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Developing Leisure Time Skills for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Developing Leisure Time Skills for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders



10 days

Winner of the 2017 BOOK OF THE YEAR award
Structured Strategies for ASD Books category

Developing Leisure Time Skills for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Practical Strategies for Home, School & the Community

Click Here for a free excerpt that includes Chapter 1 and Book References!

Author(s): Colleen Nyberg, Phyllis Coyne, Mary Lou Klagge

Make leisure time fun for all children and adults with autism spectrum disorders! Leisure time should be a part of the day that all look forward to enjoying, but for many it can cause anxiety and fear.  This book provides comprehensive, structured strategies to introducing meaningful leisure time to ASD children and adults, which they can practice at home, school, and in the community. This book has a wealth of ASD information, including forms and charts that will help to assess sensory needs, age-appropriate activities and assistance in determining the level of interest in specific activities, thirty seven “Activity Cards” for going to the park, playing games, and many more!

This detailed guide also covers the components of leisure development, assessing leisure patterns, skills, and preferences, activities that require minimal supervision, community activities, ongoing assessment, and more!

Binding: Paperback
Pages: 250

About The Authors:
The authors have each worked in the field of autism for over twenty years. This experience, along with backgrounds in therapeutic recreation, special education, general education, and psychology, provide the foundation for the development of the concepts and approaches presented in Developing Meaningful Leisure Time for Children and Adults on the Autism Spectrum.

Phyllis Coyne, MS, has been an autism consultant to school districts for over twenty years. She is the coauthor of three books on autism spectrum disorders. During this time, she has trained and consulted with thousands of staff and parents in effective techniques for supporting individuals with Autism Spectrum
Disorder. Previous to being an Autism Specialist and special education teacher, Phyllis worked in inclusive outdoor adventure recreation, coordinated a model demonstration project on recreation for adolescents with developmental disabilities, and was a Therapeutic Recreation consultant in North Carolina and Oregon. She
has served on the Board of Directors of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society, the editorial board of the Journal of Leisurability, and the Leisure Committee of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps.

Colleen Nyberg has dedicated 26 years to teaching and consulting in the field of ASD and improving the understanding of autism for parents and professionals. She specialized in Early Intervention during her teaching years and branched out into trainings and presentations. Colleen consulted throughout seven counties and was hired by the State of Oregon to develop training modules and traveled around the state providing training for other consultants. Colleen worked on state committees defining and reviewing the eligibility of students with ASD. She traveled nationally and into Canada presenting to parents and professionals. She taught for years at Portland State in their Continuing Education program. Colleen provided training for caregivers in a summer program and it was this experience that she drew from for this book.

Mary Lou (Vandenburg) Klagge has been in the special education field for 35 years. She was a classroom teacher for preschool through elementary aged children with a variety of disabilities, including ASD, for 24 of those years. She taught in a summer program designed for elementary through high school aged individuals with ASD to access recreational and leisure activities throughout the community. Mary Lou has been an autism consultant for 11 years, developing and modeling effective strategies in supporting and teaching children with ASD within the school setting. She has been a presenter of new, successful and effective strategies at the local, state and national levels. Due to her extensive interactions with families, Mary Lou helped develop and lead parent and sibling support groups.


Chapter 1: Leisure and Autism Spectrum Disorder
Importance of Leisure Engagement
Nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Three Individuals Featured in this Book
Pattern of Leisure Engagement

Chapter 2: Components of Leisure Development

The Immediate Component
The Exposure Component
The Training Component
Interrelationship of the Components of Leisure

Chapter 3: Leisure Assessment
Direct Observation
Recording Leisure Pattern and Skills

Chapter 4: The Immediate Component of Leisure Development
Key Elements of the Immediate Component
Meaningful Engagement During Unstructured Time
Sensory Preferences and Special Interests
Untaught Materials and Activities with Minimal
Formative Assessment

Chapter 5: The Exposure Component of Leisure Development
Key Elements of the Exposure Component
Discovery of New Leisure Interests
Guidelines for Activity Selection
Repeated and Supported Exposure to New Activities
Formative Assessment

Chapter 6: The Training Component of Leisure Development
Key Elements of the Training Component
Leisure Activities and Related Skills Development
Guidelines for Prioritizing Activities
Systematic Training
Formative Assessment

Appendix A. Leisure Behavior & Activities Lists
Appendix B. Blank Forms for Assessment
Appendix C. Support and Training Strategies
Appendix D. Activity Cards References


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“A primary goal for families is to build “meaningful leisure time” for their children on the Autism Spectrum. This innovative book offers creative ideas and easy guidelines to develop and expand leisure interests. As leisure activities open opportunities for engagement, these tools will enhance the quality of life for children, adults, their friends and families.”

— Kathleen A. Quill, BCBA-D, Autism Institute, and author of DO-WATCH-LISTEN-SAY

“This book is a wonderful teaching and learning tool! It provides a solid foundation of strategies for developing individualized plans and gives a wide variety of suggestions for things to do. Individuals with autism spectrum disorders need to be taught many leisure skills. This book will help you develop leisure and recreational activities for any individual on the spectrum. I wish this book had been available when my son was young!”

-Kathleen Henley, parent of adult son with classic autism, and Executive Director, Autism Research and Resources of Oregon

“Developing Leisure Time Skills for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a well-written, user-friendly guide for caregivers, professionals and individuals on the spectrum. Leisure time often is overlooked when planning supports for individuals with ASD but it is a key factor in any person’s quality of life. The authors map out leisure stages and strategies, complete with an appendix full of sample forms, checklists and visual supports that make teaching and incorporating leisure skills into the lives of people with ASD easy. The book is a welcome addition to the autism literature and highlights the fact that people with autism spectrum disorders are people first and deserve a rich life that includes enjoyable leisure activities.”

- Catherine Zenko, M.S., CCC-SLP, Assistant Director, University of Florida Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) and co-author of Understanding the Nature of Autism and Here’s How to Provide Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Testimonials From The Future Horizons Family