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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 conversations and doesn't follow directions. The child with visual-spatial issues loses his belongings and causes his siblings to be late to school. The child with paralinguistic difficulties appears stiff and wooden because she fails to gesture when she talks. These children are socially out of step with their classmates and 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. Richard Lavoie's PBS videos, including How Difficult Can This Be?: The F.A.T. City Workshop, and his sellout lectures have made him one of the most popular experts in the field.
It's So Much Work to Be Your Friend offers practical strategies to help learning disabled children ages s through seventeen navigate the treacherous social waters of their school, home, and community. Rick examines the special social issues surrounding a wide variety of learning disabilities, including ADD and other attentional disorders, anxiety, paralinguistics, visual-spatial disorders, and executive functioning. Then he provides proven methods and step-by-step instructions for helping the learning disabled child through almost any social situation, including choosing a friend, going on a playdate, conducting a conversation, reading body language, overcoming shyness and low self-esteem, keeping track of belongings, living with siblings, and adjusting to new settings and situations.
"The best guide of its kind ever written... a major achievement."--Edward Hallowell, MD, coauthor of Driven to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction
""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."--Publishers Weekly
Foreword by Mel Levine. 448 pages. 2006