ABA Bookshelf: A Work in Progress by Ron Leaf & John McEachin

ABA Bookshelf: A Work in Progress by Ron Leaf & John McEachin

workinprogressWhen I first began working with children with autism, a colleague recommended this book to me. To this day, it has been an essential resource. And when I speak with other providers, this is the book they mention again and again as THE book they trust to help providers prepare to have effective sessions.

A Work in Progress presents information in straightforward, easy-to-understand language and covers every aspect of providing 1:1 services for children with autism. It discusses appropriate format for sessions; how to address commonly occurring problems related to eating, sleeping, self-stimulatory behaviors, and toilet training; and provides dozens of ready-to-use programs with data sheets. For people who are starting out in ABA, the chapter The Autism Partnership Curriculum for Discrete Trial Teaching with Autistic Children is a godsend. It goes in to detail about the discrete trial format as well as structuring play and choosing appropriate items and activities for play. The programs included in the book range from very early skills such as matching and nonverbal imitation to more complex skills such as asking questions and writing.

All in all, this is the first book I’d recommend any new provider purchase (and would have been featured on the blog first had I not lent it to a colleague!) It’s comprehensive about the very basics of ABA. Now, after many years of working in ABA, I still return to this fantastic resource and utilize it when I’m supervising other therapists.

It should also be noted that A Work in Progress has six supplemental guides with DVDs covering more specific topics such as bullying, token economies, and learning how to learn. You can view those here.


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