Resources for Families to Support Learning and Independence in School-Aged Children and Teens

Interactive Websites/Computer Resources

Brainology.  This is a software program designed for late elementary/middle school in particular, with the goal of improving metacognition (i.e., helping students to reflect on their own thoughts and attitudes) and developing motivation and resilience in the face of learning challenges.
Brainology.com
www.brainology.us/educator/programDescription.aspxbrainology.com

The interactive website may be particularly engaging for science-minded kids.  For research on the effectiveness of this program, see: Maricle, D.E.; Johnson, W.; & Avirett, E. (2010).  Assessing and intervening in children with executive function disorders.  In D.C. Miller (Ed.), Best practices in school psychology:  Guidelines for effective practice, assessment, and evidence-based intervention (599-640).  Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley and Sons.

Frame-It. A computer game that uses a puzzle format to teach children to decode nonverbal cues by focusing their attention on the eyes.  An initial treatment study suggests skill acquisition for school-aged children with ASD (Eckhardt, Goodwin & Picard, 2010).  Frame It is one of the projects being pursued by the Affective Computing group at MIT. See:  www.media.mit.edu/research/groups/affective-computing.

The Secret Agent Society (Beaumont & Sofronoff, 2010). A computer game designed to teach social problem-solving skills for children 7-11 with high functioning ASD.  Research suggests children enjoy the game and demonstrate improvement in social cognition, specifically perspective-taking, interpretation of nonverbal social cues, and choice of appropriate behavioral responses within social challenges. To order the game or to learn more: www.sst-institute.net/.

FaceSay is a computer game focused on improving emotional recognition and interpretation of nonverbal emotional cues.  Designed for children with high-functioning ASD, the program has been shown to improve emotion recognition in the game.  Generalized benefits have been noted in playground observations (Wimsatt, 2010). To order the game/more information: www.facesay.com/.

CogMed (Pearson Education, Saddle River, NJ).  A cognitive training program designed for children 9-13 years. There is empirical support for improvement in working memory both within the games and in real-life situations; however, there is less empirical support for the inhibition games in the current version. (Diamond & Lee, 2011).

Video Modeling

For some youth - especially those who are visual learners - seeing how a new situation plays out on film is very helpful for reducing anticipatory anxiety.  For an extensive video modelling curricula developed for special educators, see www.stanfield.com/products/social-life-skills/lifesmart-curriculum.

For Families

How to Think Like a Behavior Analyst, Jon Bailey and Mary Burch
www.baileyburch.com/

Parents’ Guide to Functional Assessment
http://pages.uoregon.edu/ttobin/Tobin-par-3.pdf.

How to teach self-management to people with severe disabilities: A training manual, by Lynn Koegel
http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED336880

Self-Management for Children With High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders, by Lee A. Wilkinson
http://isc.sagepub.com/content/43/3/150.short?rss=1&ssource=mfr

Taking Care of Myself: A Hygiene, Puberty and Personal Curriculum for Young People with Autism, by Mary Wrobel
www.amazon.com/Taking-Care-Myself-Personal-Curriculum/dp/1885477945

No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-Of-Control Behavior, by Jed Baker Ph.D.
http://www.amazon.com/More-Meltdowns-Strategies-Preventing-Out-Of-Contro...