on Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Autism in Lockdown: Expert Tips and Insights on Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic

Autism in Lockdown: Expert Tips and Insights on Coping with the COVID-19 Pandemic


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The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, schedule changes, safety protocols, and school closings have added unique challenges to everyone’s lives. But even more so for individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

Autism in Lockdown includes the most needed tips and insights from 34 of the world’s leading autism experts, including:

Dr. Temple Grandin – Temple in Lockdown
Carol Stock Kranowitz – In-Sync Activities to Help Kids Cope with Being Cooped Up
Dr. Tony Attwood – COVID-19 and Autism
Carol Gray – Social StoriesTM for the Pandemic
Ellen Notbohm – When Leaders Fall Short
Sheila Wagner – Homeschooling and Homework
Dr. Raun Melmed – Tools for Stress Management
Dr. Jed Baker – Dealing with the New Normal
Dr. Jim Ball – Build Structure for Better Behavior
Bobbi Sheahan – Everyone Go to their Rooms!
... And many more!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781949177534
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 06/15/2020
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

About The Author
Temple Grandin earned her Ph.D. in animal science from the Universityof Illinois and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University. Dr. Grandin is one of the most respected individuals with high-functioning autism in the world. She presents at conferences nationwide, helping thousands of parents and professionals understand how to help individuals with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, and PDD. She is the author of Emergence: Labeled Autistic, Thinking in Pictures, Animals in Translation (which spent many weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller List), The Autistic Brain, and The Loving Push, co-written with Debra Moore, Ph.D. One of the most celebrated — and effective — animal advocates on the planet, Dr. Grandin revolutionized animal movement systems and spearheaded reform of the quality of life for the world's agricultural animals.

Carol Gray is the author of The New Social Story Book. She has over twenty-five years of experience educating students with autism. Carol initiated the use of Social Stories™ in 1991 and has written numerous articles, chapters, and books on the subject. Currently, Carol works privately with students, parents, and professionals in a variety of educational and vocational settings. Every year, Carol gives many presentations and workshops throughout the world. She addresses topics related to the teaching of social understanding, bullying prevention, and friendship skills. Carol has received several awards for her work and international contributions to the education of individuals with autism and those who work on their behalf. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Dr. Tony Attwood is a practicing clinical psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience. He has worked with over 2000 individuals of all ages with Asperger's syndrome. He presents workshops and runs training courses for parents, professionals, and individuals with AS all over the world, and is a prolific author of articles and books on the subject.

Carol Stock Kranowitz, M.A., is the author of The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up, The Out-of-Sync-Child, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, and a children's book, The Goodenoughs Get In Sync: 5 Family Members Overcome their Special Sensory Issues. She was a preschool teacher for 25 years and helped to develop an innovative program to screen young children for Sensory Processing Disorder. She speaks regularly about the subject in the United States and abroad. In her books and presentations, she offers a fun and functional approach that integrates sensory-motor activities into everyday life at home and school. A graduate of Barnard College, she has an M.A. in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University.

Beth Aune is the owner-therapist of Desert Occupational Therapy for Kids, Inc., a pediatric outpatient clinic in Palm Desert, California. Beth and her team of dedicated and passionate professionals provide assessment and intervention for at-risk children with a variety of diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, developmental delay, feeding dysfunction, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and others. Desert OT for Kids, Inc. provides skilled intervention in the clinic, school, and home settings. Beth is a co-author of Behavior Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom (2010) and Behavior Solutions in and Beyond the Inclusive Classroom (2011), and sole author of Behavior Solutions for the Home and the Community (2013). She is a knowledgeable, fervent, and energetic speaker throughout the nation on the topic of identifying, understanding, and treating children's problematic behaviors and sensory issues. Her presentations, workshops, and books offer practical solutions and strategies for teachers and parents to implement in the school, home, and community settings. Beth is a clinical instructor for Loma Linda UniversitySchool of Allied Health Professions and is on the advisory board for the Masters of OT program. She is a board member for Future Horizons, Inc., a major publisher for the autism and sensory processing disorder.

Jed Baker, Ph.D. is the director of the Social Skills Training Project, an organization serving individuals with autism and social communication problems. He is on the professional advisory board of ASPEN, ANSWER, YAI, the Kelberman Center, and several other autism organizations. In addition, he writes, lectures, and provides training internationally on the topic of social skills training and managing challenging behaviors. He is an award winning author of seven books, including Social Skills Training for Children and Adolescents with Asperger’s Syndrome and Social Communication Problems; Preparing for Life: The Complete Handbook for the Transition to Adulthood for Those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome; The Social Skills Picture Book; The Social Skills Picture Book for High School and Beyond; No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior, and No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators & Scams. His work has also been featured on ABC World News, Nightline, Fox News, the CBS Early Show, and the Discovery Health Channel.

Dr. James Ball is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and the President/Chief Executive Officer of JB Autism Consulting. He is also a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee as a public member. This committee, as outlined in the Autism Cares Act, makes recommendations to the Secretary on autism research gaps and submits to the Congress and the President an annual update on the summary of advances and to the strategic plan. He has been in the field of autism for over thirty years providing preschool, educational, residential, and employment services to children and adults affected by an autism spectrum disorder. He is also the Director of Clinical Services for New York Families of Autistic Children (NYFAC), a private, not-for-profit organization providing support and training for children and families in New York City. He provides private consultation to organizations, schools, and families regarding home program, staff/parent training, home support services, classroom design/support, behavior management/assessment, and functional behavior assessment.

Anita Lesko author of Temple Grandin: The Stories I Tell My Friends, is an internationally recognized autism advocate and member of Autism Society of America's Panel of Autistic Advisors. She was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at the age of fifty. A graduate of Columbia University, Anita was an honored speaker at the United Nations Headquarters for World Autism Awareness Day 2017. She is a contributing author for numerous publications including the Autism Asperger’s Digest and The Mighty, and is a blogger for the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Anita's first book, Asperger’s Syndrome: When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemonade, a memoir, was written after she was diagnosed. She co-wrote Been There. Done That. Try This! The Aspie’s Guide to Life on Earth with Dr. Tony Attwood and Craig Evans. She lives in Florida.

Sean Barron is a very interesting and intelligent young man who has faced the challenge of autism. There’s a Boy in Here has won many accolades for offering the unique perspectives of two people who look at the same world but see and feel entirely different things. He is now a journalist, lives independently, and has co-authored Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships with Dr.Temple Grandin. Sean is a graduate of Youngstown State Universityand writes for The Youngstown Vindicator.

Dr. Wendela Whitcomb Marsh, MA, BCBA, RSD, has been a special education teacher, school psychologist, autism specialist, speaker, writer, counselor, university instructor, and board-certified behavior analyst. She is the mother of two awesome individuals with autism, and was married for twenty-seven years to an amazing man with Asperger’s syndrome. People on the spectrum, and the dedicated teachers who work with them, are among her favorite people in the world. Dr. Marsh lives in Salem, Oregon with her three children.

Katie Saint is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and licensed professional therapist. She presents locally and internationally on topics related to Autism, mental health, and Applied Behavior Analysis, and has a private mental health counseling practice. She is also the Director of Training at an autism treatment program and has designed college courses as well as published books and articles related to mental health. She lives in Wisconsin.

Stephen Sicoli is a licensed associate at one of the largest, fastest-growing financial firms in Canada. Helping Canadian families prepare for their future is only one of the facets of his life. When he is not spending time working with families to achieve financial freedom, he is spending his time out at his farm enjoying nature, working in his garden, and the company of his own family.

Karen Simmons is the Founder and CEO of Autism Today, the first online information and resource center for autism worldwide. She brings over twenty years of expertise to the organization and has created over fourteen publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children with Special Needs and gold medal award- winning The Official Autism 101 Manual. She has hosted sixty-eight conferences in both the biomedical and behavioral autism and special needs space and is deeply rooted in the autism community worldwide. As a parent of six children, two on the spectrum, she strongly believes in manifesting miracles for the global community in a very big way.

Ronald Caissie Earning a reputation as a trusted advisor, counselor and mediator to parents, families and to the military, Ronald’s passion for helping children arose from a situation he witnessed in a traumatic event during his military service overseas
After his service to his country, Ronald joined his partner, a physiotherapist, to form a disability management company that focused on physical and psychological effects of trauma on the livelihood of victims. They both facilitated a high return to work ratio and got the people back into the workplace and grew their company to over 30 offices.
Later, Ronald returned to private practice to pursue his love in helping people come to a compromising agreement, all in the best interest of their children. Through the connection in the military and his upbringing, Ron has a BA, BSW, MEd in counseling and a PhD. He has also completed numerous courses in family and workplace mediation. He always has wanted the very best for his clients and especially the children as he truly values life, love and the pursuit of happiness.
Through his work in his company, Ultimate Progress Mediation & Counselling his goal is to facilitate the best outcome for all. Usually it involves a child or children in the middle so the parents, by focusing on the child instead of on their argument, take the focus away of themselves and unravel their challenges in the process.
Ronald endeavors to save his clients time, money and sanity during separation and relationship breakdowns helping people come to mutual agreements and leave on a positive note.

Ellen Notbohm is an internationally renowned author, her work has informed, inspired, and delighted millions in more than twenty languages. In addition to her four perennially popular award-winning books on autism and her multiple-award-winning novel The River by Starlight, her articles and posts on such diverse subjects as history, genealogy, baseball, writing and community affairs have appeared in major publications and captured audiences on every continent.

Sheila Wagner, MED is a certified special educator who has been in the field of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for over thirty-five years and retired from the positions of assistant director of the Emory Autism Center at Emory Universityand director of the Monarch School-Age Program. She is author of Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism, Inclusive Programming for Middle School students with Autism, Inclusive Programming for High School Students with Autism, Understanding Asperger's Syndrome-Fast Facts: A Guide for Teachers and Educators to Address the Needs of the Student, and Special People Special Ways. Ms. Wagner continues to consult to schools and is a national and international speaker and educational trainer on inclusive programming for K-12 students with ASD. Ms.Wagner has published widely in this field, including two books (for elementary and high school students with ASD), which both won the Autism Society of America’s Outstanding Literary Work of the Year (2001 & 2010). She has consulted widely to schools throughout Georgia and the nation and acted as an expert consultant for television series for Hollywood Health and Society for over nine network shows and online streaming.

Dr. Raun D. Melmed is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and Director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is also co-founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, and Adjunct Senior Researcher at the Translational Genomics Institute in Phoenix. Dr. Melmed has established physician-training programs for the early identification of infants and toddlers with autism and other developmental and behavioral concerns. He is currently investigating the genetics and phenotypes of autism, as well as the use of novel therapeutic agents in the treatment of ADHD and autism. He is author of Autism and the Extended Family: A Guide for Those Outside the Immediate Family Who Know and Love Someone with Autism and Autism Early Intervention: Fast Facts: A Guide That Explains the Evaluations, Diagnoses, and Treatments for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Julie Clark is a writer, artist, and mom of a daughter with Asperger’s Syndrome, who possesses a strong desire to increase awareness and understanding of the “pink” in the autism spectrum. Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, with minor studies in French and Studio Art. She is author of Asperger's in Pink: Pearls of Wisdom from Inside the Bubble of Raising a Child with Asperger's. When she isn’t writing or creating, she spends time doing volunteer work, running, and is a natural foods enthusiast. Above all, her favorite activity is spending time with her husband and daughter. Julie and her family reside in the South, enjoying ample sunshine and bright blue skies.

Nancy Kashman, LOTR graduated from the Universityof Wisconsin and has been a pediatric occupational therapist for over twenty years, working in a variety of home and school settings. She emphasizes sensory integration and neurodevelopmental treatment using a multi-sensory approach that is individualized to the needs of each child. Ms. Kashman also trains educators and therapists nationally in the use of sensory integration techniques to facilitate skill development. She is coauthor of The Sensory Connection: An OT and SLP Team Approach - Sensory and Communication Strategies that WORK!

Janet Mora, MA, CCC-SLP, is a graduate of Tulane Universityand is certified in speech language pathology, elementary education, learning disabilities, and school administration. She is director of the innovative Chartwell Center in New Orleans and is an experienced speech therapist, classroom teacher, and student appraisal coordinator. She is coauthor of The Sensory Connection: An OT and SLP Team Approach - Sensory and Communication Strategies that WORK! and is also a nationally known speaker on using sensory integration techniques to facilitate communication skills for children and adults.

Paula Aquilla, B.Sc., OT is the author of, Building Bridges through Sensory Integration, 3rd Edition: Therapy for Children with Autism and Other Pervasive Developmental Disorders . She has worked with adults and children in clinical, educational, home, and community-based settings. She is an active treating therapist who currently runs a private practice serving families with children who have special needs.

Melissa Palmer, Melissa Palmer, author of Baking for Dave: Iris, a 15-year-old girl travels cross states to enter a baking contest, is a writer, nerd, baker, part-time kitchen dancer, wife, and full-time mom. She pulls from her experiences with her own daughters ― the two superheroes who shape and guide her life ― to create the world and characters seen in Baking for Dave. When she’s not writing, she’s biking or running (either on the road or after one of the many animals in her menagerie).

Diana Friedlander, EdD, is the author of Autism and You: Learning in Styles and is an elementary special education teacher in Ridgefield, CT. She is also an adjunct professor at Western Connecticut State University(WCSU), Danbury, CT. where she teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. Dr. Friedlander has taught students with autism for over 40 years in both private and public schools where she has been an advocate for the successful inclusion of students with special needs into the general education classroom. Her research investigated differences and similarities in learning styles of students with autism and their typical peers. A life-long student, Dr. Friedlander has just begun fencing, something she has always wanted to learn.

Cara Koscinski, MOT, OTR/L, is the author of Sensorimotor Interventions: Using Movement to Improve Overall Body Function, The Parent’s Guide to Occupational Therapy for Autism and Special Needs; The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide ; and The Weighted Blanket Guide-Everything You Need to Know About Weighted Blankets and Deep Pressure for Autism, Chronic Pain, and Other Conditions. She has successfully founded two pediatric therapy clinics and has created CDs for children with autism and auditory sensitivity. As ‘The Pocket Occupational Therapist, Cara provides OT consultations, trainings, CEUs, and seminars on autism, behavior, sensory, and movement. She is on the advisory board for Autism Asperger’s Digest and Asperkids. Cara’s own two children have autism and she has studied extensively in behavior, sensory processing, and movement integration training. Articles written by Cara have been featured in many publications including, Parents Magazine, Autism Asperger’s Digest, and Autism File.

Hartley Steiner lives in the Seattle area with her three sons. She is the award winning author of the SPD Children’s book This is Gabriel Making Sense of School, Sensational Journeys and her children’s book It’s Just a What? Little Sensory Problems with Big Reactions! , as well as an active parent advocate and speaker. She is a contributing writer for S.I. Focus Magazine and Autism Spectrum Quarterly, among dozens of other websites and blogs. You can connect with her online at and on Twitter as @ParentingSPD. When she isn’t writing, or dealing with a meltdown, she enjoys spending time in the company of other adults preferably with good food and even better wine.

Dr. Roya Ostovar is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. She is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and the Director for the Center for Neurodevelopmental Services (CNS), a program serving those with Autism Spectrum Disorders, at McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ostovar has been part of the faculty teaching the Developmental Disabilities (child and adult) courses and rotations in the MGH/McLean psychiatry residency program. An internationally recognized expert in the fields of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, Social Pragmatics Disorder, Social Skills Coaching, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Dr. Ostovar is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Sensory Processing Disorder, which received a Creative Child Magazine’s Preferred Choice Award, 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Skills Coaching, and the Autism Inventory of Development (AID™) a critical tool used as part of a comprehensive assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Social Pragmatic (Communication) Disorder, both published by Future Horizons.

Dr. Krista DiVittore is an Instructor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is a staff clinical psychologist at the Center of Neurodevelopmental Services, a program serving those with Autism Spectrum Disorder at McLean Hospital, the psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In this role she works directly with children, adolescents, and young adults who have neurodevelopmental disorders, sensory processing issues, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Dr. DiVittore teaches social/pragmatic skills and skills to tolerate and manage difficult emotions. Dr. DiVittore’s previous work has also included working with children and adults who experienced a variety of psychiatric issues, such as anxiety, mood disorders, and psychosis, all of which impact social interactions and daily functioning. She uses various skills-based modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to help individuals master skills that allow them to be more effective and fulfilled in their personal and interpersonal lives. She is a coauthor for, 5 Things You Need to Know About Social Skills Coaching.

Joye Newman earned her Master of Arts in Education and Human Development, with a specialty in Perceptual Motor Development, from George Washington University. Prior to opening her private practice, she served as Perceptual Motor consultant to a variety of organizations. Currently, Joye is primarily involved in the clinical practice at Kids Moving Company, which provides individual perceptual motor therapy to people ranging in age from 2 to 60 years. In addition, she offers workshops to teachers and parents in perceptual motor development, creative movement, and reading readiness. She also oversees the extensive training program that is required of all KMC teachers. Joye is a founding member of WISER, and served as the original Education Chair. Her other professional affiliations include AAHPER, NAEYC and CEC. Joye co-authored the highly acclaimed book, Growing an In-Sync Child: Simple, Fun Activities to Help Every Child Develop, Learn, and Grow with her good friend, Carol Kranowitz.

Elizabeth King Gerlach is the author of Just This Side of Normal: Glimpses into Life with Autism; Apples for Cheyenne: A Story about Autism, Horses and Friendship, as well asAutism Treatment Guide .

Bobbi Sheahan is a mom who teamed up with her child's psychologist to write, What I Wish I'd Known About Raising a Child with Autism: A Mom and a Psychologist Offer Heartfelt Advice for the First Five Years. She wrote this book to spare other parents some of the pain, discouragement, and confusion that can accompany the early years of parenting a child who has or may have autism. This is her third book.

Barbara Sher, NY Times Best Selling author, believes we each have a genius inside us, our Original Vision, and we've had it since birth. Our culture tends to discourage that vision, but it remains within us, waiting to be fulfilled. She has devoted the last 40 years of her life to saving that Genius, not from its imperfections or a bad self image, but from Isolation and Inner Resistance.

Barbara Sher is a business owner, career counselor and best-selling author of six books, each of which provides a unique step-by-step method to uncover talent, pinpoint goals and make dreams come true.

She has been called the "godmother of life coaching" and has presented seminars and workshops around the world to universities, professional organizations, Fortune 100 corporations and federal and state government agencies.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Part 1 Coping 1

COVID-19 and Autism Dr. Tony Attwood 3

Carol's Club Pandemic Stories Carol Gray 7

Dealing with the New Normal Jed Baker, PhD 13

Tips for Connecting with and Supporting Your Child during Lockdown Dr. Roya Ostovar Dr. Krista DiVittore 19

Depression during the Lockdown Dr. Katherine Saint Carlos Torres, BS 29

Tools for Stress Management Raun D. Melmed, MD, FAAP 39

Part 2 Insights from the Spectrum 47

Temple in Lockdown Temple Grandin, PhD 49

How to Cope during Lockdown Sean Barron 53

Staying Sane during the COVID-19 Lockdown Anita Lesko 57

Everyone, Go to Your Rooms Bella Evelyn Bobbi Sheahan 61

Part 3 Homeschooling and Behavior Management 69

Homeschooling Your Student on the Spectrum: START from Your Hammock Wendela Whitcomb Marsh, MA, BCBA, RSD 71

Now YOU Are the Teacher Dr. Diana Friedlander 79

Homeschooling and Homework: How Do We Accomplish It without Behaviors? Sheila Wagner, MEd 85

Build Structure for Better Behavior Jim Ball, EdD, BCBA-D 97

Behavior and Transitions Dr. Cara Koscinski 101

Part 4 Activities and Occupational Therapy 115

In-Sync Activities to Help Kids Cope with Being Cooped Up Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA 117

Keeping Your Vision in Sync Joye Newman, MA 121

The 3 E's for Home and School: Environment, Engagement, and Education Beth Aune, OT/L 127

Creating a Sensory Environment Nancy Kashman Janet Mora 137

Executive Function and Character Development in Lockdown: A Sensory Perspective Paula Aquilla 155

Sher Activities Barbara Sher 177

Part 5 Practical Matters 181

For Autism Parents and Advocates: 13 Steps to Take when Leaders Fall Short Ellen Notbohm 183

Financial Planning during a Crisis: Autism in Lockdown Stephen Sicoli 187

Solutions for Parents of Kids with Autism during Lockdown Karen Simmons Ronald Caissie 195

Part 6 Surviving and Thriving Elizabeth King Gerlach 205

Building Family Resiliency Hartley Steiner 209

Attitude of Gratitude for Autism Karen Simmons 215

Thriving on a Theme Julie Clark 219

The Palmers are Flourishing in the New Normal Melissa Palmer, MD 223

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