Rules and Tools for Parenting Children With Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders: 
Changing Behavior One Step at a Time

by Judith Coucouvanis, MA, NP, PMHCNS-BC

Rules and Tools for Parenting Children With Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders: Changing Behavior One Step at a Time, gives parents the much-needed information that will empower them to be their child’s best advocates and will ultimately lead to their child reaching his or her limitless potential. It guides parents’ journey toward understanding their child and solving problems related to their behavior. With the 119 rules and tools presented, parents and caregivers are sure to learn everything they need to know when it comes to their child’s behavior. Using checklists, forms, and other practical tools, parents are able to track their child’s progress.

Rules and Tools for Parenting Children With Autism Spectrum and Related Disorders is not just a collection of rules and tools but a comprehensive and systematic way to effectively parent a child with autism. After reading this book, parents can expect successful behavior changes in their child. 

About the Author:

Judith Coucouvanis, MA, PMHCNS-BC, is a psychiatric nurse practitioner at the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has been a clinician for over 35 years, specializing in the treatment of children with developmental disabilities, severe behavior challenges, and autism spectrum disorders and co-occurring conditions. She is a national speaker on behavior management, social skills training, psychopharmacology, educational strategies, and toilet training. 


“Rules & Tools for Parents is most certainly the best behavior resource for parents of children with ASD available!  Through a simple and structured approach to behavior planning, this book guides parents to understand why behaviors occur, to identify patterns of behaviors, and to use appropriate, evidence-based strategies.  Whether you are a family member, an educator, or a health professional working with families, you willll want to keep this resource close at hand! 

–  Laura L. Maddox, PhD, BCBA, program director, Online Learning, Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“Judy Coucouvanis is a masterful clinician who is beloved by patients and families at the University of Michigan. She has the wisdom of many years and a unique way of seeing the world through the eyes of a child with autism. Judy’s experience and tremendous clinical gifts assist parents in developing behavioral plans that are uniquely suited to their child. She has often commented that “every autistic child is different.” This book will supply parents with the knowledge that they need to shape their own child’s behavior and support them throughout their lifetimes.”

–             Sheila M. Marcus, MD, clinical professor, section director, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Michigan
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“Rules and Tools is an indispensable resource for families with children of all ages on the autism spectrum. It provides accessible, yet detailed strategies for understanding why people on the spectrum may behave as they do, as well as how to help them overcome the struggles they face living in a neurotypical society. It is a critical resource to help families address pressing concerns, prepare for the future, and see the bigger picture. This is not just a collection of rules and tools but a comprehensive and systematic way to effectively and lovingly parent children with autism.”

–  Daniella Simon, LLMSW, MPH, BCBA, program consultant, Novel Responses, Inc.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“Rules and Tools maps out critical evidence-based practices that lead to positive behavior change for both children and young adults with autism. With easy-to-understand charts and other visual tools, the book breaks down difficult behaviors, while offering specific strategies to target positive skill development in a functional way. Practical and user-friendly for both parents and educators, the book also outlines an entire framework for behavior change. A ‘big picture’ view of long-term goals for all children is discussed, honing in on the need for early development of the foundational skills so critical to the universal goals of self-management and independence. This must-read resource has the potential for immediate impact on children with ASD and the parents and professional who support them.”

–  Michelle Charron-Witt, MA, autism consultant
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

“The strongest part of the book and the thing I liked best was all the tools. I think they will be very helpful for many people in lots of different circumstances and I will likely use them myself in my work. Finally, the layout of the book is superb, easing the flow of reading.”

–  Judy Endow, MSW, author, artist, speaker, consultant;


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


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