1st Edition

The Complete Guide to Becoming an Autism Friendly Professional Working with Individuals, Groups, and Organizations

    262 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Based on the award-winning Autism Friendly Training Program, created by the non-profit organization STARS for Autism, this book empowers the everyday professional to a better understanding and skill in working with, interacting with, serving, and teaching children and adults who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    After a thorough explanation of ASD and how it affects children, adults, families, and communities, this guide describes the Autism Friendly Training Program and gives the reader insight into what it means to become autism friendly and to be an autism friendly training presenter. This text will enable those who are neurotypical to gain insight into the person, the stories, and the lives of those with ASD. It is a guide to understanding autism at a deeper level to enable relationship and support processes that define being autism friendly.

    Providing the needed information, tools, and confidence to be autism friendly, this book will be beneficial to any and all businesses, organizations, groups, communities, families, and individuals who work with, serve, interact with, teach, parent, and experience life with an autistic person.




    Chapter 1: About Autism

    Chapter 2: How Autism Affects Children

    Chapter 3: How Autism Affects Adults

    Chapter 4: How Autism Affects Families

    Chapter 5: Autism and Communities

    Chapter 6: Being Autism Friendly

    Chapter 7: The Autism Friendly Training Program - The Presentation

    Chapter 8: Being Autism Friendly (Information for Specific Groups)

    Chapter 9: Becoming an Autism Friendly Presenter

    Chapter 10: Autism Friendly City Program





    Robert Jason Grant, EdD, is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Advanced Certified Autism Specialist, and creator of AutPlay® Therapy. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Association for Play Therapy and is an accomplished autism author, advocate, and trainer.

    Linda Barboa, PhD, has worked for several years as an educator in the United States and Europe. She has facilitated many autism trainings and is the author of several books about autism. She is currently the executive director of the nonprofit organization STARS for Autism.

    Jan Luck holds a degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She is the board president for the nonprofit organization STARS for Autism. She is an author and advocate, and has trained hundreds of adults and children in the Autism Friendly Training Program.

    Elizabeth Obrey is the vice president of STARS for Autism and currently works as a family advocate while pursuing a master’s in Information Science and Learning Technologies. She is also a parent of children with multiple disabilities.

    "The timely release of this book provides an accessible and informative appreciation of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). With the rapid increase in recognition and diagnosis of children and adults with ASD, there has not been a better time to understand more about this condition and have tools to best support, encourage and welcome those who are neurodiverse among us, in all sectors of our community.

    R. J. Grant, L. Barboa, J. Luck, and E. Obrey have written a sensitive account about autism that factors in the individual, family, groups, and organizations. It is a call to action, for not just mental health and education professionals that work with those with ASD, but also community leaders in all sectors, to build in systems to optimize function and contribution of those with ASD and to celebrate the strengths in our diverse communities that grow integrated, accepting, and flourishing societies." Jacki Short, counselling psychologist and Play Therapy supervisor, director of Sydney Centre for Creative Change in Sydney, Australia

    "As a practicing Speech-Language Pathologist, I highly recommend this book. It would be a great asset to parents, teachers, doctors, students, nurses, paraprofessionals, therapists, and family members. I wish I had this book as a guide 25 years ago, as I was entering the field of speech pathology. It really is that one book that has packed so many resources, stories, and easy to follow information into 10 chapters." Marti Clark, MS CCC-SLP

    "Parents of children with autism rally together to find professionals that will be an ally for them and a resource for their children’s needs. When a professional is found that 'gets' our kiddos we share with other families who have children with autism. Being autism-friendly for a professional is a benefit and a gift for families who are already facing many obstacles for care. This book is a must-have for professionals who are willing to go that extra mile to meet the needs of those individuals and families impacted by autism." Shelli Allen, BS, "That Autism Mom", author, speaker, advocate

    "Written by knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder, this excellent and timely resource is an essential book that could impact how professionals relate to and interact with individuals on the spectrum, whether it be in the workplace or the social arena." Renée Vajko Srch, author of Hope for Joshua and Miracle Moments

    "Thank you for a thorough, accurate guide to understanding autism! I will be recommending this book to all my parents and to those who provide services to my students." Brenda Bradshaw, PhD, director of Infinity Academy

    "I recommend this book for all the teachers, parents, and all those who deal with people with autism day by day. And yes, for the people with autism as well. That way maybe the children and adults with autism will not feel they are 'weird' but just unique. It will help the teachers to understand the children, and the parents will see it is not their fault as many people say. It is a book that should be on the list of every teacher, school, and every house where someone with autism lives." Els Speybrouck, mum of Robin who has ASD, Harelbeke, Belgium

    "Kindness, compassion, understanding – these are all traits that make our world a better place. But humans are not cookie cutter and understanding individuals with autism can be tricky or confusing at times. Not anymore!  After reading this guide, I feel prepared, informed, and EXCITED to advocate and implement strategies to make my profession, and myself, more Autism Friendly!" Jen Hargove, LPC, MAC, NBCC, owner, Hargrove Counseling LLC

    "From our first Autism Friendly Training to our proclamation signing, the Stars for Autism program has assisted our City, staff, and our citizens to become more aware of social engagement and environmental factors that affect those individuals on the autism spectrum.  It is a fundamental training for our employees." Renee Kingston, Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk, City of Camdenton, Missouri

    "I have had the pleasure of reading the book The Complete Guide to Becoming an Autism Friendly Professional. This is a book that every business should have on hand for their employees to read to help them become an Autism Friendly Professional. It will help people to deal with an individual on the spectrum under different situations with appropriate responses." Andrea Schultz, owner/founder of Schultz’s Tutoring and Playgroups

    "A refreshing book with wide and topical appeal, its in-depth understanding of autism will empower professionals and give them the confidence to engage positively with the autism community." Stella Waterhouse, author of Autism Decoded

    "As an attendee and guest speaker at an Autism Friendly Training, I highly recommend this book and program by the wonderful advocates of STARS for Autism." Eli Winfrey, autism advocate and president of Team Winfrey

    "Be aware; you have in your hands a powerful resource to make a difference and change lives. A necessary book for all of us who want to be fully equipped to educate, support, mentor, and include families on the autism spectrum. It’s instructional, functional, and transformational. As you open this book, you get access to powerful resources that can make a difference and change lives." Reverend Iromar Schreiber (aka Reverend Hugs), LCMS pastor, Hope Lutheran Church

    "This is truly an amazing all-rounded book on autism! The book is full of tremendous information and insightful ideas that help the reader to get a better understanding and to see things from an autistic point of view. It also goes a step further to explain how you could be a responsible citizen to turn your community into an autism friendly place. The objective of the book is at an entirely different level and perspectives which is definitely a must-read for those who would like to know more about autism. I wholeheartedly believe that this book could help a lot of autistic children, adults, their parents and families, as well as professional practitioners in the field." Canace Yee, MA (Psych), RPT, APPTA, licensed trainer, Lego®-Based Therapy, founder and director, yNOTplay Play Therapy Hong Kong

    "This book is an invaluable tool for individuals working and interacting with people with autism. It is a professionally written and thorough resource guide for professionals and the general public, who want a better understanding of how autism affects the individual and how to help them in a manner that is useful and significant for them. From diagnosis to integration into the community, this book provides a step-by-step action plan on how communities and organizations can provide an autism friendly environment, allowing individuals with autism the opportunity to experience a positive interaction. This book provides professionals an insight into the world of autism and how every individual’s experience is unique to them. The authors have provided a roadmap aimed at educating and bringing awareness to people who work and interact with individuals living with autism." Linda Mastroianni, Integration aide/Special Care counselor

    "Yes! I’m so thrilled to see this book by this group of trusted professionals! Many professionals desire to be more Autism Friendly and this book can help you refine your strategies for success! Working alongside these authors for many years has taught me that their ideas come from a place of compassion and practicality. Now, they share their collective wisdom by offering tried and true strategies for your success! I highly recommend this read!" Amy Stark Vaughan, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Board Certified in Pediatrics