It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success Paperback – Oct 3 2006
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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 DistractionSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I am SO thankful for Richard Lavoies dedication to these kids.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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