I am super excited to share that I have compiled a list of must-read books for special education teachers. I have talked about some of the must-have resources and materials for your classroom and now let’s talk about books! In this blog post, you are going to see the five books that I feel really helped to change how I taught in the classroom to make things run more efficiently and allowed me to become the teacher I am today.
As a new teacher, there is SO much to consider. Classroom set up, paraprofessional support, how am I going to collect data? I have compiled a list of must-read books for special education teachers. Thankfully, there are so many wonderful and research-driven books out there to help support us as we navigate the complex world of special education. I have waded through the hundreds of texts and narrowed it down to the five must-read books for special education teachers and I believe every new autism teacher should have on their shelf. Here we go!
Must Read Books for Special Education Teachers List
Taming the Data Monster by Dr. Christine Reeve
Above all, data collection is one of the more daunting topics for any new special educator, and Dr. Reeve spells it out in the easiest, most digestible way! There are tons of examples, reproducibles, and easy-to-replicate ways to start an effective system for your classroom. Without a doubt, this is a book that I have readily available at my fingertips at all times!
Classroom Set Up
Setting up Classroom Spaces that Support Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Dr. Christine Reeve and Dr. Susan Kabot
Second, on this list I’m including a personal favorite. Classroom setup can be really fun, but so overwhelming! This book gives endless research-based tips, paired with photographs, to help teachers determine the best way to set up their classrooms to support their unique learners. It should be noted, that the pictures alone make this book worth every penny! Most importantly, this is a must-read book for me every summer before I go back to the classroom and I feel like every time I read it I get something new out of it!
Schedules in the Classroom
Activity Schedules for Children with Autism by Lynn McClannahan
Similar to the other books, developing independence is one of the main goals as an autism teacher, and this book gives tangible and accessible ways to use picture and activity schedules to help do that! In addition to this, my favorite part is how the author expands the use of schedules to social skills, independent living skills, and home skills! Moreover, the ability on how to make these work in your classroom is super helpful!
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Success Strategies for Teaching Kids with Autism by Wendy Ashcroft, Sue Argiro, and Joyce Keohane
As a new teacher, truly nothing is better than a list of IDEAS and STRATEGIES! This book is FULL of simple and effective ideas for teaching children with autism. For example, the information addresses three main categories: language, social skills, and behavior management. The reproducible materials allow teachers to immediately use the strategies offered – what could be better?
Just Give Him the Whale by Paula Kluth
Last but not least, students with autism often have all consuming fascinations that can overwhelm a new special education teacher. Kluth’s book gives such an important insight into how to use student “obsessions” as important ways to reach students effectively and in meaningful ways. Additionally, this book also has an important voice of individuals with autism – a perspective that is so crucial in best understanding our students.
In conclusion, with all the books out there for autism teachers, it’s so hard to know what would be effective. These five books will definitely set you on the right path!