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It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success [Paperback]

Richard Lavoie , M.D. Mel Levine M.D. , Michele Reiner , Rob Reiner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 3 2006
ADHD • Anxiety • Nonverbal • Communication • Disorders • Visual/Spatial • Disorders • Executive Functioning Difficulties

As any parent, teacher, coach, or caregiver of a learning disabled child knows, every learning disability has a social component. The ADD child constantly interrupts and doesn't follow directions. The child with visual-spatial issues loses his belongings. The child with a nonverbal communication disorder fails to gesture when she talks. These children are socially out of step with their peers, and often they are ridiculed or ostracized for their differences. A successful social life is immeasurably important to a child's happiness, health, and development, but until now, no book has provided practical, expert advice on helping learning disabled children achieve social success.

For more than thirty years, Richard Lavoie has lived with and taught learning disabled children. His bestselling videos and sellout lectures and workshops have made him one of the most respected experts in the field. Rick's pioneering techniques and practical strategies can help children ages six to seventeen

  • Overcome shyness and low self-esteem
  • Use appropriate body language to convey emotion
  • Focus attention and avoid disruptive behavior
  • Enjoy playdates and making friends
  • Employ strategies for counteracting bullying and harassment
  • Master the Hidden Curriculum and polish the apple with teachers

It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend answers the most intense need of parents, teachers, and caregivers of learning disabled children -- or anyone who knows a child who needs a friend.

Frequently Bought Together

It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success + The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child + Richard Lavoie: How Difficult Can This Be? F.A.T. City--A Learning Disabilities Workshop
Price For All Three: CDN$ 70.05

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"Life without friends is a lonely and barren existence," but that's a common fate for children who fail to develop proper social skills, writes veteran special education teacher Lavoie in his insightful guidebook to helping children with learning disabilities overcome social skill deficits. Eschewing sink-or-swim and carrot-and-stick approaches, Lavoie stresses communication and patience for parents looking to guide their children through the maze of social interactions encountered daily, from arranging successful play dates and navigating the hidden curriculum of school, to language difficulties, social anxieties and family issues. Lavoie, who has taught and worked in the special education field for over 30 years, shows how to detect learning disabilities, discusses their impact on a child's social development and provides strategies (most notably his "Social Skill Autopsy") for implementing behavior change. Organized by the different types of social skills-those commonly used at home, at school and in the community-Lavoie's text is refreshingly free of jargon and is suitable for both spot- and cover-to-cover reading. Though aimed at parents of learning disabled children, this comprehensive guide will be handy for any parent whose child has trouble socializing at school or home.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The best guide of its kind ever written. . . a major achievement." -- Edward Hallowell, M.D.,Coauthor of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for LD information Feb. 27 2010
By Joanna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There is very little reliable information in the area of education, esp. in the area of LDs. This is one of the few gems that can actually provide meaningful ways of understanding and dealing with social issues in the context of LDs. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an Eyeopener! May 22 2014
By Josie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this was very helpful and very insightful. Helped me understand my kids and other kids.
I am SO thankful for Richard Lavoies dedication to these kids.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book Aug. 16 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book and at a good price too. The books is full of great information and recommended to me, rented from the library but wanted my own copy for reference.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant insight, invaluable advice April 20 2011
By Mino40
I read this book cover to cover after viewing the video. Though the practical advice is not very extensive (I expected more "for dummies"-type step by step approaches for the various levels or types of learning difficulties), the rationale for any teaching approach was extensively explained. Regardless, knowing the theory allowed me to come up with my own approaches. I was familiar with only a few of the approaches presented, despite having attended a great many parenting workshops on behavior management. I also discovered why some of the recommended approaches we had tried (before reading this book) had failed.

The author breaks down social skills into fine categories and illustrates them vividly. I had never seen that done before when it comes to social skills. That analysis alone even shed light on a large number of questions that had so far remained unanswered for understanding my own childhood! I strongly recommend this book to anybody whose child is struggling socially, and even to those who think their child is doing well socially. The author's writing style, aptly devoid of any edu-speak gibberish, takes the mystery out of any child's developing social world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  34 reviews
55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book! June 18 2006
By zhivago - Published on
Writing as someone who has lived with learning disabilities for nearly 50 years now, I cannot say strongly enough that I sincerely wish all of my teachers and parents had read this book. I will go a little further than that---I wish the pastoral counselor, psychologist, and psychiatrists that I have dealt with as an adult would read this book.

This book brought back memory after memory of times that I have been misunderstood (and rejected) by those around me, and also times that I have greatly misunderstood social and job-related incidents (and acted inappropriately as a result). Some of the long-lasting psychological damage that I have had as a result could have been alieviated if only those around me had been aware of the difficulties that I was having (and continue to have).

Notice that I did not say that the misunderstandings and social errors I make would have stopped. I don't think they would have.

The book does not offer any cure-alls. Its biggest contribution is to increase the understanding of the social ramifications of learning disabilities. I have found that very few normal people have any understanding of this at all; and their response can be quite damaging.
50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Useful Nov. 28 2005
By V. McEnroe - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My son is not ADHD or LD, but he does have problems with social situations, organizational skills, short attention span, etc. This book addresses a lot of those things. A good portion of the book does not apply to my son because academically he is ahead of his peers and this book assumes that kids with social deficiencies also suffer academically. There are several chapters devoted to specific LDs which I skipped. This book helped me to be more understanding of children with attention problems because there are neurological reasons that make it very difficult for them to make socially acceptable decisions and remain focused on tasks. In the beginning there is a long list of behaviors that these children have and so many of them described my son.

One part that I found very useful was the part in the introduction that explains why punishment does not correct poor behavior patterns. It will stop it for that episode, but not have lasting results. Also you should not say, for example, "If you behave in the restaurant then you can get dessert." Not getting dessert would be punishment. The child will be resentful and probably act the same way at the next restaurant. You should explain the expectation beforehand and then if the child behaves you would say, "You have been so good that I think you deserve some dessert." The child will feel a since of accomplishment which leads to them wanting to behave better.

Also in the introduction is a 5 step approach of how to analyze with your child a social problem he encountered to help him figure out on his own what he did wrong and what he should have done.

Another part that was extremely useful was the chapter on having friends over for visits and house "rules" you get your child in the habit of following so your child becomes a good host.

All in all this is one of the best books I have read on helping children cope with attention and social problems.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Lavoie brings seasoned knowledge and advice July 27 2008
By Patricia McGuire MD FAAP - Published on
As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I have spent a great deal of time working with children like Rick Lavoie talks about in his book. These children want to have friends and want to be good friends to others. They struggle to understand the social underpinnings, however, which leads to misunderstandings and sorrow from losing friends, or not even beginning to make a friend. This book looks at the neurodevelopmental issues that these children face, provding the adults who live and work with them more insight into their struggles. He basically is challenging us to step back and decipher what the child's intent was in a situation, rather than just jump to conclusions that frequently are very negative toward the child.

Whether the child has ADHD, learning disabilities, Asperger Syndrome, or some other disability/disorder, taking time to understand why the child's attempts at social interaction is not working, and developing a plan of intervention and accommodation based on that understanding is what will make a positive difference. I think that all parents, teachers, and other professionals who work or live with these children should read this book.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fills a huge void! Sept. 25 2005
By L. Litzinger - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Although there is often a social gap between children with disabilities and their peers, Lavoie thankfully gives parents the necessary skills to remedy this.

This book is also important to parents of children with physical disabilities, parents who are wrestling with the importance of teaching eye contact, body language, modulated voice volume, and cleaner eating habits to their non-LD, but spastic child. Lavoie provides such a kind way of encouraging success!

Fantastic book!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Helpful Book Dec 20 2008
By PS - Published on
I'm just through the first few chapters, and love this book. It's easy to read and gives a complete picture of how learning difficulties affect our children in all areas: academic, emotional and social skills. I wish all teachers would read it. A great gift for anyone who wants to learn and help these kids. Buy this book and spread the word - learning social skills is so difficult for kids whose brains are wired differently and these skills will have a huge impact on their lives.
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