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Freedom from Meltdowns

Daily meltdowns and tantrums are one of the biggest challenges of life with autism and related disorders - they have a devastating impact on children with autism and their whole families. Now there's a book with all the expert advice front-line professionals and parents need to understand meltdowns, stop them before they start, and improve quality of life for entire families. Travis Thompson, the voice of authority on autism and behavior, channels his 40 years of experience working with children and families into a long-awaited how-to guide that helps readers understand how other disorders and health conditions such as anxiety, sleep disorders, OCD, ADHD, and mental health problems contribute to meltdowns in children with autism; and, pinpoint events that trigger a meltdown and prevent those triggers from escalating into an emotional explosion.It also helps readers use Functional Behavioral Assessment to uncover behavior patterns and develop effective intervention plans; improve communication skills so children can find positive ways to express themselves and get their needs met; create physical environments that facilitate learning and reduce distraction and confusion; work sensitively with families from diverse cultural backgrounds; discover specific ways to prevent meltdowns in school and other public settings; and, get insight into why children self-injure and what can be done to help them stop. Clear and practical enough to pick up and use right away, this book is filled with simple tips and strategies that really work, anecdotes from the author's extensive personal experience, and case studies that illustrate constructive and unconstructive ways to deal with familiar behavior issues. This eye-opening, problem-solving guide puts freedom from meltdowns within reach for everyone who works with or cares for a child with autism-and puts children on the path to success in school, at home, and in the community.
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About the Author

Travis Thompson, Ph.D., L.P., Graduate Faculty Member, Special Education Program, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Consulting Psychologist, Minnesota Early Autism Project, 7242 Forestview Lane North, Maple Grove, Minnesota 55369 Dr. Thompson is affiliated with the Autism Certificate Program in the Special Education Program of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota, and he is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is a collaborator on a multisite project on challenging behavior in developmental disabilities including the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland; the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and the University of Kansas, Parsons. He is a licensed psychologist. Dr. Thompson completed his doctoral training in psychology at the University of Minnesota and completed postdoctoral work at the University of Maryland. He spent a year at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom and a year as a visiting scientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Thompson was Director of the John F. Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development at Vanderbilt University and Director of the Institute for Child Development at the University of Kansas Medical Center--a clinical, training, and research institute. Dr. Thompson has served on several National Institutes of Health research review committees, including chairing reviews of the applicants for Collaborative Programs of Excellence in Autism awards in 2000, 2003, and 2007. He has been a member of American Psychological Association (APA) task forces concerned with the practice of psychology and psychopharmacology. He is a past president of the Behavioral Pharmacology Society, the Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, and the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities of the APA. Dr. Thompson has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Research Award, The Arc of the United States; the Academy on Mental Retardation Lifetime Research Award; the APA's Don Hake Award; the Edgar A. Doll Award, for contributions to facilitate the transfer of research into practice; and the Ernest R. Hilgard Award and the Impact of Science on Application Award of the Society for Advancement of Behavior Analysis. He has served as cochair of the Association for Behavior Analysis International's Annual Autism Conference (2010 and 2011). He has published more than 230 journal articles and chapters and 30 books dealing with autism, developmental disabilities, psychopharmacology, and related topics. His most recent books, Making Sense of Autism (2007) and Dr. Thompson's Straight Talk on Autism (2008), are also published by Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. Dr. Thompson has spoken in 46 states and 15 countries about his research and clinical services and on topics related to autism and other developmental disabilities and psychopharmacology. Lynn Kern Koegel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is Clinic Director at the Autism Research Center of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has been active in the development of programs to improve communication in children with autism, including the development of first words, development of grammatical structures, and pragmatics. Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel is co-author and co-editor of major textbooks on autism and positive behavioral support and is co-author of the bestselling book Overcoming Autism: Finding the Answers, Strategies, and Hope That Can Transform a Child's Life (Penguin, 2004). In addition to her published books and articles in the area of communication and language development, she has developed and published prodcedures and field manuals in the area of self-management and functional analysis that are used in school districts throughout the United States and have been translated in most major languages used throughout the world. Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel is actively involved in providing support and intervention services in school districts, both locally in California and throughout the United States. She has also been featured in news reports on television stations throughout the United States and acted as a consultant for the internationally broadcast ABC television series Supernanny.


"An invaluable resource for anyone who wants to help reduce challenging behavior in children and adults with autism and related disorders ... [Travis Thompson] teaches all of us best practice." -- Laraine M. Glidden, Ph.D. author Q&A and mention of Meltdowns "I would highly recommend this comprehensive, remarkable book! I have read many books about children having meltdowns, but this book provided the most straightforward, logical, scientifically proven strategies for both professionals and parents." --Stacy Danov, doctoral candidate in Educational Psychology"University of Minnesota" (07/24/2009) "If only this book had been there for me to read when my daughter was young and having almost daily meltdowns! Dr. Thompson leads us into one of the most challenging issues in autism spectrum challenges and makes it understandable, treatable, and preventable." --Susan Moreno, M.A., A.B.S."Founder and President of MAAP Services for the Autism Spectrum; editor, The MAAP; parent of a woman with autism" (09/17/2008) "Travis Thompson has the unique ability to take research from different fields of study and to summarize the findings in practical ways that parents, teachers, and practitioners can understand and appreciate. This book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in learning more about supporting children with autism." --Rachel Freeman, Ph.D."Associate Research Professor and Director of the Kansas Institute for Positive Behavior Support, University of Kansas" (09/17/2008) "A terrific book for parents and professionals alike! Capture[s] the explosion in scientific knowledge about autism, conveyed in a style that is easy to understand." --Judith Carta, Ph.D."Senior Scientist and Professor of Special Education, University of Kansas" (09/17/2008) "An invaluable resource for teachers, parents, and anyone who wants to help reduce challenging behavior in children and adults with autism and related disorders . . . [Travis Thompson] teaches all of us best practice." --Laraine M. Glidden, Ph.D."Professor of Psychology, St. Mary's College of Maryland" (09/17/2008) "Dr. Thompson, the autism guru, provides an all-encompassing book on meltdowns which is sure to please both caregivers and professionals." --Rande Peyton"mother of a 6 yr old with Autism" (09/17/2008) "Gives families information that is an essential part of their toolkit for coping with meltdowns. I am glad to see a book that puts so much important information in one place, not oversimplified but still readable, with enough detail to help in many different situations." --Emily Lagace, MD"family physician and parent of two children with autism spectrum disorder" (09/17/2008)

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