Autism Spectrum Disorders
It is estimated at 1 in 88 children have an autism spectrum disorder. In Virginia, as with other states, the numbers of young children being identified with an ASD are on the rise. Many children and families are being referred for early intervention supports and services, and it is critically important that Virginia’s early intervention workforce has the appropriate knowledge and skills to support children with ASDs and their families.
The resources and information found here are intended to help practitioners learn more about supporting young children with ASD and their families. Visit the resource landing pad for information about evidence-based practices and topics; online, print, and video resources, and Virginia-specific guidance.
*for best viewing experience we recommend pdf version
Articles & Handouts
A Parent’s Guide to Evidence-Based Practice and Autism (external website)
The National Autism Center is the May Institute’s center for the promotion of evidence-based practice. Their latest publication for parents is available as a free download. Click on the Parent Guide link, enter your information, and then you will be given access to the booklet.
VCU Autism Center for Excellence
To help improve services for those with ASD and their family members, the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE) convened an interdisciplinary task force to study issues related to medical and educational assessment. The task force evaluated three different topics related to identification of ASD: screening, diagnosis, and systems change. This white paper describes these evaluations and provides recommendations to improve services related to screening, diagnosis and identification of ASD in Virginia.
Autism 100-day Toolkit PDF | HTML
This booklet is written for parents to guide them in what to do following their child’s initial diagnosis. This booklet is posted here with permission from Autism Speaks.
This 4-page booklist contains the titles, authors, and descriptions of print resources related to ASD.
Boyd, B. A., Odom, S. L., Humphreys, B. P., & Sam, A. M. (2010). Infants and toddlers with autism spectrum disorder: Early identification and early intervention. Journal of Early Intervention, 32(2), 75-98.
Coaching Resources (external website)
National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders
Visit this page for the NPDC Coaching Manual, presentations, and coaching video examples.
Concerns about Autism: Talking to Families PDF | HTML
Adapted by VA Community of Practice in Autism (CoPA)
This handout provides EI practitioners with guidance for how to talk to families about autism spectrum disorders under two common circumstances: when the practitioner has a concern and when the parent expresses a concern. This handout was adapted with permission from a similar resource from the CDC’s Learn the Signs. Act Early Campaign.
Sally Chappel, M.Ed., Coordinator, Region 5 T/TAC @ JMU
This handout shares guidance for working with children with ASD based on insights learned from persons with ASD themselves.
These resources relate to the JLARC assessment of services for children and adults with ASD in Virginia.
Assessment of Services for Virginians with Autism Spectrum Disorders PDF (external website)
Report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission To the Governor and The General Assembly of Virginia
House Document No. 8
Response to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission Report | Establishing a Detailed Action Plan for Serving Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders PDF (external website)
Johnson, C. P., Meyers, S. M., & Council on Children with Disabilities (2007). Identification and evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 120, 1183-1215.
This article provides information for pediatricians about their role in early identification of ASDs. Information is covered related to diagnostic criteria, etiology, clinical signs, screening, and evaluation.
Landa, R. J., Holman, K. C., & Garrett-Mayer, E. (2007). Social and communication development in toddlers with early and later diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 64(7), 853-864.
This study examined differences in development among children who received early or later diagnosis of ASD.
Mitchell, S., et al. (2006). Early language and communication development of infants later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 27(2), S69-S78.
What It's Like to Have Autism (external website)
R. Morgan Griffin
This article provides information for caregivers to help them understand and cope with the symptoms of autism.
Autism Video Glossary (external website)
The glossary is a free web-based tool that contains over 100 video clips illustrating the subtle differences in behaviors of young children that are typical in contrast with those that are red flags for ASD. The glossary also features a treatment section which includes videos in five categories: behavioral interventions, developmental interventions, structured teaching and supports, clinical therapies, and toddler treatment models.
National Database for Autism Research (external website, YouTube)
This video features information about autism spectrum disorder and the National Database for Autism Research.
Rethinking Autism: Dispelling Myths about ABA (external website)
This video addresses some common misconceptions about using applied behavioral analysis (ABA) with children with ASD.
Sound Advice on Autism from the American Academy of Pediatrics (external website)
To answer parents' questions about autism spectrum disorders, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers a collection of interviews with pediatricians, researchers and parents.
Talking to Parents about Autism (external website, YouTube)
This video provides very practical guidance that child care providers, preschool teachers, and other service providers can use when discussing developmental concerns related to autism spectrum disorders with families.
Topical News: Understanding the Rise in Autism (external website, YouTube)
A new report by the CDC estimates 1 in 88 children in the U.S. have some form of autism. That's a 23 percent increase since 2006 and a 78% increase since 2002. In this interview, Lisa Shulman, M.D., puts the latest report in context. Dr. Shulman speaks with Paul Moniz, managing director of communications and marketing of Einstein.
VA’s Integrated Training Collaborative
Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU
This module provides an overview of Autism Spectrum Disorders in infants and toddlers, including definitions, prevalence, and early signs and symptoms of ASDs. You will learn about social interaction, communication, and play of young children with ASD, as well as other characteristics.
Autism Internet Modules (AIM) (external website)
The autism internet modules are written by experts in the field of autism, available for free, and cover a wide array of topics focusing on interventions for children and adults with ASD.
Early Identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders Learning Module (external website)
National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
This module addresses early identification of ASD, characteristics of ASD, screening and diagnostic assessment practices, and national resources related to follow-up and referral to supports and services. (External Website)
Practical Strategies for Working with Children with Autism Webinar Series (external website)
Texas Early Childhood Intervention
This free webinar series features 1-hour recordings on topics including establishing relationships and coaching, structuring the environment, embedding learning into daily routines, teaching specific skills, and current research.
VCU Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) (external website)
On the VCU-ACE website you will find lots of resources related to supporting individuals with autism, including free monthly webcasts, online courses, resource materials available through the Virginia Autism Resource Center, etc.
- Access free archived webcasts on a variety of topics related to young children with autism spectrum disorder, including sensory, communication, and social-emotional development. When you reach the page, scroll down for access to the webcasts.
- Access free online courses such as the Foundations in Autism Spectrum Disorders course. This course provides participants with an understanding of characteristics of ASD, the impact ASD has on the person and family unit, and an overview of learning styles, history, cause, and early signs of ASD.
Websites & Programs
Autism Case Training: A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum (external website)
Learn the Signs. Act Early.
The "Autism Case Training (ACT): A Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Curriculum" is designed to educate future healthcare providers on fundamental components of identifying, diagnosing, and managing autism spectrum disorders through real life scenarios. EI practitioners and administrators may find this information useful when collaborating with referring physicians in their areas.
Autism Spectrum Disorders Knowledge Path (external website)
The Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University
This knowledge path about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has been compiled by the MCH Library at Georgetown University. It offers a selection of current, high-quality resources about ASD screening and diagnosis, treatment and intervention, communication, education, vocational challenges, and impact on family life. Separate sections identify resources that address concerns about vaccines, environmental health research, and inappropriate use of seclusion and restraints. Separate briefs point to resources for families and schools. This knowledge path will be updated periodically.
National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (external website)
The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders is a multi-university center to promote the use of evidence-based practice for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. Visit this site to find information about evidence-based practices and early identification.
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee
US Dept. of Health and Human Services
This site provides information about articles that represented the year’s top scientific advances in autism spectrum disorders research. Topics include early diagnosis, understanding the biology of ASD, risk factors, national prevalence, and effective treatments and services.