Helpful Kits and Guides for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder Kit


Teachers and therapists who work with students on the autism spectrum will find invaluable tools for their classrooms and offices in the autism spectrum disorder kit. This kit helps with developing simple communication, increasing sensory awareness, providing vibrotactile feedback and scheduling. It includes 7 Message Take or Place N’ Talk Go Board, 7-Level Communication Builder, Talking Photo Album and Put-em-Arounds for teaching communication skills; Classroom Scheduler and Time Tracker for teaching organizational skills; and Gel Lap Pad, Skin Massager, Somatosensory Tube, Wrap Around Massager and Vibrating Pillow for sensory input.

Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit for Children


Knowledge is power, particularly in the days after an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. The days after an autism diagnosis can be overwhelming. The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit helps families of children ages 4 and under and between the ages of five and 13 make the best possible use of the 100 days following the diagnosis.

This kit will help you learn more about autism spectrum disorder and how to access the services that your child needs. It contains information and advice collected from trusted experts on autism and parents like you. The 100 Day Kit is divided into sections which are about autism, diagnosis, causes, and symptoms; you, your family and autism; how is autism treated?; making it happen; autism and the classroom; a week by week plan for the next 100 days; useful forms; and glossary and resources.

Families whose children have been diagnosed in the last 6 months may request a complimentary hard copy of the 100 Day Kit by calling and speaking with a member of the Autism Response Team. For those who do not meet the necessary requirements to receive a complimentary hard copy, the 100 Day Kit is available for purchase in the Autism Speaks Online Store.



Kit for Kids


Despite the growing number of children with autism educated in mainstream classrooms, many students are not familiar with autism. Despite some recognition of the disability, they had little knowledge of its characteristics, such as communication and social skill challenges. If students are uninformed about disability, they often attribute undesirable social behaviors to individual choice.

Because of the reasons mentioned above, it will be a great idea to teach children what autism is. You can teach kids about autism spectrum disorder via this helpful kit. Kit for Kids program is designed to teach elementary and middle school students about their peers with an autism spectrum disorder.

The kit is centered around an illustrated booklet entitled “What’s Up with Nick?”. This colorful, kid-friendly booklet tells the story about a new student, a boy with autism named Nick, through the eyes of a typical peer. The story teaches children that students with autism spectrum disorder may think differently or need some accommodations, but all students are of equal worth and should be treated as such.

This program can be used in order to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorder among students from grades K-8. With greater knowledge of autism, youth will learn to see the person first rather than focus on a classmate’s disability. By increasing students’ acceptance of differences, this program creates a more inclusive classroom and overall sense of community.

This kit includes online introductory video; 20 “What’s Up with Nick?” booklets; how to use sheets; lesson plan; small classroom poster; helpful tips sheet; and printable activity workbooks.

The introductory video which is a three-minute web video uses cartoon animation, sound, and color in order to capture children’s attention, yet still offers accurate autism information using language that they can understand. It is a great way to start a lesson about autism spectrum disorder and accepting differences.

The “What’s up with Nick?” booklet and lesson is a colorful, kid-friendly booklet that focuses on a boy with autism spectrum disorder named Nick. It teaches children that students with autism may think differently or need some accommodations, but all students are of equal worth and should be treated as such. Each kit contains 20 booklets. Activity workbooks expand upon the information presented in the “What’s Up with Nick?” story and give students a chance to engage with the material they just learned in the lesson. There are different workbooks for students in grades. They can be assigned as independent or group classwork, or as homework.



Advocacy Tool Kit


Advocacy skills help people with autism and their families access the services and supports they need. This kit aims to help both individuals on the autism spectrum and their families develop and use critical advocacy skills in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. It provides basic information about advocacy skills and ways to apply these skills in different situations. It includes information about advocacy at school and in the community. It also covers the importance of teaching self-advocacy skills to people with autism.

This kit is divided into sections. These sections are the ABCs of basic advocacy and negotiation skills; learning the skills; school advocacy; autism advocacy in the community: a parent perspective; community advocacy; learning the language of self-advocacy; and resources.

An Introduction to Behavioral Health Treatments


This tool kit is designed to provide parents of children with autism spectrum disorder with an overview of in-home strategies as well as tips to teach and increase desirable behaviors and decrease behavior problems.



 First Concern to Action Tool Kit


If you have a concern about how your child with autism is communicating, interacting or behaving, you are probably wondering what to do next. This kit can help you sort that out. The purpose of this tool kit is to provide parents with specific resources and tools to help guide parents on the journey from their first concern to action.

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; and information about obtaining an evaluation for your child’s development and treatment options, if needed.

It includes different sections which are an introduction and about autism spectrum disorder; understanding your child’s development; talking to your health care provider; getting a formal evaluation; what if my health care provider says “autism”?; other things to know; and tools and resources for families.

You should keep in mind that not all concerns result in a diagnosis of autism or a specific developmental disability, but being proactive can make a world of difference. It is important to remember that you know your child best. If you are concerned at any time, you should voice it!

Strategies to Improve Sleep in Children with Autism


Many teens with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty with sleep, which can affect their daytime functioning, as well as that of their families. This guide will be very helpful in this context. This informational booklet is designed to provide parents with strategies to improve sleep in their children affected by autism. The suggestions in this tool kit are based on both research and clinical experience of sleep experts.

This kit includes things to keep in mind, provide a comfortable sleep setting, establish regular bedtime habits, simple tips to a better bedtime routine, teach your child to fall asleep alone, and encourage behaviors that promote sleep. A separate tool kit is also available specifically for teens, as well as a guide for parents on melatonin and sleep problems.



Autism and Medication: Safe and Careful Use


More than half of children with autism spectrum disorder take medicine at some point during their childhood. It is a difficult decision to decide to use a medicine in order to treat children with autism for most families. It can be used any time a child is taking medicine, regardless of when it was first prescribed.

This tool kit will help families work with their healthcare providers in order to make sure that when the medicine is chosen as a form of treatment, it is taken safely and effectively. There are sections including which are starting medicine, target symptoms, looking for medicine’s effect, managing side effects and tools, and resources.

Parent’s Guide to Blood Draws


There are many children who feel anxiety about doctor visits. And if the case is children with autism, they can feel more anxiety about it. Blood draws, in particular, can be especially difficult. This tool kit provides a variety of tools in order to help families and the child with autism to prepare for future medical visits. It will help reduce the stress and worry that may come with blood draws.

It includes strategies to ease your child’s medical appointments, particularly those involving blood work; ready-made visual supports and social stories; relaxation and distraction techniques; and tips designed specifically for children with an autism spectrum disorder. Although the kit focuses on blood draws, the information and techniques presented also apply to other aspects of a clinic visit, such as measuring vital signs, undergoing physical exams and tolerating those inevitable wait times.

A medical provider version of this toolkit is available as well. You can send a copy to a child’s doctor or nurse prior to the medical visit so families can work together to ensure a successful visit. A little preparation can promote a positive relationship between the child and his or her doctor and lay an important foundation for future health!



Parent’s Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis


This tool kit is an informational guide to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). ABA is a set of principles that form the basis for many behavioral treatments. ABA is based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA is considered an evidence-based “best” practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association.

It is designed to provide families of children with autism spectrum disorder with a better understanding of ABA, how the child can benefit, and where/how they can seek ABA services. This kit includes what ABA is, what types of therapies use ABA principles, how ABA methods support people with an autism spectrum disorder, what ABA looks like, what components of a strong ABA program are, who provides ABA services and where you can find ABA services.

Tool Kit for Dental Professionals


Many children experience a great deal of anxiety when visiting the dental practitioner’s office, especially those with an autism spectrum disorder. Feelings of anxiety may be caused by a number of factors including a fear of the unknown, difficulties. This can be caused by a fear of the unknown, difficulties communicating and reactions to sensory sensitivities.

This guide for dental professionals includes ways to help reduce children’s anxiety levels and tips to make the visit more comfortable. The guide will help them better serve the needs of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

This kit contains different sections. These sections are what is autism?; potential areas of concern for parents; preparing for the family’s first visit; the dental appointment; techniques and strategies; frequently asked questions; and dental intake form.



Dental Tool Kit


Oral health is a very important component of healthy daily living for every human being. But for some children with an autism spectrum disorder, oral health habits can be challenging as well as visits to the dentist. Autism Speaks partnered with Colgate and Philips-Sonicare to create a dental guide and video for families of children with autism and dental professionals.

These tools are designed to help families and caregivers find the right dentist; teach families and caregivers how to effectively prepare for a visit to the dentist; decrease anxiety about going to the dentist; provide information for families to help begin a lifetime of good oral care; and provide dental professionals with tips about how to make the experience more successful for their patients with autism spectrum disorder.

It also includes forms to use for your visit, a visual schedule to help the child understand the steps involved in a routine dentist appointment, and information about oral care at home.

Guide to Managing Constipation in Children


Many children have constipation. Children with an autism spectrum disorder might have more problems with constipation than normally developed children. Difficulty with things like sitting on the toilet and eating different foods can make treating constipation challenge.

Many children with autism spectrum disorder have gastrointestinal issues, including constipation. The symptoms of autism can make treating constipation difficult. Because of those reasons, it will be helpful to get this guide. This guide provides strategies and resources for parents of children with autism to help with constipation. It includes an overview of constipation; daily treatment of constipation; increasing fiber intake; increasing fluid intake; bowel habit training; daily medicines and resources.



Parent’s Guide to Toilet Training in Autism


As we all know, each child with an autism spectrum disorder is different. But children with ASD have some common problems that can make toileting training hard for them. Sometimes, the challenges faced by children with autism can make toilet training especially difficult. Understanding these challenges can help parents come up with different ways to meet the child’s needs and teach him or her to use the toilet.

This tool kit provides parents with tips and resources to increase toileting success. In includes ideas to think about, where to start, tips to increase toileting success, creating your child’s toileting plan, for example, toileting plan, and example visual schedule.

Medication Decision Aid


Many families of children with autism spectrum disorder are faced with the option of using medicines to help treat their child’s challenging behaviors. This is a tough medical decision and there is no one right answer. This tool kit can be used at any point in the decision-making process, including the re-evaluation of medications the child is now taking.

In this kit you can find comparing the options, considering benefits and risks, clarifying personal values, medications and side effects, questions to ask providers, and personal stories.



Guide to Exploring Feeding Behavior in Autism


There is some researchers estimate that over half of children with autism spectrum disorder have some sort of issue with food. These feeding issues can be of significant concern to parents because they can impact their child’s health and wellbeing. This tool kit is designed to give parents a better understanding of how to help their child with feeding issues.

This tool kit helps parents and professionals better understand feeding issues. It includes that what feeding problems are; conditions that might affect feeding; when to be concerned; tips to help with feeding issues at home and frequently asked questions.

Tools for Successful Vision Exams


New experiences, including medical visits, can be difficult for individuals with autism spectrum disorder. So, it is designed to help with these kinds of stuff.

Guide to Providing Feedback to Families Affected by Autism


Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder never forget the feedback session as receiving a diagnosis of autism for their child can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. This guide will be helpful in this context.



Guides to EEGs for Parents and Providers


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have a higher risk of epilepsy compared to individuals in the general population and they are often referred for an electroencephalogram (EEG). This guide will be helpful for these issues.

Guides to Pica for Parents and Professionals


Pica, the repeated eating of non-food items, is one of the eating disorders most often displayed by children with an autism spectrum disorder. In the published literature, the most common definition of pica is the placing of non-edible items past the plane of the lips. So, this guide will be helpful to understand them for parents and professionals.

Participant’s Guide to Autism Drug Research


The decision to become a participant in drug research is an important one, all the more so if you are making this decision for your child with an autism spectrum disorder or another dependent.

Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder


Visual supports can be a very effective way for children and adults with an autism spectrum disorder to communicate. This tool kit provides a step-by-step, easy-to-understand introduction to visual supports and the ways that parents and other caregivers can begin using them.

The kit includes types of visual supports, practical examples of how to begin integrating visual supports into a child’s daily routines, actual visual supports for parents to print, cut out and use, and links to resources that provide more detailed information.



Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit


Sometimes the difficulties of autism spectrum disorder can lead to behaviors that are quite challenging for us to understand and address. Most individuals with autism will display challenging behaviors of some sort at some point in their lives. The Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit will provide people with strategies and resources to address these behaviors and help support people during difficult situations.

The kit is broken into different sections. You may want to read the kit in its entirety or work through a section at a time. These sections are why autism is associated with aggressive and challenging behaviors, why it is important to do something about challenging behaviors, who can help, what this idea of a team is, what the things to consider are, what the positive strategies for supporting behavior implementation are, what you might need to know about managing a crisis situation, what long term solutions are and where you can learn more, and challenging behaviors glossary.

Community-Based Skills Assessment


The transition out of school-based services for students with autism spectrum disorder can be difficult. There is no “one size fits all” plan for the path to adulthood. The most important factor in creating a plan is to focus on the individual. His or her strengths, needs, challenges and preferences will be vital to a successful transition process.

It helps parents and professionals assess the current skill levels and abilities of students with autism beginning at age 12. The results will help you develop a unique and comprehensive plan. The tool is divided into three levels based on age. Eight areas of functional life skills will be assessed. These areas are career path and employment; self-determination/ advocacy; health and safety; peer relationships, socialization, and social communication; community participation and personal finance; transportation; leisure/ recreation; and home living skills.

The assessment uses both observation and interviews in order to measure the individual’s knowledge, skills and behaviors.



Employment Tool Kit


Autism Speaks would like to help you with your employment search by giving you tools and tips while you look for a job. This kit is designed to help people with autism research, find and keep employment. It has job-related stories, tips, and information from a collaboration of people, including adults with autism.

Although this guide is written for individuals with autism, it will also be helpful for family members, service providers, business leaders and anyone who is helping someone with autism find and keep a job.

This kit is divided into sections. These sections are introduction, self-advocacy, what job is right for you, benefits and funding, employment modes: what option is best for you, your job search, transportation options, resumes, cover letters and applications, the job interview, accommodations and disclosure, soft skills: understanding the social elements of your job, success stories and lessons learned, my employment rights, glossary of terms, employment resources, and step-by-step guide to your employment search.

A Parent’s Guide to Autism Spectrum Disorder


Family members and friends of individuals with autism spectrum disorder are presented with many joys and many challenges throughout their lives. Learning that a family member or friend is affected by autism is a powerful moment. If your child has recently been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, you have come to the right place.

This guide was developed to support you and promote a positive future for your child and family during an often challenging time. You are not alone in this journey and this guide is a step toward finding the help you need to travel the road to optimal outcomes for you, your child and your family.

It includes a response to the diagnosis, your role as a parent, then things a parent can do to help their child with an autism spectrum disorder, building a support network, taking care of yourself, personal story: how I let go of my expectations and learned unconditional love, and frequently asked questions.



A Grandparent’s Guide to Autism


If you are a grandparent of a child diagnosed with autism, you have come to the right place. This guide will help provide you with a better understanding of autism and arm you with tips, tools, and real-life stories to guide you as you support your family immediately after the diagnosis and beyond. It will help you form a positive relationship with your grandchild and provide the encouragement your child needs to raise a child with autism.

A Sibling’s Guide to Autism


If you have a sibling with autism, you are likely to experience lots of different feelings. You might be worried, scared, surprised, confused, sad or even mad. It is normal for you to have a mix of emotions because your life is now going to be a little different. This guide is for siblings like you to understand a little bit more about autism and learn what you can do to help your sibling and take care of yourself.

A Friend’s Guide to Autism


This guide will provide people who have a friend with autism with an overview of autism, information about feelings their friend might be experiencing, tips to help them support both the child and family, stories of support and more.

Guide to Individualized Education Programs (IEP)


The popular original IEP Guide has been updated, revamped and digitized to provide you with the advocacy tools you need to make sure your child is receiving the best possible education tailored to his or her unique strengths and challenges.

The guide includes a video series featuring a renowned attorney, school psychologist and speech pathologist answering your frequently asked questions. The experts share advice on how to be the strongest advocate for your child at school. The new interactive format is divided into six simple sections filled with videos and tools to guide you in the right direction as you navigate the IEP journey and the school system with your child.



Leading the Way: Autism-Friendly Youth Organizations


Unfortunately, boys and girls with autism often face barriers to participating fully in youth community organizations. This guide helps organizations integrate youth with autism into their programs. It is a guide to help community organizations make their programs more inclusive of children with an autism spectrum disorder.

The guide covers topics such as supporting children with autism, communicating with parents and training staff members. Hopefully, parents will share this guide with local organizations that might have programs of interest to their children.

Postsecondary Educational Opportunities Guide


It is designed to help individuals with autism and their families explore the different opportunities and learning environments after leaving high school. Deciding what to do after high school can be a difficult process. This guide will help to explore the various options available to them.

The guide provides a closer look at four-year universities, community colleges, vocational/technical school, life skills programs and more. The information will help them to find the program that is right for them. It includes different sections which are introduction, preparing for postsecondary education, types of postsecondary education programs, obtaining services and asking for accommodations, life on campus, learning to live independently: a personal perspective, peer-to-peer advice, advice for parents, alternative learning for people with autism spectrum disorder: a personal perspective, a retrospective on postsecondary educational opportunities, and resources.



Haircutting Training Guide


Haircuts can sometimes be difficult for people with an autism spectrum disorder, especially during childhood. The challenges can range from sensory issues to anxiety about what will happen during the process. This guide is developed to make the haircutting experiences more positive for children with an autism spectrum disorder.

It provides information for stylists about autism and what they can do to make the process more successful. Also, it includes information for families about how to prepare for a haircut and a visual Schedule in order to help the child understand the steps involved in the process. Information about home haircare is also included.

Transition Tool Kit


This kit was created to serve as a guide to assist families on the journey from adolescence to adulthood. This kit will provide you with suggestions and options for you to consider as you set out to find your child’s own unique path to adulthood. Topics covered include self-advocacy skills, legal issues, housing, and employment options.

The kit is broken into sections which are self-advocacy, developing independent living skills, planning for transition, legal matters to consider, community living, employment and other options, postsecondary educational opportunities, housing and residential supports, health, and technology. 

A Parent’s Guide to High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, Second Edition: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive 



The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (And Their Parents)



The Autism-Friendly Guide to Periods



The Parent’s Guide to College for Students on the Autism Spectrum



The Autism Spectrum Guide to Sexuality and Relationships


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