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The ORP Library

Resources for Parents, Educators, Pediatricians, and Mental Health Professionals.

The Books

  • Meltdown: Asperger’s Disorder, Challenging Behavior, and a Family’s Journey Toward Hope

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, and more, Meltdown is the fictional story of Benjamin, a boy diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder and additional challenging behavior. From the time Benjamin is a toddler, his parents know he is different: he doesn’t play with his sister, refuses to make eye contact, and doesn’t seem to understand how to communicate with others. And his tantrums are not like normal tantrums; they’re meltdowns that will eventually make regular schooling—and day-to-day life—impossible. From first clues to diagnosis, navigating the special education system to securing expert help, Benjamin’s parents must become his greatest advocates. Together, they learn that the journey toward hope isn’t simple—but with the right tools and teammates, it’s possible.

    SPECIAL NOTE: Asperger’s disorder is a complex syndrome that affects children in different ways. The child with Asperger’s disorder depicted in the following story struggles with significant emotional and behavioral difficulties that require a therapeutic environment. The great majority of children with Asperger’s disorder do not resemble the child shown in this story. But those who do face challenges that have made it difficult to benefit from education in the public school system. At Genesee Lake School, we strive to build relationships with the children in our care so that they learn new skills that will lead to a successful return to their home, school, and community. It is our hope that the following story will add to your own understanding of the often lonely journey experienced by families with children with these unique challenges and gifts.

    To see the companion comic version, Melting Down: A Comic for Kids with Asperger’s Disorder and Challenging Behavior, click here.

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  • Melting Down - A Comic for Kids with Asperger’s Disorder and Challenging Behavior (The ORP Library)

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, and more, Melting Down is the fictional story of Benjamin, a boy diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder and additional challenging behavior. From the time Benjamin is a toddler, he knows he is different: he doesn’t understand social and emotional cues, does not know how to play with his sister or other children, and dislikes making eye contact. And his tantrums are not like normal tantrums; they’re meltdowns that will eventually make regular schooling—and day-to-day life—impossible. Told from Benjamin’s perspective, Melting Down gives a unique glimpse into the journey taken by children with Asperger’s disorder and additional challenging behavior, demonstrating that the path toward hope isn’t simple—but with the right tools and teammates, it’s possible.

    To see the companion prose version, Meltdown: Asperger’s Disorder, Challenging Behavior, and a Family’s Journey Toward Hope, click here.

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  • Mr Incredible: A Story About Autism, Overcoming Challenging Behavior, and a Family’s Fight for Special Education Rights

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and more, Mr. Incredible is the fictional story of Adam, a boy diagnosed with autistic disorder. On Adam’s first birthday, his mother recognizes that something is different about him: he recoils from the touch of his family, preferring to accept physical contact only in the cool water of the family’s pool. As Adam gets older, he avoids eye contact, is largely nonverbal, and has very specific ways of getting through the day; when those habits are disrupted, intense meltdowns and self-harmful behavior follow. From seeking a diagnosis to advocating for special education services, from keeping Adam safe to discovering his strengths, his family becomes his biggest champion. The journey to realizing Adam’s potential isn’t easy, but with hope, love, and the right tools and teammates—they find that Adam truly is Mr. Incredible. This book is part of the ORP Library series of books.

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  • Incredible Adam and a Day with Autism

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, and speech and occupational therapists, Incredible Adam is the illustrated fictional story of Adam, a boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The story follows a social narrative format to depict a typical day in Adam’s life within his therapeutic residential school. From the time Adam wakes to the hour he sleeps again, his day presents him with successes to experience and challenges to overcome. With the support of his caregivers and family, he is able to use tools he’s learned to help with attention, engagement, and regulation of his behavior. Offering unique insight and understanding into the journey taken by lower skilled children with autism spectrum disorder, Incredible Adam offers parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists a special tool to help the children in their lives.

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  • Insatiable: A Prader-Willi Story

    Estimated to occur once in every 15,000 births, Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that includes features of cognitive disabilities, problem behaviors, and, most pervasively, chronic hunger that leads to dangerous overeating and its life-threatening consequences. Insatiable: A Prader-Willi Story draws on dozens of intensive interviews to offer insight into the world of Violet, a young girl with Prader-Willi Syndrome. For Violet, Prader-Willi Syndrome impacts everything from family and social relationships to education to her own self-image. But with the persistence of her parents and the help of experts, she will eventually discover not just how to live with Prader-Willi Syndrome—but how to live as Violet.

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  • Ultra-Violet: One Girls’ Prader-Willi Story

    Estimated to occur once in every 15,000 births, Prader-Willi Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that includes features of cognitive disabilities, problem behaviors, and, most pervasively, chronic hunger that leads to dangerous overeating and its life-threatening consequences. Ultra-Violet: One Girl’s Prader-Willi Story draws on dozens of intensive interviews to offer insight into the world of a young girl with Prader-Willi Syndrome. For Violet, Prader-Willi Syndrome impacts everything from family and social relationships to education to her own self-image. But with the persistence of her parents and the help of experts, she will eventually discover not just how to live with Prader-Willi Syndrome—but how to live as Violet.

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  • An Unlikely Trust: Alina’s Story of Adoption, Complex Trauma, Healing, and Hope

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, therapists, and more, An Unlikely Trust is the fictional story of Alina, a young girl adopted from Russia. After a lengthy adoption process, Alina’s parents are confounded by their daughter’s behavior upon arriving in America. They were aware that she did not speak English and expected some developmental delay, but they did not foresee that the tiny four-year-old would hoard her food, deeply mistrust affection from others, and fail to initiate or respond to most social situations. Most concerning, though, are Alina’s rages. When she is frightened, overwhelmed, or confused, Alina lashes out with the strength and stamina of a person many times her size, leading to injury, property destruction, and eventually police intervention and hospitalization. Alina’s parents know that their daughter needs help—more than they can provide—and work endlessly on her behalf. From seeking a diagnosis to advocating for special education services, from keeping Alina safe to discovering her strengths, her parents become her biggest champions. They know there is hope for Alina—and their family—and will not stop their quest until that hope is realized. This book is part of the ORP Library series of disabilities books.

    To see the companion comic version, Alina’s Story – Learning How to Trust, Heal, and Hope , click here.

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  • Alina’s Story - Learning How to Trust, Heal, and Hope (The ORP Library)

    Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, therapists, and more, Alina’s Story shows the journey of Alina, a little girl adopted from Russia. After living in an orphanage during her early life, Alina is confused and scared by the outside world. There are so many people, so much noise . . . Her new family loves her, but Alina finds it hard to trust them. What if they hurt her? Or go away and leave her alone? It is hard for Alina to talk about her feelings, so when she is upset or worried, she throws big tantrums that scare her family. Luckily, her mama and papa won’t give up on helping Alina. They take her to nice doctors and finally a special school so that Alina can learn new skills. Slowly, Alina begins to trust other people and gets better at expressing her feelings and solving problems. For the first time in her life, she realizes she is truly safe and loved . . . and she loves her new family in return. This book is part of the ORP Library series of disabilities books.

    To see the companion prose version, An Unlikely Trust: Alina’s Story of Adoption, Complex Trauma, Healing, and Hope, click here.

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  • Chasing Hope: Your Compass for a New Normal - Navigating the World of the Special Needs Child

    Christine Walker’s son was just four years old when he was diagnosed with ADHD, bipolar disorder, and autism. In 2004, knowledge of and resources for childhood mental illness were scarce and Christine was thrust into a lonely maze of figuring out which treatments, therapies, and medications could help her child. In the decade since his diagnosis, Christine often wished for a manual, a guide that would pass on “real deal” mom-to-mom information and tips she needed to sometimes just get through the day and ultimately to help her family navigate this maze with knowledge, grace, humor, and love. For those at the beginning of the journey, this is that manual.

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  • Heroes in the Classroom: An Activity Book About Bullying

    Bullying. It starts young—often before children can identify or express what has happened. By understanding that, we can help children learn skills to better navigate situations—whether they are the ones bullying, the ones being bullied or the bystanders. Heroes in the Classroom: A Coloring Book About Bullying, based on the ORP book, Classroom Heroes, starts this process by providing an easy way for parents, teachers and administrators, to begin the conversation with elementary aged children about bullying.

    Each page of Heroes in the Classroom: A Coloring Book About Bullying depicts a possible bullying scenario, prompting children to assess the situation and describe what is happening, while challenging them to develop empathy for those involved.

    Carefully crafted to generate conversations in a thought provoking yet, non-judgmental way, Heroes in the Classroom: A Coloring Book About Bullying is an important tool to start addressing the bullying epidemic that 1 in 7 elementary school children face today.

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  • Classroom Heroes: One Child’s Struggle with Bullying and a Teacher’s Mission to Change School Culture

    Nearly one third of all school children are bullied each year. That’s more than thirteen million kids who face physical, verbal, cyber, and social bullying on a regular basis. For years, educators and parents have searched for ways to end bullying, but as that behavior becomes more sophisticated, it’s harder to recognize and to stop. In Classroom Heroes, Jason is a quiet, socially awkward seventh grade boy who has long suffered bullying in silence. Zaria is a teacher who understands that in order to effectively stop bullying, we have to change the mindset. We have to enlist not just the educators and parents, but also the children to create a community that does not tolerate bullying. Classroom Heroes is a heartbreaking but ultimately heartening story of how one class changes its environment to end bullying, one student at a time.

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  • How to Be a Hero: A Comic Book About Bullying

    How do you stop a bully? With nearly one third of all school children facing some type of bullying on a regular basis, the answers don’t come easy. And, as aggressive behavior becomes more sophisticated, it becomes harder to recognize. Bullying doesn’t just include physical or verbal abuse. It includes cyber and social bullying as well. The comic, How to Be a Hero, shows how to spot the subtle signs of bullying and how to understand the direct and indirect effects on everyone involved. It also offers specific actions a person can take to address bullying. Even more importantly, How to be a Hero calls on everyone in a bullying situation to step in and change the dynamic: to be a hero. Only when everyone is accountable for being involved can we create an environment where bullying is no longer tolerated.

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  • Those Who Bully And Those Who Are Bullied: A Workshop Guide to Creating Heroes in the Classroom

    Bullying has reached epidemic proportions in this country, with 83% of girls and 79% of boys experiencing bullying. Classrooms, which are supposed to be a place of learning, are no safe haven, with 1 out of 5 students reporting that they have been bullied at school. Educators, administrators, and parents have tried a variety of techniques to stop bullying but those methods rarely work long-term. Why? Because bullying is much larger than the two-person dynamic typically envisioned.

    This innovative workbook, Those Who Bully and Those who Are Bullied, takes a multi-pronged approach, helping each member of the school community understand the role he or she plays in encouraging, ignoring, or addressing a bullying situation and outlining the skills needed to make a difference. With a variety of specific group and individual activities, this workbook creates opportunities for discussion, giving language to define and identify the underlying emotions felt by everyone involved, tapping into compassion and understanding on all levels, and provides social skills awareness and self-esteem to empower the entire school community to be the “upstanders” needed to end classroom bullying.

    To download the free Facilitator’s Guide, click here.

    Based on the book Classroom Heroes by Jeff Krukar, Ph.D., Pamela DeLoatch, and James G. Balestrieri.

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  • The Business of Human Services

    Does your human services organization need help navigating the business world? Does your staff development program lack the focus on business skills you need to drive your organization forward? Are you having trouble finding a business book specifically written for human services professionals?

    If you answered these questions “yes,” this book is for you.

    Since the 1970s, private human services organizations have been assuming the critical responsibility to care for people with disabilities, a duty formerly carried out by the government. Yet the philosophy of supporting individuals to live independently in the community is now colliding with the reality of limited funding. Regulators are demanding that agencies achieve quality outcomes at lower cost.

    Human services organizations can no longer ignore the need for their key managers to make program decisions using sound business concepts. The human services field attracts many people who “enjoy working with people, not numbers.” But good mission is not possible without good business. Without a strong financial foundation, your company will be unable to deliver the services that will fulfill its mission.

    If you are—or aspire to be—in a position of authority in our special industry, this book will be a vital tool. We hope it will enable you to understand: • The world we live in • Public policy • Agency mission • Organizational structure • Corporate culture and leadership • Birth, life, and death of a program • Accounting and finance concepts • Revenue strategies • Support functions • Business valuations • PLUS twenty critical takeaways for industry professionals!

    To see the case study book that serves as a companion to this text, click here.

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  • The Business of Human Services: A Guide to Running a Successful Human Resources Company: Case Study Workbook

    This case study book serves as a companion to the text The Business of Human Services: A Guide to Running a Successful Human Services Company. A more complete understanding of the human services industry requires not only studying the text chapters, but also applying those principles to situations that have occurred in real life.

    Since the 1970s, private human services organizations have been assuming the critical responsibility to care for people with disabilities, a duty formerly carried out by the government, religious organizations, or others. Yet the philosophy of supporting individuals to live independently in the community is now colliding with the reality of limited funding. Regulators are demanding that agencies achieve quality outcomes at lower cost. Human services organizations can no longer ignore the need for their key managers to make program decisions using sound business concepts. The human services field attracts many people who “enjoy working with people, not numbers.”

    But good mission is not possible without good business. Without a strong business foundation, your company will be unable to deliver the services that will fulfill its mission. If you are—or aspire to be—in a position of authority in our special industry, this book and workbook will be vital tools.

    It is our hope that you can use the text and case study book together to help you achieve your mission. Whether the answers are in black and white or reside in the cloudier world of grey, your studies will place you and your agency on the right path so you can control your own destiny.

    Our industry is special, and like any specialized industry, it demands specialized ways to make effective decisions. Let us help you fill your toolbox with the tools necessary for success.

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