ADMI approved resources for children with special needs
As a parent, we know it’s important to you that your child receives care from trustworthy sources. That’s why we’re here to be your trusted partner when seeking services for your child with special developmental needs.
Our specialists at Geisinger’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute (ADMI) are here to help you locate credible, dependable therapies and services from among the seemingly endless options available. That’s why we’ve developed this resource library to help families understand proven, evidence-based treatments and interventions. Find ADMI-approved resources below:
- The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment: A Guide for Individuals with Autism Spectrum or Other Social-Cognitive Challenges by Brenda Smith Myles, Judy Endow and Malcolm Mayfield
- Taking Care of Myself: A Hygiene, Puberty and Personal Curriculum for Young People with Autism by Mary Wrobel
- Growing Up: It's a Girl Thing by Mavis Jukes and Debbie Tilley
- Teaching Children with Down Syndrome about Their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality by Terri Couwenhoven
- The Guide to Dating for Teenagers with Asperger Syndrome by Jeannie Uhlenkamp
- Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality by Isabelle Henault
- Moving Out: A Family Guide to Residential Planning for Adults with Disabilities by Dafna Krouk-Gordon and Barbara D. Jackins
Advocacy and support
- The Arc: TheArc.org
- Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Richard Ferber
- Toilet Training in Less Than a Day by Nathan Azrin and Richard Foxx
- Toilet Training for Individuals with Autism or Other Developmental Issues by Maria Wheeler
- Take the Fight out of Food by Donna Fish
- Treating Eating Problems of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities: Interventions for Professionals and
- Parents by Keith E Williams and Richard Foxx
- 1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 by Thomas Phelan
- Does My Child have Autism? by Wendy Stone
- Asperger's Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood
For siblings and peers
- All Cats Have Asperger's Syndrome by Kathy Hoopman
- All Dogs Have ADHD by Kathy Hoopman
- The Berenstain Bears and the Wheelchair Commando by Stan and Jan Berenstain
- American Academy of Pediatrics: aap.org
- Genetic Alliance: GeneticAlliance.org
- National Institutes of Health: nih.gov
- National Institutes of Mental Health: nimh.nih.gov
- National Organization for Rare Disorders: RareDiseases.org
- National Society of Genetic Counselors: nsgc.org
- Fragile X Foundation: FragileX.org
- Dup15q Alliance: dup15q.org
- The Facts of Life and More by Leslie Walker-Hirsch (book on sexuality and intimacy for people with ID)
- Association for X and Y Chromosome Variations: genetic.org
- Living with Klinefelter Syndrome, Trisomy X and 47, XYY: A Guide for Families and Individuals Affected by X and Y Chromosome Variations by Virginia Isaacs Cover, MSW
- Teaching Social Communication to Children with Autism: A Manual for Caregivers by Brooke Ingeroll and Anna Dvortcsak
- An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate and Learn by Sally J. Rogers, Geraldine Dawson and Laurie A. Vismara
- Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Manual for Parents and Professionals by Catherine Maurice, Gina Green and Stephen C. Luce
- The New Social Story Book: Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, and their Peers by Carol Gray
- Young Children with ADHD: Early Identification and Intervention by George DuPaul and Lee Kern
Special education and behavior support
- American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: aaidd.org
- American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association: asha.org
- Association for Behavior Analysis: ABAInternational.org
- Association for Science in Autism Treatment: ASATOnline.org
- Autism Speaks: AutismSpeaks.org
- Behavior Analyst Certification Board: bacb.com
- Best Buddies: BestBuddies.org
- Council for Special Education: cec.sped.org
- Division of International Special Education: dises-cec.org
- Gray Center: TheGrayCenter.org
- Learning Disabilities Association of America: ldaamerica.org
- Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers
- Sibshops: SiblingSupport.org
- What Works Clearinghouse: ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/
- Wrightslaw: Wrightslaw.org
- Encouragement: Shubert's Helpful Day
- Shubert Value Pack
- Assertiveness: Shubert's Big Voice
- Choices: Shubert's Choice
- Empathy: Shubert's New Friend
- Positive Intent: Shubert Sees the Best
- Consequences: Shubert Rants and Raves
Books for younger children:
- Sophie Makes a Choice
- Sophie Rants and Raves
YouTube or DVD:
- Vaccines – calling the shots
- The Picture Exchange Communication System Training Manual - 2nd Edition by L. Frost and A. Bondy (2002)
- A Picture's Worth: PECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism - 2nd Edition by L. Frost and A. Bondy (2011)
- Autism Spectrum Disorders and AAC by Mirenda and Iacono (2009)
Social skills/pragmatics (Social thinking curricula/books/CDs):
- Pre-K through K: The Incredible Flexible You Curriculum Set, Volume 1: Includes lesson plans, storybooks, CD
- 3rd - 5th grade: Superflex: A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum Package: Included lesson plan, book, comic book, CD
- Middle/High School: Thinking About YOU Thinking About ME (curriculum book)
- Middle/High School: Social Fortune or Social Fate: A Social Thinking Graphic Novel Map for Social Quest Seekers
- The New Social Story Book by C. Gray (2010)
Speech/language development (Resources from ASHA):
- Speech, Language and Hearing Milestones: Birth to Age Five: 40-minute DVD aimed at parents from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
• Beyond Baby Talk (Second Edition) by Apel & Masterson: Book from ASHA about ways for parents to encourage language development.
• Talking on the Go by Dougherty & Paul: Book/CD from ASHA with everyday activities and ideas for parents to enhance speech/language skills for young children.
- Stuttering Foundation of America books and other resources – ask your specialist about a free book or pamphlet.
Funding for this important initiative is provided by the Degenstein Foundation, Sunbury, PA.
Always call Early Intervention if you have a concern for a child ages birth to 5 years.
- CONNECT Helpline: 1-800-692-7288
- In the vast majority of cases, early intervention does not need a medical diagnosis to start providing the needed therapies
Early Intervention Evaluation consists of evaluating 5 areas of development.
- Speech/Language Skills
- Receptive language
- Understanding “no”
- Following a one-step direction
- Following multi-step directions
- Expressive Language
- Using gestures (pointing, waving)
- Single words
- Combining words
- Using pronouns
- Receptive language
- Cognitive Skills
- Looking for a hidden object
- Completing an inset puzzle
- Matching objects, colors, or shapes
- Adaptive Skills
- Feeding self (using fingers, utensils)
- Dressing and undressing
- Helping out around the house
- Understanding safety rules
- Early Intervention Evaluation
- Social/Emotional Skills
- Smiles at others
- Greets familiar adults
- Shows interest in other children
- Play skills
- Identifying emotions
- Motor Skills
- Fine Motor
- Picks up and transfers objects
- Marks on paper with a crayon
- Puts beads on a string
- Stacks blocks
- Gross Motor
- Rolling over
- Fine Motor
- A child qualifies for early intervention if:
- A 25% delay in one or more areas of development
- Diagnosed vision or hearing loss
- Has a known medical condition which has a high-probability for developmental delay (examples: history of prematurity, Down Syndrome)
- Also referred to as Behavioral Health Rehabilitative Services (BHRS)
- For children under 21
- A service designed for children who have autism, or other serious emotional or behavioral problems
- These services can be used in the home, school, and community
- Services are individualized to meet the specific needs of the child
A team of trained professionals will work with caregivers to help improve the child’s behavior.
- BSC (Behavior Specialist Consultant): works directly with families to develop an individualized treatment plan. They provide behavioral consultation to the family/school/community program
- MT (Mobile Therapist): will develop and implement therapeutic interventions
- TSS (Therapeutic Staff Support): works directly with the child. Implements behavior interventions as specified in the treatment plan
How to get services:
- Apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), even if you think you won’t be eligible.
- At the same time, apply for medical assistance if you don’t already have it. Wraparound services are paid for by medical assistance.
- At the same time, ask for an evaluation for wraparound services.
- Contact the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization (MCO) in your county.
- You will be given a list of providers in your area who can do the evaluation.
- After the wraparound evaluation, you will get a report stating whether or not the child qualifies for services.
- If your child qualifies for services, your MCO will give you a list of providers in your area.
- Call multiple wraparound providers in your area early and often. See if there is a waiting list, availability of staff in your area, etc.
- Wrapround services are approved for a certain period of time (varies among providers). Reauthorization of services can occur every 4, 6, or 12 months depending on the provider.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
What is ABA?
- ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis
- Uses a scientific, data-driven approach to increase communication, social skills, and functional behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or hinder learning.
- ABA services may include but are not limited to: conducting behavioral assessments, analyzing data, writing behavior treatment plans, and implementing treatment plans.
Why get ABA?
- ABA is a researched-supported behavioral intervention for autism.
- ABA is effective for many different kinds of learners. Its effectiveness is not limited to autism.
Who provides ABA?
- ABA programs are often implemented and/or supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
- ABA strategies are often used by teachers, psychologists, and members of other professions.
Where does ABA take place?
- ABA services are often based in the home, school, and community.
- Some ABA programs may also be center-based.
When should I start services?
- ABA works for individuals of all ages. For children, it is recommended to start as early as possible.
How do I get ABA services?
- ABA services can be covered under private insurance with an autism diagnosis. ABA services can also be funded through private pay. ABA services, provided by wraparound agencies, may also be covered with a Medicaid product.
- Contact your insurance company to check eligibility and coverage of ABA services under ACT 62.
- Ask your insurance company about any specific documentation requirements, as these vary by insurer.
- Contact a local ABA provider.
- Find a list of providers on ABA in PA website: https://abainpa.com/resources
American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
Caroline Bowen, PhD
Augmentative & Alternative Communication:
- Streaming videos, DVDs to teach sign language to young kids
- Tips to improve communication and literacy abilities of people with significant communication difficulties
- Educational webcasts and videos, including those demonstrating techniques for improving literacy and communication
Assistive Technology Resource Centers:
Pennsylvania Training & Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN)
- Must be accessed by child’s early intervention or school team on behalf of student
iPad to Support Communication:
Jane Farrall AAC Apps List
- Includes price, features, rating system
iPad Pinterest Site by Lauren Enders, SLP
- Apps, cases, accessories aimed at children with disabilities
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
ASERT is a statewide initiative funded by the Bureau of Autism Services, PA Department of Human Services. The ASERT (Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training) Collaborative is a key component of the Bureau of Autism’s strategy for supporting individuals with autism and their families throughout the Commonwealth. The ASERT mission is to enhance the lives of Pennsylvanians with autism of all ages and abilities by:
- Improving regional access to quality services and interventions
- Providing information and support to families
- Training professionals in best practices
- Facilitating connections between individuals, families, professionals, and providers throughout the Commonwealth
- Get tips on finding the best supports for yourself, your family member, or the individuals you work with.
- Connect with other individuals with autism and their families.
- Or call their Toll-Free Number (877) 231-4244 and one of their staff members will speak with you about how to identify and get information and resources in your region.
Parent to Parent of Pennsylvania
Parents and Family members of children & adults with disabilities or special needs may be matched with another parent for the following conditions or concerns:
– Physical disabilities
– Developmental disabilities
– Special health care needs
– Behavioral/mental health concerns
– Educational issues
The Arc of Pennsylvania
The Arc is the largest advocacy organization in the United States for citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families.
The Arc of Pennsylvania pursues its mission of promoting the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes through:
Public Policy Advocacy
Most counties in Central Pa have an Arc Chapter.
FAMILY SUPPORT GROUPS
Selinsgrove Area Parent Support Group
32 Quarry Rd.
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
570 374 0160
Contact Name: Stacey & Mike Piecuch
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lycoming County Support Group
221 South Main Street
Muncy, PA 17756
570 546 7370
Contact Name: Marianne Tillotson
Contact Email: email@example.com
364 Norle St.
State College, PA 16801
814 441 1843
Contact Name: Nicole Feaster
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pennsylvania Special Kids Network
The Special Kids Network (SKN), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Elks Home Service Program, helps children and youth with special health care needs and disabilities get the services and support they require in order to thrive in their community and develop to their full potential.
The Special Kids Network contains three components:
- a toll-free helpline for information and resources
- in-home service coordination provided at no cost to families; and
- a system of community and regional support