The Autistic Experience of Wanting a Friend

In my experience of working with countless autistics over time I know that most of them express the longing for having a friend. They simply don’t know how to make that work. More specifically, they don’t know how to make conversation work for them to be able to participate in the social fabric of life.

Our society uses the medium of conversation for social participation. Through social participation most individuals discover an array of people, some of whom they wish to have as friends. For autistic individuals this often does not happen without lots of support.

Over time many social skills have been directly taught to individuals with autism. We then moved to teaching social understanding rather than individual social skills. We have developed lots of strategies such as cartooning, teaching hidden curriculum, social mapping and social narratives. While these strategies are helpful ways to deliver social information that autistics don’t automatically pick up, still autistics most often go away not having the skills and abilities to use conversation to make friends.

Assigned Friends Outcome

I was taught to say, “Thank you for being my friend.”
So I say it.
I was told to smile like I mean it.

So I smile.

I know I am supposed to feel grateful
That you are my friend
That you took the class
On how to be a peer mentor to me –

The good friends way –
A pal for six weeks
You have been defined

You are a good person
For giving up your spot
At the popular kids’ lunch table

To earn the community service hours
You need for graduation
By eating lunch with me,
By being my assigned friend.

I ask, “Do you know Jerry Lewis?”
Because I think you would like him

I think you are a modern day Jerry Lewis –
A Good Samaritan who calls himself friend.

You don’t have a telethon on TV,
But you have the Jerry Lewis Telethon
In you heart
Imparted by Mrs. Jones in her Good Friends Program.

You are a good person.
You are a trained Good Samaritan now called “friend.”

Definition of Good Samaritan
“A person who gratuitously gives help or sympathy to those in distress.”
Says dictionary.com

Next month you will get your community service credit.
Your lifelong attitude about people like me
Will have been shaped

Because the peer mentoring training
Has passed on to you
Society’s adoption of Jerry Lewis’ ideas about me –
A person in need of sympathy
And a person in distress
Only because I am me – an autistic

We have become fake friends
For six weeks –
A Mrs.-Jones-Good-Friends-Program-success!

Your benevolence
 My neediness
Having been defined

With a line drawn between us
Our two groups separated
Defined, distinct, different from each other –
Society’s wisdom at categorization…

When it is over
We say our goodbyes

And like I was taught I say, “Thank you for being my friend.”

And I remember I am meant
To smile like I mean it.
So I smile.

Goodbye peer mentor –
My assigned pal
From Mrs. Jones Good Friends Program.

You go on to your next project
I wait for my next assigned friend to eat lunch with
Both of us having been marked by the experience

Unbeknownst to Mrs. Jones and to us –
The indelible ink of societal attitudes
Wrote messages on both our hearts
Confirming my place in your world…

That it is indeed YOUR world
And thus, your right
To continually put me in my place

For which I am meant to say,
“Thank you for being my friend.”
And to smile like I mean it.

And this status quo could march on and on EXCEPT

Yesterday I stopped smiling
And for all the rest of my todays

I will no longer say
“Thank you for being my friend.”
Even though I know I am meant to.

Today autistics and those who work with them have an opportunity to use the strategies out- lined in Talk with Me: A Step-by-Step Framework for Teaching Conversational Balance and Fluency (Mataya, Aspy, & Schaffer, 2017). Implementation of this program goes way beyond teaching and practicing elements of conversation. Autistics have been able to develop critical mass (Myles, Aspy, Mataya, & Schaffer, 2018) in conversational fluency. Several individuals I know have gone on to be able to use the medium of conversation to allow them to develop friendships based on shared interests……(to continue reading please see  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. )

Photo shows two large white eggs on the ground in a wooded area.

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic AdultShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

 

Autistic Cognitive Processing Differences

Over the past 20 years we have begun to realize that people with diagnosed with ASD have a different cognitive processing style. Professionals have looked at autistic people and by observing their behaviors have come up with at least three theories that together impact reading comprehension in students with autism. Here are those theories along with aspects of their basic definitions:

Central Coherence:

  • the brain’s ability to process multiple chunks of information in a global way
  • and viewing them in context
  • in order to determine a higher level of meaning

Executive Function:

  • the set of skills or abilities involved in organizing cognitive processes

Theory of Mind

  • ·  the ability to recognize the thoughts, beliefs and intentions of others
  • ·  to understand these are different from our own
  • ·  and to use this understanding to predict behavior (Carnahan & Williamson, 2010)

We can now look at these three theories and know that it isn’t all together true that autistic people are lacking in these areas, but instead their brains function differently than the brains of neuromajority individuals. It has been more helpful to me in my practice to figure out how the neurology of the individual I am working with actually handles information and how his automatic style of autistic thinking works. It hasn’t ever turned out to be helpful when I have tried to get individuals with autism to think and handle information in a neuromajority manner.

For many years I have ascertained that it isn’t that I, as an autistic, do not have theory of mind, but that instead, I do not have YOUR neuromajority Theory of Mind. When I am with other autistics I discover we share our own Theory of Mind. Our brains work similarly to one another and differently from yours. Simply put – we have a different operating system. Just like you cannot adopt my Theory of Mind, I cannot adopt yours.

Additionally, when it comes to theory of mind aspects of interoception now inform us that individuals whose sensory system is not giving them typical and reliable feedback do not have the physiological basis – feeling and understanding their own bodily sensations that are connected with their emotions – that is the prerequisite to being able to understand how the thoughts, beliefs, intentions and feelings of others might be different from their own (Mahler, 2018, Personal Communication). Understanding this difference allows us to go on to predict behavior of the characters in a novel and of people in the world around us.

Neuromajority Theory of Mind is based on a shared experience of the functional interoception body mind connection. When experiencing a sensory system that is not integrated, autistics struggle to access participation in this shared experience. Today we can use The Interoception Curriculum: A Step by Step Framework for Developing Mindful Self-Regulation (Mahler, 2019) to support a more functional body mind connection.

Likewise, much of executive function happens differently for autistic people. Previously in this book you have read a few examples of the storage systems of autistic individuals. These storage systems are examples of the rudiments of executive function for that person. It is the way their brain is organizing the information. Left to itself, it is has been my experience that initial styles of organizations, being literal and concrete and starting at a young age, are often outgrown as youngsters age. They simply acquire too much information for their early years storage system to serve them well. When we understand their system we can impact the size, functioning, speed of retrieval, etc. to make it more efficient. In addition we can use the typical supports all human beings use to stay on top of the many things we need to keep organized both in our internal thoughts and in our external lives as we go about our days.

Central coherence allows us to figure out why it is that characters in a novel or people in real life are acting the way they are acting. It requires the ability to process many individual chunks of information in the story or in the context of life, hold all those individual things in place and then match them to the context or backdrop of what else is going on in the story (or life) – all of this to then surmise a higher meaning.

As for myself I have had lots of trouble doing this over my life, but have learned along the way just how my brain does it. Additionally, I have learned how to best support my autistic style of thinking and manner of handling information to be able to comprehend what I read and much of the social aspects that living entails.

Point to Ponder:

I simply think differently than neuromajority people think. It is not an inferior way of thinking. It is just different. Even so, because autistics are measured according our deviation from the typical standard of normal our different ways are often assumed to be inferior or less than.

This is another example of why it is not helpful to think of autistic people in terms of their diagnosis. Because a diagnosis is based on deviation from accepted normal, an autism diagnosis shows a picture of what autistics ARE NOT and highlights what we CANNOT DO as compared to the majority normal. A diagnosis says nothing at all about the human beings we ARE or what we CAN DO.Our abilities and skills often remain unnoticed and untapped.

The majority of the people in the world do not possess our autistic skills and abilities. Because of this they do not notice them and really do not have a good way to understand them. This makes it nearly impossible for neuromajority folks to support autistic skill development in us. For example, if my way of thinking in the movement and sound of color had been understood by those around me and then supported over my growing up years I likely would have been able to produce paintings well before my 50’s (Endow, 2013).

Taken from  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. 

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic AdultShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum DisordersShawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go.Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Concrete Style of Thinking

When it comes to autistic individuals, those whose brain gloms onto concrete thinking are often our rule followers. They know exactly how things are meant to go and they follow their perceived routine, doing things exactly in the same way every time.

One time I was called in to a high school because a student on the spectrum had picked up a tabletop copy machine and threw it on the floor, causing considerable damage. This situation was cartooned and the problem discovered before we even got to the event of throwing the copy machine to the floor.

This student was able to draw cartoon stick figures and then told me what to write in the word bubbles and thought bubbles as we went. First, he was sitting at his desk doing a math worksheet. Next, he was sitting at his desk reading his paperback chapter book. Then the bell rang signaling the class was over. He then threw his book on the floor.

This student asked if I could write swear words in the word bubble because he actually had said a swear word, but the rule was no swearing in school. I knew he would get stuck on this if I didn’t find a way through for him because his cartooning needed to be accurate and he also needed to follow the rules. Therefore, I showed him how to write a swear word using asterisks in place of some of the letters.

When he got done with that frame I commented he must have been really ticked off about something to use a swear word, especially since he was such a great rule follower and the school had a no swearing rule. He told me, “Not mad, not sad.”

I accepted that and then added to the frame showing the bell had rung. (An empty frame that had the letters bzzz to indicate the bell sound.) I added a stick figure and a thought bubble and prompted, “Tell me the words to write in your thought bubble.” Using this visually concrete way to elicit the timeline of events along with his thoughts worked well.

The words in the thought bubble turned out to be the internalized rules he had made for himself on how to read a book. The steps were actually numbered! He had made this list when he was a very young boy and his parents read him storybooks. The rule list went through such things as turn open the cover and the front page one, turn each page and read each word until there are no more words or pictures, turn any remaining pages, turn the inside back cover to close the book.

I could see the problem! He was using a preschool set of rules for reading a picture book and now he was in high school reading chapter books. The rules no longer worked! Generally, a chapter book is not read in one sitting. How frustrating to take out his book for pleasure reading each time his seat work was finished and to start reading on the same page one over and over! He said, “I follow the rules as I know I should. Over and over, again and again, but never do I get to the end of my book. It must be because I’m stupid” (Endow, 2006).

We needed a solution that would work for his neurology. When I suggested that since his old rules were meant for childhood picture books maybe he could update the rules to cover chapter books he disagreed. He wasn’t changing the rules. They were the rules!

The next time I saw him I brought several bookmarks with stickers of his then favorite Toy Story movie. He was invited to make a set of rules for how bookmarks worked that could fit into his rules for reading a book. It worked!

Once again, understanding his neurological style of thinking dictated by the way autism played out in his brain allowed for a resolution to the behavior of throwing his book each day at the end of math class which culminated in a frustration big enough that on his way out the door one day he picked up and threw a copy machine.

Even though throwing things was the behavior problem I was called in to solve, it wasn’t the real problem. Finding the glitch – that place where his autistic style of thinking did not interface well with the world around him – is what was needed. Then, once the real problem is discovered we needed to come up with a real solution – one that worked for him – i.e., bookmarks!

Simply giving him a rule such as no throwing things may have served to cut down on the throwing, but the frustration would have grown and he would have engaged in an alternative-to-throwing behavior. We often give our students rules about what they can and cannot do around their behaviors. It seems to make sense, especially when they are rule followers, but it rarely pans out as a viable long-term solution.

Additionally, we have the science that allows us to extinguish a behavior. In the long run it usually doesn’t serve anyone well to simply extinguish a behavior because that behavior is a solution for something – in this case to release the pressure that came from feeling compelled to follow a set of rules that no longer served him well. When one behavior is extinguished it is soon replaced by a new behavior that is always a more intense behavior. It doesn’t work to just say no to behaviors. We need to find the glitch – that place where autistic neurology doesn’t interface smoothly with the context of life – and outsmart that place based on that particular individual’s neurology.

Taken from  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. 

BOOKS   BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Literal Style of Thinking

Autistics are often quite literal and concrete when it comes to understanding words. One of my dear friends on the spectrum was going for a walk with her 9-year-old autistic granddaughter who kicked off her sneaker, carried it for a time and then put it back on. When she stuffed her foot back into her shoe she was left hobbling along and said her shoe hurt. As she was pulling on her shoe trying to adjust it her grandmother said, “Pull up the tongue.” The little girl stopped struggling with her shoe, stuck her tongue out of her mouth and pulled it upwards with her fingers while trying to ask, “Like this?” 

I once was called into a school where a mild-mannered little boy on the spectrum had all of a sudden started stealing things from the teacher’s desk. When they asked him why he was stealing he only said, “I don’t know.” This stealing tended to happen whenever the boy left the room. He had pullouts for Speech, OT, reading group and adaptive PE. In cartooning with this student to get the sequence of events in the right order it was discovered that his teacher often said, “Take care,” when he left the room. In all sincerity he confided, “I do try to take it, Miss Judy. Every time I do.”

Turns out his literal thinking caused him to take whichever object he thought might be “care” when his teacher said, “Take care.” The behavior was due to his neurology having a specific literal and concrete manner of processing words others say to him. So, all in one day he went from being thought of as a budding thief to becoming an endearing little boy trying to please his teacher and follow what he perceived to be her instruction (Endow, 2019)!

Take What?

“Take care,” my teacher

says to me

each time

I leave

her room.

I’d do

what she wants

if only I knew

WHICH

of all of

the things

on her desk

the name

of “Care”

goes to.

Each day I watch

her eyes to see

if I can tell

just where

they might come to look,

HOPING that

she’ll kook at “Care”

so I might

get a clue

of just

which item

she wants

me to take

every day

when

I leave

her room (Endow, 2006).

BOOKS  BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

 

Visual Style of Thinking

Besides having sensory differences, autistic people generally are known for their particular style of thinking. We tend to have a quite literal and concrete way of thinking. Most autistics think in pictures. Temple Grandin, undoubtedly the most famous autistic the world over, actually wrote a book entitled Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism (Grandin, 1995, 2006). 

I think differently than typical people think. Many people with autism have a visual way of thinking. It is not an inferior way of thinking. It is just different. Even so, because autistics are measured according our deviation from the typical standard of normal our different ways are often assumed to be inferior or less than.

The world is set up according to what is comfortable and efficient for neuromajority people. This means the interface to society, while comfortable and efficient for most people, is actually an uncomfortable and inefficient interface for autistic people. Undoubtedly this contributes to our awkward appearance as we go about our daily lives every day interfacing with the mismatch-to-our-neurology societal and social contexts all around us. 

Often times it feels as if the world is not our home. Many autistics report a pervasive sense of not belonging, being an alien and feeling that no matter what they do they never fit in anywhere they go. I believe this has to do with needing to live out our lives in this everyday context that is not a comfortable fit with our neurology. 

When the context changes and adult autistics are among their autistic friends that pervasive feeling of not belonging is largely absent. Many of us have had discussions about this over the years. If home is where you belong then we know that even though we must go out and live in a world mismatched to us, we can always come home to our autistic community. For many of us this means meeting up at autism conferences.Thinking differently than the majority of the population needs to be better understood. For too long the problems that result from autistics simply being who they are have been addressed through a neuromajority lens. This isn’t a criticism, but instead, a statement of fact. 

We all assume shared understanding. We are rewarded for using this assumption when solving problems for others because most of the time when we look through the lens of our own neurology and figure out if-I-were-doing-that-it-would-mean-this we are rewarded in that we come away with a correct guess. We can then go on to solve the problem by looking through this lens. Every once and awhile we are not successful when we use this strategy. These are the times when the behavior we are trying to figure out is generated by autistic neurology.

Here is an example: It is not uncommon for early childhood students to cry at drop off when mom or dad leaves. You have taught early childhood for many years and know that getting the child interested in something else will help the tears dissipate. Except this year you are unable to get Carter, a student with autism, distracted. In fact, rather than dissipating, Carter’s tears   become worse over the couple of hours he is with you. His crying gets louder  and louder, taking on an angry feel and after about an hour his cries       become pitifully mournful. You have tried everything you can think of to be helpful to Carter. You have offered a variety of toys, movement activities, alone time, alternative seating, using a first/then schedule, alternative  lighting, the quiet corner, taking him for a walk and offering favored snacks and drinks. Nothing helped. Every day was the same scenario with Carter. 

I know this teacher as I consulted at her school district. She was in fact  trying to implement all the sorts of supports that autistic students find  helpful. Why was nothing working for Carter? It took some time, but we did figure it out. Carter’s difficulty had to do with his visual thinking style.   When his mom left, because he could not see her it felt as if she had died. This was because Carter had not yet learned to hold the picture of mom in his head. 

How did I come to figure this out?

First I determined that Carter’s sensory system was regulated during the time before arriving at school by having a conversation with his mother. I also learned from his mom that Carter had the same crying episodes whenever she left him with her sister or mother. Nobody could console him. If mom was away for more than a few hours he would fall asleep exhausted only to wake up to start the whole crying episode over from the beginning. 

Next, I looked for clues on how Carter was taking in, processing, storing and retrieving information. He was not able to contribute any information himself so my guess was based on his crying – increasing anger over time (during which time he would throw things, kick, hit, scream) that gave way to mournful cries (during which time he would isolate himself, turning his back to any activity and not interact with any adult who approached him). It looked like a grief process. I suspected that he was not able to hold the picture of mom in his head. Thus, it felt to him as if she had died when mom was simply out of sight.

To test out my hypothesis mom was asked to bring along a picture of herself to give to Carter when she dropped him off. Carter was free to carry  around this picture whenever he wished, which he did most of the time for a few   weeks.

Having access to the picture of mom made all the difference for Carter. He was able to participate in the early childhood programming. He only had a few crying episodes during the first couple of weeks that happened when he set down the picture of mom in order to play and then noticed he didn’t have it. Carter’s teacher helped him make “a home for mom” by standing the picture in the chalk tray of the blackboard and drawing a little box around it. Carter could look up and see mom in the box whenever he wished. He was happy with this remedy.

This is but one illustration that shows the importance of understanding the autistic thinking style. Just like no two neuromajority people think exactly alike, but share lots of similarities so is it that no two autistics think exactly alike, but share lots of similarities. For all my life the onus has been on me, the autistic, to figure out the majority thinking style and make accommodations for it. It has been difficult at times, but I have been able able to do so. Because of my own experience in being able to learn how a foreign-to-me thinking style works I am sure that neuromajority folks can do it too. Yes, you can learn how autistic thinking style works! You do not even need to figure it out all by yourself, but can instead read this book and others like it.

I find when I start problem solving with the autistic neurology rather than with the behavior I am being called in to solve that i am able to solve the problem more quickly and efficiently while respecting and actually supporting the uniqueness of the student’s own neurology.

I get called upon for consultation because students are having “problem behavior.” After listening to the problem and all the things that have been tried to solve the problem I then observe and sometimes meet with the student. 

Note: This blog is a selection(pg 31) from the following book:
Order book here

BOOKS  BY JUDY ENDOW

Endow, J. (2019).  Autistically Thriving: Reading Comprehension, Conversational Engagement, and Living a Self-Determined Life Based on Autistic Neurology. Lancaster, PA: Judy Endow.

Endow, J. (2012). Learning the Hidden Curriculum: The Odyssey of One Autistic Adult. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2006).  Making Lemonade: Hints for Autism’s Helpers. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2013).  Painted Words: Aspects of Autism Translated. Cambridge, WI: CBR Press.

Endow, J. (2009).  Paper Words: Discovering and Living With My Autism. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2009).  Outsmarting Explosive Behavior: A Visual System of Support and Intervention for Individuals With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Endow, J. (2010).  Practical Solutions for Stabilizing Students With Classic Autism to Be Ready to Learn: Getting to Go. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.

Myles, B. S., Endow, J., & Mayfield, M. (2013).  The Hidden Curriculum of Getting and Keeping a Job: Navigating the Social Landscape of Employment. Shawnee Mission, KS: AAPC Publishing.