Faherty, Catherine - Autism Awareness
We’re here for you during COVID-19, providing information and resources like we always have for the past 17 years. Let us know how we can help.

Faherty, Catherine

Catherine Faherty, one of the pioneers in the University of North Carolina’s TEACCH Program, first created a model TEACCH classroom in the mid-1980’s, and has served individuals with autism, their families, and professionals, as a TEACCH autism specialist and teacher trainer from 1990 to 2012. She has written training manuals, including the TEACCH Structured Teaching Self- Assessment: Guides to Individualizing the Schedule and Work System. Catherine’s first groundbreaking book Asperger’s…What Does It Mean To Me? promotes self-understanding for children and youth, encouraging mutual understanding within their families, schools, and communities. Her book, Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach About Life, was awarded The 2009 Book of the Year by the Autism Society of America, is an interactive guide for individuals with ASD and their loved ones. Her most recent book is Communication…What Does It Mean to Me? which offers the unique, user-friendly “Contract for Communication” featuring easy-to-follow “agreements” for both young people on the spectrum and the adults in their lives—parents, teachers, therapists—so they can better understand one another.

From Asking for Help…to Self-Advocacy…to Self- Determination

Self-determination, the process by which a person makes his or her own decisions, is a popular subject in educational programs and in disability services. Professionals and families who value self-determination, wholeheartedly desire to have their students, children, and clients engage in making decisions for themselves. The problem is that most support people – usually being nonautistic, may not realize that they have unconscious assumptions about communication based on their non-autistic experiences of self-determination. These assumptions may not take into account the underlying communication uniqueness of autistic individuals. Features inherent in an autistic style of thinking and learning must be acknowledged and proactively planned for when expecting children and adults to speak up for themselves – to self-advocate – to become fully engaged in self-determination. It is so much more than simply giving a child the freedom to say what she wants – and expecting her to automatically respond in way that’s true for her; or routinely extending an invitation to a teenager to participate in his I.E.P. meeting; or waiting for an adult to express a particular need for a change in his life. This workshop will break down some of the basic skills needed for true self-determination, and evaluate them according to how to teach these skills to your ASD students over time, covering a wide range of functioning levels and ages. Catherine’s presentations are known for generous practical ideas and useful strategies.



  • Asperger's and Girls

    Asperger’s and Girls

    Author: Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Tony Attwood, Catherine Faherty, Sheila Wagner, Mary Wrobel, Teresa Bolick and many more
    Publishing Info: Paperback 150 pages / 2006
    Tags: , .

    Because the majority of those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders are boys and men, the voices of girls on the spectrum have been practically inaudible—until now.

    $27.95 Product Details »
  • Autism... What Does It Mean to Me? A Workbook Explaining Self Awareness and Life Lessons to the Child or Youth with High Functioning Autism or Aspergers

    Autism…What Does It Mean To Me?

    Author: Catherine Faherty
    Publishing Info: Paperback 479 pages / 2014
    Tags: , , .

    In this updated edition, new pages include additional pages directed towards older readers. For example, teens exploring how their identity relates to their diagnosis may be interested in the pages titled: The Wording for Me and Autism: “Identity First” and “Person First” (p. 20, 21). Pages 28-29 offer additional resources to the parent or professional regarding this language. Pages regarding the importance and meaning of stimming are new, along with pages regarding Self-Injurious Behavior, tics, emotional pain, empathy, and many, many more. In the section regarding Friends, Catherine includes what she’s learned from adults and teens regarding the importance of internet friendships as a vital and sustaining force in many otherwise isolated lives. She’s also added new information regarding the dangers that may be associated with meeting people online, and practical tips regarding protecting one’s personal safety.

    $48.95 Product Details »

Visit Faherty, Catherine's website.

Faherty, Catherine's Past Conference Schedule

March 15, 2014
From Asking for Help…to Self-Advocacy…to Self- Determination