Managing Mild Autism in Early Childhood Inclusive Classrooms: Top Teaching Strategies for Children with Mild ASD, by Michael Assel and Libby Hall

Early Childhood Investigations Webinars

Webinar Time: December 9, 2015, 2pm – 3:30pm ET
Presenters: Libby Hall and Michael Assel

Your program is proud to be an inclusive environment. Children of all abilities are welcome, and your teachers work hard to facilitate learning that meets every child’s needs, but they are frequently challenged  when it comes to engaging children who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Without specialized training and/or individual aides, teachers often are often unable to find the right strategies to meet the needs of children with ASD. This actionable webinar will offer participants strategies they can use to engage and facilitate learning for children with ASD in early education classrooms through the lens of an expert, Dr. Michael Assel, and the lens of an experienced practitioner, Libby Hall. Both Mike and Libby have rich experience working with children with Autism in classroom settings. Join this webinar to learn the strategies they have used and refined through years of experience.

All sessions are 1.5 hours long, and include a brief announcement from our sponsor.

Can’t participate in our webinars at the appointed time? Never fear! All of the webinars are recorded. To view the recording, simply register now and you will receive an email with a link to the recording when it is ready to be viewed. You can still download the certificate by watching the recording to the end when the certificate link is announced and displayed on the screen.

*Please be advised that you will only be eligible for the great door prizes if you participate in the live session.

Source: Early Childhood Investigations Webinars

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About Autism in Toddlers


About Autism in Toddlers is a tool for families, professionals, or anyone interested in learning about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is available free of charge. Just register and sign in. You will learn about:

  • the core diagnostic features of autism,
  • the critical importance of early detection and early intervention, and
  • current information on prevalence and causes of autism.

You will have the chance to access some of the innovative features of Autism Navigator. The slide index, located on the bottom right tool bar, can be used to easily navigate to specific slides. You will spend up to two hours to go through all of the slides and videos but you can spend a few minutes and visit again later.

Source: Autism Navigator

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Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder – Consumer Summary

September 23, 2014

This guide describes research about the possible benefits and negative side effects of therapies for children who are 0 to 12 years old and have ASD. It was created to help you talk with your doctor, school administrator, social worker, or health insurance representative about programs and therapies.

Source: AHRQ Effective Health Care Program

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FPG Study on Autism Treatments Makes List of Top Advances | FPG Child Development Institute


The Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has released its annual list of scientific studies that represent significant progress–naming FPG’s groundbreaking study on autism treatments one of the field’s top 20 advances in 2013.

It was the first study designed to compare longstanding comprehensive treatment models for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A team of researchers from FPG and three other universities determined that preschoolers with ASD in high-quality classrooms make gains during the school year regardless of the treatment model–findings with substantial implications for the field.

“Previous research has shown that when children with autism spectrum disorders have access to high quality early intervention, the result is improved developmental performance, but until now debate has persisted over which approach to use,” said FPG fellow Brian Boyd, shortly after the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders first published the findings in 2013. Boyd was the study’s co-principal investigator and lead author of the article.

Early diagnosis and effective intervention can reduce ASD’s lifetime $3.2 million price tag by two-thirds, and more children are being diagnosed with autism each year. Two frequently used comprehensive treatment models for ASD have a long history: LEAP (Learning Experiences and Alternative Program for Preschoolers and their Parents) and TEACCH (now known only by its acronym).

Source: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

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First Concern to Action Tool Kit | Early Access to Care/Resources for Parents


If you have a concern about how your child is communicating, interacting or behaving, you are probably wondering what to do next. The First Concern to Action Tool Kit can help you sort that out. The purpose of this tool kit is to provide you with specific resources and tools to help guide you on the journey from your first concern to action. The kit is also available in Spanish.The kit was developed to provide families of children under the age of five with:

  • An overview of early child development;
  • Guidance on what to do if you have a concern about your child’s development;
  • Information about obtaining an evaluation for your child’s development and treatment options, if needed.

Source: Autism Speaks

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Social Robots for Promoting Joint Attention


The project involved a series of studies using socially interactive robots for promoting children with disabilities social-emotional, joint attention, vocalization production, conversational turns, and language development. Socially interactive robots include either autonomous or remotely controlled machines or devices that are used to engage young children in child-robot interactions. The studies conducted as part of the socially interactive robots project involved children with autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome and other chromosomal conditions, and attention deficit and sensory processing disorders.

Source: Orlena Hawks Puckett Institute

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Early Childhood Research & Practice

Spring 2013

We are pleased to welcome you to the Spring 2013 issue of Early Childhood Research & Practice. ECRP is now in its 15th year as an open-access, peer-reviewed, multilingual internet-only journal with a continually growing international readership. ECRP receives more than 1,700,000 user visits annually from the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom, South America, China, and many other places around the world.

The current issue includes five articles on a range of topics related to early care, education, and intervention. A special section on parents’ perspectives may be of interest to advocates of emphasizing the voices of parents in early childhood research; three small studies from the U.S. are featured in that section. For the first time, ECRP also offers reviews of recently-published books.

Are you an educator who is interested in the Project Approach? Our multi-media 2-disc teacher resource titled Projects to Go includes the popular DVD “Rearview Mirror: Reflections on a Preschool Car Project” and a CD-ROM of selected ECRP articles (most in both English and Spanish) related to the Project Approach. See for more information.

Topics addressed in this issue include:

  • recent literature related to young children’s school readiness in literacy and mathematics
  • parent-child interactions during family cooking activities
  • reactions of adult and adolescent mothers of children receiving early intervention services to specific aspects of those services
  • perspectives of parents with young children on the autism spectrum regarding their families’ experiences with early intervention services
  • mothers’ and fathers’ observations of their children’s transitions from a child-centered preschool into traditional kindergartens

We hope that you find these articles useful.

ECRP is an open-access journal. We do not take subscriptions and fees from authors are not accepted. We cannot accept advertising. Thus, we are completely dependent on contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors. So we urge you to help support ECRP with a tax-deductible donation. Any amount can make a difference. In fact, if each of our readers donated just $5, we could sustain the journal indefinitely!

Donations to ECRP are managed by the University of Illinois Foundation (UIF). For instructions, go to

We also invite you to like us on Facebook.

Thank you,
Lilian G. Katz, editor
Jean A. Mendoza, associate editor
Susan Fowler, associate editor

Source: Early Childhood Research & Practice

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Autism Speaks Launches New Ad Council Campaign – “Maybe” | News | Autism Speaks

May 2013

Extending its award-winning “Learn the Signs” campaign, Autism Speaks today launched the “Maybe” campaign, a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to reach African American and Hispanic parents. According to research, children in these communities are often diagnosed later than the national average. The PSAs, which are being distributed to media outlets nationwide this week, show some of the early signs of autism and encourage parents to take immediate action if their child is not meeting standard developmental milestones. Read a story on the campaign launch from the New York Times.

According to the CDC, the average age of diagnosis is 4-5 years, but a reliable autism diagnosis can be made as early as 18-24 months. While early detection is critical, research shows that many parents have very little knowledge about autism and its symptoms. The current age of diagnosis among low income families, as well as African Americans and Hispanics, is higher than the general public. With appropriate early intervention services from ages 3-5, between 20 percent and 50 percent of children diagnosed with autism will be able to attend mainstream kindergarten.

The new “Maybe” PSAs show parents observing the unusual behavior or non-reaction of their child in seemingly ordinary situations. A child’s lack of eye contact, babbling or big smiles invite parental worry and speculation: “maybe it’s this” or “maybe it’s that.” Showing the subtle presence of potential problems in otherwise everyday instances, the PSAs emphasize that these “maybes” are reasons enough for parents to consult their pediatrician or primary care provider for further screening. The PSAs encourage parents to seek further information about the early signs of autism and additional screening resources at and for Spanish information.

Source: Autism Speaks

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National Profile of Children with Special Health Care Needs and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Key Findings from the 2009/10 NS-CSHCN & 2007 NSCH


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. … ASDs are ‘spectrum disorders.’ That means ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe.”1 Consequently, nearly all children with ASD qualify as children with special health care needs (CSHCN), because they experience at least one type of ongoing condition that results in an above routine need for health and related services.2 The CSHCN Screener, which operationalizes this definition, was used in both the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) and 2009/10 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS‐CSHCN) to identify CSHCN. Based on findings from the 2007 NSCH and 2009/10 NS‐CSHCN, 4.8% to 7.9% of U.S. CSHCN age 2‐17 years had current ASD*. Among CSHCN age 2‐17 years, prevalence of ASD ranges across states from 4.5% in Mississippi to 14.3% in New Jersey according to data from the 2009/10 NS‐CSHCN.

Source: Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health

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