Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
A Model for High-Quality Coaching

Joshua K. Harrower, Louis G. Denti, Marcia Weber-Olsen
245 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 7 x 10"
Release Date:
  • buy eBook from the App Store
  • buy eBook from Google Play


Educating Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Model for High-Quality Coaching offers a unique coaching model with a practical approach for special education teachers and related service providers who face the challenge of providing effective support to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). By empowering special education and speech-language pathologists to participate as coaches, they can go beyond simple accommodations to actively promote a less restrictive setting, dynamically assess skills, deliver effective instructional and behavioral programming, and effectively build a coaching network to engage students throughout the school day.

Provided in this text are vignettes that illustrate the reality of special education. Additionally, approaches for addressing the real-word needs of students with ASD are provided, along with evidence-based support that describes the positive results of the strategies described. This text also introduces coaching methods that will guide teachers and instructional staff to create and maintain a "solutions-focused" coaching community.

The first section of the book presents a multi-tiered model for providing coaching at varying levels of support intensity, along with the numerous important considerations involved in implementing effective coaching supports. The second section presents an outline of effective practices in utilizing coaching strategies to support teachers in planning for the instruction of meaningful skills to students with ASD utilizing a team-based, collaborative coaching model. The third section provides numerous practical, evidence-based strategies to be used by coaches and teachers in teaching meaningful skills to students with ASD. The final chapter addresses critical issues involved in building the capacity of districts to evaluate, oversee and support the effective coaching of teachers in providing evidence-based practices to students with ASD.

Educating Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder serves as a clinical guide and delivers a practical discussion of high-quality coaching as an emerging best practice for supporting special educators (teachers and paraprofessionals) as well as school-based service providers (speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists). It is a valuable primary text for special education teachers in training, a resource for professional development personnel, and a tool for researchers and graduate students in education and teaching programs.

Key features include:

  • Chapter objectives
  • Real-life vignettes
  • Reproducible forms
  • Summary questions


  • Don Kincaid, Ed.D., Professor and Director, Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, Department of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida (2016):
    "Educating Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Model for High-Quality Coaching is an exceptional addition to the literature on autism in that it provides a clear understanding of the importance of educational coaching in the support of students with ASD. This book provides one of the few resources that clearly delineates and explains the domain of coaching along with its associated skills, practices and activities. I particularly appreciated the authors’ framework for coaching support that includes peer to peer, consultative and intensive coaching. This expanded model of coaching should be beneficial for increasing the capacity for ALL teachers and schools to more effectively support students with ASD."

  • Debbie Reinhartsen, PhD, CCC-SLP, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2015):
    ". . .comprehensive, well organized and practical. I liked the way the authors covered all aspects of coaching, from the importance of and need for coaching to building capacity within the system. I really like the vignettes and believe most of them added to the reader’s ability to visualize specific situations and apply contents from the related sections. The end of chapter questions were excellent and provided the reader with a nice way to synthesize the content. I also liked that the authors provided the necessary forms to carry out the functions laid out throughout the manuscript."

  • Sherry Sancibrian, MS, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (2015):
    "The first section of the book clearly explains the authors’ concept of high quality coaching and the various levels of support that can be provided. Then the second part of the book explains how those coaching levels and strategies apply to assessment and intervention. The vignettes really bring the text to life! It’s obvious that the authors have experience working with children with autism, and with teams. The scenarios depict situations that have been experienced by anyone who has worked in special education for any length of time. I also appreciated that the book proposes coaching relationships that can be bi-directional, with equality between the parties. I find that while I can coach a teacher about facilitating social language, teachers have much to teach me about classroom management and other areas where I’m less skilled. Another strength is the clear structure of the book, with chapter objectives to guide the reader."

  • Jessica Franco, PhD, University of Texas at Austin (2015):
    "A great book that has practical ideas and instructions for coaching. I thought the vignettes were especially helpful.This book was well-organized and addresses an important topic for our field."

  • Keely Harper-Hill, JCPSLP (November 2016):
    "The book is easy to read and the structure would enable the reader to “dip” into it rather than read it in its entirety. ... the book covers a wide array of issues relevant to coaching and could serve as a useful introductory text for student or early career SLPs working in education sectors."


Section I. High-Quality Coaching

Chapter 1. Introduction to Educational Coaching

Chapter 2. Autism Spectrum Disorder: What Effective Coaches and Teachers Need to Know

Chapter 3. Educational Coaching: A Review of Models and Methods

Chapter 4. Key Attributes of Effective Coaching

Chapter 5. High-Quality Coaching: A Framework

Section II. Using High-Quality Coaching in Planning Instruction for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Chapter 6. Using High-Quality Coaching to Support Collaborative Teaming

Chapter 7. Using High-Quality Coaching to Support the Assessment of Student Need and Instructional Planning

Chapter 8. Using High-Quality Coaching to Support the Selection of Skills for Instruction and Monitoring Student Progress

Section III. Using High-Quality Coaching to Deliver Effective Programming for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Chapter 9. Using High-Quality Coaching to Support the Delivery of Effective Instruction

Chapter 10. Coaching the Instruction of Social Communication Skills

Chapter 11. Using High-Quality Coaching to Support Teachers in Addressing Behavioral Issues for Students With ASD

Chapter 12. Transition Planning and Coaching: Using a Life Course Outcome Mapping Approach

Chapter 13. Embedding High-Quality Coaching at the District Level: Establishing a Network of Coaches


About The Authors

Joshua K. Harrower

Joshua K. Harrower, PhD, BCBA-D, is the Lawton Love Distinguished Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education at California State University, Monterey Bay. He coordinates the special education credential programs and the certificate program in behavior analysis.

Louis G. Denti

Louis G. Denti, PhD, is a professor in special education at California State University, Monterey Bay, where he coordinates the master of arts in education program and teaches graduate level courses. Dr. Denti serves as an educational consultant to school districts on inclusion, collaboration/co-teaching, effective instruction, and classroom management.

Marcia Weber-Olsen

Marcia Weber-Olsen, PhD, CCC-SPL, is a consultant/coach for school teams and families of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and social communication disorders. She received her doctoral training from the University of Kansas and began a teaching and clinical research career with university faculty positions in communicative disorders and sciences in Michigan, Texas, and California.