Autism Interventions-Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition By Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris

Autism Interventions-Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition By Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris

A “must have” book for every Sensory Integration (SI) therapist’s bookshelf. The team at Special Needs Book Review congratulates Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris for their second edition of Authors of Autism Interventions – Exploring the Spectrum of Autism.

What an enormous undertaking to write and edit a book of 540 pages and now to have come out with a second edition! Then to this, you must add all the other books/publications these two authors have written! Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS OTR, C/NDT, and Betty Paris, PT, M. Ed, C/NDT are the Authors of Autism Interventions – Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition and they have been so kind to write a guest post introducing their book.

Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris have published on such topics as: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and intervention strategies, Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing Disorders, Behavioral Intervention Strategies, Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior?, Developmental Delays, Neuro-developmental Treatment Strategies, Sensory Based Learning Strategies, developing hand function and more.

Ms. Murray-Slutsky and Ms. Paris have traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and South Africa training therapists, teachers, parents and other professionals since 1993. Their books, articles and therapeutic strategies are utilized by therapists, teachers, and parents the world over.

Autism Interventions – Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition has 17 chapters written by experts in their fields which include occupational, physical and speech-language therapists, researchers, and educational and behavioral specialists.  Autism Interventions is a valuable resource and clinical reference for professionals and parents who are helping children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Here are some of the chapter titles with the name of the authors in italics and some of the sub-headings in the table of contents.

Chapter 1
What Is Autism?
Betty A. Paris

Chapter 2
Neurobiological Underpinnings of ASD
Gretchen Dahl Reeves

Chapter 3
Sensory Integrative Theory and Treatment: Occupational Therapy With a Sensory Integrative Approach
Sarah A. Schoen, Lucy Jane Miller, and Darci M. Nielsen

Chapter 4
Sensory Modulation
Shelly J. Lane and Stacey Reynolds

Chapter 5
Intervention Strategies for Sensory Modulation Disorders

Chapter 9
Sensory-Based Oral Motor and Feeding Problems and Intervention Strategies
Carolyn Murray-Slutsky

Increasing Oral Motor and Sensory-Motor Control . . . . . . . . . . . .
Oral Motor Program Schedules: Establishing a Sensory-Based Oral Motor
Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . ..
Eating: A Functional Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . … . . . . .
Mouthing Objects or Clothing, Biting, and Pica . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 13
Behavioral Intervention Strategies for Managing Challenging Behaviors
Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Pamela Hudson Baker

Chapter 16
The Importance of Play in Learning and Development

Chapter 17
Educational Strategies in Autism Spectrum Disorders . . . . . . . . . .
Mary M. Murray, Pamela Hudson Baker, Leslie A. Straka,
and Carolyn Murray-Slutsky

Subject Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Guest Post by Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS OTR, C/NDT

 Autism Interventions-Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition

Reason the authors wrote the book:

Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS OTR, C/NDT, and Betty Paris, PT, M. Ed, C/NDT, an occupational and a physical therapist, co-own State of the Art Resource Services, Inc. (STAR Services), an educational company dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional workshops, clinical training courses, and resources for parents and professionals. They are passionate about the children they treat, the differences that can be made, and the unlimited possibilities for each and every child. They work tirelessly to empower others to see the potential in each child and learn what they can do to help each reach this potential. Through STAR, they have been able to share their passion, knowledge, and treatment strategies through workshops, publications, consultations for school systems, professional conferences, special interest groups, organizations, and clinics.

Their international acclaim began as plenary speakers and lead presenters at the Worldwide Sensory Integration Conference, in Cape Town, South Africa (2003). Since then, they have continued as annual instructors/trainers for the Sensory Integration Network of the UK and Ireland. They have taught nationally for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) since the early 1990s, educating occupational therapists on interventions for autism as well as hands-on neurodevelopment treatment (NDT), sensory integrative (SI) approaches, and how to deal with sensory, behavior and communication difficulties. They have continued to present regularly at AOTA national conferences.

Paris and Murray-Slutsky have addressed a range of topics, including autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit disorder, and how to distinguish between sensory and behavior issues, as well as improving academic, behavioral and functional performance using sensory integration; neurodevelopmental treatment; and behavioral, educational, and communication strategies. Presentations are designed to give the participants the skill and techniques needed to improve the functional performance of clients of all ages in home, school, and clinic-based settings.

Murray-Slutsky and Paris developed the foundation of their work as co-owners of Murray Paris Rehabilitative Services, Inc. (MP Rehab).Their love and passion for their individual professions, their strong belief in the potential of each child, and their ability to change function spurred the success and rapid growth of their clinics. As they ardently worked to help the children and their parents meet their potential and realize their dreams, they developed solid treatment philosophies, holistic interventions, and successful outcomes. From 1986 to 2001, they grew the business to include two multidisciplinary pediatric clinics, employing and training 70 therapists to deliver treatment interventions within clinic, outpatient, home, school, and community-based settings. They also provided specialty programs such as aquatics, summer camps, and therapeutic horseback riding. Since selling the business to a national corporation, they have concentrated their efforts on teaching, writing, and direct patient care.`

Paris and Murray-Slutsky have coauthored textbooks, workbooks, teaching tools, and journal articles, including:

  • Exploring the Spectrum of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Intervention Strategies
  • Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior? Problem Identification and Intervention
  • Developing Visual Motor Integration (DVMI)
  • Sensory Modulation Series (Sensory Seeking, Under-responsive and Overresponsive)
  • Positive Behavioral Strategies.

They have become leaders in the educational arena, bridging the gap between clinic and school-based strategies; integrating sensory, behavioral, and educational strategies; and strengthening professional relationships and building effective teams between therapists, teachers, educational and behavioral specialists, parents, and other professionals. They present for school districts, professional associations such as CEC, DEC, OCALI, and private schools. They have published in the professional journals Educational Leadership and

Preventing School Failure.

The editors, Murray-Slutsky, an occupational and Paris, a physical therapist, in collaboration with specialists across the spectrum of interventions, offer practical, holistic, dynamic and effective intervention strategies. They have included descriptions of functional and sensory-based problems and techniques for engaging and skillfully addressing deficits in postural control, muscle strength, coordination, motor planning, sensory processing, communication, education and behavior. Numerous photographs are used to illustrate what you should look for and what the intervention should involve!  It is a “must have” for anyone seeking to understand the complexities of Autism Spectrum Disorders and learn practical, effective, easy-to-use intervention strategies that are based on current research.

Target audience

This book serves the needs of many different groups: a clinical reference for teachers, therapists and anyone working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder; a supplementary text for those in occupational, physical and speech therapy programs; behavioral intervention; and psychology majors; and guidance for parents and loved ones raising a child with ASD. The seventeen chapters are authored by world leaders in the fields of occupational therapy, research, behavioral specialists, speech language pathologists and educational specialists.

Excerpts from  Autism Interventions-Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd Edition

“Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have traditionally evidenced a higher prevalence of SMD compared to other diagnostic groups, with estimates ranging from 69% to 95% (Baranek et al., 2006; Leekham et al., 2007; Tomchek & Dunn, 2007). Self-regulation, attention, and arousal are linked to SMD both behaviorally and more recently, physiologically…”

“Helping children become better regulated enables them to adapt better to environmental demands; willingly engage, process, and learn; have better attention, focus, and behavioral regulation; and engage with more purpose. Often, the first step is helping the child move into the calm-alert state, the window of optimal arousal.”

“Stress and anxiety can interfere with keeping a child within the calm-alert state. Anxiety resulting from stress can increase arousal, amplify defensiveness, block sensory registration, and interfere with learning, concentration, and acquisition of new skills (Murray-Slutsky & Paris, 2000, 2005)”.

“Our goal is for the child to achieve and function in the calm-alert state, where his ability to function is maximized. For this to occur, the child must register appropriately to, tolerate, and process multisensory information; adjust arousal levels to be appropriate for the activity; ignore irrelevant information; and tolerate changes in schedule, tasks, and environment. Many factors can alter the child’s modulation and must be dealt with.”

“Communication strategies are important when stereotypic behaviors are used as a method of communication. We cannot eliminate a behavior if it is the child’s only form of communication. Unless a student has a new, more appropriate way to bring about a desired environmental change, he will continue to bring it about in ways that have been successful in the past”. (Pg. 419).

“Intervention for praxis deficits involves five primary concepts: active sensory-motor experiences, child directed, active participation, the just-right challenge, and the adaptive response. The goal of intervention is not to teach the child the activity or the end product of the activity, but to teach the process that occurs as the child attempts to sequence, organize and plan the activity and produce an adaptive response.” (Page 245)

About the Authors:

Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris Authors of Autism Interventions-Exploring the Spectrum of Autism, 2nd EditionCarolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS, OTR, C/NDT, (photo standing) received her master’s in occupational therapy from Boston University and her bachelor’s with a major in special education from Ohio University. She obtained teaching certificates in educable mental retardation, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders. She holds a postgraduate certificate in sensory integration and is also certified in neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) for the treatment of babies, children with cerebral palsy, and adults with hemiplegia and brain injury. Murray-Slutsky is the owner of Rehabilitation for Children, a private pediatric practice.

Betty A. Paris, PT, MEd, C/NDT, (photo sitting) attained her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Florida International University and her master’s in education from the University of Phoenix. Betty holds a postgraduate sensory integration certificate and is certified in neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) for the treatment of babies and children with cerebral palsy. Betty is the owner of a private practice in South Florida, specializing in pediatrics.

Buy books and publications coauthored by Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris:

  • Exploring the Spectrum of Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: Intervention Strategies
  • Is It Sensory or Is It Behavior? Problem Identification and Intervention

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.